A typical Operation Catnip Spay Day clinic accommodates 150 or more cats. To help us care for as many cats as possible, please read the instructions in our Caregiver Clinic Guide carefully, and feel free to call us at (352) 380-0940 for more detailed information. We welcome visitors, but Catnip Spay Day tours must be scheduled in advance of the clinic.
Clinic Acceptance Criteria
Operation Catnip of Gainesville can only accept free-roaming, outdoor, community cats, including feral cats and unowned strays from Alachua County, FL. We cannot accept owned indoor cats, cats available for adoption or in foster care, cats that may be euthanized after surgery, or kittens less than 3 months old or less than 3 pounds in weight.
All cats must be delivered in individual wire traps (one cat per trap). No cats in carriers, airline-type plastic pet carriers, dog crates, cardboard carriers, boxes, or makeshift carriers will be accepted. For trapping guidelines, please see the Operation Catnip Trapping Guide.
Our clinics are held at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine located at 2015 SW 16th Avenue in Gainesville. Please do not contact the UF veterinary school for information about Operation Catnip. The clinic space is generously donated, and we must respect that privilege.
At the clinic, cats will be anesthetized and surgically sterilized. The tip of the left ear will be tipped just 3/8 of an inch to identify it as a sterile community cat. All cats will be treated for fleas and internal parasites and vaccinated against feline panleukopenia, calicivirus, herpesvirus, feline leukemia virus, and rabies. After surgery, the cats will be returned to you the same day for release the following day.
Clinic Drop Off Instructions
Be on Time
Please arrive as early as possible. Admission begins at 7:30am. Anesthesia begins promptly at 8:00am. Cats cannot be accepted after 9:30am.
Check in Your Cat(s)
Check in your cats at the Admissions Station, which is located behind the easternmost 3-story Veterinary Academic Building. Blue and white “Operation Catnip” signs with arrows will direct you where to go. You will be given a claim check when you check in your cat(s) with the time you should return to pick them up after surgery.
Please be prepared to wait in line. Depending on the number of cats that arrive and what time caregivers arrive, we easily become backed up. Rest assured that we are checking cats in as efficiently as possible while keeping their well being as top priority. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Complete the Release Form
Please read and sign the Caregiver Release Form. Our veterinarians have the discretion to euthanize any animal found to have a condition making its release inhumane. Your signature on this form means you agree to these terms.
If your cat is scheduled for vaccinations only, plan to arrive with the cat at 9:30am, and wait while the cat is given its vaccinations, usually about 10-15 minutes. The cat can be released back to its colony immediately after receiving vaccinations.
Make a Tax-Deductible Contribution
Donations help us care for more cats. It costs approximately $50 to provide medical care for each cat. Please be as generous as possible when making your tax-deductible contribution.
If you can give your time and talent to the next clinic, please ask for a Volunteer Application Form when you drop off your cats. No previous medical experience is necessary.
Clinic Pick Up Instructions
Please Be Patient
Pick up is staggered based on the time of drop off. Please be patient with our volunteer staff. Sometimes a clinic may run late due to a large number of females, which take longer to sterilize. Each cat recovers from anesthesia at a different rate, and some cats take longer to wake up than others. For their safety, cats can only be released after they are awake and responsive.
Please Be Prompt
Cats not picked up promptly are considered abandoned and will be taken to Alachua County Animal Services where a report of illegal animal abandonment will be filed.
After the Clinic
Monitor the Cats
Many cats will not be fully recovered at the time of discharge and full recovery may take 24 hours. Since the clinic facilities are loaned to Operation Catnip, we cannot supervise the aftercare of these cats. Because of this, caregivers need to monitor the cats for 24 hours following discharge. Complete recovery instructions and emergency contact information are provided at the time of discharge.Your paperwork provides valuable information:
- It is an official rabies vaccination certificate.
- Treatments and procedures are noted on the record.
- Recommendations may be made for follow-up care.
- Specific information may be of value to you, e.g., body weight, gender, body condition.
- It is a complete record of services performed.
Release the cats
The next day, when the cats are fully awake, return them to the area in which they were captured. Stitches will be absorbed and do not need to be removed. If a cat is not yet fully awake, or continues to exhibit any of the symptoms listed above, call the emergency contact number on the medical record.