Trap-Neuter-Return, also known as TNR is the nonlethal sterilization method to reduce the number of free-roaming, community cats. Scientific studies show that TNR (not trap and kill), is the only effective approach for managing a group of free-roaming cats. TNR improves the lives of these community cats, improves their relationships with the people who live near them, and decreases the size of colonies over time. These studies have been conducted in multiple countries, and have been published in a variety scientific journals.
During TNR, cats are trapped (if needed) in humane traps, neutered, vaccinated and eartipped, then returned to their colony.
Why Does TNR Work?
Trap-Neuter-Return controls the colony size by first stabilizing the numbers, then gradually reducing the numbers. The traditional approach to reducing free-roaming cat numbers (trap-and-remove, aka trap and kill) achieves a temporary lowering of cat numbers, but other cats move in to take advantage of the now available sources of food and shelter. These new unsterilized cats breed prolifically – a phenomenon called the “vacuum effect” that has been documented around the world.
Cats benefit from Trap-Neuter-Return for their entire lives.
Studies show that after neutering, cats become healthier and gain weight. Outdoor cats in managed colonies even live longer, healthier lives thanks to TNR. One study of a TNR program found that at the end of a 10-year period, 83% of the cats in the managed colonies had been residing in those colonies for more than six years—indicating a lifespan comparable to the 7.1-year lifespan of pet cats.
By eliminating mating behaviors, Trap-Neuter-Return makes cats better neighbors.
Neutered cats are less likely to roam, make less noise, and fight less. One study found that nuisance to animal control about cats decreased after a TNR program was implemented—even though the human population increased. TNR’d cats in managed colonies tend to be less aggressive and more affectionate towards each other.
What is eartipping?
Eartipping is a technique of painlessly removing a quarter inch of the top of a cat’s left ear while the cat is anesthetized for the spay/neuter surgery. Eartipping is the universal symbol to permanently identify that a community cat has been sterilized. Eartipping ensures that a sterile cat will not undergo repeat trapping and surgery.
Can't they be adopted into homes?
Feral kittens up to eight to ten weeks of age can often be socialized and adopted into homes. Adult feral cats are usually impossible to tame and are unsuited to cohabitating with humans.
We will always have community cats - and we can have them one of two ways:
1) Healthy and not reproducing or 2) Unhealthy and reproducing.
TNR is humane.
TNR is cost effective.
Please Help Us Make a Difference - Click Here To Donate Today!