What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is practiced by Town Cats.   Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), which involves humanely trapping stray and feral cats and having them vaccinated, spayed/neutered, and “eartipped” before returning them to their outdoor home, is the only effective method of stabilizing outdoor cat colonies. As a result of TNR, the birth of new kittens in the colony slows down and eventually ends when all the cats are spayed/neutered. In addition, socialized cats and kittens are spayed/neutered and then often put up for adoption, causing an immediate reduction in the population size.

After using the cruel, costly catch and kill method for decades and failing to stabilize cat populations, local officials and animal control officers everywhere have realized that they need a completely different approach. Some TNR programs have now been in place for as many as 25 years and are a testimony to how well this approach works. That’s why the number of municipalities that officially endorse this approach increased tenfold between 2003 and 2013.


Below, read why TNR works for many reasons.

TNR Works
Information on how well TNR works is beginning to accumulate. The Stanford University Cat Network reduced its feral population from 1000-1500 cats to 300 over a ten-year period. The Southern Animal Foundation in Louisiana reduced one New Orleans population from 500 to 65 over three years, through TNR and adoptions. Astonishing numbers of kittens have not been born due to these efforts.
TNR is the compassionate approach/solution to feral and stray cat overpopulation.
TNR teaches compassion and responsible cat care. While TNR actually reduces the number of cats breeding, it also opens the door to educating people about the importance of spaying and the plight of feral and stray cats. Trapping and killing teaches young and old that it is okay to create unwanted offspring and then kill the surplus – leaving no room for education or compassion for life.
Trapping and killing does not solve the problem.
Trapping and killing has been practiced for many years (as the only option available) and it does not work. For all the years this approach was practiced, the cat population continued to explode.
Without TNR new cats move in to replace those cats are removed.
Cats tend to congregate around a food source. When cats are trapped and removed from an area, new cats move in to take advantage of the food source. Alley Cat Allies, a national feral cat network, call this phenomenon “the vacuum effect.”
Trapping and killing is more expensive than TNR
Trapping and killing cats is a tax payer burden. It costs on average $75 to $100 for an animal control agency to trap, house, kill, and dispose of one cat. It costs a program like ours about $50 to spay or neuter one cat.
Caregivers will not allow trapping and killing.
Thousands of kind people feed and care for feral and stray cats. Most will not allow the cats they feed to be trapped and killed, but welcome the opportunity to have the cats trapped, neutered and returned. If their only choice is to have the cats killed, they will opt to do nothing and the cats will breed – adding to the overpopulation problem.
Society does not support trapping and killing.
When communities have tried to implement mass trapping and killing efforts, the community outcry has stopped the effort.
TNR helps reduce the number of cats euthanized at shelters
When fewer kittens are born to feral and stray cats, fewer cats and kittens enter shelters. This means fewer are killed because there aren’t enough homes for all the cats who need them, and fewer are deemed unadoptable because they are wild (untamed). Fewer cats competing for adoptive homes means more find a home and fewer are therefore euthanized.
TNR Assistance:

Town Cats will also provide spay/neuter services for free-roaming or pet cats at low cost. To take advantage of this service please contact us!

Other Options:

www.forgottencats.org or call the hotline at 302-429-0124
www.communitycatscoalition.com or call 443-909-8047





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