You see cats wandering outside in the neighborhood, through city streets, even sitting on the tops of cars and roofs. Although these cats can appear healthy and friendly, many homeless cats are classified as feral cats — domestic cats that are wild or their wild-born offspring that live in colonies (or a group of feral cats). Due to their lack of socialization and fearful reactions to human contact, longtime feral cats cannot be adopted out or forced to be house cats. Don’t feel sad about this as feral cats have a home in the outdoors that they are well accustomed to. But, if you would like to make their lives just a bit more comfortable (and safer), there are plenty of ways to do so, including getting involved with Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs.
What is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), also known as Trap-Test-Vaccinate-Alter-Release (TTVAR), is a proven humane method to spay or neuter unaltered feral cats by safely trapping them, then returning them to the location where they were picked-up. Here’s a break-down of what each term represents:
- Trap: All feral cats in a colony, or as many as possible, are humanely trapped.
- Neuter: The trapped cats are taken to an animal or veterinary clinic to be spayed or neutered, receive vaccinations, and are sometimes marked by eartipping to let people know that the cat has been through the TNR process.
- Return: The cats must be returned to the outdoor area where they were trapped — this is most likely where they live, their home.
What are the benefits of TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return programs benefit the cats, their local community, and their neighboring humans in many ways. TNR helps to improve the lives of outdoor cats by stabilizing feral cat populations through sterilization of entire colonies, halting dangerous behaviors like fighting and annoying habits like spraying, and by fighting off the spread of diseases through vaccinations. Another big plus to doing TNR is that it results in fewer cats sitting in animal shelters and fewer feral cats dying via euthanized. What’s more, when a feral cat population gets under control, local communities will have fewer cat messes to deal with from feces to scattered trash from garbage cans. Additionally, with fewer feral cats around, wildlife such as small birds and rodents will have their lives spared. TNR benefits the cats and the communities in which they have made their home, so why not do what you can to help?
How can I get involved?
There are ways to get physically involved with TNR, either as an individual or through contacting a neighborhood Trap-Neuter-Return agency or program. The first thing you need to do is research U.S. feral cat programs and informational resources.
- You can become familiar with what exactly feral cats are by checking out a dedicated cat advocate group like Alley Cat Allies for answers to all of your kitty questions. Alley Cat Allies also offers an easy to follow step-by-step guide, How to Conduct Trap-Neuter-Return, to assist you in getting started with helping control the feral cat population in your area.
- Another excellent group to check out is the Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project, which aims to save the lives of homeless cats by providing community access to educational information and high volume spay or neuter surgery in a safe and humane environment.
- Other good sources to contact are your local animal shelters or a trusted veterinarian and ask if they participate in a TNR program so you can bring in feral cats for care. The Humane Society of the United States has a clickable map so you can easily locate a nearby feral cat organization for TNR and feral cat resources.
Get involved in other ways such as caring for neighborhood feral cats before and after TNR by providing an outdoor shelter, food and water, watching for signs of disease, and monitoring a cat colony post-surgery and post-return. You can also volunteer at your local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) spay and neuter clinic or provide a momentary gift to keep nationwide TNR projects active such as through Alley Cat Allies’ donation page, the ASPCA’s donation page, or via the HSUS (donation options at the top).
Green Monsters: Share your TNR experience with us to inspire others to take action and get involved to improve the lives of feral cats everywhere!
Image source: Sharin abd rahman / Flickr
Here’s how you can make every last TNR CAT-HOARDER reveal just how ignorant, hypocritical, and self-deceptive they truly are. All with just ONE simple question:
“If you believe that these cats are a natural part of the environment and belong out in nature, then why are you even bothering to sterilize them?”
Your agreement to sterilize them IS YOUR VERY AGREEMENT THAT THEY DON’T EVEN BELONG THERE IN THE VERY FIRST PLACE.
Is this too far beyond your 3rd-grade home-schooled comprehension levels? Must be. Ignorant self-deceptive hypocrites, much?
And if you think that cats make good rodent control, think again.
Your myth about cats being good rodent control has been disproved on every island where cats were imported to take care of the imported rodents. Hundreds of years later and there’s nothing but a thriving population of cats and rodents — all the native wildlife on those islands now either extinct or on the brink of extinction because of it. And you think of yourself as educated?
The rodents reproduce in burrows and holes out of the reach of cats, where they are happy to reproduce forever to entertain cats the rest of their lives, and make your own lives miserable, on into infinity. On top of that, when cats infect rodents with cat’s Toxoplasma gondii parasite, this hijacks the minds of rodents to make the rodents attracted to where cats urinate. (Google for: Parasite Hijacks the Mind of Its Host) Cats actually attract disease-carrying rodents to where cats are (and the cats then contract these diseases on contact with, or being in proximity to, these rodents). Further increasing the cat/rodent/disease density of this happy predator/prey balance. It has been documented many many times. The more cats you have, the more rodents you get.
Look at any island that had cats imported to take care of the imported rodents hundreds of years ago as some simple and concrete proof of this cat/rodent balance. All the native wildlife is either gone or on the brink of extinction with nothing but a healthy population of cats and rodents thriving on into infinity. Cats DO NOT get rid of rodents! I don’t care how many centuries that fools will claim that cats keep rodents in-check, they’ll still be wrong all these centuries. Civilizations of humans have come and gone in great cities like Egypt, yet their cats and rodents remain in even greater pestilent numbers.
No cat population anywhere has EVER been able to control rodents. But native predators can — easily.
Keep deceiving yourselves.
Be sure you test those cats for ALL of the following diseases, or I hope the recipient of one of them that is adopted-out or someone coming in contact with your disease-infested cats sues your city and politicians and every last TNR practitioner so bad that they never recover from it for the rest of their criminally negligent and criminally irresponsible sorry-excuses for lives. (For just one example of THOUSANDS, not long ago businesses in Miami were ruined by caretakers of feral-cats spreading hookworm in all the beaches. Lawsuits aplenty!)
These are just the diseases these invasive species vermin cats have been spreading to humans, not counting the ones they spread to all wildlife. THERE ARE NO VACCINES against many of these, and are in-fact listed as bio-terrorism agents. They include: Afipia felis, Anthrax, Bartonella (Rochalimaea) henselae, Bergeyella (Weeksella) zoohelcum, Campylobacter Infection, Cat Scratch Disease, Chlamydia psittaci (feline strain), Cowpox, Coxiella burnetti Infection (Q fever), Cryptosporidium Infection, Cutaneous larva migrans, Dermatophytosis, Dipylidium Infection (tapeworm), Hookworm Infection, Leptospira Infection, Giardia, Neisseria canis, Pasteurella multocida, Plague, Poxvirus, Rabies, Rickettsia felis, Ringworm, Salmonella Infection, Scabies, Sporothrix schenckii, Toxocara Infection, Toxoplasmosis, Trichinosis, Visceral larva migrans, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. [Centers for Disease Control, July 2010] Bovine Tuberculosis, Sarcosporidiosis, Flea-borne Typhus, Tularemia, and Rat-Bite Fever can now also be added to that list.
Yes, “The Black Death” (the plague) is alive and well today and being spread by people’s cats this time around. People have already died from cat-transmitted plague in the USA. For a fun read, one of hundreds of cases, Google for: Cat-Transmitted Fatal Pneumonic Plague
You did know, didn’t you, that giving a rabies shot to a cat that already has rabies does not cure it of rabies? Google for: RABID KITTEN ADOPTED WAKE COUNTY (for just one example of hundreds of rabid cats adopted from outdoors). The incubation period for rabies is, on average, from 21 to 240 days, sometimes up to 11 months, one rare case being 6 years. A vetted cat can STILL transmit rabies many months later (during the last 2 weeks before it dies of rabies) if it was harvested from unknown rabies-exposure conditions with an unknown vaccination history. May one of those cats you adopt-out have rabies too. Is your liability insurance in excess of $10M? Either quarantine them for 6 or more months at your OWN expense (as required by national and international law), or euthanize them. Those are your only 2 options to be relatively certain you are not handing rabies to someone. Isn’t reality fun?
Google for: RABIES PROMPTS CARLSBAD TNR CAT PROGRAM SUSPENSION
Rabies outbreak caused by TNR! 50+ pets euthanized. ALL stray cats destroyed. All livestock destroyed. More than a dozen homeowners pay for their own $3000+ rabies shots for EACH family member.
Google for: Rabies Outbreak in Westchester County
Google for: Rabid Kitten Jamestown Exposure
There’s hundreds more like those on the net showing everyone how these phenomenally ignorant and foolish cat-lickers “help” their communities by allowing TNR CAT-HOARDERS to continue their criminally negligent behavior. And contrary to these cat-lickers’ perpetual LIES, feeding stray cats TRAINS them to approach humans for food. What do you think happens to the child or foolish adult that reaches down to try to pet or pick up that now seemingly friendly “cute kitty” that just approached them? The wild animal lashes out and bites or scratches the hand that has no food for them. Resulting in $3000+ rabies shots for each victim of a cat-feeder’s criminally negligent behavior, paid for out of the victim’s OWN pockets. Two reports even document rabid cats entering a pet-door and one even came through the family’s ceiling in search of human supplied foods, the attack so bad that the whole family required hospitalization.
This is why even the CDC has issued direct warnings against the use of these failed TNR programs anywhere and everywhere: onlinelibrary.wiley D0T com SLASH doi/10.1111/zph.12070/abstract