What is TNR?
TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Return. It is the most humane and effective method for managing and reducing the population of community (feral and stray) cats. Through TNR programs, a cat is humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped, and returned to it's outdoor home. Kittens that are young enough to be socialized are placed with partner rescue organizations for adoption. We also microchip all community cats that come through our programs so that they may be identified later if needed.
How does TNR help?
In the past, a common practice was to trap and remove or euthanize community cats. However, this short term solution doesn't work because it creates a vacuum effect where new cats move in due to decreased competition for resources. What usually happens is cats will move into an area first and then a caretaker will start to care for them, not the other way around.
Did you know?
“An average cat has 1-8 kittens per litter and 2-3 litters per year. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years.” (fayettehumane.org)
To give you an idea of how many community cats live in your area, the Coalition has answered over 400 calls and have assisted in fixing over 1,000 cats in just two years through our TNR programs. Through our efforts, the county is starting to see a drop in the number of calls for assistance and complaints coming in regarding community cats. This is because TNR works. It is the only humane method to control the population and maintain the positive welfare of community cats and we are seeing the results already.
We have found that the public is against euthanasia, and very receptive to the efforts of the Coalition and our TNR programs because they allow people to help animals in need. TNR saves lives and allows our community to be a part of the solution that benefits the cats and their neighborhood.
What are the benefits of TNR in your community?
- Reduces shelter and local rescue admissions of cats and kittens and therefore operating costs.
- Creates safer communities and promote public health by reducing the number of unvaccinated cats.
- Improves the lives of free-roaming cats.
- Males cats are no longer compelled to maintain a large territory or fight over mates.
- Females are no longer forced to endure the stress and physical demands of giving birth and fending for their young.
- Sterilizing community cats reduces or even eliminates the behaviors that can lead to nuisance complaints which reduces neighborhood disagreements.
- Decreases the number of kittens that are found by community members.
One of the most important things to consider when practicing TNR in your neighborhood is to make sure the entire colony is 100% trapped, fixed, and vaccinated. We can help you accomplish this, and you can ask for help by filling out our TNR Assistance form. We will call you within 24 hours to assess the situation and come up with a plan.
Another factor we must consider is to target TNR efforts at sections of the community with high cat populations. If you are caring for community cats or know someone that is, and help is needed, please let us know! We are here to help!
Our Standard of Care
We believe that community cats deserve the same quality care that companion cats receive (as also required by law), so we negotiated a Community Cat Care Package with our partner veterinary hospitals and the LCVMA at a discounted rate. Each cat we take in through one of our programs receives the following TNR services:
- Rabies and distemper vaccinations
- Parasite treatment
- Antibiotics if needed
- Ear tip
How do you know if a Cat Has been "TNR'd"?
There are a few signs that a cat has been trapped, neutered, and returned to it's colony. Here are a couple ways to tell:
Ear Tipping: The universally recognized way to indicate that a cat has been sterilized and returned to it's community is by tipping the left ear. This is done under anesthesia when they are spayed/neutered.
Microchipping: A tiny microchip injected under the skin allows a cat to be identified and returned to their home if they get lost or brought to a shelter or animal hospital. LC3 microchips all cats in our programs in case they are trapped by accident or displaced. We have even reunited several lost pets because they were microchipped!