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Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

Four Cats on the Sidewalk

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a non-lethal, three-step method to reduce the number of feral and stray cats both immediately and in the long term.

Step 1 – Trap: Feral or stray cats are trapped using a safe, humane, live trap.

Step 2 – Neuter: Trapped cats are spayed or neutered by a veterinarian.

Step 3 – Return: Fixed cats are returned to their home.

Why does TNR work?

Benefits to the Community

TNR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reduces it.  Spay/neutered cats cease behaviors that instigate complaints by people.  Neutered males have no desire to mark their territory, so they stop spraying. Females never go into heat, so the yowling created by mating no longer occurs.  Male cats stop fighting because there are no females in heat to fight over, and neutered males have no desire to mate even if a female in heat is in the area.

The practice of TNR enables feral and outdoor cats to live their lives without adding to the overpopulation of homeless cats.  The strain on local shelters and rescues is reduced by lowering the number of cats and kittens who flow into their doors.  The euthanasia rate for  cats at shelters drops when there are fewer ferals because the lack of stray cats and kittens means less competition for spots in adoptive homes.

Benefits to the Cats

Spay/neutered outdoor cats live much healthier lives that unaltered cats. Outdoor cats who have been sterilized and live in a colony that has a caretaker have longer life spans than unmanaged outdoor cats. By reducing the population of outdoor cats, we also reduce the number of cats euthanized by local animal shelters.

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