Trap-neuter-return is a humane, non-lethal alternative to the trap-and-kill method of controlling cat populations. Trap-neuter-return (TNR) is a management technique in which homeless, free-roaming (community) cats are humanely trapped, evaluated and sterilized by a licensed veterinarian, vaccinated against rabies, ear-tipped, and then returned to their original habitat.
In the long term, TNR lowers the numbers of cats in the community more effectively than trap-and-kill. Good Samaritans in neighborhoods all across the country provide food, water and shelter for community cats, and TNR provides a non-lethal, humane way to effectively manage these community cat populations. In some programs, friendly cats or young kittens are pulled from the colonies and sent to foster facilities for socialization and, eventually, placement into forever homes. Stopping the breeding and removing some cats for adoption is very effective particularly in areas with large cat populations because studies have indicated a "vacuum effect": if all cats are removed from one location, cats from surrounding areas will quickly move in to the vacated space.
The benefits to both cats and communities are numerous.
TNR has a great impact in our community here in Fernley and surrounding areas. TNR has been shown to be the least costly and the most humane, efficient way of stabilizing community cat populations. TNR helps stabilize the population of community colonies and, over time, reduces them. Nuisance behaviors such as spraying, excessive noisemaking and fighting are largely eliminated and no additional kittens are born.By stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Neutering male cats also reduces the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat. That means they attract fewer tom cats to the area, which reduces fighting.
Once cats are caught and taken in for their spay or neuter and vaccines, the veterinarian will either clip the tip of the left ear or cut a v-shaped notch into it. This has become an international sign for community cats that have been altered. It is a big help when monitoring a colony to determine not only how many cats have been altered, but also to identify newcomers.
If you need help with feral cats in your community and/or neighborhood, or have a controlled colony and need assistance, please feel free to contact us right here through this site or call our number at 1 (775) 229-3708. You can also message us through our Facebook page.