One of the greatest human
tragedies is to see a need
and to do nothing about it
Feral Cats are the direct result of human disregard. They started off life as domestic cats left behind by humans and are left to fend for themselves. If they are not spayed/neutered they will breed and multiply quickly. These cats are born in the wild without human contact resulting in feral kittens and cats. With this a feral cat colony is formed.
Without trap neuter and return feral cats can also be a health concern to humans. A person would more than likely not hesitate to make contact with a cat that approaches them and appears 'normal" and friendly. In the summer of 2011 a local youth was bit by a feral cat in the town of East Windsor CT. The cat was trapped and tested positive for rabies. Trap neuter and return (TNR) is a program that benefits not only the feral cats in the communities but also the humans that they share that community with. TNR not only assists in controlling the feral cat population but also the spread of rabies to humans and other animals by spaying/neutering and administering rabies vaccine.
By spaying/neutering we are helping control the feral cat population in our communities.
What Is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
TNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food and adequate shelter and monitors the cats' health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population. “It is very important to have all feral cats spayed/neutered because it is the only 100-percent effective way to prevent unwanted kittens,” says Aimee Christian, ASPCA Vice President of Spay/Neuter Operations. “Feral cats are prolific reproducers.”
Furthermore, 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. Spayed cats are less likely to develop
TNR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reducing it. At the same time, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, excessive noisemaking and fighting are largely eliminated, and no more kittens are born. Yet, the benefit of natural
A colony caretaker is an individual (or group of individuals) who manages one or more feral colonies in a community. The caretaker keeps an eye on the cats, providing food, water, shelter, spaying/neutering and emergency medical care. In most cases, organizations and vets know these people because of the community service they provide. Some shelters and rescue groups even give out free or low-cost spay/neuter coupons to colony caretakers.
Offer your help to established colony caretakers. Ongoing needs include feeding, trapping, transportation to and from the veterinarian, temporary housing for cats after surgery, and fostering and socializing kittens for the purpose of finding them good homes.
Contact local shelters or welfare groups to see if a TNR workshop is available in your area.
Start with the cats in your own backyard—educate yourself about TNR and learn to trap cats and have them spayed or neutered.