Why Trap-Neuter-Return for feral and other “community” cats who live outdoors?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most effective way to manage stray and feral cat populations. TNR stabilizes a neighborhood’s outdoor cat population very quickly and, over time, reduces the number of cats. When outdoor cats aren’t spayed or neutered, they breed uncontrollably and become nuisances to their human neighbors. Unneutered males fight and spray to mark territory, noisy females in heat attract more males, kittens are constantly born, and many of them die.
TNR is a humane way to take care of cat overpopulation. Cats are captured in humane traps and taken to a veterinarian who spays/neuters and vaccinates them. Each cat’s left ear is also “tipped” under anesthesia, so that when released back to their communities it’s easy to see that the cat has been “fixed.” Food and shelter are then provided by caretakers for the rest of their natural lives.
In contrast to TNR, trapping and removing (or killing) cats does not work. It only means that more cats will move in to replace them – known as the “vacuum effect.” Also keep in mind that many “community” cats are feral, that is, not socialized to live with humans. When taken to shelters they’re often euthanized because they’re not adoptable.
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