TNR, or Trap, Neuter, Return, is the most effective and humane method for controlling the stray and feral cat populations. In a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, free-roaming cats, which usually congregate together in "colonies", are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, marked (ear-tipped) for identification and given any and all medical attention required. After a short recovery period the sterilized, vaccinated unsocialized cats are then returned to the same place where they were trapped. However, now they are protected against sickness and unable to birth more kittens. Friendly cats and kittens are taken into foster care for adoption.
Following the cats' return, caretakers are responsible for providing these cats with regular food, water, shelter and necessary medical attention. Thus the result that is achieved is a smaller, healthier feral cat population that continues to provide vital rodent control to the community rather than an overrun population subject to starvation and disease. Once spayed or neutered, cats will no longer perform many of the commonly known "nuisance" behaviors such as howling, fighting, mating, and spraying to mark territory. TNR also eases the heavy burden on animal control agencies by reducing the flow of cats and kittens into local shelters, helping to lessen overcrowding. In addition, shelters save costs and staff time because fewer cats need to be housed and euthanized. For all these reasons, TNR is quickly becoming recognized across the United States and around the world as the best antidote to the homeless and feral cat crisis.
Please do your part. If you have a stray cat in your area, you can literally save its life by having it spayed/neutered and constructing a low-cost shelter to protect it from the elements. Remember without your help, one female cat can produce four (4!) litters per season. Within a few months you will have a colony if you do not step in. Remember that for every kitten that is born, (even if you find it a home), a kitten in the shelter is euthanized because there are not enough homes. There are many, many low cost sterilization options available. OnebyOne can help with loaning traps and offering guidance.
Click HERE to learn more about TNR in NJ.*
Click HERE to see the faces of TNR.
*If you are a Staten Island resident, or are located conveniently to SI, you are welcome at any TNR-training workshop held on SI at any time. Please visit the Staten Island Feral Initiative website to learn more.