TNR Practice

Trap Neuter Return (TNR) is grounded in science. It stops the breeding cycle of cats over time. TNR  is meant to stabilize feral cat colonies, improve cats’ lives and answers the needs of the community.  TNR is considered a best practice. 

During an 11 year study of TNR at the University of Florida, the number of cats on campus declined by 66% with no new kittens being born after the first four years of operation. A TNR program at the University of Texas A&M neutered 123 cats in its first year, and found no new litters of kittens the following year. TNR relieves cats of the constant stresses of mating and pregnancy. Mating behaviors like roaming, yowling, spraying, and fighting cease. The cat’s physical health improves. Cats are vaccinated against rabies and distemper. They are also Ear Tipped for easy identification that they’ve been part of the program. 

Many major cities including Baltimore, Washington D.C., Austin, Jacksonville, Topeka, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Cook County IL participate in TNR. TNR is supported by organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Disneyland and Portland’s Providence Park (Soccer Stadium) participate in TNR. TNR Protects Cat’s lives. When TNR is used as part of an overall shelter reform, communities like Sterling Heights report a decline in shelter intake. Along with a decrease in cat-related complaints to Animal Control. Researchers in Orange County Florida found that the number of cats killed by animal control decreased in the six years after TNR was initiated. 

TNR stops wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. Catching and Killing cats has been a futile effort used by Animal Control and Shelters across the country for decades. By investing in Spay/Neuter and TNR we show an investment in cat’s lives, and cat’s health. It shows a socially responsible, compassionate, and efficient approach to serving animals and the public. 

More than 80% of Americans believe it is more humane to leave a cat outside than to have them caught and killed. TNR Reflects American’s humane ethic that cats deserve to live out their lives in their outdoor homes. 

Attempts to remove cats from an area always fail because of a natural and scientifically-documented phenomenon known as the vacuum effect. Whenever cats are removed, new cats move in, or the surviving cats left behind breed to capacity. Catch and Kill has shown to be ineffective. After decades of catch and kill the feral cat populations have not reduced. Adoption of feral cats is time consuming and has a very low success rate. Spending time doing TNR and fostering social stray cats will help a much greater number of cats. Relocation may seem like an attractive option, however it puts the vacuum effect into motion and endangers cats lives and causes them undue stress and suffering. Cat sanctuaries are well meaning, however, there will never be enough sanctuaries to house every cat.