Community Cat Programs Handbook: Stray and Feral Cats Resource

Community Cat Programs Handbook: Stray and Feral Cats Resource

About this trap-neuter-return resource

Through various partnerships, Best Friends operates more large-scale community cat programs (CCPs) than any other organization in the country. We are, therefore, in a unique position to comment on what it takes to make such programs effective. Indeed, we feel an obligation to share our knowledge with individuals and organizations interested in creating their own CCPs. This handbook is one manifestation of that obligation.

Different names for TNR and stray cats

No two CCPs are alike; some include kitten nurseries and extensive foster programs, for example, while others are limited mostly to return-to-field (or shelter-neuter-return) efforts. But at the heart of all CCPs is the trap-neuter-return, or TNR (sometimes mistakenly referred to as trap-neuter-release), method for managing community cats. With TNR, stray and feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then returned to the outdoor location where they were living.

Best Friends prefers to call feral, stray, alley, and/or otherwise ownerless free-roaming cats by the term “community cats.” This is because these animals are a part of the community in which they live, and valued by many of the residents. We are working to change the often-negative public perception of these cats.