Sometimes called “Trap Neuter Release”, these programs give un-adoptable, under socialized, feral cats an opportunity to live longer fulfilling lives as opposed to euthanasia in government run facilities.
Most people at one time or another will find themselves face to face with a stray cat that has wandered onto their property looking helpless and abandoned. It’s hard to not feel the need to nurture these skinny & scarred creatures, but mom was right, if you feed them they will stay, bring the family with them and reproduce like clockwork.
6 months later, there are an additional 5, 6 or more pathetic felines waiting to be fed. So you find homes for the cute kittens except for that last one. 6 months later you suddenly have 11 or 12 cats staring intently at your door. It becomes burdensome and unfair to always be sitting in front of Wal-mart trying to give kittens away to total strangers or asking friends, family and neighbors over and over to help find them homes.
Rewind to the little scrawny face begging for a scrap. Here are the choices:
A. Do nothing and follow the script above, spending your time and money on an ever increasing food bill and sentencing some innocent animals to certain death when they turn into adult cats, their new families lose interest and they end up in the pound.
B. Have a momentary feeling of guilt, but turn away and not feed them in hopes that they find someone that can.
C. Call Animal Control (or preferably a local rescue group) before they start populating the neighborhood.
D. Trap the unwanted feline with a humane trap using smelly canned fish or usher it into a carrier and take it to an appropriate vet depending on if friendly or feral for a quick once over checkup, spay/neuter, vaccinations, de-wormer, flea treatment and return home.
Now that you have committed to making kitty’s life a better one, cage her for 3 weeks in a large kennel in an area where you will continue to feed and water everyday. Set up homemade or bought shelters to give her a comfortable and safe place to sleep and eat out of extreme weather conditions or use a barn or building you already own. Using the information provided you will have a 90% (my personal number) chance that they will stick around to provide rodent control and maybe a source of entertainment as they lose their need to fight for survival and reproduce to enjoy doing what happier cats do.
We know all cats have their own attitudes and personalities, there are a lot of books and jokes out there and community cats are no different. Some TNR cats will become trusting enough to allow the caregiver to pet or touch them but that will be up to the cat, of course.
Explore the other pages to find more information on how, tips, tricks and more.
Choose before you feed.
If you feed them, fix them.
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