Spaying and neutering neighborhood stray and feral cats has helped to reduce the number of cats taken to municipal shelters throughout the country. Often referred to as trap-neuter-return programs or TNR, the programs work.
The proof comes from the decline of both the number of cats euthanized by municipal shelters and by the number of dead cats that are picked up by animal control agencies. The numbers reported by private and municipal animal shelters in Alameda County over the past five years support the national trend. While we are far from being a “no-kill” nation when it comes to surplus pets, we are slowly moving in the right direction. Too many cats (and dogs) are still dying in our local shelters because the surplus is higher than the demand. Feral cats comprise more than half of all intakes and euthanasia in our animal control facilities. We now know that the traditional, decades-old practice of attempting to eradicate feral and stray cats is completely ineffective in reducing their numbers in the long-term and that is the reason that ICRA practices and supports TNR.
TNR is a humane approach to reducing the feral and stray cat population. Kittens and tame (stray) cats are socialized and adopted into homes. Healthy adult cats too wild (feral) to be adopted are returned to their familiar habitat
Community Cat Basics
- Glossary of Feral Cat Terms
- Alley Cat Allies: About Feral Cats
- Alley Cat Allies: How to Help Feral Cats—A Step-by-Step Guide to TNR
- Alley Cat Allies: TNR Studies