It’s Possible to Live Side by Side with Cat Colonies
Trap–neuter–return (TNR) is a method for attempting to humanely and effectively manage free-roaming domestic cats. The process involves live-trapping the cats, having them spayed or neutered, ear-tipped for identification and, if possible, vaccinated, then releasing them back into their territory. If the location is deemed unsafe or otherwise inappropriate, the cats may be relocated to other appropriate areas (barn/farmyard homes are often considered best).
Ideally, friendly adults and kittens young enough to be easily socialised are retained and placed for adoption. Feral cats cannot be socialised, shun most human interaction and do not fare well in confinement, so they should not be retained.
Cats suffering from severe medical problems such as terminal, contagious, or untreatable illnesses or injuries, are often euthanised.
In the past, the main goal of most TNR programmes was the reduction or eventual elimination of free-roaming cat populations. It is still the most widely implemented non-lethal method of managing them. While that is still a primary goal of many efforts, other programmes and initiatives may be aimed more towards:
- providing a better quality of life for community cats
- stemming the population expansion that is a direct result of breeding
- improving the communities in which these cats are found
- reducing “kill” rates at shelters that accept captured free-roaming cats, in turn improving public perceptions and possibly reducing costs
- eliminating or reducing nuisance behaviors to decrease public complaints about free-roaming cats
TNR – How To Go About It
If your community/urbanisation has a problem with feral cats, speak to your Community President to get all neighbours on board with a planned TNR campaign. You need a team of supportive volunteers to help fundraise to cover the vet fee costs.
Traps are available for hire from the Cruz Azul Donation Centre in San Javier, for a small, returnable deposit. Email us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can also provide instructions on how to trap the cats, ensure that they are not stressed when taking them to the vet and how to return them.