About Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

The PROBLEM… It’s estimated that tens of millions of feral and stray cats freely roam the streets of the United States and breed rapidly!

Doing nothing and using ineffective approaches are what have resulted in the current overpopulation problem. Trying to rescue all of the feral cats and find them homes is impossible given their numbers and their limited socialization. Removing or relocating all of the feral cats invites new unneutered cats to move in and the cycle of reproduction starts again.


Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only method proven to be humane and effective in controlling cat population growth.

  • Population control and permanently reducing the number of cats in an area
  • Lowering cat intake into shelters, thereby lowering shelter euthanasia rates
  • Reducing the spread of disease
  • The returned, spayed/neutered colony guards its territory, and discouraging unneutered cats from moving in and beginning the cycle of overpopulation anew

1. TRAP – After adequate preparations, including educating the community about the TNR process, colony cats are trapped using humane traps.

2. NEUTER – The captured cats are brough in their traps to a spay/neuter provider. Typically, TNR programs also provide vaccinations against certain diseases, like rabies.

3. RETURN – After recover from surgery feral cats are returned to where they were trapped and are supplied with ongoing access to food and fresh water.

EAR TIPPING is the universal sign of a neutered feral cat.


The procedure involves removing about 1/4″ off the tip of the cat’s ear (typically the left ear) while the cat is anesthetized for spaying/neutering; healing is rapid. The mark will help prevent unnecessary surgery, confinement, or euthanasia.

What’s the Difference?

STRAY CAT… A tame cat who has become lost or has been abandoned; it has been socialized to people at some point in its life.

FERAL CAT… A cat who has little contact with humans, is fearful of people and usually lives on its own outdoors.