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About Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)


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 has resulted in the current overpopulation problem. Trying to rescue all of the feral cats and find them homes is impossible given their numbers, their ability to reproduce and their limited socialization. Removing or relocating all of the feral cats invites new unaltered cats to move in and the cycle of overpopulation starts again.


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

  • 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 unaltered 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 brought in their traps to a spay/neuter provider. Typically, TNR programs also provide vaccinations against certain diseases, like rabies.

3. RETURN – After recovery from surgery free-roaming cats are returned to where they were trapped. Colony caregivers supply the cats with access to food, shelter, fresh water and medical treatment when necessary.

EAR TIPPING is the universal sign of a sterilized and vaccinated for rabies free-roaming cat.


The procedure involves removing the tip of the cat’s left ear while the cat is anesthetized for surgery. The ear tip will prevent unnecessary trapping, transportation, surgery, confinement, and/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.