What The Heck is TNR?
Trap Neuter Return (TNR) is a method of controlling community cat populations. Using this technique, all the feral cats in a colony (family) are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, ear tipped for identification and then returned to their home territory where they are fed, sheltered and monitored by a designated Caregiver. Whenever possible, kittens and friendly, adoptable adults are removed from the colony and offered for adoption.
Why TNR? Twenty years of evidence shows that trap and kill programs are not effective population control methods for community cats. The remaining cats will breed, the euthanized cats will quickly be replaced, and then those cats will breed. TNR has proven to be the most effective method of reducing the number of community cats in a specific area. It stops the problem because it stops the breeding. The caregivers provide day to day monitoring of the colonies so that any newcomers can be quickly trapped and sterilized.
TNR also saves taxpayers money. Without TNR, there is an endless stream of cats being brought to municipal shelters, where most of them are euthanized. TNR eliminates the cost to the public of maintaining and euthanizing the cats.
TNR is also good for neighborhoods. Neutering reduces nuisance behavior like late night howling, roaming and marking of territory (by spraying urine). Any negative impact of the cats is further reduced as the number of cats decreases. Caregivers can help resolve any cat-related conflicts by educating their neighbors about the effectiveness of TNR and providing humane cat deterrents, which keep cats away from areas where they are not wanted.