Community cats, outdoor, unowned, free-roaming cats, who end up in shelters make up a significant percentage of cats euthanized every year in the United States. These cats face a multitude of challenges, place a strain on animal shelters and rescues, and can affect the local ecology. The ASPCA endorses Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor (TNRM) as the only proven humane and effective method of managing community cat colonies.
Community cats endure many challenges, including extreme weather conditions, starvation, infection, and attacks by other animals. They can also face human threats, such as poisoning, inhumane trapping, and even gassing. Furthermore, overpopulation is a serious concern when approximately only two percent of the 30 to 40 million community cats have been spayed or neutered in the United States. It is these cats that produce around 80 percent of the kittens born in the U.S. each year. And sadly, according to the ASPCA, nearly half of the kittens born outdoors die from disease, exposure, or parasites before their first year.
What is TNR?
TNR is a method of humanely trapping community cats, getting them spayed or neutered, vaccinating them against rabies, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. Colony monitoring and maintenance can also occur at this stage and when possible, some cats can be handed off to local humane societies and animal rescues for adoption.
TNR has been shown to be the most cost effective and humane way of stabilizing these cat populations over a period of time and “nuisance” behaviors such as spraying, excessive noise-making, and fighting are often eliminated. Additionally, no more kittens are born.