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TNR best approach to stray or feral cats

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

You may have heard or seen the acronym TNR floating around on various cat sites you visited. TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Release and is a form of feral cat population control.

The basics are as simple as one, two, three. First, the cat is trapped. This can be done by individuals or rescues. Typically a drop trap is used so that you do not need to handle the cat as feral cats can be a little rowdy. Second, the cat is taken to a local rescue or veterinary to be speutered, (spayed or neutered), and given basic vaccinations. They often clip the ear of the cat so that you can see from afar that they have been fixed. And third, the cat is returned, if possible, to where they were originally caught. Sometimes a new, safer location is picked for release.

If there are strays in your yard or at your office, what do you do? First check if it is actually a stray. If you can pick them up and pet them, they could very well be a lost pet. Check with your neighbors and, if necessary, take the cat in to a veterinarian or a rescue to get it checked for a microchip. A friendly kitty that can be adopted or a litter of stray kittens is not a good candidate for TNR, but mama kitty may very likely be feral and would be a great candidate for TNR. TNR programs are not legal in all counties but are a great option to help keep cats out of shelters and euthanasia rates down.


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