Part of Ireland's TNR Manual
How to Help Community Cats
A teacher at the high school, your boss, the clerk at the grocery store - people all over the country care for outdoor cats every day. Like them, you’ve discovered cats in your community, and you want to help them.
Community cats live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. Like indoor cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Felis catus). However, community cats, also called feral or outdoor cats, are generally not socialized, or friendly, to people. They live full, healthy lives with their feline families, called colonies, in their outdoor homes.
And, there is a simple way you can help them: Trap Neuter Return. This program ends reproduction, stabilises colony populations, and improves cats’ lives. The behaviours and stresses associated with mating - pregnancy, yowling, spraying, and fighting - stop. And there are no new litters of kittens.
Trap Neuter Return (TNR)
Trap Neuter Return (TNR) (aka Trap Neuter Release) is becoming recognised as an efficient and cost-effective tool for controlling and reducing feral cat populations. The concept is simple - trap the cats, spay or neuter and eartip them, then return those cats to the colony/area where they were found. As the cats can no longer reproduce, the colony diminishes in size over time. Additionally, by reducing or eliminating mating, the behaviour of unsterilized animals that includes fighting and wandering (looking for mates) is eliminated.
TNR not only controls the unchecked growth of unsterilized animals, it improves the health, behaviour and quality of life of the affected animals.
Benefits of TNR include
- Smaller feral cat colonies
- Fewer public nuisance problems
- Decreased rescue and pound kill rates
- Lower animal control costs
- Improved lives for stray and feral cats.