What is Trap Neuter Return (TNR)?
We can all agree there are too many cats, especially cats that live outside and are considered community cats or “feral”. Feral kitties have had no human contact, don’t wish to have any and have always lived outside. When the kittens are caught early enough, they can be socialized in foster homes and adopted out. But these once feral kittens take homes away from all the other social cats and kittens already in shelters that need homes too!
Ferals are considered unadoptable and if taken to a shelter, they are euthanized. There are approximately 60 million ferals in the United States. TNR seeks to reduce the number of community cats while increasing their quality of life. After a community cat has been spayed or neutered and vaccinated, it is returned to the original colony where it can live out a full, healthy, non-reproductive life. TNR is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association. TNR is the least costly as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing and ultimately reducing the feral cat population.
Certainly, people could instead choose to kill the cats, but it is far more expensive and does not work. Cats are territorial animals, when they are removed from the colony, new ones move in and breed to capacity. So, simply put, if you remove the cats, more will move in.
TNR stops the cycle of reproduction. The San Diego Department of Animal Control showed a decrease of almost 50% in the number of cats intake after starting a TNR program. Spay/neuter reduces undesirable behaviors, such as yowling, fighting and spraying, which also reduces the number of complaint calls made to animal control and the number of healthy feral cats euthanized.
“I did my first TNR a couple years ago that included two adult females and 3 kittens, and have truly seen the difference it can make for them. The adults are living much healthier and peaceful lives, and the kittens grew up to be so affectionate and are still playful. And, I think we actually formed a closer bond through the TNR process!” Beth B., Rochester Hills
How can All About Animals Help Me?
All About Animals holds monthly TNR training workshops to teach and empower you to start TNRing the cats in your area. Once you have taken the class you are entitled to major spay/neuter discounts for all community cats: $25 each. This discounted package includes sterilization, pain medication injection, mandatory ear tip and a rabies vaccine (rabies vaccine for cats 12 weeks and older). This workshop teaches the best practices in management and trapping. Gain access to the benefits of our TNR program, including the discounted feral cat spay/neuter, trap loans and networking.
We loan out live traps for your convenience. If you would like to purchase traps instead of borrow them, we can do that too! We carry Tru-Catch 30LTD traps. They are available for pick up at our clinic in Warren and in Auburn Hills. To purchase: Traps $60, Forks $20.
Feral cats can be dropped off Monday through Friday at our clinic between 8:00 am and 10 am without an appointment. Please allow extra time for the check in process. Occasional Saturdays are available and require an appointment. The cats must be in a trap and we can accept up to 3 cats per person. 4 or more cats, you must make prior arrangements, call 586-435-6930 or click here and reference that this appointment is for feral cats. Appointments can be scheduled for Monday through Friday. 1 cat per trap please. Pick up for cats is 7:15 am the next day.
We do not require attending an AAAR TNR Training Workshop for the $25 discount TNR package if you are already feral cat management certified by Michigan Humane Society.
Angry neighbors? Cat Deterrents:
Please see this list of cat deterrents and consider purchasing these to keep the cats off the neighbor’s property: click here.
How to use a Drop Trap
Drop trap design (AAAR has drop traps available to loan out)
Shelter Building Plans:
Purchase Shelters (AAAR does not endorse or recommend the following shelters, but lists this information as a convenience.):
AAAR Winter Shelter Building Supplies:
• Nashua multi-purpose aluminum foil tape (available at Home Depot in the dryer duct section for $8 a roll; Model # 3220020500, Home Depot Store SKU # 915245)
•Large styrofoam cooler boxes – Just like fish shipment boxes or used for medicines to be shipped to hospitals. Check with your large chain pet shops, grocery stores, veterinary hospitals and human hospitals. Interior measurements of coolers should be an absolute minimum of 12 inches high and 18 inches wide. Preferred is 18 inches high and 20 to 22 inches wide.
• In lieu of Styrofoam coolers, heavy duty plastic storage tubs: two heavy duty storage bins that fit inside of each other with plenty of room for insulation between the two (on all sides and the top). Smaller of the two should be at least an 18 gallon. Outer container preferably should be Rubbermaid – won’t crack in cold weather.
• Straw (not hay. Dry straw that hasn’t been wet before)
• Reflectix mylar insulation – Found at Lowes/Home Depot in the insulation department. ($24)