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Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)

What is a TNR Program?
TNR is a full management plan in which stray and feral cats already living outdoors in neighborhoods are humanely trapped, then evaluated, vaccinated, and sterilized by veterinarians. Kittens and tame cats are taken into foster care and permanent adoption is sought for them. Healthy adult cats too wild to be adopted are returned to their familiar habitat under the lifelong care of volunteers (Taken from Five FAQs About Stray and Feral Cats published by Alley Cat Allies). With permission, shelters and feeding stations are set up on the property of local businesses, homeowners or public developments.

Where has TNR been successful as a feral management strategy?
San Diego Feral Cat Coalition
"After 4 1/2 years we've been able to sterilize over 7000 cats. The county Dept. of Animal Control shelters report a decrease of almost 50% in cat impounds and euthanasias since the FCC was formed. Other local shelters report similar declines, sometimes complaining of a shortage of available kittens for adoption. The FCC method works!"

Campus Cat Coalition (University of Texas)
"Our program has been in effect since 1995. We have trapped/neutered/released 64 adult feral cats; removed/socialized/homed 71 kittens and removed/homed 14 friendly strays. We have not seen any new litters of kittens in the past 2 years. We are currently at a zero population growth rate! Can't argue with those statistics, can you?"

Cal Poly Cat Program
Started in 1992 with approximately 500 cats, colony is stabilized with around 100 remaining. Stanford Cat Network Founded in 1989 with an estimated 500 cats. The population has declined by two-thirds and the remainder is healthy cats, thanks to the TNR program. 

AFCAT (Aggie Feral Cat Alliance of Texas) 
In existence for around 21 months, the Aggie's feral cats number has been reduced by one-third, and no feral kittens have been trapped for twelve months. 

Where can I learn more about TNR feral management?

Alley Cat Allies is a national feral cat resource for TNR programs. On the Alley Cat Allies website, you can find a host of research, technical support and advocacy material available free of charge.