What is a feral cat?
A feral cat is either a cat who has lived his whole life with little or no human contact and is not socialized, or is a stray cat who was lost or abandoned and has lived away from human contact long enought to revert to a wild state. Feral cats are very skittish, avoid human contact and cannot be touched by strangers.
What is TNR?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a method of humanely trapping unaltered feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and releasing them back to the same location where they were trapped. This procedure has been proven to work by stopping the birth of new cats in the colony and letting the colony members live out their lifespan.
TNR begins with the trapping of feral cats using humane cage traps. The captured feral cats are taken (in the trap) to a TNR spay/neuter location where they are sterilized by the neutering of males and spaying of females. Typical TNR programs also involve providing the cats with a rabies vaccination. Finally the cats ear-tipped by cropping 1/4 inch off of the tip of the left ear. This identifies the cat as part of a managed colony.
TNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food, adequate shelter and monitors the cats' health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
If you know of a feral colony that needs to be monitored and addressed, please let us know.
In 2015 Fitchburg Friends of Felines was able to help over 150 feral cats with TNR. We can't do it without your help. Please make a donation today and we will be able to help ever more cats in 2016.