Let me start off first with what TNR is:
Trap, Neuter, Return: More commonly referred to as TNR is a humane and safe way to help control feral cat populations in neighborhood communities. The feral cats are trapped in a crate and picked up (normally by a rescue or other organization). The cat is then taken to either a local vet or a mobil TNR vet unit where s/he is spayed or neutered. Once the cat has recovered from the surgery – it is returned to the community where it was found.
A video explanation can be found at Ally Cat Allies
So now that we are all on the same page as to what TNR is, I want to take the time to explain why it is important. Here is a quick glimpse:
- Helps control feral cat populations.
- Helps to end mating rituals.
- Protects and improves the lives of cats.
Remember in my post on adopting from a shelter how I kept mentioning about overpopulation? Well the biggest thing that TNR does, is to help keep the population of feral cats under control. This way in the months from about April to August – there are less litters of kittens born to feral cats. Many times, these litters of kittens end up in the shelter due to multiple reason that could contribute to the death of the mother cat. If the mother dies, these kittens then need to be socialized and taught how to interact with not only other cats, but humans as well. In essence they need to be domesticated.
Not only does TNR cut back on the litters of kittens each year, but it also helps to cease mating rituals between cats. In many cases, feral cats live in residential neighborhoods, or even in the big cities. During a cat’s mating ritual – the female cat will yowl to let male cats know she is in heat. Another thing that cats will do when in heat is they will spray an area to mark it as their territory. In the case of this happening in a neighborhood, this could cause behavioral problems in family pets. Also with more and more cats being fixed, it causes less competition for mating exchanges thus resulting in less injury to the feral cats. Because there is less competition, the cats are also more affectionate to each other.
Another big reason to trap neuter and return is that it not only protects the lives of cats, but also improves it. When a cat is trapped and taken to be neutered, most the times the vet doing the surgery, will give the cat a short check up as well as a rabies vaccine. This helps ensure that when the cat is released back into its home, it is less susceptible to infectious diseases.
As you can see – TNR has many benefits to local communities, and is a safe, humane alternative to calling animal control to capture a wild cat population. For more information on TNR, or if you have a feral cat population in your community – please visit The Humane Society of the United States.
I hope that this helps you to understand more the importance of Trap Neuter Return.