Feral Cats


ENCOURAGE ALL Counties/Cities to adopt a Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) program

  • Lowers the number of stray cats in a community, has proven to be effective.
  • Eliminates nuisance ‘Tomcat Howling’ as male cats are neutered.
  • Fewer complaints of nuisance cats, as fewer cats.
  • Owned household pets are unable to breed with strays since strays are spayed and neutered.
  • Owned pets better protected, TNR cats have rabies and 3-1 vaccinations.
  • Savings to taxpayers – no pick-up, housing, euthanizing and disposal, TNR is covered by non-profits.
    • Savings (euthanasia & disposal, $40 per cat)
    • Savings (dispatch an officer and transport a cat, $100. Per cat)
  • Cats are fed by caretakers, so less threat to birds and wildlife. Continued contact with caregivers ‘socializes’ cats – so adoptable!!
  • Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) is more humane than euthanasia- which hasn’t worked.

There is Broad Support for TNR

At least 240 local governments have enacted ordinances (policies) supporting TNR. Ninety-one cities and counties support or condone TNR as a valid method of animal control. Out of these, 63 endorse TNR as the only effective way to address feral cat populations. The three states with the highest number of TNR ordinances are New Jersey (58), California (33), and Texas (29). Major municipalities and counties that support TNR include: San Francisco, the District of Columbia, New York City, Sacramento County (California), San Jose, Palm Beach County (Florida), Clark County (Nevada), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Las Vegas, Broward County (Florida), Cook County (Illinois), Oklahoma City,

Dallas, Omaha, St. Paul, Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Fairfax County (Virginia), Maricopa County (Arizona), and Suffolk County (New York).The Public Health Perspective

Jason Putsché

Trap -Neuter -Return Communities are Diverse

Trap-Neuter-Return is endorsed by local governments ranging from conservative Colorado Springs, Colorado to liberal Berkeley, California. Because TNR decreases the size of colonies, decreases animal control calls from citizens, improves public health, and is humane and economical, it is an appealing method of care for feral cats to many different interest groups and organizations, not all of them related to animal protection.

This has resulted in an extraordinary diversity of communities with TNR that vary in population, region of the country, and political orientation. For example, Cook County, Illinois—a major metropolitan area that includes the 2.7 million residents of Chicago—has a TNR ordinance. At the other end of the spectrum, Elko New Market, Minnesota—with less than 1,500 residents—does, also. Other small, rural towns like Espanola, New Mexico and Hermann, Missouri employ TNR alongside urban areas like New York City.

Support for TNR runs the gamut from a simple animal control department declaration to a complex ordinance enacted by a local government. For example, Oakland, California Animal Services states:  “Oakland Animal Services supports trap, neuter, return as a means of controlling the feral cat population…Trap-and-Remove doesn’t work. ‘Trap-and-Remove’ is a euphemism for trapping and euthanizing cats. It may seem like a logical solution, but the fact is that it is not effective…Catch and euthanize is an endless, costly cycle.

The Rancho Cucamonga, California Animal Care & Services echoes this sentiment, stating on the city’s website:  “Sadly, many communities still opt to control populations using outdated methods, including lethal elimination or relocation. Not only are some of these methods horribly cruel, they are ineffective.

The Brunswick, Georgia police department notes in a brochure, “The best way to handle a feral cat problem is with a Trap, Spay/Neuter, Release and Manage Program.

Some animal control departments work closely with local feral cat organizations to provide TNR services to the community. For example, in Somerville, Massachusetts the animal control agency urges residents concerned about feral cat colonies in their neighborhoods to call animal control and either an officer or a volunteer with Charles River Alley Cats will respond to the call and trap, sterilize, and return the cats.

Other animal control departments merely opt not to impound cats that are at-large, and instead refer concerned citizens to private organizations such as in Carbondale, Colorado. The government’s website states, “This has been a very successful program. We have seen a significant drop in feral cats in Carbondale.”