CCR can assists with trapping, spay/neutering, and returning feral cats through TNR. If you’re feeding stray or feral cats or know of the location of a colony of feral cats, please let us know! We may be able to help trap, but we also have equipment and tips to help you in the process.
TNR programs help end reproduction, stabilizes feral cat populations and improves cats’ lives by getting them vaccinated so they can live a healthier life. Mating behaviors stop and kittens young enough to be socialized will have a chance to be adopted and live a happier life.
What is a feral cat?
Feral cats are cats that are either born in the wild and has never known human contact or were abandoned and reverted to a wild state. Feral cats will usually run away from you, belly to the ground, when approached. Usually feral cats live together in a colony which typically is self-sustaining and deters new comers from the outside.
Stray cats are not considered feral unless you cannot touch or pick them up. A stray cat is one who had human contact but has been homeless. Stray cats who have been homeless for a long time often revert to feral behavior, but can sometimes be tamed again if the duration of homelessness hasn’t been very long. Most cats, feral or domesticated, learn to trust humans when they are between 6 and 12 weeks of age. Once kittens reach about eight weeks of age, they can become very difficult to socialize. If we can get them between five and seven weeks, we feel this is an optimum time to work with them in making them adoptable.
What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
(Trap-Neuter-Return) TNR is the process whereby feral and stray cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered and vaccinated by a veterinarian, and then released back to their original locations after recovering from surgery. In addition, the left ear is cropped or “tipped” indicating that the cat has been sterilized.
Why TNR works
- Scientific Studies Prove It. Scientific studies at www.alleycat.org prove that TNR is the most effective and humane way to manage feral cats.
- Avoid the Vacuum Effect. The vacuum effect is the act of other stray/feral cats moving into a vacated colony after the cats of that colony have been removed or re-located. Euthanizing and/or relocation often do not work for this reason, especially in areas like Lowell where the feral population is quite prevalent.
- TNR Improves Cats’ Overall Health and Well Being. Documented cases have shown that feral cats become healthier and gain weight after TNR. In addition, spaying helps female cats to avoid certain reproductive diseases. And since they are vaccinated during the TNR process, fatal diseases such as rabies and distemper are prevented altogether.
- Colony Population Decreases over Time. Once a colony has been 100% TNR’d, the population of that colony has been shown to decrease over time. However, effective colony management is required in order to quickly spay/neuter and vaccinate any newcomers to the group.
- Benefits to the Community. TNR programs are not only humane, but they also save the local community and authorities’ precious time and money that would otherwise be used to trap and euthanize feral cats.
- TNR’d Cats Make Better Neighbors. Ever notice how feral cats love to emit that lovely, odorous spray? This behavior ends after TNR (except in rare cases) and in addition, fighting over mates is no longer an issue.
These groups have educational information helping feral and stray cats, and offer their services as well. Feral cat spay/ neuter clinics:
Build a Backyard Shelter