Trap - Neuter - Return
What is it?
Pros of Spay & Neuter
🐾 Instantly prevents kittens from being born.
🐾 Fewer kittens coming into shelters lowers the euthanasia rates
🐾 Significantly reduces the risk of mammary or testicular cancers
🐾 Decreases roaming, which is a common reason why cats are hit by cars
🐾 Prevents male cats from spraying
🐾 Eliminates fighting in males cats, which greatly increasing their health
🐾 Stops the yowling and mating calls
🐾 Cats are vaccinated, protecting them from disease
🐾 Cats spend more time living, less time 'surviving'
🐾 Ear tips offer protection to community cats
What's an ear tip?
An eartip is the universal sign that a cat has been through a TNR program and has been sterilized. While under anesthesia for spay/neuter, a small portion of the ear is removed. This heals up quickly, and has no negative effects on the cats life.
Eartips are essential, as it instantly tells us which cats still need to be spayed or neutered. If we trap a cat and see that he/she already has an eartip, then we simply let them back out on the spot, without having to put them through sedation again. Being able to quickly identify which cats are still intact helps eliminate stress on our community cats and helps preserve our time and precious veterinary resources.
Eartips also provide a great amount of protection for our community cats. Animal control has no reason to pick up an eartipped cat, because they know immediately that the cat is sterilized, vaccinated, and not contributing to the cat population or spreading diseases. Eartipped cats are left in their community and not brought into shelters where they could face euthanasia, especially if unsocialized.
Why trap and kill doesn't work.
Before TNR, the only thought way to deal with community cats was through 'trap and kill'. Trap and kill is when outside cats are trapped and brought to a veterinary office where they are euthanized. Not only is this extremely inhumane, it doesn't work to solve the problem.
When cats are removed from their community, from either being relocated or tragically killed, the 'vacuum effect' quickly comes into play. If cats are living in an area, that means this location has the resources (food, shelter, etc,) to survive. When you eliminate cats from this area, it's only a temporary solution. Now all these resources become available again and new cats will inevitably discover it and move in. These cats will reproduce and you will have the same issues over and over again.
When cats are trapped, neutered, and returned, the colony stabilizes. Your now healthy and sterilized cats will protect their territory and deter new cats from moving in. All unwanted behaviors cease, the colony can grow old and decrease naturally, and all without the horrid actions of trap and kill.
Trap and kill is also a huge waste of financial resources. Euthanasia is much more expensive than spay/neuter, especially when more cats immediately move back in and the process has to be repeated infinitely while making zero difference on the outdoor cat population. Sadly, trap and kill is still happening every day in uneducated cities across our nation.