Trap, Neuter, Return

As seen in:trap-neuter-return-(1).jpg
Season 7, Episode 5 “Breaking Bald”
Season 7, Episode 7 “Gotham Feral Cats”
And coming in Season 9!

One of the greatest challenges for animal shelters is the sheer number of cats that need homes. Why so many cats? One major reason is that there are many unowned, outdoor cats, often called “feral cats” or “community cats.” These cats can, and do, start breeding at a young age and can have two or three litters of kittens every year.

Trap- Neuter-Return (TNR) is a method of population control that is both humane and effective. TNR does exactly what the name implies – rounds up the cats, gets them spayed or neutered (and vaccinated), and returns them to their outdoor homes where caregivers provide food, medical care, and shelter from the elements. In the case of young kittens or friendly cats that would live happily with people, TNR programs help get them adopted. TNR is even more effective when it is done in a targeted, systematic way – identifying the areas that are home to many free-roaming cats, and conducting concentrated trapping in those places.

There are many groups who practice TNR, and you can help by volunteering to trap and transport cats, monitor existing colonies of cats that have been neutered (recognizable by a distinctive ear tip), and by supporting TNR groups financially or through community education. The Jackson Galaxy Project has put together a primer on TNR to help you get started.