Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR often also involves a colony caretaker who provides food, adequate shelter and monitors the cats’ health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.

Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population. Furthermore, by stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food, and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. By neutering male cats, you also reduce the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat and therefore they attract less tom cats to the area and reduce fighting. If cats are sterilized and live in a colony that has a caretaker, their life span may reach more than ten years.

Benefits of TNR

  • Reduced expense to taxpayers:  Each year, metro Atlanta animal controls spend roughly 15 million taxpayer dollars dealing with the consequences of animal overpopulation. Research proves that euthanizing animals does not effectively reduce pet overpopulation – only spaying/neutering and TNR can do that!

  • Spaying and neutering effectively reduces:

    - fighting and howling by 88 percent;

    - urine spraying and smell by 87 percent;

    - risk of spreading disease to other cats.

  • No killing: TNR is a better alternative than sending the cats to be needlessly euthanized at animal control.

  • The TNR cat colony does not produce unwanted litters.

  • A cat community controls rodents.