Trap, Neuter, Return

Use this method to help control feral cat populations.

When it comes to taking care of feral cats, sometimes it’s best to let them continue living with their colony instead of adopting them into the barn or house. In this case, Candy Lash of Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society in Springfield, Mass., recommends the trap-neuter-return (TNR) method of care.

“What we have found is that people often feed feral cats or a colony of feral cats, but do not take the extra step to have them neutered,” she says. “By feeding them, they are given a chance to procreate thus contributing to the overpopulation problem.”

DPVHS loans traps to encourage people who encounter feral cats to trap the cat without killing it. Neutering the feral cats not only ends the breeding cycle, but reduces the amount of fighting between male cats and removes the odor associated with urine marking.

When trapping a feral cat, return the cat to its colony after neutering instead of euthanizing it.

“Removing cats generally creates a vacuum that allows for new cats to come in,” Lash says. “The cats typically live out their lives, and the colony reduces through attrition.”

For more information on TNR, visit the Alley Cat Allies website.

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