Homeless Cats and The Trap-Neuter-Return Program

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) has turned out to be the most humane way to date for helping control the feline population explosion. Cats are beautiful animals but too many in one area isn’t good for anyone, including them. TNR stops the breeding cycle and the aggravation that comes with it so that stray (community) cats and humans are able to co-exist without so much stress.


“Alley Cat Allies” has been helping homeless felines live a better life since 1990. TNR began in the U.K. and worked so well there it wasn’t long until the same type of program was launched in the United States. Through education, changing laws, workshops and getting interested parties working together, TNR is well established and now considered to be the most humane way ever found to deal with a problem that didn’t appear to have any good solutions before.

TNR means exactly what it says. Cats are captured in humane box traps and then taken to a veterinarian for spaying or neutering. They are also vaccinated and then ear tipped which is the universal way of marking a cat to show that it has been taken care of. Once all this has been accomplished, cats are returned to the area they were taken from and released. Allowed to go their own way the same as they always have.
This might sound cruel to some, but most people believe it’s much kinder to spay or neuter an animal than allow even more kittens to be born homeless. Cats tend to be territorial so one year you may only have a dozen or so in a particular area, then in five years there could be hundreds. All competing for the same food sources and none of them ever truly getting enough to eat.