What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) decreases stray and feral cat populations without harming cats. Accomplished through a partnership between feral cat colony sponsors and caretakers and the city, TNR involves (1) trapping all or most of the cats in a colony, (2) getting them sterilized and (3) releasing them. Cats returned to the wild are tagged on the ear to identify them as sterilized.
TNR is supported by numerous cities and counties as the only proven way to effectively control feral cat population growth. (Feral cats are born or raised in the wild, or have been lost or abandoned and reverted to wild behavior. They exist in large numbers and roam free throughout urban areas. In seven years, a pair of cats and their offspring can yield 42,000 cats.)
How does Trap-Neuter-Return help our community?
- helps reduce the number of feral cats subject to the perils of starvation, contraction of rabies and accidental deaths from motorists to name a few.
- ensures that feral cats are spayed/neutered, vaccinated and adequately cared for by feral cat colony caretakers.
- diminishes nuisances or other public health or safety threats caused by feral cats (such as noise from screaming cats, scratched/damaged vehicles, odors stemming from feral cats marking their territories, and disrupted trash disposal).
- reduces the number of feral cats in the animal shelter
How can I help?
The Friends of Tri-City Animal Shelter offer a Trap Neuter Return (TNR) program, offering access to traps, no-cost sterilization, and educational materials for colony caretakers. Learn more about the program.
To inquire about TNR intake and other information you may also email CommunityCats@cedarhilltx.com.
Check out these TNR Resources for citizens outside our Tri-City (Cedar Hill, DeSoto, & Duncanville) jurisdiction!
Texas Coalition of Animal Protection (if your serving city does not have a TNR program check out TCAP or other available local clinical resources)
Want to schedule your feral visitor for a sterilization appointment?
Send an email to CommunityCats@cedarhilltx.com with details of the cat you wish for us to sterilize (color, approximate age, gender), a copy of your drivers license or government id, and if you wish for us to release the cat or if you will be picking up the feral after the service has been completed.
When do surgeries usually happen?
Surgeries tend to take place on most Tuesdays. Please contact us for sterilization availability before trapping. If the cat is already trapped before a surgery appointment could be scheduled contact us right away at 972-293-7387.
What is the after care for sterilized TNRs?
Sterilized ferals will have dissolvable stitching that will heal on their own without the need for a clinic visit. Staff will give additional information if special release instructions are needed. Once a TNR leaves our facility it may be released immediately back into the area of which it resides.
What do I do if I need a trap?
Traps may be rented from Tri-City with a $65 deposit. EXACT CASH ONLY. Staff will go over additional details on return and length of rental time. The deposit amount will be given back to the citizen in the same condition as first received once the trap is returned to Tri-City.
Multiple traps may be request at a time. The $65 cash deposit must be made for each additional trap.
Where do I set up the trap and how?
At time of rental staff will go over instructions of how to set up the trap. Any type of food may be used to lure in the cat to be trapped. We recommend smelly food such as wet canned food or whatever your community cat shows the most interest in. A feral cat will feel more comfortable entering a box trap when the trap appears to be a natural part of its surroundings. If possible, position the trap near a bush or under a tree to make it appear even more like it’s part of the environment. You may also place the trap in a cardboard box covered by a blanket for added privacy near common resting areas if no shrubs are near by. Always double check the trap to make sure that all latches are locked and secure!
I trapped a feral, what now?
If the feral has been caught in the trap, cover the trap with a heavy blanket, towel, or bed sheet. Be very careful as the feral may still be able to reach out from the trap. Place the trap in a dry and quiet place until it can be brought in for the TNR service.
If you have already made an appointment for TNR bring the feral in at the time of the scheduled appointment. If no appointment has been made please contact us at 972-293-7387.
Whether you love or loathe community cats, trap-neuter-return (TNR) is the most effective and humane way to effectively reduce the number of community cats and also reduce nuisance behaviors. In a TNR program, cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated and then returned to their communities to live out their lives.
Because they have been fixed and can no longer breed, the number of cats is reduced over time.
Being spayed or neutered also stops nuisance behaviors. Male cats are no longer competing or fighting with each other, spraying urine or roaming blocks away from their neighborhood. Females no longer yowl to seek a mate and no longer have kittens, of course. These behaviors are typically reduced immediately and eliminated completely only a month after the surgery. Additionally, TNR provides vaccines, so the cats are healthier and do not pose a threat to public health.
What are some humane deterrents to keep ferals out?
ScareCrow: This motion-activated sprinkler has an infrared sensor that releases a three-second blast of water. The sprinkler “fires” 1,000 times on one nine-volt battery and covers an area 45 by 35 feet long.
CatScat: These harmless mats or carpet runners are made of flexible plastic spikes. Place on the ground with spike side up to discourage cats from digging.
Other digging deterrents: Push chopsticks into small potted plants. Use pinecones, lava rocks, concrete pavers or stones as mulch to prevent cats from digging. Place large river rocks throughout the garden or use poultry fencing or landscape wrap around plants.
Smells that repel cats: To keep cats out of yards or gardens, plant the herb rue or sprinkle dried rue. Citrus or lemon scents, garlic, ammonia, vinegar, coffee grinds, pipe tobacco, mustard, citronella, or eucalyptus all deter cats as well. The scents diminish over time, so re-applying is necessary.
Neutralizing urine smell: OdoBan, Nature’s Miracle, Fizzion and Simple Solution are effective natural enzyme products that are available at pet supply stores or online.
Blocking off access: Cats seek out dry, warm shelter away from the elements. Block off access to the places in which you don’t want cats (making sure no cats are inside before doing so). To guide cats away from those areas, provide another shelter. There are many inexpensive options for community cat shelters.
For additional tips, questions or concerns contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
How do you help community cats be good neighbors?
- Keep your feeding station neat and tidy. Remove all trash and leftover food promptly.
- Feed the cats at a regular place and time during daylight hours and only feed enough to last one feeding. This practice will not only help the cats get on a schedule, it will eliminate attracting other wildlife.
- Establish a litter box. Creating a sandy area that you clean regularly will help keep the cats from eliminating in areas where you don’t want them to eliminate.
- Plant a bed of catnip in an area where you don’t mind the cats hanging out. They’ll be drawn to the catnip instead of the flowerbeds.
- Provide a shelter so the cats are not nesting in places where they are not wanted. There are many options available; search online for feral cat shelters.
- Know your local laws and ordinances. Protect yourself and the cats by knowing your legal rights.
- Educate your neighbors and keep an ongoing dialog with them. Make sure the deterrents or solutions are implemented and are working for them.
- Keep accurate records on how many cats you care for and when they were spayed or neutered.