Trap-Neuter-Return Program

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.
Man feeds stray cat on his porch.
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.