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Feral Cat Q&A: What is TNR?

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Q: In almost everything I read about feral cats, I keep noticing the word TNR. What does it mean?

A: TNR is an acronym referring to the Trap-Neuter-Return process. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states in their handbook for TNR, “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only humane approach to the management of feral and stray cats, collectively known as community cats.”[1] In this approach, workers trap feral cats, neuter them, and return them to their original colonies. The TNR process effectively slows the growth of feral cat colonies and improves quality of life for both cats and their neighbours.

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The recommended method for trapping is to use a box trap, preferably one that is at least 3’ long by 1’ high with a front and back door. The worker places bait inside, such as canned fish, and lines the floor of the trap with newspapers. After the cat enters the trap, it is transported to a vet for surgery.

The cat undergoes neuter surgery and is monitored for the next 24 hours. Cats are usually held for 24 to 72 hours after surgery, as long as they recover well. They are then returned to their colonies. Sometimes, they disappear for a few days. But they usually return for regular feedings within a short time.

We recommend TNR as a great method to help feral cats! Have a question about feral cats? Message us at our Facebook page, UnderCover Pet Houses! We’d love to answer your questions on the blog!

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1. Guide to Trap-Neuter-Return and Colony Care. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Retrieved from http://aspcapro.org/sites/default/ files/TNR_workshop_handbook.3.pdf on February 15, 2017. 

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