Managing Feral and Community Cats (TNR)
Stopford Cats proactively carries out the neutering of feral cats and community cats on the basis that prevention of out of control breeding is both the best welfare option and most cost effective solution to preventing longer term suffering of such animals. We currently have a small budget allocated to this work.
Trap-Neuter-Return, or “TNR,” is now considered the most humane and effective method known for managing feral and community cats and controlling their population.
The cats are trapped by our volunteers and brought to a veterinary clinic. They’re then spayed or castrated, treated for fleas and worms and eartipped. Eartipping, where around 8mm of their left ear flap is removed whilst under anaesthetic, is an internationally recognised mark to show which cats have received treatment and so don’t undergo the stress of trapping again.
After they’ve recovered from their surgery, the cats are returned back to their original site where a caretaker provides regular food and shelter. If foster homes are available, very young kittens will not be returned to site and, rather, will be placed for adoption through Stopford Cats. On rare occasions, where the release site is not suitable (eg demolition of a building) the Charity will attempt relocate feral cats to a new site post-treatment.
Neutering cats, as well as stabilising the population has other benefits: fighting, yowling and other noise associated with mating stops, the foul odour caused by males spraying to mark territory disappears and the cats, no longer driven to mate, roam much less. The cats themselves are healthier and less likely to spread feline diseases. Meanwhile, rodent control is maintained by the cats’ continued presence.
Trap-Extermination is another option and whilst it may bring a short term solution, it is both ethically odious, leads to an increase in vermin and generates a ‘vacuum’ drawing new cats to fill the void. Unsurprisingly, we do not support this “solution.”
If you are feeding feral or unowned community cats and need help bringing things under control or prevent them getting out of hand, please ring or SMS 07742 977696 we will help if we can. Even if you just want advice or pointers, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – if we can’t help, we probably know someone who can!