Feral Cats & TNR
What is a Feral Cat and What is TNR?
A feral cat is one that lives outside and is not well socialized to humans. They typically live in colonies, where they have access to food and shelter. Feral cats are often victims of abandonment, accidental loss, and failure by owners to fix their pets; they deserve caretaking just as much as the kitties who live with us.You can help the feral cats living in our community through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR).
An unmanaged feral cat colony can become a problem due to rampant breeding and the onset of problem mating behaviors, such as fighting and yowling. Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most humane and effective method available to end the severe feral cat overpopulation crisis faced by this country. This method has been endorsed by national animal welfare groups and animal control departments as the best option for feral cats and the communities they inhabit.
How Does TNR Work?
Here’s how TNR works:
- A feral cat colony is identified.
- The cats are trapped humanely. Download the guidelines for trapping feral cats.
- The cats are transported to the clinic for their spay/neuter surgery, rabies vaccination, flea & earmite treatment. (The cost is $43 per cat).
- The cats have their right ear “tipped” for future identification.
- The cats are returned to their colony within 24 – 48 hours.
- Volunteers feed and care for the cat colony on a daily basis. (Download tips on creating a shelter for feral cats, courtesy of the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon).
TNR stabilizes the colony size by eliminating new litters. It also reduces the nuisance behavior associated with unsterilized cats. TNR’s most measurable effect is that fewer cats and kittens flow through animal shelters, resulting in lower euthanasia rates and increased adoptions of shelter cats.
Feral Cat Protocols & Policies
In the interest of giving feral cats the best medical attention possible, we developed the following protocols for feral cats at our spay & neuter clinic:
- All feral cats must come to the clinic in a secure, live-release trap. This is for the well-being of the cats and the safety of our staff.
- Traps may be rented from United Rentals (503-393-1222), Capital Rentals (503-378-1122), or from the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (503-797-2606).
- Withhold food from adult cats after midnight. Kittens may have food until 7 am the morning of surgery.
- An appointment is required for surgery. Surgeries for feral cats are performed Monday - Friday.
- Cats must be in the clinic at 7:30 am the day of surgery.
- For the safety of our staff, any cat that is considered feral will not receive a physical exam to determine fitness for anesthesia prior to receiving anesthesia.
Please contact our spay and neuter clinic at (503) 480-SPAY if you have any questions about our feral cat policies. To learn more about caring for feral cats, please contact the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon at (503) 797-2606, or visit the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon website. For assistance in the Salem area, contact Salem clinic coordinator, Betty Emerson at 503-931-2466.