Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), supported by leading national animal welfare organizations, is the most humane and effective method of controlling the free-roaming cat overpopulation crisis facing virtually every city, town, and rural community in the country.
TNR involves trapping all or most of the cats in a colony, having them neutered/spayed, vaccinated for rabies, left ear tipped, and then returned to their territory, where they are monitored by their caretaker and provided with food and shelter. Whenever possible, young kittens and any friendly cats are removed for vetting and socialization, and placed for adoption.
TNR can immediately stabilize the size of the colony if at least 70 percent of the fertile adults are neutered. Spaying and neutering closer to 100 percent will result in a gradual decline of the population over time.
In addition, the nuisance behavior often associated with feral cats is dramatically reduced. This includes the yowling and noise that comes with fighting and mating activity, as well as the odor of unneutered males' spraying to mark their territory. The cats tend to roam less and so become less of a visible presence, yet continue to provide natural rodent control, a valuable benefit in urban areas.
Because there are hundreds of thousands of free-roaming cats and the vast majority cannot be placed in homes, TNR is the best solution.