Irving, along with virtually every other city, town and rural community in the country, is home to colonies of feral cats. These cats are fearful of people and live their lives outdoors, surviving in the same way wild animals do.
Although some residents may enjoy having the cats around, others may not. As a result, the City of Irving has resources to help residents manage feral cats.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), supported by leading national animal welfare organizations, is the most humane and effective method of reducing and managing free-roaming cat populations.
TNR involves trapping all or most of the cats in a colony, then having them neutered/spayed, vaccinated for rabies, ear tipped for identification, and then returned to their outdoor homes.
Whenever possible, young kittens and any friendly cats are removed for vetting and socialization, and later placed for adoption.
TNR can immediately stabilize the size of the colony when 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.
With TNR, the nuisance behaviors often associated with feral cats are dramatically reduced. This includes the yowling and noise that comes with fighting and mating activity, as well as the odor of unaltered male cats spraying to mark their territories.
The cats tend to roam less and become less of a visible presence, yet continue to provide natural rodent control - a valuable benefit in urban areas.