Are you familiar with TNR? Perhaps you’ve heard of some local community groups or a co-worker who volunteers with trapping. TNR is an acronym for Trap-Neuter-Return, a method used to trap community kitties, have them sterilized (and generally vaccinated against at a minimum rabies), then return the kitties to their original colony. This humane method helps stabilize the overpopulation issues and overtime reduces the size of the colonies and the suffering that goes along with homelessness.
- On average one unsterilized stray or feral cat has five kittens per litter and three litters per year! That’s 15 extra kitties without a home.
- Of those newly born kittens, approximately ½ die within their first year. Typical causes include, disease, parasites, predators, and malnutrition.
- Of the ~50% of kittens that survive, on average they will only live to 2 years old.
- Every year, it’s estimated that 1.5 million unwanted dogs and cats (including tiny puppies and kittens) are euthanized by U.S. shelters.
- There are an estimated 30 – 40 million community cats in the U.S. alone, with only 10 – 12% getting a helping hand from their local humans.
TNR can substantially reduce the number of kittens produced each year and ultimately the number of kittens that suffer and die without care. Thankfully community cats that are supported by kind humans live to an average of 10 years! If you have a colony of cats that live nearby, please do what you can to help save them. Providing food and water is amazing! If you’re not able to TNR the kitties, reach out to a local rescue group and see if they can help. Many vets and animal shelters will also offer low or no cost sterilization services for community cats, you just have to ask. Just think how we could reduce overpopulation rates and needless suffering if we had more TNR Programs.
Do you have a TNR program in your neighborhood?