A Crash Course
What Is TNVR?
Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) is a community-based program that benefits both the cats and residents. Cats are humanely trapped and then spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and ear-tipped to identify them as being sterilized and vaccinated. Once recovered from surgery, the cats are returned to their original territory where they receive ongoing care and monitoring by a caregiver. When possible, friendly adult cats and young kittens are rescued and adopted into homes.
TNVR is the only humane and effective solution to controlling community cat populations and has a long track record of success. It is practiced throughout the United States and the world in every landscape and setting.
The Benefits of TNVR
TNVR stops the breeding cycle, which stabilizes and ultimately reduces the number of cats living on the streets. It also helps improve quality of life for residents by reducing nuisance behaviors, such as odors from spraying, noise from mating and fighting, and visibility from roaming, and improves the cats' lives by removing the stress of mating and raising litter after litter of kittens. TNVR'd cats are healthier overall, and rabies vaccination provides a barrier against rabies transmission in the community. As an added bonus, the cats also provide natural rodent control.
TNVR addresses residents' concerns and results in fewer problems and complaints for municipalities.
TNVR volunteers provide FREE animal control labor in their communities.
They do the trapping, transport, and pre- and post-surgery care for the cats.
Failed Alternatives to TNVR
Catch and Kill or Relocate
Removal methods like catch-and-kill do not have public support, and trapping and relocating cats is expensive, usually impossible, and ultimately ineffective at controlling populations at the community level. In fact, removing cats by any method can increase the population due to the vacuum effect. Click on the image to watch a brief video about this phenomenon.
Feeding bans and advice to not feed the cats don't work because other sources of food are always available from household trash and commercial dumpsters. Removing food sources is cruel, can result in cats starving to death, and will not make the cats disappear—cats are territorial and form strong bonds to familiar surroundings. Instead, the cats will be forced to roam farther to find food, making them more visible to residents and increasing complaints to animal control. Not feeding the cats does not prevent them from multiplying, does not get them vaccinated against rabies, and discourages the practice of Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return, the only humane and effective solution.
Rescue and Adopt
Feral cats are not socialized to people and are not adoptable as pets. The ideal window for socializing feral kittens is 8 to 9 weeks of age (or younger). Beyond this age, feral kittens may never socialize completely, or at all. In most shelters in the U.S., unadoptable animals are killed. Many shelters, realizing that allowing feral cats to enter their doors is a death sentence for the cats, have a "no feral cats accepted" policy and promote Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return as the humane approach for these cats. Feral cats live healthy, happy lives in their outdoor homes, and the best thing you can do to help them is Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return.
Trap-Neuter-Return: Fixing Feral Cat Overpopulation
by the Humane Society of the United States