Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TNR Tuesday: Part 5 of 5

For a 5 week run, we're cross-posting a series of articles on a feral cat situation in and near Canton, Ohio.

Our "guest blogger" is BZ TAT, an artist and former counselor/therapist who is the founder of Okey's Promise, an outreach through public art designed to create awareness about the connections between animal maltreatment, child abuse and domestic violence.

The original posts can be found at the Okey's Promise blog.


Feral Cat Rescue: The Big Job

feral cat in trap for TNR program

As I mentioned in previous posts, I am endeavoring to rescue a group of cats that have developed a colony on my friend’s property in Tuscarawas County, OH.

First, the kittens in the colony were taken to the Tuscarawas County Humane Society cat shelter, where they are receiving treatment for eye infections and upper respiratory infections. Two females were well enough for surgery immediately, and they have already been spayed. The 3 remaining males will be neutered when they are are a bit healthier. All will be placed for adoption when they are ready.

Second, we began the trapping process for the adult cats this past Tuesday. I successfully trapped 7 cats (!) and transported them to One is One of a Kind Pets in Fairlawn, OH for  spay/neutering. It was a 60 mile trip with 7 angry cats, but they were basically calm. My truck still smells like a zoo, though…

All 7 were spayed/neutered yesterday. We discovered that one is very tame and friendly. The clinic staff fell in love with him, and we have decided to put him up for adoption when he recovers from his surgery and an upper respiratory infection. YAY! Mr. Orange Stripey is going to get a furrever home with a loving family!!!

The rest of the cats will be returned to my friend’s property, where she will continue to feed and care for them and the rest of the colony.

Some people question the purpose of TNR. Why return wild cats? Why go to the trouble of catching and spaying a semi-wild animal?

There are a number of reasons, about which you can read in depth on the Alley Cat Allies website. Here is my summary:

  1. Cats that have not been neutered continue to mate and reproduce, leading to an overwhelming overpopulation of unwanted animals. There are also numerous behavior problems associated with the mating process that become a nuisance to humans. TNR stops the overpopulation and it eliminates the nuisance behaviors that annoy humans.
  2. Cats are territorial animals. They ward off interlopers to their colonies, and they do not attract other cats when they are neutered. Colonies of cats that are neutered control their own populations by their natural instincts. No new cats arrive to the colony through reproduction or wandering, so the population does not grow.
  3. Neutered cats tend to have fewer health concerns and they tend to live longer, quality lives in a managed colony. They pose negligible risks to public health according to research.
If you are interested in engaging in TNR activities, that is AWESOME! Please familiarize yourself with the process before you start. It is not an activity that you should attempt without guidance. Read Alley Cat Allies’ TNR Guide or other resources that provide technical guidance, and consult with experienced TNR rescuers. Develop a method for fund raising to allay costs. That is what I have done.

The next trapping of cats in the colony will take place next week. Stay tuned!


  1. As I mentioned previously, TW was involvd with TNR about 30 years ago. She and a friend would trap the animals in cages provided by a rescue organization and then the organization would get them their operations. We know there are ferals living in the buildings' outdoor garage but at least 1 of them has her ear clipped so someone here is on the ball.

    1. How pawesome is that! So glad someone in your neighborhood cares. Sure takes the load off TW doesn't it! Cuz we know she'd do it too!

  2. Mommy was just chatting with our neighbor recently about the new intact cats that have found their way to our street. She was joking about how despite having been practicing TNR on the street, the cats seem to keep "multiplying".
    Mommy is observing the new cats so she knows exactly where and when to set up the trap. She hasn't been able to do any trapping because the weather has been very unpredictable (heavy rain).
    Do you tip the ears of the male cats as well?

    1. Yes, we do! Great way to know they've already been "fixed"!

  3. That is great work! Bit by bit …..

  4. My human caught a cat who lived in our shed....took all of about 5 minutes once Tomnmy (my human) figured out to use the trap. The Shed Cat has had her ladycat surgery and kinda keeps to herself on my human's desk. I like what you do--my human says the mancat and lady cat surgery is impawtent!


    1. That's pawesome what your human did! Momma sez those surgeries are very impawtant too! Thanks for stopping by - nice ta meetcha!!

  5. I've never noticed any feral kitties around here. Occasionally some lost ones that we've helped. I wonder if there are any around and are just really low profile. I think TNR is really great. The number of unwanted animals is staggering and heart breaking.

  6. Me and mom think´s that TNR is great too !
    We have a couple of TNR-projects in Sweden too in some of our bigger city´s and I think it´s great !

  7. Thx for all the great comments! TNR really is the best way to deal with feral cats, as it reduces overpopulation and avoids useless euthanasia. What an adventure this project turned out to be!



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