Studies have shown that controlling feral/stray cat populations through ‘trap and kill’ programs is very ineffective and costly. In addition, these programs are widely felt to be inhumane. When feral/stray cats are removed from their colonies and euthanized, those left behind become more fertile and reproduce to fill the territory vacated by those removed. Removal programs must therefore be constantly repeated. To help better deal with feral/stray cat overpopulation, many communities in North America have adopted TNR programs.
TNR is considered to be the most humane and economical solution to the problem of feral and stray cat overpopulation by experts such as the American Veterinary Medical Association, American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, and the Cat Fanciers’ Association. TNR helps to stabilize and maintain healthy feral/stray cat colonies with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing a better life for the animals themselves.
Benefits of a TNR program include:
- Stabilization of feral/stray cat populations
- Reduction of problematic behavior such as fighting, spraying, howling, predation of native wildlife
- Reduction in the spread of disease (rabies, distemper, feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia)
- Reduction of stress amongst feral/stray cat populations resulting from fighting and pregnancy
- Allowing feral/stray cats to live out their natural lifespan in good health
- Fostering of compassion in neighbourhoods
- Reduction of costs to taxpayers and humane societies. TNR programs are less costly than repeated attempts at euthanization or housing of feral or stray cats at a humane society.