The Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) program, administered by NECCOG, was established in 2015 to address the growing feral cat populations in northeastern Connecticut. TNR programs have been established across the world and the TNR concept is endorsed by animal care groups, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), because of its proven effectiveness.
The TNR Process involves:
- Identifying and studying feral cat colonies
- Providing a regular feeding pattern
- Trapping the feral cats
- Spaying and neutering the trapped cats
- Administering rabies vaccines and parasite treatments
- Marking (ear tipping) the cats
- Caring for the cats, post-surgery
- Returning the trapped cats to their original location
- Caring for and monitoring the colony
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why don’t other methods of colony control work?
A: Relocation and euthanasia of feral cat colonies does not work because of the “vacuum effect”. Due to the vacuum effect, surrounding feral cats will begin to encroach on an area when its colony is removed, taking advantage of the area’s food source and shelter. This causes a constant cycle of cats being removed from, and entering, colony areas. When spayed/neutered cats are returned to a colony area, they are able to guard the territory against new cats.
Q: What are the benefits of TNR?
A: The benefits of TNR include:
- Reduced feral cat population through sterilization
- Reduction of nuisances related to fighting, roaming, noise, and odors
- Improved welfare of feral cats
- Rodent control
- Decreased shelter intakes and euthanasia rates
- Decreased conflicts with environment and native wildlife
- Protection of public health from rabies
- Reduced risk of infection through population stabilization-increased heard immunity
Q: How can I help?
A: NECCOG is always looking for volunteers. Volunteers are needed for trapping, veterinary care, cleaning and caring for cats and cat traps, caring for the colony once it is returned (Colony Caretaker), and public outreach.