All About TNR
TNR stands for "trap, neuter, return." A cat is humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies and given an ear tip. The cat is then returned back to the colony from which it originated.
Cats that have been through the TNR process can no longer reproduce and no longer exhibit behaviors associated with mating (yowling, fighting, spraying, etc.). As a result, they are better neighbors who continue to fulfill their role in our ecosystem.
Why don't we just take these cats "away" and euthanize them? For one, that's incredibly inhumane. Furthermore, cats are territorial. Removing cats from a territory simply opens that territory for other cats to come in and live off the resources -- cats that have not been through the TNR process ("fixed" and vaccinated). It makes far more sense to TNR our community cats so they can come back to defend their territory rather than to start an endless cycle of "catch and kill."
Our friends at Alley Cat Allies offer a tremendous amount of information on their website regarding TNR and community cats. For more information, click here: https://www.alleycat.org/our-work/trap-neuter-return/.
Finding cats and kittens outdoors:
If you find kittens in your yard or workplace, it’s important to contact a no-kill rescue or shelter for assistance. Depending on whether Mom is with them and their age, the rescue will direct you on whether it’s best to leave them in place a little longer or remove them (for the purpose of adoption) sooner than later. Our friends at Alley Cat Allies are a wonderful resource. Get more helpful information here: https://www.alleycat.org/community-cat-care/finding-kittens-outdoors/.
If you’ve found a stray cat, contact your local animal control officer to report the found animal (as the owner may have contacted him/her to report the animal lost). You can also take the cat to any vet, animal control officer or emergency veterinary hospital to have the cat checked for a microchip at no charge.
If a friendly kitty does not have a chip and you’ve tried your best to find its owners and cannot keep it, contact a rescue or take it to a shelter so they can find it a new forever home. Never leave someone’s lost cat outside to fend for itself. They are dependent on humans for food and shelter, never having lived outdoors or being taught to do so by their mother.
There are many low-cost clinics around us.
For TNR, prices range from $0 to $75 per cat, depending on which clinic you use and whether there is a grant available.
For TNR, try:
Animal Alliance in Lambertville, NJ. 609-818-1952. http://www.animalalliancenj.org/spay_neuter_cms.html
The Bridge Clinic in Feasterville-Trevose, PA. 215-639-3333. http://www.animalalliancenj.org/spay_neuter_cms.html
Forgotten Cats in Willow Grove, PA. Make an appointment through their website at www.forgottencats.org.
P.A.W.S. in Northeast Philadelphia. 215-545-9600. https://phillypaws.org/clinic/
Friends of Burlington County Animal Shelter. You don't have to be a resident to take advantage of their specials and their prices for community cats as well as companion animals are incredible. Check out the list at http://www.friendsofbcas.org/resources/spayneuter
The Case Against Declawing
Declawing is not a kitty manicure; it’s amputation of the cat’s toe bones and it’s never the right answer.
The Paw Project’s website offers a wealth of information on this subject and is a must-read for anyone contemplating this surgery. Visit http://www.pawproject.org.
Rescue & Adopt
Whether you need to re-home a cat, find a home for a friendly cat or adopt a cat or kitten, there are many rescue groups in the area to help you.
When you adopt from a reputable rescue, you can expect to adopt a fully-vetted animal. That means, for the adoption fee, your cat or kitten will be up-to-date on shots, tested for FIV and FeLV, spayed or neutered and usually microchipped. As an added bonus, the fee for adopting from a registered non-profit organization is usually tax-deductible!
NOTE: Please do not be angry or discouraged with the rescue if you've called to ask them to take your pet and they've indicated that they can't because they're "full." Unfortunately, there are more animals than there are homes in this world, and our cages really are all occupied until another animal gets adopted. Rescuers are some of the most compassionate people you will ever meet and, if they could, they would save every single animal. Please be patient and persistent and move down your list to the next rescue. Eventually, someone will have an open cage or foster home and can help you.