TNR is a caretaker program by which community cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, ear-tipped and returned back to their outdoor homes where they were trapped. "Ear-tipped" means the tip of the left ear is removed while the cat is under anesthesia; this is the universal sign a cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Cats in a TNR program typically live in groups called colonies.
The "Caretakers" are local residents and non-profit groups educated on proper feeding and sheltering methods and they work with neighbors to eliminate nuisance complaints. Caretakers often support several colonies providing food, shelter and access to veterinary care.
TNR is the only method proven to humanely reduce community cat populations.
Historically community cats have been trapped and taken to animal shelters where approximately 70% of cats are euthanized. The euthanasia rate increases to 100% for cats deemed feral. Despite decades of this practice, community cats remain.
Removing all the cats from an area frees up resources (food and shelter) creating a vacuum effect where new cats move in and again breed to capacity.
Neutering and vaccinating community cats reduces the population, reduces nuisance complaints, and improves the health of the cats while leaving the cats in their territory to deter new, unaltered cats from moving in.