The Humane Society initiated the Urban Cats Program in 2007 in an effort designed to advocate for a more humane solution for our region’s stray and feral cat population. There are a number of myths about feral cats, and unfortunately, our region’s feral cats have a great deal going against them. The Urban Cat Program seeks to change that by introducing “Trap-Neuter-Return” (TNR) as a better long term solution to feral cat populations. The idea of TNR is not a new one and has been implemented successfully on a national level by organizations such as Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Allies. Since its inception, our Urban Cats Program has changed and evolved to better address the issues inherent when dealing with Feral Cat Colonies.
Feral cats present several problems, not the least of which, is as avid contributors to our already overcrowded shelters. Properly implemented TNR is growing in popularity and is fast becoming the method of choice for managing colonies in communities across the nation. As a process, TNR has demonstrated advantages over more traditional methods of animal control, including:
- Permanent reduction of feral and stray cat populations.
- Cost savings to animal control agencies and the elimination of nuisance behaviors like spraying and fighting.
In addition, by returning the ferals to their territory, TNR allows the neutered and vaccinated cats to provide the public health benefits of rat abatement and protection against rabies transmission from wildlife species. The lower feral population also helps to lower any predation on birds and wildlife by the cats.
Unlike any other method known, “Trap-Neuter-Return” holds out the realistic possibility of a permanent, long-term solution to feral and stray cat overpopulation and all its associated ills.
In an effort to help control the population of feral cats, The Humane Society, through its Urban Cats Program, can offer both financial and physical assistance to feral cat caregivers and feral cat enthusiasts seeking to sterilize feral cat colonies. Individuals interested in assistance from the Urban Cats Program must meet certain requirements and are encouraged to contact The Humane Society for more information.
“The mission of Urban Cats is to promote a humane method of treatment for existing feral cats, while permanently reducing the local feral cat population.”
In order to achieve our mission, Urban Cats promotes the humane treatment and sterilization of feral cats and seeks to:
- Maximize caretaker participation.
- Maximize community awareness.
- Partner with like-minded organizations.
Prior to participating in the Urban Cats Program, we ask all potential colony caregivers to review and agree to the Best Practices document shared below and fill out the downloadable application and bring it with you to your appointment.
There are numerous resources on the Internet for individuals seeking help with feral cats. The list below is several popular sites that are informative and useful for individuals seeking help.
NYC based group that has gone beyond “Trap-Neuter-Return” and has created a wealth of resources and education materials.
Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies has been doing “Trap-Neuter-Return” for some time. Needless to say, they’re setting the standards.
Stanford Cat Network
One of the original feral cat projects based at Stanford University.
Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project
West Coast approach to feral cats.
LifeLine Animal Project: Catlanta
Another example of a feral cat program coming to an urban area. This one is based in Atlanta.
Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society offers a great deal of information on all sorts of subjects, including feral cats. Like many organizations, they provide some very relevant, factual information on feral cats and feral cat legislation.