Trap Neuter Release

Photo Credit: Samantha Contreras

Trap, Neuter and Release or TNR, is the much more humane and astoundingly effective alternative to the Catch and Kill practice. Stray and Feral adult cats can be unadoptable because they are unable to live indoors so when they are sent to pounds or shelters, they end up being some of the first euthanized to make room for other cats who have higher chances of being adopted.

TNR is the practice where stray and feral cats are caught, then neutered or spayed, and vaccinated against rabies. The younger cats and kittens as well as any friendly adult cats can be adopted out at this point, but the rest are released back to where they were found. It has been a proven method of stabilizing cat colonies and improving the lives of all involved.

This practice is effective and efficient at helping these animals without killing them. It instantly ends the reproduction cycle in these feral and stray cats leading to less feline lives lost to disease, euthanasia, and deadly accidents from cars because there are fewer of them and they roam less. Some believe that more cats will join them, and it would be an endless cycle but this is not true.  Cat colonies are bonded and very defensive about their territory. A nomadic cat coming into the area would be quickly turned away, if not killed for their infiltration.

Many scientists and animal rights agencies agree that this practice improves the cats lives as well as the humans they live around. Studies have found that when the never-ending feline mating cycle is stopped by neutering or spaying cats, then there are less calls and complaints to animal control because there are fewer cats causing nuisances like yowling or cat fighting in neighborhoods where they live.

It also saves the cats from the constant stressors that are present with mating and pregnancy which helps them live long and healthy lives as well as stopping more kittens from being brought into these situations.

Studies have found that within 1-4 years of constant TNR no more kitten litters have been found, meaning all the stray cats are neutered or spayed, vaccinated, and accounted for. This leaves happy neighbors and happy cats.  


Neighborhood Cats. (2018.) How to TNR. Retrieved on April 23, 2019, from,

Alley Cat Allies. (2019.) Why Trap-Neuter-Return feral cats? The case for TNR. Retrieved on April 23, 2019, from,

Written By: Mikayla B.  AZ CARE Rescue Intern (April 2019) & Contributor: Kaylene Pearce, AZ CARE President  (June 2019)


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