Love cats? Hate cats? Then TNR is right for you!

Trap Neuter Return (TNR) is the only effective and humane method for reducing the number of cats living on the streets. Whether you love cats or you hate them, TNR is something that we can all agree on. For decades, our local governments have been wasting taxpayers’ money on “population control” methods that simply don’t work. For years, tax money went to trapping and killing cats to try to reduce their numbers, but the number of cats has simply not diminished, because a “vacuum effect” is created and the litters of surrounding cats simply increase (yes, nature is amazing!). Trap Neuter Return is the only proven effective method to reduce the population of cats – and it also happens to be the only humane one!

How does TNR work? TNR involves trapping the cats and having them spayed or neutered, vaccinated against rabies, and eartipped for identification. They are then returned to their territory where a designated caretaker provides food and shelter, monitors the colony, and mediates any conflicts between the cats and the surrounding community. Young kittens who can still be socialized, as well as friendly adults (usually strays), are taken to shelters or foster homes for adoption. The socialization of feral cats for the purpose of adoption is a very difficult task, so instead of leaving them for months in cages at shelters or euthanizing them, TNR allows these cats to live out their lives with the least possible danger or stress. These cats are living safer, healthier lives and will no longer reproduce.

Montclair TNR Fund

For a number of years, Montclair has been experiencing the same problem that exists all over the United States: a large number of feral cats. Feral cats are those who live outdoors and have to some extent reverted to a wild state. They tend to be fearful of humans and keep their distance unless the person is someone they have come to know and trust. These cats were originally lost or abandoned domestic cats or they may be their offspring who have never lived with humans in a home. These cats have learned to live outdoors where they have little human contact, except that they depend on people for their food. In some cases, people are regularly leaving food out for them, and in other cases the cats are relying on food from a dumpster or other disposal area. Most of these cats live in "colonies" where they share territory and a food source.

What had been happening in Montclair prior to the institution of a TNR program was that feral cats were giving birth to litters of kittens all over town. Either these litters were taken to PAWS Animal Shelter when there was room or they were left out to continue breeding and adding to the number of cats living on the streets. The PAWS Animal Shelter, especially in the spring time, was normally bursting with kittens. Without a method of stopping the endless supply of cats and kittens, there was a never-ending cycle of euthanasia (killing) PLUS more cats living out of dumpsters and sewers. It was a sad picture and led residents to complain to both PAWS and the Health Department.

TNR is the only proven effective and humane method for reducing the feral cat population.

The Montclair TNR program began in October of 2004, and as of November, 2009, 702 cats have been humanely trapped. Over 250 cats have been spayed, thus directly preventing the birth of thousands of kittens and their subsequent offspring! The kittens that were trapped were adopted directly to homes or taken to PAWS for adoption, and many of them have already found loving homes. The adult cats returned to their colonies are fed on a daily basis and are provided with shelter. This program has met with enthusiastic approval by residents of Montclair!

This TNR program is funded completely by your tax-deductible donations. Please continue to help. We are working to get every cat in Montclair spayed or neutered and all of the people working in the program are volunteers. 100% of your donation goes to pay for the spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations. We keep the cost of the surgeries as low as possible, and we take advantage of all low-cost spay/neuter clinics in the area and also rely on local vets who help out with reduced prices for this program.