by Debbie Lanham
Evidence reveals that cats began living with people over 10,000 years ago, before the pyramids were built! Community cats are generally not socialized. That means they are unable to live indoors with people, and are therefore unadoptable. The only humane and effective approach to community cats is TNR, and more and more communities and shelters are embracing it through Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR) and Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs throughout the United States and other countries.
Community cats are not a threat to public health. Community cats are afraid of people and therefore, they avoid contact. It is almost impossible for feral cats to transmit diseases. Science shows that community cats do not spread diseases like rabies and toxoplasmosis, and cats rarely carry germs that make people sick. As animal lovers, we want what is best for all animals. That means we must address the true threats to all species: human-lead activities like habitat destruction and pollution.
In a Trap-Neuter-Return program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (the universal sign that a cat has been part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes. Some community benefit from TNR are reduction within the community cat population, it saves tax-payers’ dollars, helps shelters focus on adoptions, and provides a humane and collaborative way to address the pet overpopulation due to abandoned cats as well.
For the Love of Cats works with Domestic Animal Services in Collier County to adhere to the TNR ordinance currently in place. To date, For the Love of Cats has TNR’d over 6000+ cats. Volunteer caregivers feed and care for many Collier County cats every day. Our volunteers are able to watch for injuries within the colonies so we can help provide medical attention for these feral cats. For the Love of Cats relies on our volunteers and donors for the continual success of saving and feeding furkids. Consider becoming a partner with us today!