Spay/Neuter of Feral Cats - the Overpopulation Solution
TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) is our community outreach program supporting the animal care efforts of individuals with outdoor cat populations. It is the best option for helping feral cats when a property owner is willing to support a feral cat colony on his/her premises. If residents are willing to provide food, water, and shelter sufficient to maintain an existing feral colony, TFFF will initiate TNR. With the caregivers' help, the cats are trapped humanely and transported to the veterinarian for an examination, spay/neuter and rabies vaccination. The cats are returned to their outdoor homes, retaining their freedom in their familiar territory without the risks of reproduction. By keeping the population under control, caregivers are able to manage their colonies without incurring the escalating costs of an increasing population.
TNR is an important element of TFFF's mission to contain feral populations in a humane manner. It has been shown to be more effective in reducing cat populations than euthanasia. Killing cats merely makes more food available to the survivors who then exploit the surplus by reproducing at a greater rate. Additionally, by helping people manage cats on their premises, the limited shelter space of local animal shelters can be protected from over-crowding.
TNR is only applicable to true feral cats - we don't feel that a cat that's obviously been a companion animal should be converted to a feral cat via TNR. Second, TNR requires the active co-operation of the resident or property-owner. If they are unwilling to support the colony, or will not consent to our program guidelines, TFFF will not initiate a TNR program.
In 2009, Taos Feral Feline Friends published the results of its review of the pros and cons of testing stray or feral cats for the feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses (FELV and FIV). To review or download this research, please click here: FELV / FIV Testing Poilcy and Rationale
Low Income Cat Caregiver Assistance
If your household annual income is below $50,000, we offer free cat food and veterinary expense reimbursement for anyone in Taos County caring for feral cats. The same benefits are also available on a limited basis for any low income cat owner who, due to injury, illness, disability or loss of employment, is unable to afford cat food or veterinary care. Call 575-758-3519 for more information.