What is TNVR?
TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Release) involves humanely trapping homeless cats and transporting them to a veterinary clinic where they are neutered. They may also receive a health check, vaccinations, and can be treated for routine medical conditions. After surgery, the cat recuperates for a day or two and is then returned back to his colony habitat where caring individuals provide food, water and shelter. At Forgotten Cats and many other organizations, kittens and friendly cats that are socialized to people are held and placed for adoption. TNVR quickly stabilizes and reduces the colony’s population by ending reproduction and removing socialized cats. Since the cats are no longer reproducing, the colony will gradually diminish in size.
TNVR has multiple benefits for both the cats and humans caring for them.
1.) Mating behaviors cease such as yowling, wandering, spraying, and fighting.
2.) Improvement in the physical health of the cats
3.) Cats are vaccinated against rabies
4.) Cats no longer need to go through the stress of mating and pregnancy
In order for TNVR to be effective, ALL cats residing in a colony must be TNVR’d. Trapping 95% of cats in a colony will not stabilize the colony because that remaining 5% will continue to reproduce. By stabilizing entire colonies at each food source, ultimately all food sources will be used for sterilized cats. Unsterilized cats without food sources will not survive. All cats that have been sterilized through a TNVR program have a tipped ear. This makes it possible for caretakers to differentiate between cats that have already been sterilized versus the ones that have not been sterilized yet (newcomers, kittens, etc.).
Why Does Trap and Kill Not Work?
Many animal control agencies will tell you that trap and kill is the only way to control the unwanted cat population. The fact is that after almost 100 years of killing cats there are still feral cats. Isn’t that proof enough?
• Removing cats from an area only allows another colony to move into its place in order to take advantage of the food source that once supported the first colony. Essentially you would have to trap and kill everywhere, all at once, to catch all the cats. The TNVR option allows you to stabilize one area at a time. Once the cat population of a colony is stabilized, the colony will defend its territory and keep other cats from moving in. Targeted TNVR allows you to clean up entire regions, and someday the entire state, because all food sources will be utilized for sterilized cats.
• To many people, killing homeless cats is not acceptable or humane. Many people welcome the company of the cats each day. Others rely on the cats for rodent control in places such as on farms, behind restaurants, and houses backing into wooded areas. Without a trap, neuter, vaccinate, and release program these people have no alternative but to let the cats continue to breed. What happens then is the caregivers will catch a few kittens from each litter and give them to animal shelters to be rehomed. But, unfortunately, these kittens are often times overcrowding shelters which causes shelters to euthanize cats & kittens and turn away people trying to surrender their cats. TNVR is the solution to reducing the homeless cat population and also preventing shelter death.
For more information on TNVR, visit alleycat.org