Ineffective Methods of Controlling Cat Populations

The term community cat includes feral cats (outdoor cats not socialized to humans), stray cats (social with humans but have been lost or abandoned) and owned cats with access to the outdoors. But, they are all the same species regardless of their desire to interact with people and they all deserve humane treatment.

While Trap Neuter Vaccinate Return (TNVR) is a standard and effective practice and has been for decades, there are some who want a solution which involves removal of the cats. But, removal doesn’t necessarily bring desired results.

The following methods of controlling community cat populations are not as effective as TNVR:

Trap and Kill

  • Most people do not want the cats to be killed and most animal welfare agencies will no longer euthanize healthy community cats.
  • Doesn’t address the underlying issues contributing to community cat populations.
  • New cats will move into the territory to take advantage of the resources.

Trap and Relocate

  • Must find a new location and colony caregiver who will care for the cats.
  • Must acclimate the cats to the new territory for up to four weeks.
  • Cats are very territorial and will often try to return to their first home.

Trap and Re-home

  • If the cat is a feral adult, it will not do well in a home.
  • Space in shelters and rescues should be saved for those cats without other options.
  • Some community cats may already have a home.

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