LOVE WEEK: TNR = LUV for Community Cats

The soon-to-be warming temps of Spring can only mean one thing: it’s almost kitten season!

Yes, there is a “kitten season” – that magical time of year when cats who haven’t been spayed or neutered enter into their breeding cycle which, in just nine short weeks, will give a whole rash of brand-new kittens. And while a whole bunch of new kittens seems like a cat-lover's dream come true, it’s actually the opposite. Unchecked breeding can put additional stress on shelters, communities, and on cats themselves. More kittens = less available resources. Less available resources = less-than-desirable outcomes.

But combating the negative outcomes of kitten season isn’t rocket science – it’s just regular science. Numerous articles and plenty of research have shown that the simple process of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the most impactful and important method we can use to ensure cats in our community continue to thrive.

TNR utilizes the power of advocates to identify community cats who don’t have an ear tip (the telltale sign that a community cat has been sterilized) and enters them into the process of being vaccinated, neutered, and returned back to their outdoor home. Cats thrive outdoors on every continent – even without dedicated caregivers – so returning them back to their outdoor home is essential to ensuring their health and happiness. The more cats who participate in TNR, the fewer kittens that are conceived each year. The fewer kittens born, the better we can help control the pet population. The more we help control the cat population, the fewer complaints we received from members of the community from feral cat colonies. It’s truly win-win-win for all involved.

LHS has embraced TNR through our many community advocates and our hardworking Animal Response Team and the success has been gratifying. Each year, we are able to vaccinate more cats and see the benefits of our work coming to life.

TNR is one of the most impactful ways we can show LUV to cats in our community. If you have or know of a cat in your community in need of a spay or neuter, we LHS has limited spots available in the coming months. This is the most important time of the year to get involved.

For more information on TNR and other cat resources, visit our cat resources page.