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How To Save Feral Cats and Stop Overpopulation With TNR

Updated on September 4, 2017

Here's how to stop killing Feral Cats and save birds at the same time.

Learn all about feral cats and the TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) programs; what feral means; how they live; the arguments for and against TNR programs. You'll also find links to rescue organizations, materials on TNR and how you can start or join existing TNR programs. Millions of feral cats are killed in shelters every year in the United States. TNR (trap-neuter-return) is a program that is practiced throughout the world to save these cats, allowing them to live out their lives -- not killed because they're considered homeless.

This lens is dedicated to Tara -- the little cat shown here -- a feral cat that stole our hearts. I'll share with you Tara's story. Check out the wonderful pictures I have of her and other feral cats I've met and come back as I'll add more. I'll also include links to organizations and resource materials on both sides of the issue.

I am 100 percent for TNR, however, I'll give you the arguments from both sides of the issue so you can make up your own mind.

P.S. The term neutered is used for both males and females, although the term spay is usually used for females.

Are You For or Against TNR? - Poll

Please take this poll to let me know what you think of TNR BEFORE reading this lens. Please take the poll at the end, (before the guest book). It will tell me how effective this lens is and what additional information to add. Thank you!

How Familiar Are You With TNR?

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Photos of Ferals - Most of these have been domesticated

Click thumbnail to view full-size

What Is TNR?

TNR Explained

TNR stands for Trap, Neuter and Return. It refers to using humane traps to trap feral cats, taking them to a shelter or mobile facilty and having them neutered (sterilized) and vaccinated. After they have been neutered, the cat is returned to their home (where they were trapped).

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method, in which entire colonies of cats are trapped, vaccinated, and sterilized by a veterinarian works extremely well to curb the numbers of unwanted, feral cats.

The right ear of the feral cat is eartipped (cut off) so that you can know which has already been neutered so if they wind up in another trap they can be released immediately.

Homes are found for young kittens, who can be tamed. Healthy adults are returned outdoors, where volunteers feed and look after them for the remainder of their lives.

Simply put, TNR is the most humane and cost effective way to control the feral cat population.

The No Kill Movement

Stop killing all animals

A new revolution that is transforming the world is here: The No Kill Movement is replacing the outdated notion that if animals are in our way -- or are homeless -- we should kill them.

The old model is still being practiced by many so-called humane societies and shelters. Even many that claim to be no-kill facilities. Most, if they look like they are going to run out of room, they kill to get back down to whatever their arbitrary numbers are. Or, they have "shelf-life" rules. For instance if a cat or dog is not adopted in 30 days of capture then they are euthanized.

The good ones, those run by people who are out to save every single animal they can, go the extra mile to find homes for the animals.

6 Ways Shelters Can Reduce Killing Cats and Dogs

1. TNR education for the public

2. Run TNR programs along with volunteers

3. Spay/Neuter education -- Start with the kids

4. Spay/Neuter programs -- low-cost and free

5. Join with rescue groups to find homes

6. Educate people to keep cats indoors

Declaration of the No Kill Movement in the US.

An excerpt: "This year, some five million dogs and cats will be killed in shelters. The vast majority can and should be placed into loving homes or should never enter shelters in the first place. But there is hope.

No Kill sheltering models, based on innovative, non-lethal programs and services, have already saved the lives of tens of thousands of animals. But instead of embracing No Kill, many shelters-and their national agency allies-cling to their failed models of the past, models that result in the killing of millions of dogs and cats in U.S. shelters every year."

Click here to view the compelete and more on this movement No Kill Center.

The Saving Of A Feral Cat

Tara's Story

Tara The Terrified: PART 1

My Experience Socializing Feral Kittens

Tara in her cage sitting on Hawk

I have been doing foster care for the local humane society since 2000. In 2001, I was asked to try to socialize a litter of 3. They were about 2-1/2 months old and had been living in a barn with all feral cats.

Everyone had their fingers crossed because socialization (getting kittens used to people) must begin as soon as possible after birth. The moms with litters that I've foster have allowed me to handle their kittens within a day of delivery. I even had one mother who I had to help with her delivery. In between the 3 births, she would lay beside me with her head on my lap and purr. It was an amazing show of trust.

Anyway, kittens need to be touch and handled for at least 20 minutes a day before they are 2 weeks old. If the mother is socialized, the kittens are easy to socialize even if they are a little older. However, if you get kittens after 2 weeks old, mother or not, I have found that they will hiss and haunch up, some even spit. But, I just persist and they've all come around.

Tara The Terrified

The smallest female of the litter, was terrified and spend the first 12 hours howling and pacing the cage -- almost nonstop. The other female and male kitten did better but needed more socializing than a 2 person household can give. Anyway, eventually they went back to the shelter and were returned to be barn cats (vaccinated and neutered) in exchange for 2 younger ferals we could socialize.

Tara the Terrible

Tara was also returned to the shelter, however, she would not let anyone near her. She'd hiss, spit and even growl. No one could feed her. In fact everyone was afraid to go near her.

The shelter called me, asked if I wanted to adopt her. I could adopt her for free, however, if I did not adopt her, because of space constraints, she would have would be turned over to the County's shelter and since she was feral, they would kill her.

Continued in Tara The Terrified: PART 2 below.

Approximately 3 million to 4 million cats and dogs are euthanized every year according to the ASPCA.

Tara The Terrified: PART 2

Adding A Feral Kitten To Our Family

Tara sharing a bed with Bruce "Kamikaze" Lee

The question was would I adopt Tara. My immediate answer was, "I'll be right over to pick her up." I then got off the phone and turned to my husband and told him the situation and bless his warm, big heart, he said, "Let's go get her."

We got to the shelter we found her in the Isolation room where they put cats until they have a condo they can put the cat in. The shelter was absolutely packed because it was kitty season.

The shelter manager said, "I'll stay out of site. She hates me." My husband and I walked into the room and talked to Tara. She didn't make a sound just sat looking at us intently.

We talked to her softly telling her we were taking her back home as we opened the cage door and carefully held the cat carrier in front of the door. Tara literally lunged into the cage without a peep astounding the shelter manager.

Read Tara Joins The Family PART 3 below...

Video - The differences between Feral, Stray and Pet cats - Do you know the difference?

They are NOT just strays

I found this wonderful quote on It Matters To Me blogspot.

"They are just stray cats." I beg to differ. They are NOT just stray cats. They are the result of irresponsible pet owners. Humans that choose to not spay and neuter their pets. Humans that choose to let their cats roam and reproduce. Humans that think of our society as a throw away society. Humans that move and leave their cats to fend for themselves. It is a sad reality. But, it is reality. Until humans can accept responsibility for their pets, there will always be the homeless strays, and feral cats.

Tara The Terrfied: PART 3

Tara letting me pet her from a "safe" distance"

As you can see from this picture, Tara allowed us to become family but at a distance. Look closely at the picture and you can see that she is about to flee. We could only pet her if we stood perfectly still and talked to her softly.

Anyway, I'm a little ahead of my story. We brought Tara home and set the carrier on the kitchen floor. When we opened the door she literally bolted. What she did next was amazing. She went up to each cat and talked to them. We'd never see her so talkative.

In fact, not only did she talk to each cat (6 of them) but every piece of furniture and every object in the whole house. She did this for 2 hours, non-stop. She just walked from object to object and talked to them. It was like she wanted everyone to know what she'd been through.

After 2 hours, she curled up on the living room floor and bathed herself. Lee, her soul mate, joined her and curled up around her. And we knew we had made the right decision.

She only allowed us to touch her every now and again. But she bonded with all her brothers and sisters. All of them loved her, especially Lee. They were almost always together.

When Tara had lived with us for 4 years, she started hiding. We would spend hours trying to find her. How she could find a place to hide in a 1-bedroom, 1-bath house was a mystery. But we knew something was wrong because cats hide when they are sick or injured. Unlike our other cats, she would not let us pick her up and there was no way to get her into another carrier.

In order to get her to the vets office, we had to borrow a humane trap and trick her into it. We managed, but it was a horrendous ordeal.

We took her to the vet, who tranquilized her through the cage. When she called us later, it was with the sad news that Tara had several breast cancers and that her lungs were compromised. She did not think she would survive being revived. It was heartbreaking for us to let her go and Lee spent a lot of time looking for his soul mate.

She was a very special cat. She was a cat's cat. All cats loved her and she was never tamed. If we had had no other cats, I believe she would have eventually bonded with us, but we had other cats and so she was able to stay wild and yet have the safety and love of an indoor cat. We miss her dearly.

Neuter Now


Kill Later

What's Next In Feral Cat Control?

Reducing feral cat populations

When Julie Levy, a veterinarian and professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville, is asked how to permanently reduce feral cat popultions, her answer is TNR. She says we should TNR entire colonies of ferals. Have them vaccinated, sterilized by a veterinarian, then returned to their colony.

She admits that the method, though, is neither quick nor simple.

In a study conducted over an 11-year period, Levi found the cats lived an average of 7 years after being spayed and brought back to their territory. Levy says something realistic needs to be done to reduce the feral population. However, she continues, killing the cats, as many wildlife organizations have suggested, is not feasible.

New Vaccine In The Works

Levy hasn't come up with another way, yet. However, she is currently working with a wildlife research group to develop a new sterilization vaccine for both male and female cats.

"We're on the trail of a good one," she said. "We're now one year into a two-year study with male cats, and it's looking extremely promising."

When/if the vaccine is developed, trained technicians would go into the field and inject the cats. The vaccine would actually make TNR programs more efficient by helping reduce costs and labor.

Organizations For TNR

Quote by Mahatma Gandhi

A man who cherished all living creatures

"The greatness of a nation

and its moral progress

can be judged by the way

its' animals are treated."

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Steve Wozniak of Apple Fame Help To Save Feral Cats - Check Out This Video He Helped Produce

Steve Wozniak Saves Feral Cats

I worked at Apple Computer for 7 years, but Steve had already left the company. However, I always heard great things about him. Then I had the pleasure of meeting him some years later at an education trade show. He was short, very short - LOL - and he was the most marvelous person. He was really interested in helping this world. I'm thrilled to see him taking care of feral cats.

You can read the article announcing this video and his work with feral cats by clicking Feral cats/Steve Wozniak. One population of feral cats is down to 1 or 2 cats! TNR really can and does work if people just do their parts.

Humans - The real problem!

Humans - The real problem!
Humans - The real problem!

Organizations Against TNR

PETA Argument and My Rebuttal

Peta argument against TNR

"We have seen firsthand-and we receive countless similar reports-that cats suffer and die gruesome deaths because they are abandoned to fend for themselves outdoors. Many were in "managed" colonies, which usually means that they were fed. Having witnessed the painful deaths of countless feral cats instead of seeing them drift quietly "to sleep" in their old age, we cannot in good conscience advocate trapping, altering, and releasing as a humane way to deal with overpopulation and homelessness."

My Rebuttal

All wild animals face the possibility of catching diseases or getting hurt and facing painful deaths. To kill ALL feral cats because a few of them die painful deaths is like killing all lions, tigers and bears because some will be die this same way. Sorry, not on my watch. I won't advocate killing ferals cats (or any other animal) for this reason. Heck, how do we know which cats will die painful deaths? And, before they died, how many years of freedom did they live? And, who is going to play God?

Some Bird Enthusiasts: An Argument and My Rebuttal

Peta argument against TNR

""You're trading a feral cat, an exotic animal that doesn't belong naturally on the landscape, against piping plovers, which evolved as natural fits in that environment," reasons Holmes Rolston III, a Colorado State University professor who is considered one of the deans of American environmental philosophy. "And it trades an endangered species, piping plovers, against cats, which as a species are in no danger whatsoever. Suffering - the pain of the cat versus the pain of the plover eaten by the cat - is irrelevant in this case."

My Rebuttal

Yes, birds are being killed by cats. But killing cats is not the answer, People caused the problem with the overpopulation of cats. We just can't kill every feral cat just because "stupid and uncaring" people abandoned cats and they became wild.

I am 100% for TNR, however, that is only 1 step. Here is my 7 step program:

(1) Educate people about spay/neuter (start with kids).

(2) Have low-cost and free spay/neuter programs.

(3) Relocate feral cat colonies that are near endangered birds.

(4) Run TNR programs and allow caregivers to take care of the feral cat colonies with TNR, feeding, and medical care -- people ARE willing to do that. Let them.

(5) Educate people to keep cats indoors.

(6) Make and enforce laws that punish people for abandoning animals.

(7) Make and enforce laws that make spay/neutering mandatory.

It has been proven in tests all over the country that just killing cats does NOT stop the problem but a good TNR program does by controlling birth rates.

Let's stop looking at all of our problems as "kill them" and work together to "save them" -- both feral cats AND birds. There's enough killing going on in the world.

Removing Cats to Protect Birds Backfires on Island

An example of why killing cats isn't the answer

"It seemed like a good idea at the time: Remove all the feral cats from a famous Australian island to save the native seabirds.

"But the decision to eradicate the felines from Macquarie island allowed the rabbit population to explode and, in turn, destroy much of its fragile vegetation that birds depend on for cover, researchers said Tuesday.

"Removing the cats from Macquarie "caused environmental devastation" that will cost authorities 24 million Australian dollars ($16.2 million) to remedy, Dana Bergstrom of the Australian Antarctic Division and her colleagues wrote in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology."

Read the full article at Removing cats to protect birds backfires on island

Lensmaster's note:

Killing Cats for birds killed more birds and created a eco-nightmare. Killing cats is NOT the answer! These people found out the hard way -- don't muck with Mother nature's eco-system. Instead, practice TNR to control cat population in a systematic way.

Alley Cat Allies -- Saving Ferals Cats Everywhere

An Organization You Should Know About

Alley Cat Allies

Ally Cat Allies is an incredible organization to saves feral cats.

On their website, you will find:

- Caregiver/Advocate Information

- Animal Control/Shelter Information

- Legal Information

- Veterinarian Information

- Events & Conferences

They have the most extensive library of materials created to help you:

1. Recognize feral cats.

2. Trap, neuter and release information.

3. Organize TNR programs in your area.

4. Talk to people about TNR.

5. Get press for TNR (they even provide a press release template).

6. Raise feral kittens.

7. Build feeding stations for feral cats.

8. Learn how best to help feral cats.

9. Find success stories and statistics to share.

10. Find videos of feral cats and TNR in action.

11. And lots more.

For a complete list of their Factsheets and Articles, click Alley Cat Rescources

To contact them or get other information from their website, click Alley Cat Allies

Please take this poll to let me know what you think of TNR BEFORE reading this lens. Please take the poll at the end, (before the guest book). It will tell me how effective this lens is and what additional information to add. Thank you!

Are You For Or Against TNR?

See results

ASPCA's Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Resource

Find One In Your Area

Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Programs

ASPCA has a special link for you to find low-cost spay/neuter programs in your community. Simply go toLow-Cost Spay Neuter Programs and enter in your zip code and you'll get a list of the programs in your area.

What Do You Think?

Should TNR be the World's way to counteract overpopulation?

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Copyright 2008-2017 Frankie Kangas All rights reserved.

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    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      What an excellent lens. I love what you are doing here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thank you, Frankie, for gathering so much information together in one place. This lens is a big help for those of us who want to help ferals.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 4 years ago from California

      @cheryl-l-thomas-5: Thank you for the kudos on the lens. Thank you also for your comment about Tara. I agree; many people expect their cats, dogs and even kids to be to behave a certain way. I always love finding out what each cat's personality will be and when they change, just like humans, it is a joy to see. They are after all, living, breathing being with their own needs, personality and quirks. I accept them for who they are. If they are not a lap cat so be it.

      I so feel very lucky to have shared 4 years we had with Tara. Lee, her soul mate, is still with us. He turns 14 yrs old on May 1 and was just diagnosed with lymphoma. It is a very sad time now but thinking about his wonderful relationship with little Tara today made me smile and brought me some comfort. I know he has had a great life with us. We got him he was 6 months old. He is loved and like Tara, he lives with us under his terms, except I control what he eats, of course, and he is an indoor only cat, as all of mine are but I do not try to change his personality or force him to be something he is not.

    • cheryl-l-thomas-5 profile image

      cheryl-l-thomas-5 4 years ago

      Love this lens! It has so much information in one place- I am definitely going to come back again and again.

      I especially want to thank you for giving Trudy four good years of life, on her terms. It is a blessing to find someone who can accept that their needs are not the only ones that matter.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      @hntrssthmpsn: Thank you. I felt compelled to create it because of all of the wonderful feral cats and abandoned cats that end up fending for themselves and blamed for all of the wildlife destruction when the feral population is as big as it is because of human neglect, uncaring, self-centered attitude.

      Blaming cats for everything from killing wildlife, destroying habitat is just annoying. We humans should take the biggest part of the blame ourselves for all of the wildlife we kill because they are just in our way. We want our house on that pond, but we want to remove the wildlife habitat -- the undergrowth, the bushes, the trees -- and put in our cement and pools. We don't like snakes, voles, moles, gophers, foxes, bears, wildcats, mountain lions, etc. We are the problem, not cats. Heck, China blamed Cats for SARS. The also blamed dogs for rabies and the latest articles I read just this week said they've discovered that humans got the rabies not from the live dog but from the way they killed and processed the dogs for human consumption. They ate the dogs!!! and got rabies. ~shrug ~ Sorry I didn't mean to get all "activist" on you, but I've been reading these atrocious articles the past couple of days blaming cats for nearly everything. It's just disturbing.

      Thanks for the visit. I hope you visit my FIv Cat Rescue site too ( Bear hugs, Frankie

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 5 years ago

      This is a wonderful page! Our community has a very active volunteer TNR organization, and local vets donate their services to neuter & spay feral kitties.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      @anonymous: Thank you Bonnie for all that you do for our feral feline friends. I hope that they show up so. I can imagine how worried you are. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think it's a great site. Thanks so much. I have trapped, got fixed, trained & loved a few, finding them homes, keeping some, and just put 2 back out cause I had to move & couldn't keep them. Am going over to feed them every night, but last 2 nights have not seen them - So worried! Anyway, can relate. God Bless!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      @Gypzeerose: Thank you for the kudos and for the work you do with cats. TNR saves a lot of lives. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Another great lens - very helpful to animals. Pinned to my cats board and blessed! My family and I are signed up to volunteer at a local TNR.

    • MartieG profile image

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 6 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We are definitely for TNR and are currently feeding several of the released cats who visit us daily (they refuse to come in so we made a shelter for them)--Really good lens-thanks

    • Afteretc profile image

      Afteretc 6 years ago

      a subject dear to my heart! i wrote a lens about TNR in Chicago! i hope it helps others. thanks for writing this lens - the more people know about TNR the safer our community cats will be!

    • Missy Zane profile image

      Missy Zane 6 years ago

      Great lens about TNR. I'm not a big fan of trying to domesticate feral kittens or adults for a number of reasons. I think they're all best neutered/spayed and left outside with a caretaker. But this lens goes a long way towards winning hearts and minds on behalf of TNR and ferals.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 6 years ago

      As someone who has worked with lots of ferals, I really appreciate your lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      So much good info here. Trapping and neutering is smart and humane. We have a new addition to our feline family -- a kitten who showed up around the 4th of July. He loves our backyard and our other cats. We got him indoors a couple of times, but he's small enough to escape from the outdoor cat enclosure which all our cats have access to. Up next (don't tell him) shots and neutering. Wish me luck!

    • benzwm021 lm profile image

      benzwm021 lm 6 years ago

      Also, I've read the "Unlikely Cat Lady" book. It's a great read and good look into the true side of TNR and its importance.

    • benzwm021 lm profile image

      benzwm021 lm 6 years ago

      Great info for a worthy cause. The only way to prevent homeless animals is through spay/neuter programs to control animal overpopulation. Love your passion for the issue!

    • profile image

      annamari 6 years ago

      Your lens is very informative and nicely done and will help many grow in understanding of how very important and necessary TNR is to feral cats and the communities in which they live. Thanks for your great work. My family and I have helped a couple of ferals, whom we have grown to love, with TNR. I think it is the best way. I'm glad that you told dear Tara's story and I was blessed by it.

    • ravi551854 profile image

      ravi551854 7 years ago

      this is nice and cool lens related to cats

    • profile image

      loanmodificationman 7 years ago

      This a beauty leans and it should be displayed as the lens of the week. I am building my lens up about loan modification and hope to have it as nice as yours.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 7 years ago from California

      @anonymous: Thanks for your kind words. I definitely will add the River city Community Animal Hospital to the list of low cost spay/neuter resources. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Thank you so much for this Lens, We have rescued both ferals and hard strays. They indeed deserve every chance. I have been rewarded with some of the most true love and affection it is possible to receive. I am placing this Lens on my Other Favorite Lens list because it is so important. Thanks again. P.S. I don't know if you'd be interested in adding it to your list, but there is a low cost spay/neuter that covers southern georgia and a great deal of northen florida, called River City Community Animal Hospital, .

    • joanhall profile image

      Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Clearly this lens is serving a purpose and allowing people to communicate with each other about a serious issue. I'm adding an Angel blessing to this lens and will feature it on my SquidAngel At Your Service lens.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Outstanding work, this is a beautifully written lens. I've actually never heard of TNR, but it's a cause I definitely support. Thanks for spreading the word on Squidoo. Well done!

    • Tagsforkids profile image

      Tagsforkids 7 years ago

      Great lens and very informative. Now I just need to get help in the neighborhood before we are completely overrun with feral cats. Thanks for the enlightenment, it will be a help!

    • three c86a4 profile image

      three c86a4 7 years ago

      Your lens is terrific! I agree with TNR and my city just opened up a shelter for this just last month. 5 stars!! Thanks for all the information.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Blessing this lens not just because I believe so strongly that TNR is right, but also because you have created such a rational, well thought-out, balanced and beautifully crafted lens! Thank you!

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 7 years ago

      I am so glad that I came across your lens...very well done. Thank you for all that you give to our fuzzy is so wonderful to have an opportunity to meet someone who cares! My husband and I live in the country and there are so many kittens that have ended up at our door, unwanted and needing a little love. How anyone can look into the eyes of these innocents and not want to protect them and give them a chance to know life, I will never understand! All my best wishes for you and your husband! I look forward to reading all of your work!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Excellent coverage of this topic. I'm lensrolling this to Sam: Feline Leukemia Survivor.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thank you so much for writing this lens. We have feral cats(now not roaming) been working with TNR program. That is truly the answer for out cats! We love our cats.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Excellent Frankster, but what else could be expected from you? I always appreciate your work on the animals who really need our help. There are so many! Feral cats are indeed a major worry in many counties and TNR is an humane way to solve the problem of feral breeding. Blessed by an Angel who loves Animals (

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 8 years ago

      Great lens!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Wonderful lens! I adore cats and what you did for Tara was amazing. Most of my cats have come as strays or rescues and I presently feed a feral at mum's house. (Our own fat feral as too friendly to be anything other than a busker cat! Thank you for this story.

      All the best,

      Lisa :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      For the past 15 years I have dedicated my life to TNR and the ethical & humane treatment of feral cats. I have written 2 books on and about feral cats, their social structure, etc...

      Contrary to some, feral cats are subjected to the same disease that domestics are. Also they stand the same chance of being run over by a car as the cat who's owner lets freely roam.

      In TNRed and managed colonies, feral cats thrive and can live long healthy lives just like the indoor neighbor. As far as bird depletion, one must look carefully at how humans are depleting and destroying natural habitat with pesticides, poisons, deforestation and so on.

      Feral cats are deserving of respect and life. Many of these cats once belonged to someone and abandoned and without human contact long enough, they only revert to the cat's true natural instinct.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      [in reply to kattwild] Yes, I think all cats belong indoors too. However, until such time as we get people to stop abandoning or throwing cats away like trash we'll have feral cats. The TNR method, if followed correctly, will help keep the numbers down.

    • profile image

      kattwild 8 years ago

      I think all native birds, amphibians and lizards etc. need to be protected from exotic non-native predators. Even neutered ferile cats will want to eat whatever they find and it will not always be non-native rodents. Cats are wonderful companions but they belong indoors. Wearing a bell is not enough. Check out cat t-shirts, neckties, pens and magnets at retail to share with your cat friends or in wholesale quantity to resell and fund rescue efforts at

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This feral cat spqay/neuter idea is a great one. Keep up the good work.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 8 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      What do I think of this lens? It's fabulous. It should answer any and all questions on the topic, you've presented a fair and balanced look at TNR. The work you do is important and I appreciate your passion for the topic. I have cats that were found as strays although they are domesticated, they choose to spend at least 1/2 of their time outdoors, and I think they are happier and healthier for it. But, I am responsible, they are identified and neutered (and I couldn't love them any more than I do)!!!

    • AlishaV profile image

      Alisha Vargas 8 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Great lens! TNR is so important! It really does make a difference and saves so many kitty's lives. I only have two ferals living with me right now, both of which came from feral colonies, but both are wonderful sweethearts.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 8 years ago

      Great lens - you've been blessed by a squidoo angel :)

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 9 years ago

      Love this Lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Hi, My name is T, from It Matters To Me Blogspot. Thank you for using my quote on your page.

      Thank you for an excellent Lens. I hope this page reaches many people, and helps educate people more on TNR and what it is all about.

      Feral cats and strays are a huge passion for me. I strive to not just care for my colonies, but also to tame ferals and rehome when and if I can. Taming ferals is very difficult, and many times can not be done, but that is only because it takes time, which many people just don't have. It has taken me at times, 2-3 years, just to tame a feral, before I can bring them in, or adopt them out, but time is what I give them.

      All the ferals and strays deserve a chance.

      Thank you for doing your part in caring and educating.

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 9 years ago

      Another great lens done very well. 5 stars!

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      I wish more towns encouraged TNR programs. In our small town we fundraised to have cats neutered at no charge to their owners. Our vet charged us a basic amount. In only a couple of years over 400 cats were steralized. There are only 4000 residents in our town so that is pretty good. It is now being trialled in other towns close by.


    • SalonOfArt profile image

      SalonOfArt 9 years ago

      I have read the book Redemption by Nathan Winograd that you have on this lens. You are absolutely right it will change how people think about overpopulation of pets. I was stunned by the book.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I'm all in favor of TNR if one can't TN and keep. Speaking of making pets of feral cats, though ... I know from experience once being the caretaker of a farm where the owners rescued cats (etc.), that turning a feral cat--even a feral kitten--into a tame pet can and often does take a LOT of work. And, no matter the effort, it doesn't always work. My elderly mom was "given" a feral kitten that was trapped and spayed. It was the vet that gave it to her, saying, "Here's a great kitten to keep your other cat company." Uh-huh. Despite all the love and caring in the world, though, that kitten is wild. In-bread perhaps. So oftentimes returning the feral cats from whence they came may be for the best, in my opinion.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 9 years ago

      great Lens! Kitty Wompuss gives it 5*, he was once a scared little feral kitty, now he is neutered and big, but still doesn't like other cats because of his foster home experience, but he loves dogs...thanks for visiting his lens!

    • kezan98 lm profile image

      kezan98 lm 9 years ago

      Thanks for joining the Cat Party Group, We've given you a top rating for this cat lens

    • profile image

      anna_michaels 9 years ago

      I'm a lifelong cat lover. When I was a child we always got our cats from the pound. Great lens.

      And welcome to the Something Can be Done about it Group!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 9 years ago from California

      [in reply to d-artist] Hi. I could not find your feral cat lens. It is not listed on your Lensmaster bio page and you do not have "contact me" activated so I can't even send you an email. So, I hope you return to read this.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      back again...great lens...check out my feral kitty lens! wish I could vote again...

    • naturegirl7s profile image

      Yvonne L. B. 9 years ago from Covington, LA

      It is better than killing cats, but as you said, we need to break the cycle of irresponsible pet owners so that the birds will not suffer. You sound so like my friend who does her own TNR. We take care of her tribe when she travels. Welcome to the Naturally Native Squids group. Don't forget to add your lens link to the appropriate plexo and vote for it.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.


    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Good for you! Great job on this lens 5*s :)

    • profile image

      ZBT 9 years ago

      Woo hoo... You do love cats! And more importantly, boy are they lucky to have a friend and supporter like you!!! Your passion for cats "reeks" here in your lens, and is a beautiful tribute to our feline, furry friends too. I love your enthusiasm for cats and this lens!

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      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah, I see National Feral Cat Day is October 16th -- wouldn't that be great to have this as the LOTD for that day? ;)

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 9 years ago from Austin, Texas

      5*s, fav'd, lensrolled to my "Singing Dogs Video Showcase" ;-)

      Oh, yeah - and a hearty SquidAngel Blessing for this super effort!

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Thanks for the lensroll. I lensrolled this lens to my animal lenses including Lucky's lens. That is so cool that you rescue cats! Thank you for your heart and for caring for animals so much! You are a blessing!

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      RinchenChodron 9 years ago

      Hi - wonderful lens ***** I volunteered at the local animal shelter and they did kill more cats than dogs - they did not have a TNR program. I'm glad to learn that there is a movement to do this. My own cat Kisser is ferral and is now about 15 years old. Still not a lap cat, but I love him.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 9 years ago

      Cool hip hop cat!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 9 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Outstanding lens. I finally got around to doing one on my kitties. (Abandoned Kittens) When I did, I came across your lens and felt I had to at least link to it, it's got tons of good info. Thanks for putting it together!

    • EelKat13 profile image

      EelKat13 9 years ago

      great lens! I'm adding this one as a feature lens on my lens for The Pidgie Fund

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Really great we could use someone like you to help us in Petaluma go here

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 9 years ago

      outstanding lens! I just TNR'd a kitty and she in turn has come back and become the most loving thankful kitty I have ever come across...

      I can not stand irresponsible pet owners they make this happen to innocent animals, it is so wrong...I want to do a lens on my feral kitty...5*s

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Frankie -- this is a terrific lens and wonderful resource! It's great to find another lensmaster who gets what I am doing managing our feral cat colony! Thanks for dropping by my FCNMHP lens to say hello and for the invite. 5 stars and blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Great lens, very informative, I really appreciate your effort.


      secret affiliate code

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Thank you for educating people about feral cats. Our menagerie includes several feral rescues. I've given this a blessing and have featured it on my Squid Angel Diary this week.

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      akrause2112 10 years ago

      Thank you for building this amazing lens! This is a subject matter I feel very strongly about and I feel you have put together wonderful education on the subject! I am proud to feature this lens in the BIG LENSES Group!

    • carrieokier profile image

      carrieokier 10 years ago

      Thanks for bringing attention to this topic. Excellent job!

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      jerryg5706 10 years ago

      Excellent Lens, as a dog and cat lover I found your lens very iformative. It took a while to read it all, but very educational. I've been writing about airline pet carriers, as I think it's very important for folks to know the right way to travel with your pet. Loved the lens, and looking forward to updates.

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      ashleyo 10 years ago

      Great lens, perfect for a presentation!

      For info on display stands go to

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      HowToGetFreeWebHosting 10 years ago

      I Love Your Lens! 5 Stars! People need good "How To" Information. You're invited to visit my lens too. Anthony

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      Oosquid 10 years ago

      Absolutely superb lens. Trap neuter return is the way to go. Thank you very much for your well presented information. 5 stars

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 10 years ago from California

      Alley Cat Rescue -- thank you for leaving your website name. Thank you for saving feral cats. I've added you to the section: Informational Resources on TNR.

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      For more information on TNR and feral cats, please visit Alley Cat Rescue's website at Click on the Cat Action link to find a feral cat group in your area.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 10 years ago from California

      Stephen, the answer is neither with a good TNR program that includes the relocation of feral colonies that are near endangered birds. Some birds are still going to die just like the cats and kittens that are killed by owls and eagles. Also, cats are NOT the only animals that kill birds.

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      BullyForUs 10 years ago

      Great lens! I'm trying to tame and rehome two feral kittens and their momma - so I really need advise and info! 5 stars!

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      anonymous 10 years ago

      Which is better, kill one feral cat or let 157 birds per year die?

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      I already know about TNR & have been helping feral cats in my neighborhood for 2 yrs. now. I was an HSUS member for yrs (still am) but never did I learned from them about extending compassion to feral cats. Thank you for spreading the word about TNR. Great job!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 10 years ago from California

      Longhornmama, Kill shelters do NOT take in ferals-they kill them. The point is ferals can live out their lives like many other wild animals. Why kill them? There are also many people who will feed, neuter and vaccinate them. TNR and responsible ownership is what's humane. No cat should have to die.

    • longhornmama profile image

      longhornmama 10 years ago

      While I support the conversion of ferals to reasonable life, I have seen first hand the plight of the feral. I live with several that "came around". The fact is, a kill shelter usually has to kill the adoptables to make room for the ferals. Where's the logic in that?

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      kautagne 10 years ago

      Wow! Great info. I signed the petition to help the Feral cats and think that what you are doing to help them is very admirable. Bless your heart Frankie and keep up the wonderful work.

    • ChristopherScot1 profile image

      ChristopherScot1 10 years ago

      Great lens! I like the stories of individual cats that you tell. Keep up the hard work. Come over to A DAY OF HOPE

    • Gatsby LM profile image

      Gatsby LM 10 years ago

      Oh that is so sweet! 5* Dog Whisper With Rena

    • DogWhisperWoman1 profile image

      DogWhisperWoman1 10 years ago

      Nice work! 5* All animals deserve a chance. Dog Whisper Woman

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 10 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      My kittie brother Wolfie was feral (8 mos.) when Mum found him. When folks would come by to catch him, he ran away. But he came right up to my Mum, so she took him home. He still to this day won't go near people, us dogs and barely tolerates Wiggy, my other kittie brother. But he loves Mum. Thanks!

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      mmason 10 years ago

      Wonderful information and fabulous lens. You tell it so well. It is such a needed topic of information. Thank you! 5 stars and favorite.

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      anonymous 10 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Karendelac profile image

      Karendelac 10 years ago

      5 Stars for you !

      I recently connected with the Feral Cat rescue that handled 17 Feral cats in LA. All safely returned after being fixed. Los Angeles has a programme to pay the vets for this service.This is a wonderfully informative site. Best/Karen

    • profile image

      cabindavid 10 years ago

      I really learned a lot. You have doen such a wonderful job. Keep up the exceptional work.

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 10 years ago from California

      Philamena -- sure, I LOVE to talk about cats. You can probably tell by all my cat lenses! The more people know how wonderful cats are and how to save them, whether they're feral or at a shelter waiting to be adopted, the better.

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      Philamena 10 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this info! I've been doing TNR for the past 8 years and you did a great job of describing it. Five stars here for sure!

      I'm starting a new lens giving answers to cat behavior problems - looking to interview experts on specific problems. Could we talk about your experience?

    • profile image

      anonymous 10 years ago

      You're on my lens roll; please, keep up the great work!

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      Janet1 10 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I learned a lot. Thanks you! 5 stars. Made it a favorite.

    • profile image

      Janet1 10 years ago

      Wonderful lens. I learned a lot. Thanks you! 5 stars. Made it a favorite.