Unsocialized Stray Cats, you can see them if you know where to look. They are living outside in parks or in alleys, perhaps even in your neighborhood. They are cats who live outside without direct human contact. Some have been abandoned to fend for themselves; some of them were born outside. The longer they live on their own, away from human contact, the more unsocialized they become.
The Freeborn County Humane Society believes we can improve the lives of these cats and benefit the towns and communities they exist in through our Unsocialized Stray Cat Initiative Program by using the TNR method.
What is TNR?
Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) is becoming widely recognized as an effective and humane strategy for managing and reducing unsocialized and stray cat populations. TNR involves humanely trapping these cats and transporting them to a clinic setting where they are spayed or neutered and have their ear-tipped. They may also receive a health check, vaccinations, and may be treated for minor medical conditions. After surgery, the cat is returned back to his colony and habitat – typically where caring individuals have been providing food, water and typically a form of shelter. Since the cats are no longer reproducing, the colony will gradually diminish in size. By reducing or eliminating mating, fighting and wandering, TNR makes the colony more stable, impacts the influx of newcomers, and improves the health of the cats and their environment. Performed on a large scale, the successes of these programs can be felt at animal shelters and animal control facilities where fewer cats are admitted.
Ear-tipping is a technique of removing the top corner of the cat’s left ear. This is done while the cat is under anesthesia for its spay/neuter, so there is no pain. The “tipped” ear is the universal symbol that a cat has been through a spay/neuter program, vaccinated, and sterilized – and generally part of a managed unsocialized and stray cat colony. This makes it possible for caretakers to differentiate between cats that have already been sterilized and ones that have not been sterilized yet. Ear-tipping also ensures that a cat will not undergo unnecessary repeat surgery should it change its habitat.
This program WILL accept:
- Unsocialized stray cats
- Barn cats
- Stray cats
The Goal of this program is to sterilize as many cats as possible, eventually reducing the number of cats that must live as unowned strays. Diverting resources from this goal will result in fewer cats spayed and neutered, and more kittens born into this difficult life. Since FeLV is primarily spread from infected mother cats to their kittens, FIV passes mainly among fighting tom cats through bite wounds, spaying and neutering alone will decrease the spread of these infections. In 2010 we successfully spayed/neutered 135 cats, 79 were femaile and 56 were male. As a result we prevented over 237 litters of kittens from being born. Each female cat can have 3 litters per year, and the average litter size is 4 kittens.
There is a small fee charged per cat depending on if it is a male or female. We are willing to work out a payment plan if you have a large number of cats and find it hard to cover the costs upfront.
Unsocialized Stray Cat application (pdf) Mail to: HSFC Feral Cat Program, P.O. Box 423, Albert Lea, MN 56007.