More than thirty years of documented proof shows that trap-and-kill methods have no lasting effect on reducing street cat populations. Trap and kill are simply ineffective, expensive and cruel. If all the cats are not caught, then the ones left behind over breed until the former population level is reached. Even if all the cats are removed, new un-neutered cats move in to take advantage of whatever food source is available. Once there, they breed prolifically, quickly populating a new colony with descendants that are more cautious and more disease-resistant. This “vacuum effect” is very well-documented, a phenomenon scientifically recognised worldwide across all types of animal species. Therefore the trap/kill/dump effort becomes increasingly unproductive in the effort to reduce numbers.
WHY TRAP NEUTER RETURN?
Numerous scientific studies have shown that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane and effective approach for managing community cats. Using this technique, all the community cats in a colony are trapped, neutered, ear-tipped and then returned to their territory.
BENEFITS OF TRAP NEUTER RETURN
- No more nuisance behaviour – studies show TNR improves relationships with human neighbours. TNR puts an end to the behaviours associated with mating (howling and fighting), that are often cited as concerns by residents. One study found that after Trap-Neuter-Return was implemented, the calls of complaint from residents about cats significantly decreased.
- The population stabilizes—no new kittens! Once TNR is in place, the cats will no longer reproduce. The population will stabilize and eventually decline.
- Improves the lives of the community cats – when males are neutered, they are no longer compelled to maintain a large territory or fight over mates, and females are no longer forced to endure the physical and mental demands of giving birth and fending for their young.
- Health benefits – spaying female cats reduces their risk of uterine, ovarian, and breast cancer. Neutering male cats reduce their risk of testicular cancer and prostate disease.
A community cat management plan has a dramatic impact on solving neighbourhood cat problems. TNR improves the co-existence between outdoor cats and humans in our shared environment, this is why so many forward-thinking compounds and areas around Qatar are adopting and supporting it. Residents want to see the cat populations stabilised and appreciate when the mating behaviours of cats are brought under control.
Help the cats in your area – learn how to set up a TNR program.