Fix the ferals
All feral cats spay/neuter $35 *
*call for details - additional discounts may be available depending on funding
includes rabies, ear tip, spay/neuter
The number of feral cats in the U.S. is estimated to be in the tens of millions. Sadly, many communities still opt to control populations using outdated methods, including lethal elimination or relocation. Not only are some of these methods horribly cruel, they are also highly ineffective. It’s time to focus on feral cats in the fight to end animal cruelty.
Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies. The following information provides background on TNR and what you can do to get involved in your community.
LCSN Trap Rental Program
For a $25 deposit ($20 returned once trap is returned / $5 to LCSN Foundation for Feral Cat Projects) or less any individual can rent a feral cat trap and receive instructions on how to effectively trap a colony. These traps are only for individuals interested in TNR not for trapping and euthanasia. Please call us for more information or to obtain a trap. We have up to 50 cages for use.
What Is a Feral Cat?
A cat born and raised in the wild, or who has been abandoned or lost and turned to wild ways in order to survive, is considered a free—roaming or feral cat. While some feral cats tolerate a bit of human contact, most are too fearful and wild to be handled. Ferals often live in groups, called colonies, and take refuge wherever they can find food—rodents and other small animals and garbage. They will also try to seek out abandoned buildings or deserted cars—or even dig holes in the ground—to keep warm in winter months and cool during the summer heat.
Is There a Difference Between a Stray Cat and a Feral Cat?
Yes. A feral cat is primarily wild-raised or has adapted to feral life, while we define a stray cat as someone's pet who has become lost or has been abandoned. Stray cats are usually tame and comfortable around people. They will frequently rub against legs and exhibit behaviors such as purring and meowing. In contrast, feral cats are notably quiet and keep their distance. Stray cats will also often try to make a home near humans—in car garages, front porches or backyards. Most are completely reliant on humans as a food source and are not yet able to cope with life on the streets.
What Is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
TNR is the method of humanely trapping feral cats, having them spayed or neutered and vaccinated against rabies, and then returning them to their colony to live out their lives. TNR also involves a colony caretaker who provides food and adequate shelter and monitors the cats' health. TNR has been shown to be the least costly, as well as the most efficient and humane way of stabilizing feral cat populations.
How Does TNR Help Feral Cats?
Through TNR, feral cats can live out their lives without adding to the homeless cat population.
“It is very important to have all feral cats spayed/neutered because it is the only 100-percent
effective way to prevent unwanted kittens,” says Aimee Christian, ASPCA Vice President of
Spay/Neuter Operations. “Feral cats are prolific reproducers.”
Furthermore, by stabilizing the population, cats will naturally have more space, shelter and food
and fewer risks of disease. After being spayed or neutered, cats living in colonies tend to gain
weight and live healthier lives. Spayed cats are less likely to develop breast cancer and will not
be at risk for ovarian or uterine cancer, while neutered males will not get testicular cancer. By
neutering male cats, you also reduce the risk of injury and infection, since intact males have a
natural instinct to fight with other cats. Spaying also means female cats do not go into heat. That
means they attract fewer tom cats to the area, reducing fighting. If cats are sterilized and live in a
colony that has a caretaker, they may live more than 10 years.
How Does TNR Benefit the Community?
TNR helps the community by stabilizing the population of the feral colony and, over time, reducing it. At the same time, nuisance behaviors such as spraying, excessive noisemaking and fighting are largely eliminated, and no more kittens are born. Yet, the benefit of natural rodent control is continued. Jesse Oldham, ASPCA Senior Administrative Director of Community Outreach and the founder of Slope Street Cats, an organization dedicated to feral cat welfare, notes, “TNR also helps the community's animal welfare resources by reducing the number of kittens that would end up in their shelters—TNR creates more space for the cats and kittens who come to them from other avenues.”
What is Ear-Tipping and Why Is It Important?
Ear-tipping is a widely accepted means of marking a feral cat who has been spayed or neutered. It also often identifies them as being part of a colony with a caretaker. Ear-tipping is the humane surgical removal of the top quarter-inch of the left ear. The procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian, typically during the spay/neuter surgery. Ear-tipping is completely safe and rarely requires special aftercare. Ear-tipping is especially important as it prevents an already spayed or neutered cat the stress of re-trapping and, more important, an unnecessary surgery.
How Can I Keep Feral Cats Out of My Yard?
Whether feral cats are roaming your yard, digging up your garden, rooting through your trash or making a home under your porch, there are several types of harmless cat repellents available to help. From sprays and motion-activated sprinklers to ultrasonic animal repellents, these quick and easy solutions, coupled with TNR and ongoing management, can help you coexist with your neighborhood cats! Just make sure your product of choice is nontoxic to animals.
Will Animal Shelters Adopt Out Feral Cats?
No, feral cats are not adoptable and shelters rarely will accept them. The fact is, most feral cats exhibit wild, shy or frightened behavior, and it's impossible to predict how or if they will ever acclimate to indoor life. Feral cats make up a large percentage of the four million to six million cats euthanized yearly by U.S. animal shelters. Adopting a feral is seldom the best course of action for either the cat or the prospective adopter.