September 10, 2020 – Adding on to last month’s post on pre-scouting the area to help ID cats, another helpful step to take can be talking with members in the community about what they see and know about the cat population to help paint a fuller picture of the size/range of the population.
Before going out in the area it is best to be prepared with talking points on why TNR is the most effective and most humane way to reduce the cat population, and having handouts ready to give out is always a plus! At the very least just getting the word out that something is being done to address the cat population can really help calm people down from feeling overwhelmed by cats.
Keeping Cats Away:
Knowing about natural or store bought cat deterrents will be helpful to tell people who don’t want cats in their gardens or around their home will help people who just don’t like cats.
Identifying TNR Cats:
Teaching people about TNR and how to ID a TNR cat can go a long way, and once there is a network of people set up that understands TNR and have someone they know they can call when they see an unaltered cat or find a litter of kittens will help make your TNR efforts more effective.
Along the way you may end up finding others that also feed the same cats you feed! This is always a great connection to make and can help take the stress of being the sole provider for a colony, and you may end up finding more people that are interested in helping TNR the cats as well.
Your talks may also lead you to being pointed in another direction where there may be a neighboring cat colony, expanding the TNR efforts nearby will go even further to help reduce the overall cat population in the area.
Here are some great pieces of information in favor of TNR
- TNR is the only measure scientifically shown to reduce cat populations over the course of a few years – culling and removal have been shown not to be effective
- TNR’d cats are not a significant spreader of disease (see the last question in our FAQ for more: https://www.hshv.org/communitycats/overview/)
- TNR’d cats tend to defend their territory, reducing likeliness of other unfixed, non-vaccinated cats (that is, non-TNR’d) from coming into the area
- TNR’d cats that are fed by humans have been shown to become significantly less predatory, based on fecal analysis
- Reduced chances of males fighting or spraying after being neutered
- Active cat populations help keep rodents away
- Community cats no longer have to go to shelters to be euthanized due to unsocial behavior
- See our FAQ for more information about Community Cats: https://www.hshv.org/communitycats/overview/