Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return (TNVR) Programs
This page is part of Activate Good’s Triangle Cause Wiki, a collaborative online knowledge base about Triangle area issues that can be tackled by locals through volunteer action.
Table of Contents
How You Can Help
About TNVR in Our Community
Overview of Issue Impacts
Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return (TNVR) is the process of trapping feral and community cats, having them neutered or spayed and vaccinated, ear-tipped and returning them to their home location (or putting them up for adoption, if possible). TNVR programs are important – through this approach, the number of unwanted cats can be greatly reduced, which in turn lowers the intake and euthanasia rates at animal shelters and rescues. This saves and redirects tax dollars, and also makes more space at adoption centers for other cats. Additionally. TNVR practices address the public health concern about rabies and reduce annoying behaviors such as cats fighting and spraying. (1)
Populations Affected by Issue
TNVR benefits all community cats, whether they happen to be feral or strays. Feral cats are free-roaming cats that have developed a natural apprehension of humans. Most ferals are the result of abandonment and failure to spay/neuter. These kitties can be “wild” and very comfortable where they are, so they wouldn’t adjust properly for indoor life like many other cats would. On the other hand, stray cats are more friendly, curious about people, and are more easily socialized for adoption.
It’s important to note that managing the number of unhoused cats also helps the environment. Domestic cats are an invasive species, and their natural predatory instincts can wreak havoc on the local birds, mammals, and other wildlife. Additionally, their presence can disrupt nesting habits and their waste can contaminate the environment and endanger other animals. (2)
Shelter Intake 7,766
The Wake County Animal Center received 7,766 cats between the summer of 2010 and 2011. About one-third of these were considered feral. (3)
Feral Cats 100,000
There are estimated to be at least 100,000 feral cats, just in Johnston County, NC alone! (4)
Mammals Killed 12.3 billion
A 2013 study estimates the median number of mammals killed by unhoused cats in the United States annually is 12.3 billion. (5)
Connected Community Issues
- Home, Operation Catnip
- Cats and Birds, American Bird Conservancy
- New ordinance in Wake County allows use of TNR method to control cat population, INDY Week (2012)
- County’s feral cat population is booming, The News & Observer (2013)
- Outdoor Cats: Single Greatest Source Of Human-Caused Mortality For Birds And Mammals, Says New Study, American Bird Conservancy (2013)
Interested in learning more about this issue? Check out some of these books, articles, documentaries, podcasts, and more.
Thank you to the following contributors:
- Spring 2020:
- Leanna Y.
The Triangle Cause Wiki is always incomplete — there’s always new information out there, and the journey to share it is best completed together. Would you like to help us collect and share knowledge about this topic? Learn about contributing to the Triangle Cause Wiki.
Last updated April 2021
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