Community cats is the name for a collective of cats living outdoors. Many have had no human interaction and are therefore unsocialized and even fearful of people (feral) while others may be lost or abandoned housecats who are still friendly, but are now homeless.
Without being spayed, one female cat can give birth as many as three times a year, with an average litter of four kittens.
You do the math.
(Photo: NYC Feral Cat Initiative/Krista Menzel)
TNR is the acronym for Trap-Neuter-Return, the process by which community cats are humanely trapped and then spayed or neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped. That's when a small portion of the top of their left ear is removed during surgery so they can be easily identified as having been spayed or neutered.
Community Cat Caretakers will then set up outdoor shelters using plastic coolers and other materials and regularly feed the cats.
Rescuers involved in TNR also seek to place "friendlies" in homes and to socialize kittens for adoption.
(Photo: Urban Cat League)
For one thing, it's not the cats' fault that they have the life they do. They don't deserve to die just because they were born outside.
Beyond that, euthanizing community cats does not solve the problem. It just creates a vacuum for more cats. Spaying and neutering, vaccinating and colony cat management (providing outdoor shelter & food) is the only humane and effective way to reduce the number of cats living on the street.
It also provides free, environmentally friendly (non-toxic) rodent control!
Check out this AllForAnimalsTV video with Kathleen O'Malley of the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, a program of Bideawee, which includes instruction on building an outdoor shelter.
The NYC Feral Cat Initiative offers regular free workshops and webinars in TNR as part of its mission with Bideawee. Click the link below for a class schedule.
NYCFCI offers free specialty workshops and webinars in bottle feeding newborns and taming feral kittens. Click on the link below for a class schedule.
NYCFCI offers free workshops and webinars in caring for community cats. Click on the link below for the next class.
(Photo: NYCFCI/Maggie O'Neill)