PARSIPPANY — Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a proven method to help save cats’ lives. The process is simple: free-roaming cats are humanely trapped and taken to a clinic for spay/neuter surgery. They receive an eartip — a small snip of the tip of the left ear — as an indicator they’ve been fixed. They will vaccinate the cats at the same time. Young cats and kittens, when possible, are removed from the feral colony and placed for adoption. The unadoptables are returned and released to the area where they were found. By removing adoptable kittens, the population is reduced immediately and by neutering the others, you stop the production of other litters, stabilizing the population.
Caretakers will continue to feed their cats no matter what the law says, but many will shy away from taking the next step and getting the cats fixed if TNR is somehow illegal.
TNR and adoption is the Answer! In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats. One female cat can have up to three litters of kittens each season.
Catch-and-kill costs taxpayers an estimated $150 dollars per animal put down. People for Animals, Hillside, is a low cost spay and neuter clinic and wellness center. They will spay, neuter, eartip, and vaccinate feral cats for distemper and rabies for $55.00 each and will hold the cat for recovery for a minimal charge of $5.00 per night.
41% of cats in U.S. shelters are euthanized — that’s 1.4 million cats every year. And since more cats than dogs are euthanized, homeless kittens and cats are more at risk of euthanasia. Many of those kittens and cats are from free-roaming colonies.
What is the difference between stray and feral? Feral cats have little contact with humans, are fearful of people and usually live in outdoor colonies. Feral is a domestic cat with feral or wild behavior. A stray cat has become lost or has been abandoned. They have been socialized to people at some point in its life.
Due to growing population of feral cats, Parsippany-Troy Hills is considering a TNR program. Smitten By Kittens will make a presentation at the council meeting of Tuesday, March 5, starting at 7:00 p.m. at 1001 Parsippany Boulevard. The public is invited to attend all meetings. A portion of each meeting will be set aside for public comment.