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  • Trap–neuter–return

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    Trap–neuter–return (TNR) is a type of program through which free-roaming cats are trapped, spayed and neutered, then returned to the outdoor locations where they were found. If those locations are deemed unsafe or otherwise inappropriate, the cats may be relocated (barn/farmyard homes are often considered ideal). Kittens young enough to be socialized and friendly adult cats may be placed in shelters or foster care for eventual adoption into homes as companion animals rather than returned to the outdoors. Cats found suffering with terminal, contagious, or untreatable illnesses or injuries are often euthanized. TNR is the most widely implemented method of managing cat populations. The main goal of a TNR program is the reduction of the feral cat population; other goals may include increased adoption rates, better cat health and quality of life, and improved human-cat interactions. The earliest documented practice of trap–neuter–return was in the 1950s, led by animal activist Ruth Plant in the United Kingdom.

  • Feral cat

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    Feral cat with a tipped ear indicating it was neutered in a trap-neuter-return program A feral cat is a domestic cat that lives outdoors and has had little or no human contact. They do not allow themselves to be handled or touched by humans, and will run away if they are able. They typically remain hidden from humans, although some feral cats become more comfortable with people who regularly feed them. Even with long term attempts at socialization, feral cats usually remain fearful and avoidant of humans. Feral cats often live outdoors in colonies in locations where they can access food and shelter. These colonies are called managed colonies when they are provided with regular food and care by humans. Some animal rescue groups provide care for feral cats by implementing trap-neuter-return programs, feeding the cats, socializing and adopting out young kittens, and providing healthcare. Attempts to control feral cat populations are widespread, although the techniques differ significantly. Some advocate for trap-neuter-return programs to prevent the cats from continuing to breed; others suggest euthanasia.

  • List of governments supporting trap–neuter–return

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    Governments with laws and/or policies supporting trap–neuter–return for community cats (free-roaming cats not belonging to individuals, including feral cats), are listed below. References are provided for each government body named, with start dates if they are known. The list is not expected to be complete, and may change over time.

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