TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Replace
Street or feral cats are caught in traps.
They are neutered or spayed, and parasites and any injuries are treated by a vet.
While under anaesthetic a “V” is clipped out of an ear to indicate that they have been spay/neutered.
They are then returned to their original environment where they are maintained by local people.
Where possible, kittens and stray (hence socialised) animals are rehomed.
CATNIP has an ongoing TNR programme.
How TNR helps
It vastly reduces the number of kittens born on the streets.
It improves the lives of female cats as they are not continually pregnant.
It improves the lives of male cats as they are less aggressive after spaying.
Cats spray less, fight less and do not engage in noisy mating sessions. This reduces their impact on the community.
Critically, by replacing the cat, the territory is not left vacant for un-neutered cats to move in.
Citizens are not surrounded by sick, injured and dying cats.
Because neutered/spayed cats are ear-tipped, they are easy to identify.
Over time, the street cat population decreases.
Cities in Japan often have large numbers of street, feral and stray cats. (Street/feral cats are usually born on the streets and are not socialised, stray cats have been socialised at some point, but may have been abandoned when the owner moved apartment.)
Every year they produce kittens. Most kittens do not survive. They are often killed in traffic or by crows, or succumb to cold or disease.
The life of a female street cat is one of continual pregnancy. Pregnancy is exhausting for her and makes it harder for her to resist disease and cold. Most females will die young.
Males often spray and fight for territory. This can be noisy and smelly and a public nuisance. Males often have injuries.
There is sometimes tension in communities between those who feed the animals and those who complain about the nuisance.
In our experience most people do not object to cats per-se, rather they object to the number of cats/kittens and the public nuisance of spraying males.
Cats are domestic animals. Their lives and situations are a consequence of our actions.
This is not a cat-problem, it is a people-problem. It can be fixed.
Attitudes of local government.
In Fukuoka the city government is has some web-pages explaining the virtues of TNR. (In Japan street cats are referred to as “chiiki-neko” or “area cats”.)
It includes downloadable resources which can be printed and handed out.
However it does not have an active TNR programme of its own.
As far as possible CATNIP engages in “Trap, Neuter, Release, Maintain, Educate”.
“Maintain” means the animals are fed after they are returned, and someone will be looking out for their welfare. Ideally the animals are fed at a designated place and time and a toilet area is maintained, with someone picking up cat faeces.
Education is vital- if local people are antagonistic to the cats, they may not want cats to be returned. It is important to show that TNR helps the wider community, in addition to the cats.
With the above in mind, CATNIP typically deals with someone from the community the cat is in.
This might be an individual or a small cat feeding group. They know the area. They know the cats. They can identify which cats are street cats - wild looking cats on the streets without collars may in fact be owned - and which need TNR. They can help explain locally what the benefits are.
We usually require that person sign a “Request for TNR” form. This authorises us to neuter/spay the cat and makes clear that we will return it after neutering, with its ear trimmed.
We do not transfer cats to a different area.
We do not remove cats from an area unless it is for rehoming.
We photograph and video all animals we TNR and put them on our website.
How you can help
The best way to help is to donate money. We have an ongoing TNR programme.
If you wish to discuss TNR with us please read our FAQ before contacting us.