hso-feral-cats

Our Program: We provide residents of Northwest Arkansas with the knowledge and resources to conduct a Trap/Neuter/Release (TNR) program in their own community. We loan humane traps, provide the information needed to successfully complete the TNR and refer a low-cost spay/neuter pro-gram. We are also available for consultation, encouragement and advice.

In conjunction with the Lester C Howick Animal Shelter of Washington County, we sponsor a joint TNR program. To be eligible for this program, you and the colony you are trapping cats in must be in either an unincorporated area of Washington County or communities that are NOT within the city limits of Fayetteville or Springdale. If you reside in and the colony is in an eligible area of the county, there is no charge for this program.

 

 

.

What is TNR and what are its benefits?

You can improve the lives of feral cats with a humane and effective Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program.  TNR Programs end reproduction, stabilize colony populations, and improve the lives of these cats. And, of course, the most important thing: no new kittens! To successfully trap, neuter, vaccinate, eartip, and return (or relocate) feral cats, you need a plan.  The Humane Society of the Ozarks is prepared to help you develop a successful TNR Program of your own!

We can provide you with detailed information about the trapping process, low-cost spay/neuter and veterinary care, as well as support from people who have performed their own TNR Programs.  We can also get you started with humane traps you can borrow.

How can I conduct a TNR?

1.  Before you trap your first cat—HAVE A PLAN!  Make sure you know which vet to take them to for spay/neuter surgery and vaccinations.  Ask your vet about appointment  scheduling, pricing, testing protocols, vaccines, illness or injured cats, and pregnant or in-heat females.

2.  Decide if these cats can be returned to their original location of if they must be rehomed.  Before you decide to rehome feral cats, consider this:

These cats are there for a reason (food and/or shelter are available). If you remove these cats, more will take their place unless the element that drew them there is removed, which is usually not a realistic expectation. Rural areas offer an endless supply of rodents and other small prey. Commercial areas will always have dumpsters with food, as well as rodents that are also attracted to the food. However, if you return healthy, sterilized cats that are incapable of reproducing you will have a stable colony that will also act as an environmentally friendly pest control system. This ensures a humane solution plus improves the quality of life for these cats.

If all cats are removed and the original reason for their presence is not also removed more feral cats will simply move into the now vacant environment. Established colonies, which are usually somewhat territorial, will defend their territory and prevent most newcomers from moving in.

If it is impossible to return these cats to their original location, please call the Humane Society of the Ozarks at (479) 444-7387  for advice on placement.

3.  Establish a feeding schedule to get them used to eating at a certain time while you are there.

4.  Determine which spay/neuter program is right for you to help defer the cost.  For special low-cost TNR events or promotions, click here.  There are many programs here in Northwest Arkansas.

5. Buy or borrow humane box traps. Traps can be bought at Tractor Supply and other stores selling farm equipment. They can also be borrowed (with a refundable deposit) from Spay Arkansas or The Humane Society of the Ozarks. Contact either organization for more details.

6. Make sure to familiarize yourself with how the trap works & verify that it is working correctly before attempting to trap a cat!  The more smoothly this goes, the less stress for you and the cats.

Helping feral cats through TNR programs is easy and effective and the Lester C. Howick Animal Shelter of Washington County and the Humane Society of the Ozarks is here to help you through it!

How Can I Help the Feral Cats?

Picture provided by: Alley Cat Allies (© 2015).

The Barn Cats Program

Would you like to help give a feral cat (or two) a second chance at life while also benefiting from an environmentally friendly pest-control system?  Sign up today for our barn cat program.  These cats can very efficiently take care of your mice, rat, groundhog, mole, etc. problems without pesticides.  These cats are available for adoption at the Lester C. Howick Animal Shelter of Washington County for FREE!

Summer Care for Feral Cat Colonies
Winter Care for Feral Cat Colonies
Feral Cat Shelter Options
How to Make a Feral Cat Shelter
How to Build a Feral Cat Feeding Station
Feral Cat Home Makeover!
Tips on Convincing Feral Cats to Use the Shelter You Built

Becoming a Feral Cat Colony Caretaker

Do you have a feral cat colony on your property or know of one nearby?  Would you like to help make a difference for these cats?  By becoming a colony caretaker you can help improve the quality of life for these cats by supplementing their food, making sure they have fresh water, providing shelter, and providing regular veterinary care.
Sounds like a lot?   Feeding and providing fresh water takes only a few minutes.  Because you are only supplementing food, your regular expenses are actually very low.  A 12 lb. bag of cat food can cost as little as $10 and would feed approximately 7 cats for about two weeks.  Since basic vaccines last about 3 years they would only need to be trapped and vaccinated every three years.  While this may sound daunting, please know that the Humane Society of the Ozarks is here with advice and even volunteers to assist if necessary.  It can actually be  a rather quick and inexpensive process.