TNR, Stands for Trap, Neuter, and Return. It is one way that many cities across the United States have used to control the population of feral cats in their streets. In Polk County, Texas, we have an abundance of feral cats running, not on streets, but in rural areas. Sometimes in a village, or subdivision, sometimes, on vacant acreage. TNR is the most humane and effective method known for managing feral and stray cats and reducing their numbers. Nothing else has worked, long term. For decades, the normal practice of animal control was to trap and remove cats with the outcome usually being euthanasia. The current overpopulation of free-roaming cats in the U.S. speaks loudly about the failure of that approach.
These cats survive best where there are kind people who will feed them and make sure they have fresh water. The cats typically live together in a group called a colony. But, even in those communities, some will die from illness, accident, critters, or any number of reasons. The subtractions in their populations are far exceeded by the additions. Two feral cats can multiply into millions in a decade.
Our goal in the TNR program is to keep the cats from creating a major infestation of the area. We do this by trapping the cats and neutering the males and spaying the females. Keep in mind that males can have multiple partners in the multiplication process, but females can also cause an escalation, depending on how many baby kitties are born to them each year. Yes, they CAN have multiple litters. This image shows you how quickly this can turn into a MAJOR problem. And, below that is a video explaining TNR better: