Trap Neuter Return (TNR)

What is Trap-Neuter-Return? (TNR)

Trap-Neuter-Return, commonly referred to as “TNR,” is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling feral cat population growth. If you would like to know more about this program in the Uintah Basin or Utah County community or need help with TNR, please contact us.


After the cats have been sterilized, the cats are returned to the location where we trapped them to be monitored by the caregivers who feed and water them on a daily basis. A big part of TNR is monitoring the colony for any new cats. If a new cat shows up, we have to trap and spay it quickly, because one pregnant Mama cat can set us back quite a bit.

Where are the feral cats?

Mostly, feral cats are found behind restaurants and businesses, or near parks, where they can find food. There are a lot near apartment complexes and near college campuses because, unfortunately, many pets get left behind by people who mistakenly think the cat will be okay if abandoned. It is NEVER “okay” to dump or abandon a cat – or dog, for that matter. Dumping an animal is WRONG – and against the law!!!

How do you know which cats have been fixed?

The left ear tip is the universal sign for a feral cat that has been fixed through the TNR program. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the left ear tip from the front, but it’s usually very easy to notice when we look at the back of their head. Occasionally, the right ear is tipped.

Why does spay/neuter help?

Once a feral cat is spay/neutered, they are healthier because they’re not fighting, or mating, or marking their territory for mating purposes. Feral cats can co-exist in neighborhoods and communities without being a nuisance as long as they have been fixed and aren’t producing any more litters of kittens.

Why doesn’t “trap and kill” work?

Any creature, humans included, will go where there is food, water and shelter. Taking the cat out will only leave a void for another cat to fill. It’s called the “vacuum effect.” By trapping and returning, these established, stabilized and healthy feral cat colonies are better able to defend the territory without as much fighting.