To Feed or Not To Feed
Helping strays by feeding them is a caring thing to do. But those cats then go on to reproduce and the cycle of homeless cats not only continues... it worsens. And each year you’ll find more and more cats coming to your place for food and shelter.
TNR: Trap, Neuter and Return
A more humane solution is to have these homeless cats spayed or neutered and returned to their home turf where they can be cared for by volunteer "watchers". When new cats move into this managed colony, the watchers report them to us at the rescue and they are promptly sterilized and either returned to the group or rehomed. This is the only humane way to end the cycle.
Neighborhoods benefit from TNR too. Neutering reduces nuisance behaviours like howling, roaming and urine-spraying. Municipalities benefit as well by cutting the costs of having strays trapped, housed, fed and put down. And the entire community benefits from rodent control courtesy of the managed cat colony.
TNR vs. Euthanasia
Why is TNR better than simply trapping and killing stray cats or relocating them? When no cats are left in an area, it creates a vacuum. New strays will move in, start breeding and quickly re-establish the colony.
Municipalities and cities have been killing stray cats for decades and yet the problem has only gotten worse. TNR has proven to be the most effective way to reduce stray cat numbers because it stops the breeding and allows the population to decline gradually through attrition.
How to Help
If there are stray cats living in your neighborhood, there are things you can do to help them survive, live longer, and gradually reduce their numbers:
Contact Virden Pet Network if you're interested in learning more about our TNR efforts.
- Become a foster parent to any of the cats you see on our cat page. Many were strays and your nurturing helps socialize them so they can find permanent homes.
- Donate to Virden Pet Network. Our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) program helps stray cats.
- If you’re feeding strays, have them spayed/neutered or contact us to help with the costs.
- Provide them with a snug shelter or ask us to provide one.
Comments from TNR Supporters
"If I hadn't started trapping cats for the purpose of TNR 7 years ago in my neighborhood, there would be hundreds of homeless cats. TNR is the best solution for managing feral cat colonies. There were 40 cats in the colony 7 years ago and now there are just 10 cats and all are spayed/neutered." -Jacquelyn Gonzales
"TNR is a great program that works. My colony of 8 stay close to home where they are fed, have water and a place to sleep and play and be safe and free." -Karen Neely
"We are priviledged to witness such beauty. Even if from afar, these cats teach us much of what society has forgotten; humanity, humility, and pride. They are not the stray cats many confuse them with. She is not the homeless vagabond many see her as. She is home." -Jean Boileau, founder of LovingTheFeralSoul.com, Selkirk, MB