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Feral Cats & TNR

By Nite Guard LLC
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
The noise, the stench, the loitering—your community feral cat colony can be a daily frustration. We understand how these cat populations challenge your ideal of a home that’s peaceful and safe for your family, pets, garden, and backyard chickens.

On the Nite Guard blog, we last covered feral cat problems back in September 2015. We’ll have a link to that blog post at the end. For now, we’re back with additional information that you can use to humanely deal with your feral cat problem.

What’s a feral cat, afterall?

It’s possible that your community cat colony is made up of stray cats as well as feral cats. The primary difference between the two are that strays are comfortable around humans; they once had a home, but for one reason or another, found themselves in a cat colony.

Feral cats aren’t comfortable with humans—they may look just like the family cat, but you should consider them a wild animal.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)—the humane option

Trap-neuter-return, or TNR, is important in humanely minimizing, over time, the feral cat population in your neighborhood. TNR is a forward-looking strategy; when feral cats are spayed or neutered, the population can’t grow.

What happens in TNR?

In TNR, you prepare a humane trap for the purpose of capturing the feral cat. Then, you transport the feral cat to your local veterinarian to be sterilized and vaccinated. Your vet should also tip the cat’s left ear. The last step is returning the feral cat back to its colony to enjoy the rest of its days.

A huge bonus of TNR is that, after feral cats undergo TNR, you should no longer have to contend with noisy fighting or stinky spraying.

Why does TNR require tipping a cat’s ear?

Tipping a feral cat’s left ear is an important part of TNR. When you tip a cat’s left ear, it identifies the cat as feral and fixed. You see the cat, and know that it has already gone through the TNR process. You can then spare the cat the distress of being trapped and transported once again.

When R in TNR can be avoided

More often than not, you should return a fixed feral cat to its original habitat; still, there may be instances where cats living in a feral cat colony can be put up for adoption. This could be the case if you find young kittens, or if the cat is actually a stray. Keeping one more cat out of the feral population setting it up in a comfortable home is the ideal.

How does Nite Guard Solar fit into TNR?

You can integrate Nite Guard Solar lights into your TNR strategy. Let’s say that you set up a cat trap in your yard in the shade of a tree. Cat food should be enough to lure the feral cat to venture into the trap; still, Nite Guard Solar lights can provide that extra nudge if you’re dealing with particularly stubborn feral cats.

Think of each Nite Guard Solar light like a sentry protecting a section of your property. You position your lights, or “sentries”, in such a way that they drive the feral cat towards the cat trap.

Nite Guard Solar lights are highly effective at frightening away creatures; in the case of TNR, however, It’s important to not drive the cat away altogether. So, positioning your humane cat trap and Nite Guard Solar lights will require some experimentation before finding what works on your property and with the feral cats in your neighborhood.

Let us know if you know of clever ways to position your lights so that they help you safely and humanely trap feral cats. We love hearing about all of the creative, new ways our customers use their lights (like using them to stop intruders).

Want to learn more about solving your feral cat problems?

Check out our blog post from September 2015: 3 Tips to Solve Your Feral Cat Problem

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