Oakland Animal Services supports trap, neuter, return as a means of controlling the feral cat population. In order to do so, we need to have people willing to provide colony care giving to the cats in a particular area.
Problems with Trap & Remove:
Like all animals, feral cats make their homes where they can find shelter and food. Often this is within close proximity to humans. Because feral cats cannot be easily socialized, they are not good candidates for adoption. Instead, feral cats should be sterilized, vaccinated and returned to their territory.
We understand that not everyone enjoys living with cats and other wildlife in their yards. However, these simple tips will help you divert outdoor cats from specific areas. These quick solutions, coupled with TNR and ongoing management, can help you coexist with your neighborhood cats. TNR is the only effective and humane way to manage feral cat populations. Cats are humanely trapped and taken to a veterinarian, where they are spayed or neutered and vaccinated. Kittens and stray cats that are friendly to humans are placed into loving homes. Healthy, adult feral cats that are fearful of human contact are returned to their outdoor home where they are cared for by volunteers.
Trap-and-Remove doesn’t work. “Trap-and-Remove” is a euphemism for trapping and euthanizing cats. It may seem like a logical solution, but the fact is that it is not effective.
Trap-and-Remove schemes must be done on an ongoing basis and are therefore extremely costly to communities. Survivors will breed prolifically, and new cats will move in to take advantage of resources, quickly forming a new colony. Catch and euthanize is an endless, costly cycle.
You can find practical solutions to concerns about feral cats in your neighborhood here.
Here’s what to do (and not do) if you find one or more newborns or kittens outdoors. (Don’t go near them for at least several hours!) If you conclude that newborns or kittens that you’ve found are motherless and you want to care for them, you’ll find good resources here.