TNR Method: Should We Be Using It?


Isabel Menjivar, Staff Writer

Many people believe that the overpopulation of feral cats has gotten out of hand. There are over 70 million feral cats in the United States alone. But what people don’t know is that we can fix this issue with the TNR method. The TNR method stands for Trap-Neuter-Return. This method is used to take in feral cats, neuter them and give them any medications they need, then return them back to where they were taken. 


This method is known to be the better solution for preventing the feral cat population from overpopulating. Instead of keeping feral cats in shelters when they don’t want to be and then putting them down when there isn’t enough space for them anymore, this method keeps the feral cats safe and lets them live their lives the way they want to. The reason they return the cats is because, in general, feral cats don’t want to be taken away from their long-time home. If the cat is two months or older, it is harder for them to get used to human contact and to be happy. On the other hand, if they were kittens, it would be easier for them to adjust and be adopted. 


The process is fairly simple: an organization or trained individual captures a feral cat, takes it to a vet, gets the cat neutered/spayed and any medications it needs. Then, they release the feral cat at the same place it was captured. With this method, we can ensure a healthier and happier life for the feral cats. When the cats are neutered, they don’t have to worry about finding a mate, having kittens, or taking care of the kittens. For the cats, that is a big struggle and puts a lot of stress on them. Also, with TNR, we can lower the feral cat population. By lowering the feral cat population we can prevent disease spread to our other animals and humans.   


According to, there are over 500,000 feral cats that roam New York City. If that is only New York City, then what is the overall amount of feral cats in the United States that are overpopulating and spreading diseases? We can easily help fix this problem by donating to organizations that practice the TNR method.