TNR – The Aftermath

It is finished, and just in time. Turns out one of the females was already in heat.



I’m not new to TNR, but with me it’s a situational thing. The cats appear. The cats need to be neutered. I do my best to make it happen. Most areas now have a low-cost spay/neuter clinic within a reasonable distance and they often have grant funds available to offset the cost of community cat spay/neuters. The clinic I use is 25 miles away. I paid a total of $200 to get these five kittens neutered. The clinic requires a $20 down payment for each cat scheduled that is credited toward the cost of surgery. If you no-show, you lose your dough. I have to take off a couple hours from work to get them there in the morning, then head back over after work to pick them up.

I personally find TNR draining. There’s the developing of relationship. The trapping, which rarely goes the way I want it to. Stinky fish is a great way to lure them into a trap, but with one I used string cheese, and another trapped herself while I had the trap out for them to get used to.

After surgery they are afraid, and they don’t feel pain thanks to medication and anesthesia, so I have to be careful they don’t get loose. Making sure they eat, drink, and eliminate is important. So is keeping them in a clean and safe environment. Cats should recover in a space where the temp can be regulated because they can’t regulate their body temp until the anesthesia leaves their system.

Ideally, these guys would have remained in a trap, but I only have two traps. I also had them inside to make sure I had access to them come surgery day. Traps are so much easier; put newspaper inside and a puppy pad underneath and replace as needed. It’s also easy to slide food and water inside and get the dishes out. One of these guys decided to hide his bowl under the puppy pad, and would bite me when I’d reach in to get it. Pro trick: never use your dominant hand to do things like that.

Once released, the waiting for them to return is hard for me; I wonder if they’re safe and healing well. Sometimes it’s a few days before they’ll allow me to see them, though I can tell they’ve stopped by to eat.

Despite the difficulty, I’ve TNR’d ten cats this past year. I did all the work and paid for it myself. I’m proud of that.

But I hope that’s it for awhile.


22 thoughts on “TNR – The Aftermath

  1. Jen, you are a kind person. TNR is not easy and it can be nerve wracking. I trapped a cautious but friendly stray just before I moved from my last house. He had been hanging around for 2 weeks just before I was scheduled to move. He was a friendly cat (who did not like my female — they fought at the glass door) but he needed a home. It all turned out well. An experienced trapper helped me and we rehomed him with a woman who adopted another cat at the same time. They got along great and he turned into a real lap cat. I was a wreck during the trapping process so I can’t imagine how stressful that was for you. You can’t tell them it’s for their own good!

  2. Thank you for all you do to help ferals. I tried to TNR and now I have 4 ferals living with us- I just couldn’t release after. They seem happy, but only one has warmed up to us in a year and a half.

    1. I can relate. Of my indoor cats, only Miss Biddy was not born feral. Yella and Graybie were abandoned by their mom and I bottle-fed them, so they aren’t truly feral. The others have different levels of comfort with me. But they’re not comfortable around other people.

  3. Thank you for doing it, and doing it right. It’s a lot for most people to wrap their heads around to even consider and get started, and it’s time and money and inconvenience, all to cure what is usually caused by the lack of caring by other humans. But your neighborhood will be the better for what you did, and you won’t need to watch cats struggling to reproduce and survive outside your door. Sounds like a strange thing to be grateful for, but there it is.

  4. It’s great that you’ve helped so many cats. That’s a lot of kittens you’ve stopped being born to a short hard life!

What would you like to add to the conversation? Bark at me in a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s