Care4Cats is a UK registered charity committed to protecting Ibiza’s homeless cats – our core focus being Trap | Neuter | Return initiatives.
A bit about Trap Neuter Return
Since 2000 we’ve neutered approximately 16,000 cats and are making a huge difference, not just by keeping the colonies happy, healthy and small, but in terms of educating people about the need to neuter.
We must continue until the situation reaches some normality, otherwise if we stop things will deteriorate quickly.
Our work is vital because one un-neutered female can be responsible for the births of more than 420,000 cats in 7 years.
Neutering is not as common as it should be even amongst privately owned cats, leading to huge explosions of un-wanted kittens, dumped in bins and desperately looking for homes, adding to the challenge of curbing the growth of our cat colonies.
What is TNR?
Here is a short video explaining about TNR…
A short documentary on the work we do…
How it works
How TNR works
TRAP – We visit cat colonies of all sizes, and it is necessary to trap them as 99% are not used to being handled by people, even their feeders. They are then taken to the vet for neutering.
NEUTER – The vet neuters the cats, and they are checked over, wormed and treated for fleas. Also a small tip is taken from the left ear so as to recognise the cat has been neutered.
RETURN – The vet neuters the cats, and they are checked over, wormed and treated for fleas. Also a small tip is taken from the left ear so as to recognise the cat has been neutered.
A bit of a background into TNR
All around the world there are populations of essentially unowned cats. Some are truly feral, meaning they avoid human contact and interaction and are self sufficient in providing food for themselves by hunting.
Other groups, termed ‘street’ or ‘community’ cats, living either singularly or in colonies, are often rather dependent on provision of food, and sometimes shelter, by humans. Among these there may also be some previously owned cats which have been abandoned, and end up becoming a street/community cat.
Cats are prolific at breeding, an unneutered female cat can have 3 litters of kittens a year averaging 5-6 kittens per litter, so potentially 18 offspring per year. From all those offspring also breeding, in total one female cat can be responsible for 20,000 descendents in five years. There are a number of problems associated with having a lot of unowned cats in areas.
For the cats themselves, large numbers means infectious diseases can become rife and spread quickly. The larger the number the more strain on food resources as well, whether this is by hunting or supplied by humans – the latter can become a serious financial drain on the carer.
Neutered cats are in general healthier than un-neutered cats; males fight less, and females are not having to devote a lot of their energy into pregnancy and lactation, so can sustain their own health better.
From a public perspective, street or comunity cats can become a nuisance; raiding bins, making a lot of noise with fighting and mating, causing injury to owned cats, and in holiday destinations, ‘hassling’ restaurant goers for food.
Sometimes unfortunately this results in people taking it upon themselves to eliminate those cats by poisoning. This is deemed to be unacceptable from a welfare point of view, and is generally not a successful long term solution – the void left will quickly be filled by new cats & kittens colonising the same area.
Trap-neuter-return (TNR) is a well recognised system to help control the number of these cats, subsequently improving the welfare of those individual cats and the general population through disease control. Care4Cats is one of many charitable organisations which run TNR programs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane, effective approach for feral cats. Feral cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, and eartipped (the universal symbol of a neutered and vaccinated cat), and then returned to their outdoor home.
Socialized cats and kittens are adopted into homes. The colony’s population stabilizes — no more kittens! Trap-Neuter-Return improves their lives and their relations with the community: the behaviors and stresses associated with mating stop.
What is an ‘eartip’?
We use the word “eartip” to describe when a small portion of the tip of a feral cat’s left ear is surgically removed during neuter surgery, to denote that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated.
Eartipping is done while the cat is anesthetized and is not painful for the cat.
Eartipping is the most effective way to identify neutered feral cats from a distance, to make sure they are not trapped or undergo surgery a second time.
I have a cat / colony that needs TNR, what do I do?
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