Skip to content Skip to navigation

TNR

“Community cats” are typically un-owned or semi-owned cats, comprised of both strays (lost and abandoned former pets who may be suitable for home environments) and ferals (extremely fearful of people and not welcoming of human attention, making them unsuitable for home environments), who are the offspring of other feral or stray cats. Some community cats can be considered loosely owned, meaning that concerned residents feed them and may provide some form of shelter in their own homes or on their own property, but do not always identify the cats as their own personal pets.

  • We've come a long way, kitty

    Sixteen years ago, Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day to promote trap-neuter-return and recognize the myriad people who were caring for feral cats across the country. That was also the year I did my first trap-neuter-return (TNR), of a mom cat who lived in the backyards on my block. Although I wasn’t feeding her, she was clearly content, well-fed and reproducing.

    Read More

  • Managing Community Cats: A Guide for Municipal Leaders

    Focused on what local leaders want and need to know, this guide offers an in-depth look at community cat management programs. It offers proactive approaches and collaborative efforts that local communities can use to humanely reduce the unowned cat population.

    Read More

Most recent Tools and Resources > TNR

  • Blog Post

    You too can launch a return-to-field program!

    New handbook covers how to do RTF from A-to-Z

    It was a sunny, blue sky morning when we set out from the shelter with a ginger cat stowed in the back of our SUV. A large towel covered his trap, pulled back at the ends to make sure he had enough air. Typical for ferals, he was completely silent—someone stepping into the car at that moment might not have even realized he was there. For my wife, Suzi, and me, our job was to get him home now that he was neutered and ear-tipped. I was concerned, though, because the information we were given about where he was trapped was hazy.

    Read More

  • Store Product

    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Return to field handbook cover

    A collaboration between the Humane Society of the United States, Neighborhood Cats and Alley Cat Advocates

    This Return-to-Field Handbook was developed as a practical guide to help shelter staff develop the processes and protocols needed to provide positive outcomes for healthy stray cats. Detailed chapters cover everything from how to gather important information at intake to managing returns and everything in between. Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to improve your existing program, this handbook is for you!

    This complete handbook is also available for free download online.

    Read More

  • Guide

    Return-to-Field Handbook

    Modern animal sheltering has realized that our shelters are not necessarily the best place for cats, especially cats used to living outdoors. For most healthy impounded stray cats, sterilizing, vaccinating, ear-tipping and returning them to where they were found is a better tactic. This practice, known as return-to-field or shelter-neuter-return, is based on the idea that if these community cats were doing well before entering the shelter, they will do will if they are returned, finding food and support from people in that neighborhood.

    Read More