Saturday, October 7, 2017

Although misunderstood, TNR prevails as a solution

Even as TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) has increasingly caught on, misunderstandings about it and the motives of those who advocate for it are still out there. As a result, TNR believers and practitioners must still spend valuable time explaining away all the erroneous or impossible alternative ideas for how to help homeless cats. 

What makes this situation even more frustrating is that most all of those involved in the debate “agree that domestic cats should be in homes, with people -- and yet we all keep arguing as if we don’t have the same objectives!”

So says Sandra Warren Obi, who heads up the TNR program of the Animal Protection League of NJ. She interacts regularly with numerous people and groups around the state – too many of whom simply don’t understand what TNR is all about. So they offer their own suggestions for solving the problem. 

Like this idea:  People should stop abandoning cats.  “OK,” Obi says. “But how do you enforce that and what do you do with the cats already abandoned so they don’t bring more kittens into this situation?” 

Or this one:  People should keep their pet cats inside.  “Right, but what about those already outside? And how enforce this idea?” Obi asks.

And this suggestion:  Remove all the outdoor cats to a sanctuary.  “Great,” Obi says, “but who will round them up, where should they be put and who will pay for their care?”

Or this:  Kill all the outdoor cats. “That’s a horrible ‘solution’ all by itself, as well as one that will fail,” Obi says, citing Marion Island’s and Macquarie Island’s would-be cat eradication programs.

TNR advocates don’t want to create outdoor cat colonies for their own enjoyment. They just want a solution that works for homeless, abandoned and lost cats. And increasingly, judging by its practice in more and more places, the one known solution that works to gradually eliminate homeless cats is by helping those who care for outdoor cats to sterilize and immunize them (TNR!) so they can live out their lives without reproducing.

                  Alley Cat Allies
This solution also respects an animal’s right to life – a non-negotiable condition. Visit  for comprehensive credible information on this subject. “Become an ADVO’CAT’ for feral cats.”

Kedi's return

Remember Kedi, the wonderful documentary about Istanbul’s countless free-roaming cats, and the way “the everyday lives of cats and people weave together” in mutual acceptance?  (No need for animal control officers, shelters or talk of TNR . . .)

Well, Kedi’s coming back! The summer issue of Animal Sheltering magazine reports that “Kedi will be available for download or digital viewing on Nov. 14; preorder the film now or find a screening near you at” 

If you missed it before, now’s your chance to catch up on a wholly, happily un-American way of living with cats.  And if you loved Kedi before, soon you can love Kedi again.

The Cats

by Ann Iverson

To find such glory in a dehydrated pea
on the tile between the stove and fridge.

To toss the needs of others aside
when you simply aren't in the mood for affection.

To find yourselves so irresistible.

And always in a small spot of sun,
you sprawl and spread out the pleasure of yourselves

never fretting, never wanting to go back
to erase your few decisions.

To find yourself so remarkable
all the day long.


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  1. TRN is a great program and I hope there will continue to be vets who support the program and are willing to neuter the cats for a minimal cost.

  2. thanks for commenting, Anon, and I'd add a hope for vets who would also give each such cat a thorough going-over, including inoculations and any recommendations that may be in order.