The TNR Project

Sterilize....Don't Euthanize!

The TNR Project is a 100% self-help & volunteer group of individuals who work full-time and practice Trap-Neuter-Return for stray, homeless, feral and community cats twice a week after work. By practicing TNR on the streets, we are helping to take shelters to No-Kill status. Learn to TNR and join our team!

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TNR stands for Trap-Neuter-Return. TNVR stands for Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-Return. All of the cats & kittens we TNR/TNVR weekly are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, receive any medical treatment necessary, receive flea treatment  & an eartip.


An eartip is the universal sign that a cat has been fixed & vaccinated. The eartip tells the public and animal control that someone is responsibly caring for a colony by performing TNR.

  • An eartip signifies no more breeding
  • No more production of  unwanted litters
  • No spreading of disease amongst the colony or neighborhood cats

California eartips the right ear. Other states eartip the left ear. Either way, an eartip stands for the same thing universally. 

MICROCHIPS NEEDED: We are in the process of trying to work with a microchip company who will enable us to microchip every community cat & kitten that comes across our path. Currently, we try to microchip all of the cats we TNR. Microchips let us know if something is happening at a colony which has been TNR'd. If cats begin ending up int he shelter system, we get the phone calls and go remedy whatever situation is happening in that area.

If you are interested in donating to our microchip fund, please contact us. 


After these cats & kittens have recuperated from surgery for 24 hours, they are released back into their communities. They almost always have a caretaker who feeds them, they know the area & the predators and they are great natural pest control! Cats help keep unwanted guests away from your home and we do have people write them off their taxes as "natural pest control" ! If you do not want feral cats in your yards, there are humane ways to deal with that.

Generally it takes 2-4 weeks for the colony to stabilize before the community will notice a HUGE difference. Male cats who come in from other areas, return to their homes. The fighting, yowling and spraying tend to cease. If you can foster the kittens from your colony, there are ways to get them adopted safely with rescues or help from our members who are available. You can generally shrink your colony by 2/3 if you do it correctly, safely, humanely & by planning ahead.  

what is SNR?

“'SNR' stands for 'shelter-neuter-return,' and describes a program where healthy free-roaming cats brought to the shelter by community members are referred to established TNR programs when available, or the cats are neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped and then returned to the area from which they were taken by the shelter itself." This is currently being practiced in San Jose, Berkeley and Long Beach with great success!


A feral or community cat is a cat who has either never had any contact with people or her contact with people has diminished over time. She is not socialized to people and survives on her own outdoors. Most feral cats are not likely to ever become lap cats or enjoy living indoors. Since feral cats are not adoptable, they should not be brought to animal pounds and shelters, because there they will likely be killed. 

Stray cats are socialized to people and can be adopted into homes, but feral cats are not socialized to people and are happy living outdoors.

A Stray Cat:

  • Is a cat who has been socialized to people at some point in their life, but has gotten lost or abandoned by their indoor home, as well as most human contact and dependence.
  • Can become feral as their contact with humans dwindles.
  • Can under the right circumstances become a pet cat once again.
  • Stray cats that are re-introduced to a home after living outdoors may require a period of time to re-acclimate; they may be frightened and wary after spending time outside away from people.

A Feral Cat:

  • Is a cat who has either never had any contact with humans or their contact with humans has diminished over time.
  • They are not socialized to people and survive on their own outdoors.
  • Most feral cats are not likely to ever become lap cats or enjoy living indoors.
  • Can have kittens who can be socialized at an early age and adopted into homes.

Feral cats are members of the same species as pet cats—and are therefore protected under state animal anti-cruelty laws. In California, under California Penal Code Section 597a, violation of anti-cruelty laws carries a penalty of at least 1 year in prison and/or a $20,000 fine plus a felony record if you maim, kill or poison an animal. A lot of animal lovers have begun using wildlife cameras & video surveillance to catch animal abuse in their neighborhoods and prosecute.

Feral Cats, kittens and Shelters

Because feral cats & kittens are not socialized to people, they are deemed unadoptable as pets. In most shelters and pounds in the US, unadoptable animals are killed. In fact, 80% of all cats who enter shelters are killed there, according to the most reliable data available. That number jumps to close to 100% for feral cats.

Many shelters now realize that allowing feral cats to enter their doors is a death sentence and that Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the effective, humane & successful approach for their care. In recognition of this, some pounds and shelters have a “no feral cats accepted” policy (also called SNR Shelter-Neuter-Return), as well as a policy of returning eartipped cats to the place where they were initially trapped. Unfortunately, there are more pounds and shelters that still kill feral cats—some as soon as the cat enters the facility. Feral cats live full, healthy lives outdoors, but are killed in shelters.

Cities and shelters across America have experienced great success with Trap-Neuter-Return—it is now official policy for feral cats in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Chicago. It’s time to learn from past mistakes and move forward instead of going around in circles—it’s time to stop fighting the endless battle of catch and kill and protect cats’ lives. This is the true way to achieve No-Kill Shelters! Take down the intake numbers from the outside by performing TNR at ground zero and make a difference.

Help us to help them....


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