Feral Cat Program Information



Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) is a proven procedure where entire colonies of stray or feral cats are humanely trapped, neutered, vaccinated and the left ear is tipped 1/4 inch. The cat is then returned to the area where is was living.

What is a feral cat?

A feral cat is unsocialized for human interaction. It was either born outside, never lived with humans, or it was a house cat who became separated from humans and over time has thrown off the effects of domestication, reverting to being wild. Feral cats often fear humans and will run away if approached. They will not harm you unless they feel threatened and strike out only in self-defense. 

Due to their fear of humans these cats are not adoptable. The humane thing we can do for them is to practice TNR. The breeding stops, cat population gradually shrinks, spraying & fighting stops and disease & malnutrition are reduced. 

Essential to the success of the program is identifying a volunteer caregiver who will provide food, water and shelter to these feral cats. In addition this person will notify the Humane Society of Wickenburg (HSW) if a new cat joins a feral colony. That cat will be TNR’d to maintain zero population growth


Why the Ear Tip?

The left ear tip is an international symbol of an un-owned cat that has been neutered. When trapping multiple cats, finding a tipped left ear identifies that cat has already been neutered. That cat is released and the trap reset

How the Program Works

An individual calls HSW with concerns about a feral cat or colony. A HSW volunteer will conduct a site visit to determine if the cat(s) is feral and eligible for the TNR program. Once the cat is determined to be feral a trapping schedule will be established in conjunction with a vet appointment for spay/neuter surgery. After surgery the cat will be returned to where it was trapped.


Why Not Relocate the Feral Cats?

Relocating feral cats is NOT recommended. Feral cats will flee an unfamiliar area and attempt to return to the site where it was trapped-where it knew it had food, water, shelter. Unfortunately many cats die in the attempt. 

I Can't Afford to Feed the Cats

While it is not guaranteed, HSW's TNR program often can help with the purchase of cat food.

Humanely and effectively reducing the number of stray and feral cats in our communities.

The Humane Society of Wickenburg follow the guide lines established by Alley Cat Allies. Visit their website to learn more about this program.

Help Our Cause

 Donations, in the form of money or cat food, to the TNR program are tax deductible as allowed by law for a 501(c)(3) organization. Please note on your donation that it is to be earmarked "TNR". HSW has established a dedicated fund for donations and grant money for TNR. Questions? Feel free to e-mail our program coordinator Mei Mei Brown: WickenburgFeralCats@gmail.com 

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