About 50 percent of kittens who are born outside die from predators and illnesses, and the majority of kittens in the shelter system are from neighborhood cats. Fixed cats are less likely to roam, less likely to cross roads, less likely to wander into dangerous or unwanted territory. That’s why it’s important for neighborhood cats to be spayed or neutered before they reproduce and add to the animal overpopulation. But before you do, take heed of these trap-neuter-return do’s and don’ts provided by Pet Community Center’s Feline Fix Manager.
Don’t wait. Whatever day it is, that’s the day you should trap and fix the cat, says Beth DeMonbreun, Feline Fix Manager of Pet Community Center. She says people are hesitant to trap in the winter because of the temperature, but it’s actually logistically easier because you’re not having to worry about the care of newborn kittens. But there are benefits to trapping at all times of the year.
Don’t ever grab a cat unless it’s one of those that comes up in your lap and you pet it all the time and you’ve picked it up before. If there’s any question, the best route would be to use a trap.
Do use a trap. A humane trap is just like a carrier except the door shuts on its own. Nothing scary about it. It’s just a box with a door that shuts behind the cat. The other benefit is you don’t have to be around when the cat gets caught. Pet Community Center offers free traps (one per cat) and will show you how to use it.
Do trap as many neighborhood cats as you can over a two to three day period. Because once you start to release the fixed cats, if you set the trap out again, you’ve got a 50 percent chance of catching the same cats.
Do keep the cats in a temperature-controlled enclosed area from the time you trap them until 24 hours after surgery to protect them, because they can get hurt from wild animals.