If you have cats close to your home who appear to be living wild and you are concerned for their welfare, there is a solution. The KWWSPCA operate a TNR Service (Trap / Neuter / Return). This is the most humane method of controlling cat colonies and giving the cats a healthier life.

The KWWSPCA TNR Team can trap a cat humanely and bring it to the vet for neutering or spaying.  The Team then brings the cat back to the exact location where it was trapped and returns it to its environment. It is important to return to exactly where they took the cat so that the cat can easily recognize the places that they know and where they have marked their territory. During surgery, the vet will make a nip in the cat’s ear. This ‘eartip’ is the best method of identifying in the future that the cat has been neutered. It is possible to have a cat trapped in the morning and be back again to its territory that evening. In 2022, 405 feral cats in County Kildare and West Wicklow were ‘trapped, neutered and returned’ by KWWSPCA volunteers.

In some cases, if the cat is friendly and receptive to human contact, we try to find a new domestic home for the cat rather than returning it to the wild. If kittens are found in a feral location and are young enough to be tamed, they will also be rehomed as domestic cats.

There are so many benefits to TNR. Neutering/spaying helps to extend the lifespan and quality of life of cats.  Tomcats do not spray and will be more pleasant and relaxed in themselves. They no longer receive injuries resulting from fighting with competing males.  Female cats that are spayed benefit from a reduced risk of mammary cancer and continued unwanted pregnancies. When you consider that a female cat can have up to three litters in one year, usually producing three to five kittens in each litter, then it is easy to see how the population can increase so rapidly.

So, if colonies of cats are keeping you awake at night with continuous howling or if you feel helpless and concerned for their welfare, we are here to help. We ask for a donation of €50 per cat for the TNR Service where possible. If you have a Residents Association in your community, you could spread the cost of the TNR Service among all members. We are happy to work with you on a plan that benefits these lovely animals.  Email or call/text Elaine on 089 4588162 or Clare on 087 7045913.