Community Cat TNR Program
(Trap, Spay/Neuter, and Return)
MHF is working to control community cat populations by performing TNR (trap, spay/neuter, and return) services. Cats are only rereleased if they are healthy and it is a safe and responsible environment. Studies have proven this method to be highly effective in compassionately addressing the problem of community cat populations. MHF has TNR'd colonies in Culpeper, Fauquier, Loudoun, Orange, Prince William,Rappahannock, and Warren County.
A “community cat” is a term that includes any unowned cats. Sometimes you may hear the terminology “free roaming” used as well. These two terms denote the same thing. These cats may be fearful of strangers, friendly, may have been born outside, or may be lost or abandoned cats. Many community cats are cared for by compassionate “caregivers”, who provide food and water for these cats. The term also reflects the belief that when cats are not owned by any individual, they belong to the community which has taken responsibility for their care.
Community cat colonies are created by people's failure to spay/neuter their pets and by the callous dumping of unwanted cats and kittens into neighborhoods and rural areas. Only when we work together to solve the pet over-population crisis will homeless cat colonies disappear from our landscape.
There are about 60 million community cats in the United States. These felines are the offspring of abandoned and lost pets. Stray cats band together forming colonies consisting of 6 to 16 members found around food sources such as restaurants, shopping centers, colleges, abandoned buildings and rural areas.
Please call (540) 364-3272 or email Ashley Janssen if you have any questions about our TNR program.
Community Cat Colony Facts:
- Female cats spend most of their life pregnant.
- Males fight & roam seeking mates. Many deaths occur from untreated wounds.
-Half of all kittens born into a cat colony die soon after birth.
- Death occurs from disease, starvation, abuse, cars or predators (i.e. foxes).
Most colonies depend on some human feeding. Local animal control often tries to eliminate these populations by trapping and euthanizing. Research shows this only temporarily reduces the number of cats. New cats join the colony, quickly building it back to its previous population. Studies show trap-neuter-release is the single most successful method of stabilizing and reducing cat populations. This program also provides the cats with the best possible life and accomplishes this at the least amount of cost.
MHF has had a TNR cat program in place for approximately 25 years. On average, MHF has trapped-altered- and released 100 cats per year. (In recent years, we have done as many as 200-300 per year!) Over 25 years we have spayed and neutered roughly 2,910 cats. If only half of those cats were female that would give you 1,455 female cats spayed. If each of those females had a litter of 4, and the litter was 2 males and 2 females, and those female kittens had kittens you might begin to see how a cat colony begins! With these numbers in mind how many cats has MHF prevented in the 25 years in operation?
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Middleburg Humane Foundation
P.O. Box 1238
Middleburg, VA 20118
Tues - Sat: 11am-5:30pm,
All visits to the shelter are by appointment only, please.