Mass Trapping

TNR your entire feral cat colony at once!

The entire mass trapping process, from pre-trapping preparations through the release of the cats back into their territory, is depicted in the Neighborhood Cats instructional video, How To Perform a Mass Trapping. The 30-minute video is available for free viewing on the Neighborhood Cats website (www.neighborhoodcats.org<http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/>).

"Mass trapping" refers to the TNR of an entire colony at once. This method, when it's possible to do it, is preferable to a "one-cat-at-a-time" approach for several reasons. First, the situation at the colony site is often in crisis with too many cats and kittens, and neighbors complaining and even making threats towards the cats. Neutering all the cats quickly results in an immediate and dramatic decrease in the kinds of nuisance behaviors which create conflict, especially the noise from mating and fighting and the odor from unaltered males spraying. In addition, once altered, the cats roam less and tend to become less visible. Another advantage to mass trapping is your increased ability to catch all the cats in the colony. When you trap one cat at a time, you run into a problem when you get down to the last few cats and have to try to pick them out from the rest of the colony. This can be difficult and time-consuming. By contrast, when you're down to the last few cats during a mass trapping, they're the only ones out there plus they're getting increasingly hungry as the trapping period proceeds. Finally, in the long run, a mass trapping is much less work. It's more intensive, but in the end you only have to find a holding space once, take care of the cats while they're confined once, transport the cats back and forth from the clinic once, etc. If you alter the colony gradually over time, these efforts will have to be continually repeated.

That said, not every community offers low-cost spay/neuter for ferals, not everyone has access to the number of traps needed for a mass trapping, a large enough holding space for the entire colony cannot always be found, etc. In these circumstances, the goal becomes instead to catch and neuter as many of the cats at the same time as your resources permit.