This is a discussion on kittens for those who are involved with trap-neuter-return (TNR). The idea for this article came about when a person commented last week in a Facebook TNR group that all kittens should be returned to their colony after being trapped and spayed/neutered.
While some believe this is the correct way to practice TNR, I and most of those I’m familiar with who manage colonies disagree with this method. One Upstate South Carolina shelter (which shall remain nameless) is currently alleged to operate on kittens as small as 1.5 pounds then release them rather than offer them for adoption. Many times they’re taken to a different area than where they were originally trapped.
I prefer to try to tame young feral kittens. Regardless of their age, some feral kittens simply don’t have the “cat from hell” personality at the time they’re trapped.
Over the past several years I’ve been able to tame several kittens and change them into house cats by keeping them in a small bathroom and providing for them as I would a cat adopted from a shelter. Food, water, toys, and love can quickly change a feral kitten into an indoor cat. I have two leaving for their forever homes in early September and don’t regret the decision to offer them a forever family.
I’ll be the first to admit that indoor only former feral kittens miss out on a lot. They miss out on being hit by a vehicle, being poisoned, becoming lost or stolen, and contracting FIV/FeLV during a catfight. Did I mention kittens make a tasty snack for coyotes and are many times a form of entertainment for animal abusers? The list goes on and on…
How do those of you who practice TNR feel about the kittens you trap? To you, does TNR mean trap-neuter-release or trap-neuter-rehome when it comes to kittens (if a home can be found) or should ALL kittens automatically be released back to their colony?
Please sound off in the comment section.