HomeFeral Catstrap-neuter-releaseFeral Cats Released Too Soon after Spaying Operation under TNR Program Causing Death


Feral Cats Released Too Soon after Spaying Operation under TNR Program Causing Death — 88 Comments

  1. quit telling all the lies that t n r works please. you know it does not do a thing except let some people hoard cats on other peoples property. and allows them to dump more unwanted cats in other peoples neighborhoods. if they want to hoard the unwanted cats let them do it in their own yards and keep them there as well. no problem with that. so quit being irresponsible pet owners and take responsibility of them or humanely put them down. pretty simple really, just enact a few simple laws. license, vaccination proof, leash laws and not allowed to free roam. my family has no problem with these laws and we are responsible cat owners.

  2. I was going to pass on the link to Vox Felina’s blog post on the “Investigative Report,” but see it has been shared. I hope there is further investigation into what was reported in the article.

    The TNVR organization I am with has treated (parasites), vaccinated (against common feline illnesses and also rabies), spayed or neutered thousands of cats over several years. The caretakers receive pre- and post- surgery information for their cats. After surgery and recovery, the cats are returned to their caretakers. The cats are to remain in their carriers or traps and monitored. If any complications develop, the cats would receive follow-up care. The cats are usually (depending on weather and other factors) released 24-48 hours following surgery and continue to be monitored and cared for by their caretakers. The cats are not held for 7-10 days as it would considered very stressful for feral cats. It is also not necessary to keep them caged that long.

    Two veterinarians were on our organization’s board in the early years and formulated the organization’s policy on the pre- and post- surgical care of the cats. We work closely with numerous veterinarians.

    Sampling of links in regard to hold times post-surgery:




    • Many thanks for your excellent comment. There is now excellent and comprehensive information in the comments on this page on spaying within TNR.

  3. I have been working with the local TRN program here in PA for 16 months, last year we did over 600 cats, this year so far close to 300… we release them the next day, we are also very close to our caregivers and have not heard of one cat that had an issue. Our caregivers sign contracts to continue to care for the cats, and ALL love their colonies, and I can assure you if there was a problem we would know about it. We had one younger cat not come out of anastasia after surgery and we have had issues with a colony with kittens with upper respiratory infection, but no issues releasing cats the next day.

    I will not comment on PETA’s position on TNR, other than to say that is just another reason I would NEVER send them money!

    • Mike do you have a no-fail food for TNR? I’ve been trying to trap a mama cat for 2 years and no luck. Now I’m trying to catch one of her kittens. I trapped one last week and she’s going to rescue in a few weeks. I still haven’t caught her sister and have tried salmon, tuna, mackerel, KFC chicken. No luck at all with the remaining kittens. Mama won’t go within 20 feet of any kind of trap.

  4. I´m in Chile. I´ve been doing large scale TNR clinics since more than a year now and have S/N over 450 cats. They spent overnight at the facility always after surgery in a climate controlled room. They are fully monitored the day after, to check that they are ready for release and that they have already eaten. If, for any reason, one cat appear not fully recovered we advise the caretaker to hold for an extra day or so, some times I even take them home if the climate is not appropriate for release, and I try always to release the cats in the same order that they were S/N. I am against releasing cats the same day no matter how awake they appear to be. I work with the same vet who is an expert in TNR technique and early sterilization. We do TNVR with rabies shot included and if possible with flea treatment applied. I always get back to the caregivers the next day to ask about the cats, and I have always gotten the same answer, “the kitties are fine” and they are very thankful for that.
    Thanks to TNR many cats that were in danger at some places, like offices, communities, even restaurants have been given the chance to stay, simply because we were able to prevent the new litters and that we have vaccinated and treated them. If it weren´t thanks to TNR many of these cats would be dead by now.

    • I loved reading your comment Verónica. Great comment. One of the best I have read. Thanks for adding to the page.

  5. “I have a feeling that is it not that unusual” tells you where the orientation (pre-biased) comes from. There are simply too many studies (dozens) and too many(thousands) of humane cat caretakers who would vehemently disagree with this hyperbolic editorial. TNR as practiced according to scientific recommendations and as followed up by caretakers is the most humane and appropriate method of caring for free roaming cats in their communities. Good practices and good caretakers are key. The cats overwhelmingly live long and peaceful lives, succumbing to what would be deemed “natural causes”. Trap and kill is heinous, and not within human right to impose.

    • Beverly, I wish to make the point that I’m not as you state “pre-biased”. It is completely incorrect and I object to it. I am just giving my honest opinion as I see it and which I’m entitled to do. I think it is a shame that you appear to be so defensive. These sort of issues should be aired and discussed and people should not become defensive about them and bandy around unjustified insults. Thank you in any case for commenting but please try a little more fair and open-minded. You will note that in the middle of the article is a notification as to how I love TNR and how the source of the story is possibly an exaggeration.

  6. I’ve worked in TNR for over 17 years and not all TNR organizations are created equal. The one I currently work with releases TNR’d cats the next day. The surgery is done well under cost with them making up the difference in grants in donations. It includes two high quality pain meds, the surgery, and even a free rabies vaccine. Working over 20+ colonies in my 17+ years I can tell you that complications are not normally from spay/neuter surgeries. When you are s/n a feral you have no health history on most of the cats and aren’t dealing with animals who are the picture of health. S/N stabilizes the colony, prevents accident litters, and is healthier for the animals. PLEASE do your full research prior to publishing misleading information. Not all clinic are created equal. Private and High-Volume.

    • Maggie, thanks for commenting. I am simply reporting what I read and have qualified the article with a note explaining that the possible source material may have an agenda. I can’t do better than that. The article is not misleading in that it is simply reporting information from another source. In any case, it is worth discussing this sort of issue. There’s nothing wrong in doing that.

  7. I have also done many TNR cats in my area. We are blessed with low to no cost services so price has not been an issue. I have had concerns about releasing the cats, my thoughts are that the longer you keep a feral cat confined the more stressed they will be, once the drugs wear off. Does it benefit them if they refuse to eat just to hold them longer? I get it that if a cat seems ill that you would not want to release them too soon, but often it is hard or impossible to tell because cats do not show symptoms as dogs would. They hide their weaknesses. If the cat is alert, not vomiting and not bleeding then a good 24 hours is plenty long enough I think. I have had 2 experiences in which the cats were sick prior to trapping and they were put to sleep after examined by a vet. I realize that some things cannot be prevented but the whole idea of TNR is to stop the breeding and therefore save many many more lives in the long run. If owners refuse to spay and neuter their own cats the next best thing is TNR to save further unwanted litters.

    • Thank you Linda for commenting. I completely agree that TNR is the best, humane, method of managing feral cats. There’s no doubt about that in my mind. This story does not have any impact upon my thoughts about TNR. I still believe that the story is interesting because it does raise an issue, an interesting issue, regarding what is quite an invasive operation, the spaying operation, which would normally include a reasonable amount of time to recover from. As you say, this is not practical in TNR operations. I see it as a compromise and not ideal to release a female feral cat after 24 hours. And it may present problems on some occasions. Also, I raised the issue as to whether people do follow-up checks on the cats.

      • thank you for your reply, I have asked alot of fellow TNR people what is best and pretty much each has a different answer. I guess it comes down to a personal choice, what you feel comfortable doing, what you feel is best for the particular cat/area/situation. I remember one female that looked fine, but when I released her the towel under her had some blood or discharge on it. I of course freaked out but she was already released. I worried and worried and went repeated to see if I could find her again. She was fine, I saw her many times after that. Thank you to all fellow trappers, you are doing a great service to the cats and the community!

  8. I have to wonder if it’s the people performing the spaying that cause the problems. I have done TNR on 21 cats over 4 years. I see these cats daily, as my house is in the woods, where the cats live. With the exception of ONE, who, ironically, had his TNR performed by someone else, all the cats were fine afterwards. The males were released the next day, as were the females, unless they were pregnant. I kept them caged for two days. As for the ONE who had a different vet perform his surgery, I only saw him two times afterwards. He seemed fine, but then disappeared. This is unusual. I have no idea what exactly caused his disappearance.

    • Yes, Molly, the quality of the surgery must be a factor and this point was made by another visitor as well. I agree with you. Thank you for commenting.

  9. I have done TNR surgeries for the last 10 years as a vet and assisted in them over the last 20 years both as a vet tech and vet student. A couple of things here. I looked at the pictures shown and does anyone notice most of them are of the same male cat and just different angles and areas of the cat taken. Plus the cats represented do not look the healthiest to begin with so I would wonder about co-infection with FeLV or FIV and if this groups test for the them or not. I can say I have all cats released next day and have had maybe 1% or less that have had a major complication such as incisions opening or major infections. The whole 7-10 days in a cone thing is only some vets opinions on how to treat a cat post op. Now..if I had cats come through my clinic looking as bad as those cats did prior to surgery, we likely would euthanize or at least test for FeLV/FIV. I don’t know if this group does that or not. There are people that are always going to hate what TNR does and the people that advocate for it and carry it out. I have just come to accept that. It is an argument and problem with no viable solution that satisfies everyone. The news report does seem very one sided, and I have heard down in Florida this is a very polarizing issue among everyone, even vets.

    • Many thanks for your excellent and valued comment, Bryan. I think it helps tremendously to understand what is going on. I am beginning to believe, judging by some excellent comments, that this story is unreliable. I have warned of that in updating the page.

  10. I’m working with a feral colony to sterilize and relocate (property owner wants them gone). In NC there is a mobile unit associated with the HSUS that examines, give shots and treatment needed and sterilizes for $60. I bring them back to my house and keep them a few days until they’ve healed some and I watch females to see if they mess with their incision and then send them to their new barn homes.

  11. I suggest you do some of your research today via Operation Catnip as they are a very reputable TNR organization who does have all the facts. One other thing I would like to mention is that a TNR Vet does a MUCH smaller incision than a regular veterinarian does for exactly the reason that we don’t want these cats to have complications. The incisions themselves are not even an inch long. Its called HQHV (high quality high volume) spaying and neutering, and is the standard in a good TNR program.

      • Yes, Operation Catnip (Raleigh and U.FL), founded by feral cat (and infectious disease) expert Julie Levy, DVM, will certainly give Michael a reliable overview of TNR done right, but the research he needs to do to correct his article is right out there on Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation’s website under the tab “Awake,” as referenced in Peter Wolf’s blog.

  12. Our TNR program has NEVER experienced any of our cats having complications, after release, that have gone through our program. All come from managed colonies and are released within days of being spayed. Neuters are released once completely and fully awake, usually same day release, depending on time of neuter. Our resources that provide these surgeries are completely aware of our policy, they work with us and get our appointments done first thing. The females are kept over night, either with the caretaker, us or the facility, before being released.
    No cones, no future pain meds and NO problems with any of the 450 cats that have gone through our program in the last year. And NO more litters being born in these colonies. Which is the priority at this time, to get the numbers down so more can be helped by rescues and less being abandoned, neglected and abused.
    It seems as if maybe, the actual ‘surgery’ is the problem here. NOT the release time. Maybe THIS should be the focus instead of when the are returned to their free living environments.

    • Many thanks Melissa. An interesting thought and an important point made. Perhaps the surgery is poor quality. Based on the fact that you release the next day thats point to poor surgery being the cause in this instance.

  13. Michael Broad, why present such a warped view of TNVR (trap-neuter-vaccinate-return)? It’s great you wanted to do a story on TNVR but one from a fair and unbiased view would have been more true to real and respected journalism. If you truly support TNVR, I assume you will soon be presenting a story from the realistic perspective, which is that TNVR works and trap-and-kill does not?

    • Beth I am just reporting what I read and see. I think I am allowed to do that. I do it fairly and I qualify the statements in protecting the TNR programs. I can’t be fairer. You are being unfair in saying that I present a warped view. I am presenting someone else’s view.

      • Michael: Reporting what someone else said is hearsay, not journalism. As Beth mentioned, if you want to write a story about a subject, then it should be researched. I appreciate your responses to the others who wrote to you, and you appear to be open minded about the OTHER views stated. But really, know your story before you print it. Of course you can be more fair – present both sides of the story.
        I am a veterinarian, I am tired of my profession being bashed based on lies and rumors. I also understand it is a professional group of veterinarians who are behind this. They should be ashamed of themselves. Most veterinarians who oppose TNR somehow think they are losing clients, which is ridiculous. These cats are not owned and will never take themselves to the doctor for care. 🙂 There is a ton of information about TNR. TNR allows cats to live, euthanasia does not.
        The sterilization procedure is well known and well accepted. There is no reason for feral cats to suffer any more than owned cats do, post op. TNR stops the flow. The cats establish a stable colony and don’t allow too many more cats to come in. If they do, the caretakers will notice the new cat(s) and trap it. PETA is well known, to those who take the time to research them, for being violent terrorists in the name of animal welfare. They have been responsible for bombings and deaths, they euthanize everything that comes through their door, and they are very much against veterinary medicine. I think their organization is nothing more than a front for people to make a living without actually doing anything of use.
        I have been in practice for 31 years, I have worked as a GP, Shelter doc, emergency, per diem. I have many resources available regarding TNR.
        You have an audience, please use this platform carefully and thoughtfuly.

        • Thanks Patti for your comment. I believe the article is about something that needs to be aired. When I wrote it I was unaware that the source might be propaganda or disseminated for political purposes. Even further research would not have helped me as the story relates to a specific location and not general matters. I would be unable to check the veracity of the story.

          Beyond that I simply made may own comments because it seemed plausible to me that in mass spaying operations the need for speed might lead to errors and shortened recovery times. I think that is a reasonable assessment.

          Also I have to run a website and live at the same time. I have limited time resources. Also writing articles which provoke conversations are good for the site because the internet is very competitive. I need to be a little bit provocative sometimes. The article did very well. It garnered excellent comments which are educational. That would not have happened but for the article.

          These are factors which you are perhaps unaware of.

          You use the word “hearsay”. That is a legal term as you probably now meaning that in giving evidence in court proceedings repeating what someone else says is hearsay. But this is not in court proceedings. Every news website would be guilty of “hearsay” reporting if you used the same standard. We are not in court. I simply running a cat website and trying to keep it alive amidst massive and growing competition. Don’t be too hard on me.

    • We should all be open to discussion about this sort of thing. If spayed are being released too soon we need to be transparent about it.

  14. Some of the comments on this post are absolutely ridiculous! I actually work for a large scale trap neuter return program. last year I personally fixed and released around 800 cats. Of those cats I believe there were less than 10 that reported having any complications or death. So do the math, we prevented hundreds upon thousands of babies from being born! Yet the other solution is to Remove healthy cats from their homes because they don’t fit the model of being “a pet” and murder them! Which is actually ineffective, because you always have new cats moving into the territory and beginning the breeding process all over. I actually work with hundreds of caregivers who take great care of their cats! The cats are absolutely healthier ones they are fixed, vaccinated and returned to their home! The males are no longer fighting for territory, the females are no longer malnourished from having litter after litter of kittens, and the population is not continuing to grow out of control. I actually follow up on the sites that I work, we give resources and proper care giving information, i do a ton of community outreach and education on fixing pets as well. I do a great deal of mediation and conflict resolution to provide humane deterrents to folks who want to keep the cats off of their property. I do what I do to make a difference in the lives of cats! If for one second I thought I was not doing right by them I would not be doing this!! It is not easy work! Its extremely hard, taxing, heartbreaking at times and maddening that people are so careless! The shelter that I work with went from having a 30% release rate for cats to having almost to 90% release rate for cats! We give resources and proper care giving information. This program leaves more resources for shelters to help adoptable cats and dogs who need additional medical care or have other special needs such as diet, medications etc.We release 36 to 48 hours after surgery with the clearance from the vet. We do hold them longer if they vet tells us too, but in all honestly it is far more stressful on a feral cat for someone to try and hold them. They recover on their own by having proper shelters, access to fresh water and plenty of food. The stitches we use are dissolved with in 14 days.The information on here is extremely misleading and incorrect. TNR is one of the only things that actually been proven to reduce and control the population of free roaming cats… it is also one of the only solutions to murdering thousands of cats!!!

    • Jess, thank you for all that you do for ferals. I care for 3 feral colonies totaling nearly 100. To date, I’ve been able to TNR 94. Our rescue group has done over 5000 in 5 years.
      The hardest part of what I do is when people just dump cats/kittens off near my colonies. They aren’t often accepted, and I have to deal with them separately and, then, try to introduce them into any one of my colonies.

  15. Some of the comments on this poster absolutely ridiculous. I actually work for a large scale trap neuter return program last year I personally fixed and released around 800 cats. Of those counts I believe there was less than 10 that reported having any complications or death. So do the math we prevented hundreds upon thousands of babies being born. Yet the other solution is to Remove healthy cats from their homes because they don’t fit the model of being a pet and murder them. Which is actually ineffective because you always have new cats moving into the territory and beginning the breeding process all over. I actually work with hundreds of caregivers who take great care of their ca remove healthy cats from their homes because they don’t fit the model of being a pet and murder them. Which is actually ineffective because you always have new cats moving into the territory and beginning the breeding process all over. I actually work with hundreds of caregivers who take great care of their cats! They are far healthier ones they are fixed, vaccinated and returned to their home! The males are no longer fighting for territory, the females are no longer malnourished from having better after litter of kittens, and the population is not continuing to grow out of control. I actually follow up on the sites that I work, we give resources and proper caregiving information. I do what I do to make a difference in the lives of cats. The shelter that I worked with went from having a 30% release rate for cats to having almost to 90% reduced rate for job we give resources and proper care giving information. I do what I do to make a difference in the lives of cats. The shelter that I worked with went from having a 30% release rate for cats to having almost to 90% release rate for cats. There are more resources for adoptable cats and cats and dogs who need additional medical care or have other special needs such as diet medications etc. to longe there are more resources for adoptable cats and cats and dogs who need additional medical care or have other special needs such as diet medications etc.we release 36 to 48 hours after surgery with the clearance from the vet. We do hold them and they need longer but in all honestly it is far more stressful on a feral cat for someone to try and hold them. They recover on their own by having proper shelters access to fresh water and plenty of food. The information on here is extremely misleading and incorrect. TNR is one of the only things that actually been proven to reduce and control the population of free roaming cats…

    • Thank you Jess for your valued comment. I am researching the allegation that this story is made up or exaggerated to undermine TNR. I will post a follow up article today possibly.

      • Is there a way for me to edit my reply? I’m not sure what happened maybe it’s because I replied from my phone but it repeated so much of my reply and auto corrected?

        If not I am happy to repost my reply, if you can delete the first one?

        • Michael, looks like I wasn’t the only one who had trouble posting yesterday. You are welcome to edit/delete my duplicated posts as necessary.

    • Thanks Noreen. Do you know if anyone in the group does follow up work to see how the cats are doing in recovery?

  16. TNR is by definition meant to reduce cat populations through “attrition”. It’s about time that you woke-up and removed your rose-colored glasses to what they mean by “attrition”. Call it for what it is. Attrition is just torturing cats to death. Just now you are surprised to learn this? How many mutilated, ran-over, and bloated with parasite cat-photos do you have to see before you finally comprehend how all your outdoor cats die. Your site would be more honest and truthful if you posted all those photos like they do at http://realoutdoorcats.tumblr.com/ instead of the ones you want to cherry-pick out of all those other 99.999% that actually suffer to death from you promoting TNR. Every last cat that dies by “TNR attrition” is YOUR fault for promoting that animal-torturing method of reducing cat-populations.

    The only question I have left is why you are still alive, I’d have killed myself if I found out I was like you and had tortured as many animals as you have during your useless waste-of-flesh life.

    You TNR promoters are the most despicable humans on the face of this planet–and everyone knows this about you–everyone but yourselves.

  17. Horrified and disappointed with POC to see such a scare-mongering one-sided article regurgitating propaganda apparently orchestrated by Hillsborough Animal Health Foundation, an organization of veterinarians who are very obviously against TNR – see “‘Awake’ – The Trouble with Trap, Neuter, Return” tab on their website and note photos are credited to them.

    I’ve been in rescue and have been doing TNR for 24 years, and have never had to have a cone on any cat, feral or otherwise, after spay/neuter. I generally keep males 24-48 hours and females perhaps a day or so longer after neuter/spay day and release once they eat and eliminate and no blood spots are noted and demeanor seems normal.

    They are usually kept in their traps, with puppy pads underneath, and Fancy Feast cardboard boxes with pine pellet litter. I’ve had at least 1,000 ferals fixed, probably more, and I’ve taught many others to do it, and neither I nor their caretakers have ever had a problem except one 1-yr-old cat who went into renal failure due what turned out to be antifreeze poisoning and two males who had a bit more bleeding than normal – taken back to vet for evaluation and given additional antibiotic shot.

    One female who, as it turned out, was already spayed, died suddenly 3 days after her surgery – mini-necropsy showed possible heart problem. Pregnant spays are kept longer. Never had a single problem with them. I’ve done as many as 20 at one time. I do not consider it difficult to keep ferals a short while, and I have even had many living out their lives with me. If indeed problems such as appear to be shown in the graphic photos in the article did occur due to spay/neuter, especially incisions opening and bleeding out, the problem may well lie with the veterinarians performing those surgeries, care, monitoring and hygiene in the clinic and perhaps also with instructions to caretakers. Apparently the cat covered in blood in the trap died prior to release – i.e. in the care of the establishment where the surgery was performed.

    There is no actual evidence shown that the cats pictured were in fact cats who were spayed/neutered under the program, that they were in fact early-released,or that early release caused their deaths, if indeed they were even due to spay/neuter surgery, or if indeed they are actually feral cats. Feral cats do not normally receive bloodwork or even a pre-surgery exam, so older cats or those whose immune systems are suppressed by viral or bacterial infection might not fare so well after surgery, especially if not monitored afterwards. Making sure that they eat and eliminate normally afterwards goes a long way to helping a caretaker feel comfortable that the cat is healthy enough to be released.

    Any problems with eating and eliminating and a cat could then perhaps be kept longer, receive further veterinary care, or euthanasia could be elected if recovery were unlikely. I’ve only ever had to elect that option on one cat – the poor little fellow who had ingested anti-freeze – we tried for a week to keep him going, but it wasn’t to be. Hold times after spay/neuter may also have to be adjusted when weather is very cold or very hot, although body temp returns to normal within 24 hrs. usually – a cat not regulating temp. would likely not eat or otherwise act normally. The article is unclear as to the difference between cats brought in and returned to caretakers versus those perhaps being dealt with by animal control – most caretakers, unless living in apartments etc., have the ability to hold the cats a couple of days or so if necessary.

    As for evidence that cats don’t suffer from being TNR’d, we had to retrap and relocate one colony of 24 cats some 4 yrs. after original TNR due to change in property ownership. All cats were still there and all were examined before relocation and found healthy, including two FIV positives who ended up living out their lives with me to age 10 and 12+.

    Another colony dwindled to only 2 remaining cats after 9+ years, and those two were re-trapped and then brought in. One had toxo, was treated successfully, developed lung cancer at 15 and rallied with chemo for a few more months before finally succumbing at about 16. The other was also as old when he, too, passed after a short cancer bout. Picture shows Miss Hiss and her daughter, Tic-Tac, TNR’d at local prison and re-trapped 3 years later, healthy as horses, and their relative Laverne,trapped with her last litter (she’d apparently had several), all now living with us – The Three Tuxedos!

    • Sorry Pam. For some reason the software put your comment in the spam box so it was not seen because there are thousands of spam comments. I have reinstated it and published it. I’ll read what you say and do a further article today. I am simply reporting as best I can the cat news as it comes in. It was not apparent that this was a attempt to undermine TNR.

      • Fair enough, Michael – you and Elisa normally do a great job, but this FL veterinary organization obviously put one over on you and others (as doubtless was their intention).

    • I have placed a warning banner across the middle of the article in response to your comment and will research this matter today.

  18. I am upset that they seem to gravitate only to the female cats as having health problems after these operations.

    Male cats can and do get infections and end up dying a long and painful death from myiasis.

    Eva_ Or are they still out there hiding and suffering beyond our comprehension and avoiding detection ? This is a very strong probability.

  19. I hold all TNR cats in a “condo” for a minimum of one week to ensure their safety. PLEASE , please take care of these cats. They are counting on us!

  20. We have known this for years that the cats need a recovery time . After they have been sedated their body temperatures are low for several days which can cause all kinds if issues. Then the treat of pneumonia, hemorrhaging and infection is always a concern! Why would you pay to spay/neuter and not make sure they have a safe recovery!!!

    • Ferals are different from domesticated cats, Jan. Do you want a true feral recovering in your home for more than 48 hours? Do you cherish your blinds, furniture, or your other cats? I think that you are only thinking of domesticated cats.
      Please read the title of this article that refers to ferals only.

    • Absolutely. An overnight stay is too short; that must be the conclusion from this and I would have thought that they would modify their procedure and at least give them 48 hours recovery time.

  21. Actually, with my rescue group, males are released within 24 hours and females within 48 hours.
    To date, there have been no reported adverse effects.

    I’m not sure how any person would be able to keep a hissing, spitting true feral confined in their home longer. Where would they be in their traps? In a bathroom/tub to pee and poo? For any longer a time, they would need to be fed and the traps cleaned.
    I have no problem doing it all; but, the average jo would freak.

    These are ferals that we’re talking about, folks.

    • We usually have to keep a cat overnight and can transfer from one trap to the other or to a big cage we used for Sealy. Old Gray was the stinkiest cat I’ve caught and he went back home FAST. I was actually afraid of him he hissed and growled so much. Ever since Lola’s incision came open from the glue back in 2009 I’ve been wary of glued incisions. She had to go back to the HS to be reglued.

      My daughter and I definitely work as a team when cleaning and transferring.

    • Thank you for clarifying that point, Dee. And it is a good point which I hadn’t recognised before. It would be very hard to keep a feral cat in unless you have a specific facility for that purpose. It would seem that the extra 24 hours that you give the females is important in their recovery time. It would seem that an overnight stay post-op for the females is too short.

    • No you put them in a cage with a small carrier, most ferals will hide in carrier and after a few days you shut the carrier and release them, we do it all the time. This way we make sure they are eating and going to the bathroom. Put a small litter box, food and water in the cage.

  22. This HUMANE Society doesn’t seem very humane to me. If this is their normal routine, it would be more “humane” to euthanize.

    But maybe it’s about numbers, rather than results.

    • I am getting the impression that what they do is not the norm judging by Elisa’s comments. I hope so. It would seem careless not to follow up and check on how the cats are getting on after the operation.

  23. Our females are kept inside a minimum of 5 days following spaying because glue is used to secure the incision. If there is rain predicted in the forecast, we hold the females until the ground dries up, as water will dissolve the glue. Males are released usually the day after surgery unless they seem uncomfortable, and I hold them an extra day. They also must be totally awake when released. I have a large cage the cat stays in and use puppy training pads in the bottom and cover the cage with towels, just as it’s suggested to cover a trap. A long acting pain shot is given at the time of surgery and the incision on the female is tiny. The males don’t have glue or sutures.

    I’ve had 8 of the cats at work TNR’d with no problems. I hope to trap one today for TNR next week. I’ve had more issues with a few of the cats disappearing, but it’s survival of the fittest with wild animals and snakes.

    • Thanks for this info Elisa. Interesting. I think this is important. Do you think most or a very high percentage of TNR programs do as you do?

      • It depends on the cat, the method used to secure the spaying and whether the cat is unhappy being confined. When we did Pandora, she did NOT like being inside and was returned in 72 hours. Old Gray stunk to high heaven (being the alpha male). He was operated on at 8am and released at 5pm. Peter was operated on in the afternoon on a Wednesday and he was in a lot of pain so I didn’t take him back until Friday afternoon when I went to work my regular shift. He didn’t even sober up until the next day. It also depends on how many are taken for TNR at one time. Our county has a program one day a month and I can take in one or two cats (that’s all my car will hold with two traps.) Some take in 8-9 cats at a time and I imagine they release ASAP. Today I’ll be trying to trap Old Mama, the only female left who hasn’t been TNR’d. I’ll use a rope secured to the trap door and the rope is secured under a window ledge. When the correct cat goes in I release the rope. I spring trap doesn’t work well now because I have so many who don’t need to be trapped again and the trap slamming shut would scare off the colony. So I sit and wait and watch.

        It’s $25 for surgery, rabies vaccination, and ear tipping. Plus the vet will treat for fleas if needed.

        • Yikes!
          For $10 each cat has a physical, spayed/neutered, rabies vaccinated, microchipped, flea and mite treated.

          • You’re lucky. Greenwood just has the one day a month for $25. Greenville Humane Society has Tomcat Tuesday and I believe they offer $10 but is a long drive and my health isn’t good enough to make the trip anymore.

            You should see what the private vets charge, feral or not. My cheap vet is $90 for males, $165 for females, rabies $12, microchip $38 and combo test is $40. I don’t know how much my expensive vet charges. I hung up when they told me a male neuter is $130 for surgery alone.

            • I paid $150 to spay my previous cat (if I remember correctly, could’ve been 170), and that was 16.5 years ago. I believe it’s at least $300 now in the same clinic. Plus pre-op blood work, though I didn’t need to do it since we did it a month previously for another surgery. I don’t know the current prices for sure since my current two came already neutered/spayed from the shelter which was very fortunate.

              Back when I got my previous cat, I had a free spay coupon from the Humane Society which had stated spay value of $30, so this is what the vet recommended by them charged at the time. I had an issue with that vet’s not being able to diagnose my cat’s breathing issues (long story), I choose to pay myself to my new vet and donated the coupon back to the Humane Society.

              BUT… there is a world of difference between a cheap spay and an expensive one. For more money, you get safer anesthetic agent – now I believe the best is sevofluorane, back then it was isofluorane which was what this new clinic used), cardiac and blood pressure monitoring, IV line with fluids ready in case they are needed, better pain control later on, etc. BTW, my Masha didn’t even need a cone after the surgery. She had one after her ear surgery, but not after spay. They had internal dissolvable stitches, and the cat cannot get to them. This, and better pain management is what you get for more money.

              Obviously, all of this is a luxury for feral cats – nobody could afford $300 for each one, but I just wanted to clarify that a cheap spay isn’t the same as an expensive one.

              • I’ve been critisized for not using the HS for cheaper spay neuter of my personal cats. They have to load the cats up and take them on a 140 mile round trip in a van with cages piled on top of one another. You have to drop them off at 6am and pick up after 5 which means I’d have to take the day off to do the pickup.

                My personal vet, even the cheaper one, is very good, offers pain meds and can do a cat with very little notice if food has been withheld. I’ve had to take a few sick ferals in and they go in the trap and he sticks the needing in while I have the cat cornered and does sedation for $20. Then he gives a long acting penicillin injection. The last cat refused to go to sleep and I had to hold her down with heavy duty gloves while the vet examined and treated her. It was an experience.

                My cat Sealy with the car fan blade injury has a special vet who runs every test in the book and you never come out of his office with under a $200 bill even for a cold. But if there’s anything wrong he’ll find it and he’ll save a life.

              • Yes, thanks for that Elisa. This seems to be a two tier version of spaying. I guess the cheaper version is more dangerous than the more expensive version but nonetheless I would expect that nearly all the cats who are spayed under the cheap version do well afterwards.

              • I had 4 inside kitties. (Not my feral kitties.) Had them done at an “expensive” spay place, and all 4 ended up with kitty hernias. They were kept as told, quiet and calmed. Not allowed to climb, etc. Yet not one of my feral kitties that I had done “cheaply” had this problem. After the other kitties had passed and I got another kitty, I decided to go with the “cheap” people because of it. Mija MiAmore had no hernia. It doesn’t matter the cost of the spay/neuter I don’t think. It matters the vet….. IMO.

                • Good comment Kimberly. Your experience points to the quality of surgery being the key factor in recovery rather than the duration of recovery. Many thanks.

              • My Vet treats all cats the same, ferals get the same treatment as any other cat. He sets one day a week for TNR’d cats, he supports it. It all depends on the cat, we release males the next day if there is no problem, only one that his testicles didn’t come down so he was held longer because of extensive surgery. Neutering isn’t as invasive as it once was. Females we hold longer, 3 to 5 days depending on the cat, most are fine after 3 days. They are all treated for fleas, ear mites, vacinated for rabies, distemper tested for FIV, FeLV. All given a long acting antibiotic & pain shot. We’ve had no deaths or complications due to spay & neuter. They were all the product of a neighbor moved away & left their pregnant cat behind, she was so fearful of people because of this it took a couple years before she would eat if I was there, but she always brought her kittens to eat. We TNR’d all the offspring but the Mom (Goldie), she was too smart for the trap, almost had her in a droptrap. We knew she was pregnant again for the fifth time & were really trying to get her, we never saw her again after the evening feeding. We looked & looked for her, she always came for her egg in the morning, no sign. The Vet thinks that her uterus probably ruptured from being pregnant one right after another. Now my community has several colonies and you hardly see an untipped cat, if one shows up they get TNR’d too. They are all looked after & taken very good care of. I think of Goldie all the time of how we could have saved her from such a painful death, but we go on and save the ones we can.

                • What a great comment and your vet sounds superb. It is interesting that you hold cats for 3-5 days after spaying and are fine after 3. That would imply that release the next day does carry some risk. Many thanks Denise.

                  • It all depends on the cat, some heal quicker than others, some are very nervous, if they’re banging around the cage that’s not good either. We never release in bad weather, or if it’s in the near forecast. Not all caregivers have this luxury, that’s just the way we do it. I have never heard of anything like in the story ever happening, all the caregivers I know & know of, know each & everyone of their colony cats. They know when something isn’t right with them, they get them medical attention.

              • You are very wrong! I was very involved with a cat clinic and mobile spay/neuter van for years. We built a very good standing with the community for our outstanding care and service of their pets. We never used inferior products or skimped on providing the best for pain management. Quite contrary to your statement, one of the “expensive $300” vets who filled in for a surgery questioned why we included pain meds!!!! He obviously cared more about his profit margin at his nice big vet offices than the comfort of the pets! The thing is, people need to ask all kinds of questions and judge what for themselves which place offers the best care. Spending more money on ANYTHING and thinking that guarantees you’re getting the best is just plain ignorant.

              • It’s not about cheap vs expensive. Low cost spay neuter clinics deal in high volume, so all their supplies and medications are bought in bulk, therefore decreasing the cost. Also, high volume clinics have done many more surgeries, making them more experienced and more equipped to recognize and treat complications. Private vets charge more for spay and neuter because they cannot buy in bulk, and because they are working for profit. As for anesthesia, sevoflurane and isoflurane are used interchangeably in humans and animals. There are slight differences, but nothing that affects the quality of the anesthetic.

        • To me the price seems very good value. And then Dee says she can get it done for $10. That seems amazing. $25 seems like a very good price. It seems extraordinary good in fact.

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