What is a feral cat?
-A feral cat is defined as a cat that has had little to no human contact and is therefore unsocialized and fearful of people. Most feral cats were born outside and have lived their entire lives without any interaction with humans.
What is TNR?
-TNR or Trap, Neuter, Return is the most humane method of population control for feral cats. Cats are trapped in large humane traps, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and returned to their outdoor homes to live out their lives.
Why does TNR work?
-TNR is important to lowering the number of feral or stray cats and has proven time and again to be the only effective method. Historically, many towns have tried the "catch and kill" method to getting rid of feral cats. This has proven ineffective because when you remove all of the cats from an area more move in to take over that territory. Feral cats live in areas that are conducive to their living habits - if there is ample food and water and places to hide, you will always have cats around. On the other hand, if you spay and neuter all of the cats in the area they will protect their territory. Sterilized cats do not reproduce so the number of cats will not increase, the fighting between tom cats generally decreases or stops, and the cats become a healthy, environmentally friendly form of rodent control.
What is an ear-tip?
-An ear tip is the universal symbol that a cat has been spayed or neutered and rabies vaccinated. A small portion of the very tip of the left ear is removed while the cat is under anesthesia; there is little to no bleeding and minimal pain. This prevents the cat from being needlessly trapped in the future and makes them easily identifiable as a cared for working cat that is a healthy part of your community.
Is Maine a No-Kill State?
-This is a common misconception. Although Maine does have a large number of no-kill shelters, the state still also has many shelters that kill for various reasons. In 2016 Maine's live release rate was 95% - which is an improvement over previous years – however, 970 cats were euthanized and 421 died or were lost in shelters. There is marked room for improvement!
What can you do to help?
-Volunteer, donate, adopt, share knowledge, spay/neuter your pets, and be a voice for the animals!
What to do if you find a cat:
-Follow the below link to find what shelter your town contracts with and the contact information for your local animal control