Trap-Neuter-Return, or “TNR,” is the most humane and effective method known for managing feral and stray cats and reducing their numbers. 

These cats live in a group called a colony. They are trapped and brought to a veterinary clinic where they are spayed or neutered, vaccinated for rabies, and ear-tipped. The cats are returned to where they were trapped. In most colonies, there is a caretaker who provides regular food. If young kittens and friendly adults are trapped, they are removed and placed for adoption.

Due to the cats no longer being able to reproduce, the colony will decline in size over a period. Spaying and neutering can also reduce any nuisance behavior as it will stop the fighting, yowling, and other noise associated with mating. It will also reduce the cat’s spraying to mark their territory. The cats will be healthier and less likely to spread feline diseases. TNR is most effective when performed correctly. Colonies should try to achieve and maintain a sterilization rate as close to 100% as possible.

Prior to TNR, animal control trapped and removed cats, with euthanasia usually being the outcome. The overpopulation of free-roaming cats nationwide shows the failure of that approach. There are too many cats and not enough animal control resources. Removing one set of cats from a location creates a vacuum for a new set of cats to fill.

Flagler Animal Services and Flagler Humane Society support the TNR efforts that are made in Flagler County. We have seen a dramatic drop in cat intakes and euthanasia of feral/community cats. We actively trap, sterilize, and return cats to their colonies.


If you are interested in helping to manage the Feral & Community cat population in Flagler County, Flagler Animal Services & Flagler Humane Society have traps available for rent. Download and Print the trap rental agreement and bring it to FHS to obtain the trap. You will be notified at that time when you can bring in a trapped cat for sterilization.

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