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How to do TNR

Starting a TNR (trap, neuter, and return) program may seem scary at first. But that is how our organization started, and we believe you can do this too! Watch the video above by Kitten Lady and read our step-by-step instructions to learn how to do TNR.

Step 1

Find a veterinarian or organization that does free or low-cost spay/neuter surgeries. If you live in the San Juan metropolitan area, we recommend the Humane Society in Guaynabo which charges $40 or el Centrol de Control de Animales which charges between $35-45 dollars for TNR (surgery and rabies vaccine). For both places, you need to make and appointment and pay for the surgeries ahead of time. Please do NOT show up without an appointment as you may not be seen! The Spayathon for Puerto Rico offers free spay/neuter four times a year and they do allow feral cats. 

Step 2

You will need to buy or rent a humane cat trap. Humane Society rents traps for a small fee. 

Step 3

If there are other cat lovers and cat feeders in the area you plan to do TNR, talk to them and let them know your plan. They may be willing to help with the physical and financial responsibility. Let them know what day you plan to trap so they do not feed the cats for a day or two. This will make sure the cats are hungry and will enter your trap.

Step 4: Trap

Set up the trap with food that has a strong smell. We often use tuna in oil or sardines. Place the food in the back of the trap on the lever that will make the trap close behind the cat. You should stay far enough away from the trap so the cat goes into it. However, do not leave the trap for a long time because once you trap the cat, you want to quickly cover it with a towel and bring it to a safe, quiet, temperature controlled space. We trap the day before the surgery.

Step 5: Neuter

The morning of the surgery, you will bring the cats to the vet or organization. Usually you will pick up the cat a few hours later. The cat should stay in your care for that night to make sure that it safely recovers from the surgery. The veterinarian will tell you what signs to look for.

Step 6: Return

The day after the surgery, bring the cat back to where you trapped it. Stray cats are part of colonies and need to be returned to the area they were trapped. 

Step 7

Congratulate yourself on helping to prevent the birth of kittens on the street! Keep going if you enjoyed this experience. We can all make a difference! Consider asking family and friends to join you and make a social media account to document your work to see if people will support your efforts! 

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