Millions of cats have been killed in the past century, and there’s no excuse. It’s time to set the record straight and stop the killing.



The Problem:


Catch, Kill, and Kill Some More.

Right now in communities across the country, millions of cats are being senselessly rounded up and killed. Virtually all of these cats are “euthanized” (killed!) -- because they aren’t adoptable.


Seven of ten cats in shelters are killed, and virtually all captured outdoor cats are killed.

are killed


What are Outdoor Cats?

Outdoor cats, sometimes called “feral” or “community” cats, live in family groups called colonies in urban alleys, city parks, and rural areas. They are part of the natural landscape.



Facts vs Myths:


Some people believe cats just don’t belong outdoors, that they live miserable lives there, and that they’re responsible for the decline of bird and wildlife populations. But it doesn’t add up.

  • Fact 1

    Outdoor and indoor cats are equally healthy and can have similar lifespans

  • Fact 2

    Human impact is the real culprit behind bird population decline

  • Fact 3

    Outdoor cats evolved with humans and are a natural part of our environment

  • Outdoor cats live long healthy lives outdoors.

    Research shows they do not suffer harsh lives or pose a health risk to other cats. Most importantly, feral cats are neither breeding grounds for disease, nor a health threat to the communities in which they live.

  • Despite sensational headlines, it’s a myth that cats are the reason for species population decline.

    Studies agree that human activities -- climate change, habitat destruction and pollution -- are the real culprits when some bird populations decline. That's why killing cats will never save birds.

  • Cats have always been a part of the natural landscape.

    Science shows cats are not to blame -- studies indicate that cats play important roles in balancing the local ecosystem.

    Why the Smithsonian research is wrong about cats

Catch & Kill Doesn’t Work

Catch and kill is a futile effort that has failed for decades --- with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars wasted and, worse, millions of healthy cats killed. The mass killing of cats is wasteful, cruel, and unethical. It's not the answer.

population chart

Years 1-4: Catch and kill wastes tax dollars to kill cats

Years 5-8: TNR program reduces cat intake and euthanasia 

The Vacuum Effect

Rounding up and killing cats does not decrease the outdoor cat population. It actually has the opposite effect, as removing cats creates a disastrous “vacuum effect” — other cats simply relocate to take advantage of the now-available resources like food and shelter, and the breeding continues.

  • Before

    Catch and kill removes some cats but not all

  • After:

    New cats move in and the cycle continues

Bottom Line:
The killing must stop


The Solution:



  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5
  • Healthy outdoor cats living in a neighborhood

    Healthy outdoor cats living in a neighborhood.

  • Some cats are humanely trapped by volunteers

    Cats are humanely trapped by volunteers.

  • Cats are brought to a vet to be neutered, vaccinated and eartipped

    Cats are neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped by a veterinarian.

  • Cats are returned to their outdoor home{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}<!--Cats are returned to the outdoor communities where they were taken-->

    Cats are returned to their outdoor home.

  • Cats live healthy lives but colony declines due to natural attrition

    Cats live healthy lives, but colony size declines over time.

Some TNR Success Stories

  • Lancaster, PA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Rome, NY
  • San Jose, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Oakland, CA
  • Denver, CO
  • Multnomah County (Portland, Oregon)
  • Cook County (Chicago), Illinois
  • Austin, TX
  • Maricopa County, AZ
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Atlantic City, NJ
  • New York, NY

Trap-Neuter-Return is working in thousands of communities across the country: it’s humane; protects cats; builds community; improves cats’ lives; ends the breeding cycle and saves taxpayer dollars.

Bottom Line: TNR Works