HEART OF TEXAS
Search Group: Feral_Cats
Texas Feral Cat Organizations
On the Web
Humane Traps for TNR
1. The Nuts & Bolts of Implementing a Community-wide TNR Program
Helpful TNR Group "Start Up" Resources:
Who are "Heart of Texas Feral Friends" volunteers?
Heart of Texas Feral Friends is a group of volunteers from our community who want to make a positive, compassionate impact on the feral/free-roaming cats in Central Texas. It is a program of the Waco Humane Society effective May 2010. The Humane Society of Central Texas is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, so donations made to the “HOTFF” are tax-deductible.
What exactly is a feral cat? What is TNR?
A feral cat is an un-owned, free-roaming, unsocialized "semi-wild" cat who is the offspring of a domestic cat. The parent cat may have been lost or abandoned, but if he or she was not fixed, then they created kittens born into the wild. These outdoor kittens have little, if any, human contact, so they’re not necessarily the cute kittens you find for adoption at the animal shelter. These un-owned kittens grow up to be feral cats and are sometimes known as alley cats or street cats. However, these street cats are NOT completely wild, so they still rely on humans to feed them and help shelter them.
Trap-Neuter-Return is a compassionate, non-lethal alternative to feral cat control and maintenance. Basically, we humanely trap the feral cats, take them in to be fixed, where they also get scanned for a microchip. They’re given a rabies vaccination and a general check-up by the vet, and their left ear is clipped for tracking and identification. Then the cats are returned to the location where we trapped them to be monitored by the caregivers who feed and water them on a daily basis.
What is TNR?
Where are feral cats located?
Why does the spay/neuter help?
Once a feral cat is spay/neutered, they are healthier because they’re not fighting, or mating, or marking their territory for mating purposes. Feral cats can co-exist in neighborhoods and communities without being a nuisance as long as they have been fixed and aren’t producing any more litters of kittens.
Why doesn’t this “trap and kill” work?
Any creature, humans included, will go where there is food, water and shelter. Taking the cat out will only leave a void for another cat to fill. It’s called the “vacuum effect.” By trapping and returning, these established, stabilized and healthy feral cat colonies are better able to defend the territory without as much fighting.
Where have you done TNR in Waco?
Since 2007, Heart of Texas Feral Friends has helped many TNR feral cat colonies in the Greater Waco area. Again, some colonies are at businesses while others are located at or near an individual’s home. These are monitored colonies, meaning that our volunteers and caregivers are feeding the cats on a daily basis and watching for new cats that would need to be immediately TNR.
So these colonies are monitored daily?
Yes. At least once a day. A big part of TNR is monitoring the colony for any new cats. If a new cat shows up, we have to trap and spay it quickly, because one pregnant Mama cat can set us back quite a bit.
How do you know which cats have been fixed?
The left ear tip is the universal sign for a feral cat that has been fixed through the TNR program. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the left ear tip from the front, but it’s usually very easy to notice when we look at the back of their head. Occasionally, the right ear is tipped, but we recommend the left.
How do you know which cats have been fixed?
What are the goals of Heart of Texas Feral Friends?
Our ULTIMATE GOALS are to reduce the number of reproducing feral cats in our community through the compassionate TNR method, and decreasing the number of cats destroyed at the shelter. To do this, we teach caregivers how to TNR so they can get their feral cat colonies fixed - stopping new kittens from being born every few of months. We also want to bring awareness to the community that there is a humane alternative for feral cat control, and that trapping and killing is cruel and doesn't work.
Why are the feral cats not relocated or rehomed?
The “R” in TNR is “return” so it’s putting the cats back in their home after we spay/neuter. WE ARE NOT A "CAT/KITTEN RESCUE" OR RELOCATION. We can help you with resources and our "animal partners" if this is your need. We are strictly a "TNR group." These feral cats prefer to be outdoors and do not do well as someone’s pet. Feral cats can live pretty good lives if they are allowed to live in their own preferred environment, have someone to feed them and give them fresh water daily, and definitely vaccinated and spayed or neutered!
What are your challenges right now?
The demand from people requesting help to get started with TNR is huge! Volunteers and donations are needed to meet this demand. If you can help, please CONTACT US for information about our next VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION.
Are donations tax-deductible? Please send your DONATIONS payable to "HOTFF" at
Yes. As a non-profit organization, all funds that we raise go directly to the Humane Society of Central Texas' TNR program to help defray the costs for spay/neuter of feral cats. Your donations help caregivers who are: senior citizens; disabled; low-income; or those who are providing TNR to large colonies.
Humane Society of Central Texas
2032 Circle Rd.
Waco, TX 76706
PAYPAL DONATION OPTION COMING SOON!
Please send your DONATIONS payable to "HOTFF" at