Trap, Neuter and return program


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Click the facebook icon on to Go to the Hamburg Rescue Project Facebook page. Join our community of people working to provide Health and Homes to local feral cats. Find out what you can do to assist and/or Donate to our T.N.R. program by clicking DONATE

Thank you ! 

Ongoing FundRaiser for Faith in Action Volunteer TNR program.

Faith in Action Volunteers would very much appreciate your help in raising $1200 for our most recent project which is to trap, neuter/spay local cats for year 2021. Our TNR program helps the neighborhood by keeping the feral cats healthier and keeping their colony numbers down.

Please click on DONATE. Everyone benefits and we thank you from our hearts !  

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Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the only humane and effective approach to community cats. Hundreds of shelters and municipalities support TNR, which is proven to stabilize and reduce population while providing additional benefits to the community: 

Stabilizes and reduces feral cat colonies 

Upon completion of TNR, the population immediately stabilizes, and reduces over time through natural attrition. No new kittens are born. 

A University of Florida study found a 66% reduction in population size over 11 years. 

Helps the shelter and local government

Shelters often find that it is more cost-effective to neuter and return a cat then to impound and euthanize. As a result, more resources are available for other programs

Shelter statistics are greatly improved because fewer cats and kittens are impounded. 

TNR offers public health benefits through vaccinations.


Answers the needs of the community 

Mating behaviors (such as yowling, spraying, roaming and presence of kittens) are reduced or eliminated. This makes community cats better neighbors with less visibility. 


Improves cats' lives

Cats live healthy lives outdoors, and TNR allows them to continue doing so. A Study from The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery found that less than 1% of more than 100,000 cats presented with debilitating or fatal conditions. 

TNR eliminated behaviors and stresses associated with mating, improving the overall health of community cats  


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July featured Article : Associates and Partners in Cat Care 

AAHA - American Animal Hospital Association -

AAHA seeks to lead the veterinary profession in the provision of the highest quality of care for companion animals by improving standards of care, championing accreditation, and supporting our member practices in all aspects of this pursuit.

Alley Cat Allies -

When it comes to cat advocacy, Alley Cat Allies is working in communities to champion low-cost spay and neuter policies and programs, as well as lifesaving Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR). Once viewed as radical new concepts, these humane cat protocols are now mainstream. But we still have a lot of work to do to ensure policies and programs in every community serve the best interests of cats.

We are a resource for tens of thousands of dedicated cat caregivers, advocates, nonprofit groups, and volunteers driving change and accelerating protection for millions of cats worldwide.

People for Paws -

People for Paws is a nonprofit organization located in the greater Shenandoah area. We are a volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing, fostering and finding homes for companion animals. People for Paws is comprised of a 7 member board and an increasing number of  local citizens and volunteers. We assist in the adoption and relocation of stray and pound animals from the Cities of Shenandoah and Essex as well as the surrounding rural area.

WIFCaP - Western Iowa's Feral and homeless Cat Program -

WIFCaP's Mission Statement:To trap, neuter & return(TNR)feral cats in Western Iowa & to provide support and encouragement to surrounding communities to do the same. After spay or neutering, to vaccinate and supply food and shelter to our colony of cats.

To educate community members on the importance of spay or neutering and to provide incentives for them to spay, neuter and vaccinate their pets. Referral to other agencies and shelters for the re-homing of friendly strays or kittens.

June featured Article : Presence of kittens

If a person is finding kittens outside, they are most likely born from unsterilized community cats. All cats in the colony, including the kittens, need to be spayed or neutered to ensure no population growth. 

Questions to ask : 

How old are the kittens ?

Is there a mother present ?

Are the kittens in a safe place ?

Are you able/willing to foster or adopt ?

Underage Kittens :

Underage kittens should stay with their mom until they are weaned. Leave the kittens with their mom whenever possible. 

If no mother is present, underage kittens will need specialized care from a foster home. 

Weaned Kittens : 

if the person is willing and able, the kittens can be spayed and either placed into foster care or adopted. The caller can take on this responsibility themselves, or try to work with a rescue organization to adopt the kittens into homes. If your shelter is equipped to adopt them out, this option can be offered.

If there is no shelter space or foster home available, it is perfectly okay for the kittens to be trapped, neutered, and returned to their outdoor home.

Older kittens : 

Generally, kittens 8-10 weeks and older who are not socialized to people should be trapped, neutered and returned to their outdoor home.

Offer a permanent and humane solution : 

Be clear that every cat in the area needs to be spayed or neutered, otherwise there will continue to be kittens. 

Resources : - How and when to care for and socialize Feral Kittens - How to care for Neonatal Kittens - Neonatal Kitten care Webinars and Kitten season primer. 

May featured Article : Feline Leukemia (FeLV) / FIV

FeLV is a common infectious disease of cats. A cat can be born with the virus - spread by the mother to the kittens during pregnancy or nursing. It is also spread from cat to t cat through shared food/water bowls, licking, grooming and litter pans 

There is NO CURE for FeLV. Cats that test positive and have a progressive infection will remain infected for the rest of their lives and are CONTAGIOUS TO OTHER CATS. Cats with a negative test should be vaccinated. 

Infection can lead to anemia, liver disease, lymphoma or leukemia, chronic infections of the mouth and respirator system and poor wound healing. 

Testing can identify a cat that has FeLV. this is typically a simple blood test done in the veterinarians office and also screens for FIV. ALL CATS AND KITTENS SHOULD BE TESTED FOR FELV to find positive carriers and help PREVENT the SPREAD of this KILLER DISEASE. 

April featured Article : Cats are yowling, fighting, spraying, roaming and having kittens

Explanation: These are all mating behaviors displayed by cats who have not been spayed and neutered, and they will continue to breed. 

Quick Solutions : 

Spaying and neutering and vaccinating the cats will stop these behaviors. Male cats will no longer compete, fight, spray, or roam. Females will stop yowling and producing kittens. After sterilization, hormones leave their system within three weeks and the behaviors usually stoop entirely 

To combat the urine smell, spray the area thoroughly with white vinegar or with products that use natural enzymes to combat the smell.

March featured Article : Feeding the cats attracts insects and wildlife. 

Explanation : Cats are to be fed under proper guidelines. Leaving food out can attract other animals.

Quick solutions : 

Keep the feeding area neat and free of leftover food and trash

Feed cats at the same designated time each day, during daylight hours. They should be given only enough food for them to finish in one sitting, and all remaining food should be removed after 30 minutes. 

February featured Article : Cats are lounging in my yard or on my porch. 

Short month, short article

Explanation : Cats are territorial and will remain close to their food source.

Quick Solutions

Apply cat repellent fragrances liberally around the edges of the yard, the tops of the fences and on any favorite digging areas or plants.

Install and ultrasonic animal repellant or a motion activated water sprinkler such as "catstop" or the "scarecrow" available at

Under the Porch : 

Physically block or seal the location the cats are entering with chicken wire or lattice. Be sure to look for kittens before confirming cats have left - especially during spring and summer !!

Provide a Shelter : 

Shelters should be hidden to keep the cats safe, and placing them in secluded areas can help guide the cats away from unwanted areas. 

January featured Article : Cats are digging in my garden and have paw prints all over my car. 

Cats on Car : Explanation - Cats like to be on high ground

Quick Solutions : 

*Gradually move cats' shelters and feeding stations away to discourage cats from climbing on cars. 

*Purchase a car cover

*Use deterrents listed in next section. 

Cats are digging in my garden : Explanation - It is a cat's natural instinct to dig and deposit in soft or loose soil, moss, mulch or sand. 

Quick Solutions :

*Scatter fresh orange and lemon peels or spray with citrus scented fragrances. Coffee grounds, vinegar, pipe tobacco, or oil of lavender, lemongrass, citronella, or eucalyptus also deter cats. 

*Plant the herb rue to repel cats, or sprinkle dried rue over the garden

*Use plastic carpet runner spike side up, covered lightly in soil. They can be found at local hardware of office supply stores. Or, set chicken wire firmly into the dirt with sharp edges rolled under. 

*Artfully arrange branches in a lattice-type pattern or wooden or plastic lattice fencing material over soil. You can disguise these by planting flowers and seeds in the openings. You can also try embedding wooden chopsticks, pinecones, or sticks with dull points deep into the soil with the tops exposed eight inches apart. 

*Obtain Cat Scat a nonchemical cat and wildlife repellent consisting of plastic mats that are cut into smaller pieces and pressed into the soil. Each mat has flexible plastic spikes that are harmless to cats and other animals but discourage digging. Available at www. 

*Cover exposed ground in flower bed with large, attractive river rocks to prevent cats from digging. They have the added benefit of deterring weeds. 

*Establish a litter box by tilling the soil or placing sand in an out-of-the-way spot in your yard. Keep it clean and free of deposits.

Resource : Alley Cat Allies

December featured Article : Cats are getting into my Trash.  

Explantion : Cats are scavengers and are looking for food. 

Quick Solutions : 

* Place a tight lid on your trash can. Exposed trash bags will attract wildlife as well. 

* See if neighbors are feeding the cats. If they are, make sure they are doing so on a regular schedule 

* Start feeding the cats yourself if you find no regular feeder - at the same time, during daylight hours, in an out-of-the-way place. Feeding cats regularly and in reasonable quantities, which can be eaten in less than 30 minutes or so, will help ensure they dont't get so hungry they turn to the trash.  

Resource : Alley Cat Allies

November featured Article : Removing Cats : A flawed approach 

Many people want a quick fix, and would like someone to come remove cats from their territory. However, removing cats is not a long-term strategy, as it is both ineffective and inhumane. 


When cats are removed from an area, two things happen: remaining cats continue to breed, and neighboring cats moving in to the newly available territory. This is a phenomenon known as the vacuum effect. and it is documented worldwide. Simply put, removing a cat or two from an area results in an endless cycle of population growth. 


Many people do not realize that "removal" means the cats will be killed. Because community cats are not socialized to people, they cannot be adopted into a home, and therefore do not have a positive outcome in a shelter setting. More than 80% of Americans believe that leaving a cat outside to live out his life is more humane than having the cat caught and killed. 

What about relocating the cats?

Relocation of community cats should only be undertake in the most extreme circumstances, such as imminent threats to their safety or habitat. Proper relocation of community cats is time and labor-intensive and requires specialized materials, location, and resources. Remember that simply removing cats, whether for euthanasia or relocation, does not prevent population growth. This is not a long-term solution.


The humane, effective solution is Trap-Neuter-Return. TNR is more effective and economical than removing cats, Which fails to sustainably decrease the cat population. `

October featured Article : Alternatives to Declawing 

Feline declawing is an elective and ethically controversial procedure, which is NOT medically necessary for cats in most instances. Declawing entails the amputation of a cat's third phalanx, or third toe bone. Unlike human nails, cats' claws are attached to the last bone in their toes. A comparison in human terms would be cutting off a person's finger at the last joint.

It is important to understand that scratching is normal behavior for cats. The primary reason cats scratch is to maintain the necessary claw motion used in hunting and climbing, as well as a means to stretch their body. Scratching serves to groom the front claws and leave markers of the cat's presence. A cat's claws grow in layers and scratching removes the worn outer layer to expose the new growth inside. Cat owners must therefore provide alternatives for cats such as suitable scratchers. 

Alternatives start with suitable "scratchers".. 

The placement of scratchers is very important. Cats often stretch or scratch when they wake up so consider placing one near where your cat sleeps or in front of a cat's preferred, yet undesirable, scratching object (e.g. corner of the couch). Kittens and cats can be trained to use scratchers by rewarding use of the scratcher with the cat's favorite treat. If the cat scratches elsewhere, they should be gently picked up, taken to the scratcher, and then rewarded. Cats should always be positively reinforced and never punished. 

Regular claw trimming

Regularly trimming your cat's claws can prevent injury and damage to household items. Proper feline nail trimmers should be used to prevent splintering of the claws. Ask your veterinarian for advice or a demonstration on trimming your cat's claws. Always trim claws in a calm environment and provide positive reinforcement. Proper training to scratch on appropriate surfaces, combined with nail care, can prevent damage in the home. 

Temporary Synthetic nail caps

These caps are glued over your cat's nails to help prevent human injury and damage to household items. The nail caps usually need to be re-applied every 4-6 weeks; therefore they may be a less desirable alternative to regular nail trimming, suitable scratchers, and environmental enrichment.  

Synthetic facial pheromone sprays/diffusers

Continued scratching by cats may be related to stress, anxiety, attention seeking, or a perceived lack of security in their environment. Anxiety can also be intensified by punishment, thus driving the cat to increase scratching behaviors in the same or other undesirable location in the home. Consider using synthetic pheromone sprays and or diffusers to help relieve anxiety or stress. 

Cat Cubes.jpg

As the picture to the left indicates, we have several foam coolers available which we have designated as feral cat shelters. If you would like to make one for yourself and your special outdoor kitty, please stop by our office and pick one up!

Video on how to make a feral Cat shelter. Click below