Feral cats are a growing problem on Nantucket Island, whose population is estimated to be in the thousands. These cats pose a threat to native wildlife and can also be a nuisance to residents. To address this problem, CATTRAP Nantucket has implemented humane solutions that not only control the number of feral cats but also improve the lives of these animals.
CATTRAP Nantucket is a non-profit organization that aims to manage the feral cat population on the island through a program called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). In this program, stray cats are captured, spayed or neutered and returned to their original habitat. This prevents cats from breeding and reduces the overall population over time.
Before TNR was introduced, feral cats on Nantucket were often euthanized or left in the wild. With TNR, these cats are given a second chance at life, with volunteers providing them with food, water, and medical attention as needed.
One of the key components of the TNR program is the use of humane traps. CATTRAP Nantucket utilizes a variety of traps that are designed to capture feral cats without harming them. Once the cats are trapped, they are transported to a veterinarian, where they are spayed or neutered, given a medical exam, and treated for any health issues.
After treatment, the cats are returned to their homes, where they are given food and water and monitored by volunteers.
One of the benefits of the TNR program is that it is cost-effective. Traditional methods of controlling the feral cat population, such as euthanasia or relocation, can be expensive and often ineffective. With TNR, the cats are able to live out their lives in a natural environment, which reduces the need for ongoing control measures.
Another benefit of the TNR program is that it is a community effort. CATTRAP Nantucket relies on a network of volunteers to trap, transport, and care for feral cats. This creates a sense of community involvement and empowers individuals to make a positive difference in the lives of these animals.
The success of the TNR program on Nantucket Island has been impressive. Since its introduction in 2014, over 1,500 cats have been spayed or neutered, and the overall feral cat population has decreased significantly. This has led to a reduction in the negative impact of feral cats on native wildlife and a decrease in nuisance complaints from residents.