UPDATED June 2017
Please read through to the end for all info including clinic closure dates. REMEMBER, cats MUST be returned to their original location for Trap-Neuter-Return. Some points of information:
Please see individual clinic info below for HOLIDAY CLOSURE DATES…
- Information regarding summer specific issues such as bugs, keeping cool, feeding, etc. is available here.
- If there is a community cat whose health you are concerned for, there IS HELP AVAILABLE! If the cat needs veterinary care beyond spay/neuter, PLEASE call us ASAP at 520-256-0443.
- DO NOT REMOVE KITTENS, READ this FIRST: What To Do If You Find Newborn, Infant and Young Kittens
- Trapping Tips
If you perform Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) during the summer, be mindful of the extreme heat. Do not leave cats in traps in the car or sun! — they can get heat stroke just like people, dogs and other mammals. Once the cat is trapped, keep her in the shade with a light, breathable trap cover or in an air-conditioned space. According to Dr. Foster and Smith, cats left inside vehicles on hot days are the most common heat stroke victims. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach well above 104 degrees quickly. SOME of the signs that a cat might be overheating include: Rapid breathing or panting, drooling, dilated pupils and vomiting. Don’t place traps on surfaces that get extremely hot from the sun, such as asphalt or cement. The metal can absorb the heat and burn the cat’s paws. It is possible for a cat to die from heat stroke when confined in a TNR trap for too long. A simple guideline to follow: if it’s too hot for you, it is too hot for the cats. During summer, even without extreme heat, trapping in the very early morning and then transporting to the vet that same morning is the safest way to trap. Be careful when trapping cats that you don't set traps in areas that attract ants. HEAT ADVISORIES: Pay attention to when extreme heat advisories are in effect, it is too hot for routine TNR during this time and it is extremely difficult for cats to recover from surgery in extreme heat. If you need to trap a cat that is seriously ill or injured during extremely hot weather, try to trap at night or very early in the morning (if possible) and then pull the trapped cat indoors (inside the trap) immediately to avoid heatstroke!
COVER TRAPPED CATS WITH A SHEET! This greatly minimizes stress to the cat. Towels are generally too small to cover traps with and too thick for summer trapping.
- Three clinics currently offer FREE sterilization (spay/neuter), vaccination and parasite treatment for feral/community cats brought in using a humane trap:
Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic Best for large numbers of cats or any cat with serious injury or illness as they are the only clinic that will help with treatment. This clinic holds cats for overnight recovery then you pick up cats the next day and return cats to the same place they were trapped. This clinic usually has Spanish speaking staff members available. They take trapped cats Mon-Fri, 9:30-11am and are located at 5408 S.12th Ave, 520-889-9643. No appointment is needed but call and make sure a vet will be in that week for these services & verify drop off time. 2017 HOLIDAY TNR CLOSURE DATES: July 4, 5, 17-21.
The Humane Society of Southern Arizona Best if you only have one or two cats that are at least 3 pounds and free of illness or injury. This clinic returns cats to you the same day. The cats must be held inside the trap by you, indoors and overnight before being released in the same place they were trapped the next morning. They take trapped cats Tue-Sat, 8-9am and are located at 3450 N Kelvin, 520-881-0321. Call the day before to make sure they are accepting feral cats for TNR services and especially if you are bringing more than 2 cats. On check-in: Depending on which form they have you fill out, REFUSE Felv/FIV testing because it is NOT necessary. HSSA has put down trapped cats that test positive (+) for FeLV whether the cats showed signs of illness or not, and whether the test result was proven accurate or not. This clinic IS safe to use as long as you do NOT get the cats tested. ALSO, it has come to our attention that HSSA is charging people for parasite treatment of trapped cats UNLESS they request the trapped cats to receive services under the Best Friends program, so be sure to ask for the Best Friends program. 2017 HOLIDAY TNR CLOSURE DATES: July 4
Altered Tails Tucson Can accommodate large numbers of cats. This clinic returns cats to you the same day. The cats must be held inside the trap by you, indoors and overnight before being released in the same place they were trapped the next morning. There is a LATE FEE charged here if cats are PICKED UP AFTER 5pm. You must schedule an appointment Tue-Fri with this clinic. They are located at 225 E Valenica Rd., 520-495-5900. 2017 HOLIDAY TNR CLOSURE DATES: 7/4, 11/23, 11/24, 12/26
- You can BORROW TRAPS for FREE as well as receive training on how to use them and ask questions about where to go for FREE spay/neuter of community cats by contacting one of the trap depots listed below:
Best Friends Community Cats Program (520) 820-4492 *if you have a large colony this is the best place to call Tucson Feral Trap Neuter Return (520) 256-0443 Tucson CARES (520) 990-8912 Tucson Feral Coalition (520) 256-0443 Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary (520) 571-7839 Pawsitively Cats No-Kill Shelter (520) 289-2747 The Last Resort (520) 792-9290
- At The Clinic:
When dropping off cats, ask the clinic staff to notify you if any cats are lactating. Lactating mothers usually need to be returned to their kittens after recovering from anesthesia but before the next morning if the kittens are under two months. The clinics will often not tell you this so if you are not sure if a cat is nursing or if her kittens will be safe without her for a day or more, then MAKE SURE YOU COMMUNICATE THIS WITH THE CLINIC!
Feral cats should NOT be TESTED for FeLV/FIV UNLESS THEY EXHIBIT SIGNS OF ILLNESS. This is a nationally recognized standard of care for feral/community cat colonies. Few exceptions to this rule exist. Killing a cat that is NOT sick or that has something that can be treated is NOT euthanasia . Ringworm is a minor skin fungus, ear mites are easily treated, even FIV is not a reason to kill a cat. For more information, please see "Testing For FeLV/FIV."
Feral cats should NEVER be turned in to community shelters or animal control as they’ll most likely be killed. The safest, most humane and EFFECTIVE option for controlling outdoor cat populations is Trap-Neuter-Return also called TNR. We provide information about all aspects of TNR including other outdoor cat issues.
- ALWAYS RETURN cats to the SAME place they were INITIALLY TRAPPED.