UPDATED APRIL 2019
Please read all the way through to the end for all info including clinic fees, clinic closure dates, kitten info, etc. REMEMBER, cats MUST be returned to their original location for Trap-Neuter-Return. Cats should NOT be trapped sooner than the night prior to going to the vet clinic. It is stressful for cats to sit in a trap for days before going to the vet, please don’t trap without a plan to go to the vet the next or same day.
Some points of information:
Please CALL individual clinics 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 or text 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
Trapping in EXTREME WEATHER CAN KILL CATS, be mindful of extreme heat. In general, for the Tucson summers, do NOT trap between 7am to 7pm, cats can overheat in traps too easily. No trapping when a heat advisory is in effect/during extreme temperatures or while storms are occurring or imminent. We personally advise not to do TNR if the temperatures will be above 104 for the week following surgery. 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, cover the trap with a light, breathable sheet and keep the trap in the shade or in an air-conditioned space. 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. If you need to trap a cat that is seriously ill or injured during extreme weather, try to trap at the most comfortable time of day (if possible) and then pull the trapped cat indoors (inside the trap) immediately to avoid temperature related illness! Access to shelter from sun and shaded food & fresh, clean water is needed after TNR in order to recover from surgery. See summer specific information for helping outdoor cats including making inexpensive feeding and watering stations, bug problems, keeping cool, etc., here.
COVER TRAPPED CATS WITH A SHEET! Once a cat is trapped, cover the trap with a breathable sheet. This greatly minimizes stress to the cat. Towels are generally too small to cover traps with and too thick for summer trapping.
- CALL ALL CLINICS 1-2 BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO THE DAY YOU PLAN TO GO, TO VERIFY THAT THEY WILL HAVE TNR SERVICES AVAILABLE! Otherwise you run the risk of being turned away.
One clinic offers FREE STERILIZATION, vaccination, and parasite treatment for feral/community cats brought in using a humane trap:
Santa Cruz Veterinary Clinic This is the ONLY clinic that will accept and help any cat with SERIOUS INJURY or ILLNESS. 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 in case there are changes to their schedule that we have not been notified about. 2019 HOLIDAY/TNR CLOSURE DATES: Call to verify.
???The Humane Society of Southern Arizona??? The Humane Society of Southern Arizona no longer has funding through the Best Friends Community Cat Program effective October 1, 2017. This clinic may or may not continue to offer TNR services for trapped cats through another means of funding. If you want to try and use the HSSA clinic, CALL them before you plan to bring cats there at 520-881-0321 to find out IF they are accepting TNR cats and IF you have to pay for any TNR services there They usually only accept 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. On check-in: REFUSE Felv/FIV testing because it is NOT necessary. HSSA has killed 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. AGAIN CALL THIS CLINIC TO SEE IF THEY ARE STILL OFFERING NO CHARGE TNR SERVICES OR NOT and on which days/times!
- 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:
Pima Animal Care Center Community Cat Program (520) 724-5983 pima.gov/communitycats , CommunityCats@pima.gov Hermitage No-Kill Cat Shelter & Sanctuary (520) 571-7839 Tucson CARES (520) 990-8912 Pawsitively Cats No-Kill Shelter (520) 289-2747 The Last Resort (520) 792-9290 Tucson Feral **ONLY for sick & injured cats** (520) 256-0443
- 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 SERIOUS 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.