Friday, November 25, 2005

Harry & Toby - looking for a home HOMED

Meet Harry (the ginger one) amd Toby (the tabby). They are both about 5 years old, strays that were put together as SNIP had no room to keep them separate, and now they adore each other!

Toby is a big, solid muscley cat with a tattered ear, who is very shy at first so needs time to get to know you. Harry is braver, and the sweetest cat you could wish to meet.

They must be homed together as they are so devoted to each other. They have been waiting a long time for the right person to love them, as Toby in particular won't show his face if anyone comes to see them.

They have been used to going outside so need a garden. Could you give these lovely lads a second chance? Give SNIP a call on 0700 594 7647 or email your details to and someone will contact you.

Cloudy & Shelley - looking for a home HOMED

Cloudy (a black and white male, seen here about to phone a friend) and Shelley (a tortie and white female) are a brother and sister pair 3 and a half years old.

They have been in SNIP's care for ages, as they are wary of strangers and won't come out of hiding when anyone new comes to see them!

Shelley will take about a week to settle in a new place and Cloudy a lot longer, but they are both very affectionate when they get to know you - and, as you can see below, very fond of each other.

They had to be reluctantly given up from their previous home as a new child was allergic to them. They have always been indoors, so could go to a large indoor home or a home with a garden.

If you have a fairly quiet home and are willing to take the time to get to know them this pair will make loving companions.

Call SNIP on 0700 594 7647, and select the 'Adopt a Cat' option, or email your details to and someone will contact you.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Daily Cat Tips

Sunday, November 13, 2005

TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return)

What is TNR?
Trap/neuter/return, commonly referred to as "TNR", is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling feral cat population growth. Using this technique, all the feral cats in a colony are trapped, neutered and then returned to their territory, assuming it is a safe area and there is sufficient food available (ideally provided by a regular feeder). Kittens who are still young enough to be socialised, as well as friendly adults, are placed in foster care and eventually adopted out to good homes.
Those that are returned are marked, in the UK usually by ear-tipping (cutting off the tip of one ear while under the anaesthetic), so it can be easily seen that they have been neutered, and they will not have to be subjected to the stress of being caught (and possibly operated on in the case of females) for a second time. As they can no longer reproduce, the numbers in the colony gradually decline. The colony should be regularly monitored for any newcomers, so they can be neutered as soon as possible.

Why use it?
TNR has many advantages. It immediately stabilizes the size of the colony by eliminating new litters. The nuisance behaviour often associated with feral cats is dramatically reduced, including the yowling and fighting that come with mating activity and the odour of unneutered males spraying to mark their territory. The returned colony also guards its territory, preventing unneutered cats from moving in and beginning the cycle of overpopulation and problem behaviour anew. Particularly in urban areas, the cats continue to provide natural rodent control.

Another significant advantage to TNR is that, when practiced on a large scale, it lessens the number of kittens and cats flowing into local shelters. This results in lower euthanasia rates and the increased adoption of cats already in the shelters.

It also often improves the general health of the cat colony: the females are relieved of the burden of constant breeding and the males fight significantly less, so reducing wounds and the transmission of disease, such as FIV (feline AIDS) or FeLV (leukaemia) both within the colony and to pet cats.

Isn't it a lot of effort?
Well, yes, in the short term. But in the long term TNR is not just the best and most humane alternative to controlling feral cat populations - it is the only one that works.
Doing nothing results in populations growing so large they cause a nuisance, especially in urban areas with ready availability of food eg. around markets and restaurants, and in poor health for the cats.
Trying to find homes for all the cats is a practical impossibilty due to the numbers involved, and the fact that most of the adults will be impossible to tame.
Trapping and killing, apart from any moral or sentimental objections, is simply ineffective. If all the cats are not caught, then the ones left behind continue to breed until the former population level is reached. Even if all the cats are removed, new unneutered cats tend to move in to take advantage of whatever food source there was, and the cycle starts again.

Recognising this, many community, local government and animal welfare groups (including SNIP) throught the UK and worldwide are using the TNR method to control feral cats.

More information :