We practice a program called Trap/Neuter/Return/Manage, or T/N/R/M, to ensure that the stray cat population will shrink over time. The first step of this program is to Trap stray cats, usually in cat colonies where there are known to be an abundant number of unsterilized cats. The second step is to Neuter or Spay these cats at a veterinary clinic. There, the cats are sterilized, micro-chipped, and marked so they can be easily identified (usually by ear tipping or ear notching.) The third step is to Return these cats back to the location where they were found. The fourth step is for a cat caregiver to Manage the cat colony, providing food and veterinary care if necessary, as well as monitoring the growth of the colony. T/N/R/M is the only humane solution that makes sense for now given our current cat overpopulation issue here in Hawaii. Food costs for animal shelters and organizations will continue to rise if the cat population is not controlled.
Cats under our organization's care will be spayed or neutered and micro-chipped. We also provide medical attention to sick or injured cats. We work with other caregivers and cat care organizations to strive toward one common goal-- helping community cats. We do not believe in the euthanization of healthy cats!
All cats deserve a home, but if they do not have a home, the very least we can do is provide them with a healthy and safe home outside, with basic necessities such as food and water. With just these basic necessities, cats can survive. Cats are the most patient creatures-- they wait all night for that feeding, small or big, the best or the cheapest, what ever it is that we would like to feed them. They are thankful and so happy to see us! In return, the community cats will keep the rats away! You could say they are earning their food.
So the next time you see a kind person feeding a few cats in your neighborhood, please do not treat them like a "crazy cat person." Instead, treat them with respect. It's a very likely they are practicing T/N/R/M. We need to curb the feral cat population by raising awareness about this program. The more people know and support the program, the smaller the feral cat population will be in the future. The ultimate goal is for there to be no feral cat colony and that every cat has a home. However, this is too unrealistic at this time so we must do what we can today. We love our companion cats as well as our community cats. We are not trying to convert you into cat lovers, but we want to share and promote this information on T/N/R/M.