Active discussions

[untitled section]Edit

Hi, I'm new to wikipedia, and apologize if I'm making a newbie error.

I believe the latest edit by Tannin (22:37 13 Apr 2004) detracts from the neutral point of view of the article.

In particular the elimination of the clause "Many wildlife and bird advocacy organizations argue that..." changes the tone of the sentence by asserting "...does little or nothing to address destruction of native wildlife by feral cats" as a factual statement rather than a point of view held by those who oppose TNR.

I have tried to maintain a neutral tone when writing the article by using phrases like "Proponents ... believe", "they argue", "is said to be", so that the arguments made can be recognized as the views of those who promote TNR. When presenting the opposition, the tone of the sentence should make clear that the opposing argument is a viewpoint, so I think the "Many wildlife and bird advocacy organizations argue that..." phrase should be restored.

I propose the following compromise wording of the beginning of the last paragraph:

"However, the Trap-Neuter-Return approach is controversial. Many wildlife and bird advocacy organizations argue that TNR does nothing to address destruction of native wildlife by feral cats." Changing "not universally accepted" to "controversial" does not present the opposing point of view as something "out in left field" so to speak.

To add balance, I also propose adding this external link presenting the opposing point of view. User:FelineAvenger

The problem, FelineAvenger, is that you are trying to present a simple matter of fact as if it were an opinion. It would be perfectly acceptable, and indeed essential, to do as you suggest if we were talking about an opinion. But we are not talking about an opinion. It is not possible to rationally dispute the statement "TNR does nothing to address destruction of native wildlife by feral cats" - not unless you are going to claim that neutered cats don't eat meat, or something equally bizzare.
It is doubtless also true that "many organisations" argue this, but in putting it the way you propose would disguise the verifiable fact (that cats destroy native wildlife) behind a descripton of the social controversy that surrounds that fact.
By all means feel free to discuss the significance of the fact (say that pro-wildlife organisations make much of it, suggest that habitat destruction by humans is a bigger problem, point out that - at least in my part of the world - cats are thought to be a significantly less deadly native species destroyer than foxes, and so on). My objection to your previous edit was that you (unintentionally, no doubt) phrased the entry in such a way as to make it seem that wildlife destruction by cats was an opinion, which it isn't.
Make sense? Tannin 04:38, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

OK, I see where you are coming from, but it looks like it wasn't clear which part I'm trying to indicate is an opinion. It is indeed a fact that cats are predators and can kill wildlife. The part that is opinion is the idea that TNR does nothing about it.

Remember, the whole idea that elimination/removal of feral cat populations mitigates the problem of predation is the fact that if fewer predators are present, less total predation occurs. By the same token, other methods that reduce feral cat populations, including TNR, reduce predation as well, to whatever extent they reduce the population over the long term. I won't elaborate, since this is really a meta discussion, but suffice to say that there are plenty of people out there who believe their TNR efforts are reducing the number of feral cats and thereby mitigating the predation problem. Unless you consider that belief so absurd as to be not worth recognizing, the opposing point of view (that TNR does little or nothing about predation) ought to be recognized as an opinion.

So, I would propose the following revision:

"However, the Trap-Neuter-Return approach is controversial. Feral cats, which are introduced species in some parts of the world, predate upon wildlife. Many wildlife and bird advocacy organizations argue that TNR does nothing to address this issue."

This wording should allow the reader to distinguish the opinion part ("does nothing to address") from the factual part (feral cats are predators). I also changed "destruction" to "predation" because the former wording seems to connote that feral cats are the established cause of extinction of some species. Looks like I'd have to make some revisions to the subsequent sentence so it is less of a non-sequitur, something like "TNR proponents disagree, saying that their efforts mitigate predation by reducing the feral cat population, and that in any case, feral cats are scapegoats..."

I would still add the outside link to the opposing position statement.

Does that satisfy your objections, Tannin?

FelineAvenger 07:03, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC) Revised FelineAvenger 17:01, 14 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Hi Tannin. It's been about two weeks since my proposed revision. Since you've not responded, I'm going to assume that the suggested wording, or similar, will satisfy your objection, or that you no longer have an interest in the subject. I'm going ahead with some changes that will include something like what I've proposed above.

FelineAvenger 17:45, 27 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I agree with FelineAvenger's reasoning for the changes suggested. --TiagoTiago (talk) 05:33, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

Article Entirely Lacks Sources!Edit

I do not see any specific sources cited whatsoever.

This is true for the entire article but the most egregious part seems to be,

On the other hand, sterilized feral cats returned to their site of capture do not breed, and proponents claim they keep fertile outsiders away although recent research contradicts this claim.

Such a statement is untenable if not backed-up by any source.

What "recent research" and where did it appear?

--Eitz Chayim (talk) 17:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)


need section on mandatory spay/neuter legislation. -- (talk) 10:50, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

More info neededEdit

"Nonetheless, TNR remains a somewhat unconventional approach and is not universally accepted." This statement should be elaborated on to include why TNR is not accepted by some. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:03, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

One-Sided Article; Does Not Discuss TNR SupportEdit

Though this article purports to be of a Wikipedia-standard neutral tone, it discusses the 'claimed' effectiveness of TNR with no sources or support and refers to TNR as 'said to,' 'claiming,' and 'argued' to be effective, all verbs that imply conjecture and opinion. However, in the section titled 'Effectiveness,' the article discusses ONLY those pieces of information and sources that support TNR as ineffective, although there have been multiple studies concerning the effectiveness of TNR in communities and scientifically controlled trials (see: Levy and Crawford 2004, articles posted by Alley Cat Allies, San Diego TNR study by John Dunham & Associates, press release 2010, numerous other articles and discussions).

Statements that are clearly one-sided continue throughout the rest of the article, such as "It is opposed by numerous non-governmental organizations and federal and state agencies concerned about wildlife conservation and public health." (This is unfounded and incorrect; many local governments and municipalities have moved towards TNR in recent years and such a broad-stroke assumption is both asinine and incorrect: Cities/counties such as Salt Lake, Utah, Old Bridge, New Jersey, Athens, Georgia, Gainesville, Florida, Long Beach, New York, and others have implemented TNR with successful results.) The further discussion of feral cat destruction on wildlife completely ignores that fact that "the greatest threat to birds is the loss and/or degradation of habitat due to human development and disturbance." (

It is not to say that TNR is necessarily entirely effective or ineffective, but this article CLEARLY does not indicate a strong support of TNR in the literature as well as policy. It is a shame that Wikipedia readers with little to no knowledge on this subject will read this article and be pushed firmly in the direction of the author's bias on this important issue. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I strongly agree. Statements such as "TNR advocates do what they do because they enjoy feeling needed by cats, but don't want to take full responsibility for them or the environmental damage they cause outdoors by keeping them safe indoors or in an enclosure," no matter if it is one of the very few statements with sources, are not only POV but downright offensive. I am marking this article for a POV check. Furthermore, a simple google search produced results such as this one directly contradict statements such as "No long-term studies have shown that TNR is effective in reducing the numbers of cats on a large-scale." toll_booth (talk) 00:19, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
I looked at the edit history of this article. Turns out that a POV tag was placed as recently as last month! I've done some work so far, but the article has a long way to go before it can claim to be POV-neutral. Upgrading the pov-check to a straight-up POV tag component (in the multiple-issues tag). toll_booth (talk) 01:50, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Effectiveness by what measure?Edit

It looks like the only measure of effectiveness this article considers is whether the population of feral cats is reduced. I'm sure animal lovers are just as interested in reducing the number of animals euthanized as a measure of effectiveness.

Also, I've heard TNR advocates claim that since new cats are moving into the area less frequently, the program costs less than it would to attempt to eradicate wave after wave of immigrant cats. If true, it would be effective from an economic standpoint.--Jeff (talk) 23:52, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

This a terrible article. Most of the Effectiveness section isn't even sentences, and as far as I can tell, much of it claims the opposite the what the citations actually say. I'm trying to fix it up a bit but I'm not an expert on the topic! I came here to find out if TNR actually works. Jonathan2112 (talk) 02:07, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Covers All the Important IssuesEdit

This article is well written and supported and hits on all the salient issues of TNR. Some organizations will argue no-kill at any price. Some will argue for euthanasia of all feral cats. In my experience as a trapper and rescuer every situation must be evaluated on its own merits. There is no answer that will be the best course of action for every feral cat or feral cat colony. — Preceding unsigned comment added by HiArborCARES (talkcontribs) 19:36, 6 March 2014 (UTC)


Intro sentence:

"also known as trap-test-vaccinate-alter-release (TTVAR),"

The acronym TTVAR is so little used, I'm not sure it belongs in the introductory defining sentence. There is another term I have seen used, TNVR, trap-neuter-vaccinate-return, which appears to have a lot more usage. Maybe a tidier placement for the acronyms can be found than the intro sentence. I would put it at the end of the paragraph, saying TNR is sometimes known as TNVR or TTVAR, spelling them out of course.

Fixed that problem and researched the acronyms in use, added a paragraph.

More to come, the article needs a lot of work.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 04:11, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Definition of TNR - broadening the types of cats, and outcomes.Edit

TNR is about more than feral cats, but also about abandoned tame cats and the kittens of tame or feral cats. These kittens and cats are typically socialized and adopted into homes. The expression community cat has been used to describe this broader group of free-roaming cats. Feral cats are only those completely unsocialized to humans, terrified of humans and not interested in bonding with them. Their numbers are much fewer.

" ... a method of humanely trapping unaltered feral cats, spaying or neutering them, and returning them to the location where they were collected." I suggest a broader definition that is more inclusive, as well as being more descriptive of the program. I suggest:

"a program through which free-roaming community cats (not belonging to particular humans) are humanely trapped; sterilized and medically treated; and returned to the outdoor locations where they were found. If those locations are deemed unsafe or otherwise inappropriate, feral cats (unsocialized to humans) are relocated to farmyard homes. Kittens still young enough to be socialized, and friendly adult cats, are typically placed in foster care for eventual adoption into homes as companion animals, rather than returned to the outdoors. Cats found suffering with terminal or untreatable illnesses or injuries are humanely euthanized."

I'm going to add references for these concepts as they haven't been discussed elsewhere in the article. Carrying on ... enjoy! Don't see much discussion but I hope this section helps people better understand the edits I am making, and feel free to offer suggestions for improvement. Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 03:44, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Organizations supporting TNR (in main definition section)Edit

First going to tackle the question of organizations endorsing TNR, in the main definition section (not sure how happy I am with naming a bunch of organizations as part of the definition, but that is here right now so will carry on in that way for now.)

Only one supportive organization is mentioned right now, in these words: "TNR is promoted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) as a humane and more effective alternative to euthanasia for managing and reducing feral cat populations." When you go to the link, the position statement, it doesn't mention anywhere about TNR being an alternative to euthanasia. I think it would be more accurate to mention a quote from the position statement itself, where it says TNR is "the most humane, effective and financially sustainable strategy for controlling free-roaming cat populations." I also feel that the word "promote" is not quite accurate as it makes it more of an advocacy service, but "endorse" expresses that it supports TNR publicly.

Found another link saying "The ASPCA endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies." I think I will combine and use both quotes. "Feral Cats FAQ"], ASPCA, accessed June 20, 2014. The word "endorse" seems to be endorsed :).

I'm also going to add another endorsement by the HSUS, with its position statement. There was a dead link to it under the External Links, but I found a live one. Also found a more current link to their programs for feral cats.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 02:00, 21 June 2014 (UTC)

Opposition to TNR - outline of the views, some of the main organizations involved, and references.Edit

I haven't had any discussion at all on my edits to date but believe it is good form to give some explanation of what I am doing, especially as this is a meaty topic with controversy. If I am changing material that someone else carefully put together I think it's reasonable for them to have some explanation for the changes.

Now addressing the remaining paragraph in the definition of TNR that talks about opposition. It currently reads: "TNR is opposed by wildlife advocacy organizations, PETA, and conservation scientists.[11][12][13][14] Advocates claim that the procedure works by stopping the birth of new cats in the colony and letting the colony members live out their lifespan, approximately six years for outdoor cats, with their own group. Opponents claim that TNR subsidizes a non-native predator responsible for the deaths of more than fourteen billion birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians annually in the United States alone."

It isn't accurate to say it's opposed by wildlife advocacy organizations, as not all do oppose it - The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK for one is not against TNR and doesn't believe cat predation is an issue. Will provide a link. It's also misleading to say it's opposed by conservation scientists, as it implies that all such scientists oppose TNR. Roger Tabor in the UK is a leading naturalist, biologist and cat behaviourist and does not oppose TNR.

PETA doesn't really belong in this section. They don't outright oppose it, offering guidelines for TNR, but offering the opinion that in their view death is better than life as a feral cat. This really belongs more in another topic as it isn't about the controversy about cat predation.

What I propose to do is put forth the differing views about cat predation. I will give a couple of key organizations (American Bird Conservancy, The Wildlife Society) with links to their anti-TNR materials and position statements. I'm going to put forth their main argument, which is about the decimation of bird populations, not reptiles and other creatures. The issue claimed about cats being a non-native predator I will expand on in the discussion section of the article, rather than here. I'll also mention their suggestions for what the alternative of TNR should be. I will then set out what TNR advocates counter to those claims. The current statement: "Advocates claim that the procedure works by stopping the birth of new cats in the colony and letting the colony members live out their lifespan, approximately six years for outdoor cats, with their own group" is a bit simplistic, doesn't address all the pertinent issues, while the life span of a feral cat doesn't need to be in this introductory section (and may not be accurate as stated either).

The current references provided to the organizations opposing TNR are weak. Four references are listed after a single statement, which isn't the best writing practice. These are the current four after the first statement about opposition of several organizations (renumbered for simplicity):

1 Christopher A. Lepczyk, Nico Dauphine, David M. Bird, Sheila Conant, Robert J. Cooper, David C. Duffy, Pamela Jo Hatley, Peter P. Marra, Elizabeth Stone, and Stanley A. Temple (2010): "What Conservation Biologists Can Do to Counter Trap-Neuter-Return: Response to Longcore et al." Conservation Biology

2 Jim Sterba (13 November 2012). Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 259.ISBN 978-0-307-98566-8. Retrieved 11 April 2013.

3^ American Bird Conservancy: "Cats Indoors".

4^ The Wildlife Society: "Problems with Trap Neuter Release".

The first reference is one of the studies used by the anti-TNR groups, and might be more appropriate elsewhere. It can't be used as a reference directly for the organizations themselves. The second reference is to a digital copy of a book called Nature Wars. It is definitely writing on the topic but again I'd prefer to include it in the more detailed discussion about opposition to TNR rather than here. I'll include the third reference about ABC's campaign. The fourth link to the Wildlife Society was actually a link to ABC's Cats Indoors campaign; I'll provide more direct references.

The next two references follow the comment that cats kill lots of birds. The current references are to two news reports, ABC and New York Times. They now read as follows. The first reference has been mis-titled - the article is really "Roaming Cats Pose Big Threat to Bird Populations, Study Finds". Someone has inserted an editorial comment in the first reference, criticizing the position of ABC and PETA. Although it may make some interesting points for TNR advocates, it must have made its way in to the wrong section and doesn't belong in the citation. The references are also missing dates, which I'll include. I'm going to use the NYT reference (the sixth one) for this paragraph as the ABC is from 2011 and uses lower population figures not being used now. It will be better for the in-depth discussion later on.

5 - Bradley Blackburn: "Roaming Cats Kill up to a Billion Birds a Year, American Bird Conservancy Reports", The fourth letter to the movement of TNR movement, implicit in its work is "M" for maintenance of the colony. Humans - often but not always - who TNR the colony also provide food and medication to control parasites. Feral Colonies form around food sources; this is why they are usually found near dumpsters behind restaurants etc. NPR recently broadcast results of a tracking study indicating the average cat is able to catch less than 14% of what ever it stalk. PETA opposes TNR based on the dangers of living without human guardianship. Their literature points to case after case of cats being poisoned, burned, shot with arrows, etc. Cats that allow humans to get close enough to pick them up and abuse them are generally socialized to humans to begin with. True ferals generally conceal themselves during daylight hours shunning contact with humans in any case. PETA also opposes cruel confinement for any species. Depriving any living thing ~ including felines kept locked indoors~ opportunity to feel prt of the natural world could be characterized as cruel confinment. .'ABC News.

6 - Angier, Natalie. "That Cuddly Kitty Is Deadlier Than You Think". New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2013. Looks like I neglected to sign this earlier, so signing twice Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 07:13, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I just noticed that in the middle of the current list of organizations opposing TNR, is now listed the American Veterinary Medical Association. That is incorrect, their position is neutral ( I am going to take it out.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 07:13, 10 November 2014 (UTC)


I'm going to revise the methodology section.

It now says:

"Trap-neuter-return begins with the humane trapping of feral cats. The cats are taken (in the trap) to a spay/neuter location for surgery. More and more communities are offering low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for feral cats, but prices vary depending on location. All TNR programs include rabies vaccinations, and some also include providing vaccinations against certain diseases like feline panleukopenia, herpes, and calicivirus. Finally the cat is marked by "eartipping," removing 3/8 inch (1 cm) off the tip of the left ear. Eartipping easily identifies a cat as being neutered and vaccinated, and can often be a lifesaving measure, sparing the cat unnecessary surgery, confinement or euthanasia.[29]

"Some programs choose to test cats for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and/or feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) prior to sterilization, and euthanize if the test is positive. The value of FIV/FeLV testing is the subject of debate among feral cat advocates, with some stating that testing is an ineffective use of limited funds that otherwise could be used to sterilize more cats, and others holding the position that it is unethical (and inhumane) to release a cat that is carrying a virus that causes deadly disease and that is transmissible to other cats. The ASPCA guidelines for the sterilization of feral cats recommend not testing as the limited resources would be best applied to population reduction.

"After the cat is sterilized it is placed back in the trap and allowed to recover from surgery. The feral cat is monitored and cared for in a controlled location, usually the trap inside the home of the colony manager, with food and water. Generally, cats should have 24 hours of recovery time and can be returned to their colony when they are awake, alert, and do not require further medical attention. Some cats may require more extended recovery time, and should be transferred to a holding pen if they require more than 48 hours of recovery."

There is only one reference, which is a dead link from

The above is a little outdated and misses a lot of steps. The testing issue is not really a subject of debate anymore. The low cost surgeries are another facet, goes beyond methodology in my view. I'm going to add a bunch of steps with references to everything.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 06:11, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

Removing warning about multiple issuesEdit

I'm going to remove the warning at the top of the article that says it has multiple issues. The text of it is added here for future reference. I have added numerous inline citations for the introduction section and the methodology section. Both sections are written in a neutral fashion and with a view to factual accuracy. There is still work to be done on the remaining sections, but that should not detract from the value that I believe the article now has.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 19:08, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

Legal issuesEdit

I'm now working on the Legal Issues section. The current discussion (copy provided below) is missing some important points, and goes in a direction that isn't supported by the current legal paradigm. To begin with, it describes feral cats as "exotic feral carnivores". An exotic species is defined as a "plant or animal species introduced into an area where they do not occur naturally, non-native species." (Biology Online). Given that cats have lived with humans for thousands of years ("the oldest remains found in the grave of a human are 9,500 years old": Temple Grandin, Animals Make Us Human, 2010, Mariner Books, p. 67), I have trouble with seeing them as introduced, especially in inhabited locations all over North America where we are usually talking about them. In any event, this issue just doesn't make it into the legal annals as far as I can tell.

In fact, there are many local ordinances all over the US and other locations in the world, which support TNR. I'm going to mention some of them. I'm also going to discuss the court case mentioned (Urban Wildlinds v Los Angeles City) along with other court cases where TNR issues have arisen.

The Broward County, Florida program mentioned in the current paragraph is not so clear-cut. They are still discussing whether they should support TNR more. At this link,[1], the county was looking at having TNR available but not solely relying on it. No one agreed and the issue is still up in the air. I don't think it is the best example of legal issues because there is confusion (or maybe it is a good example of where things are in flux!)

The current text is provided here in case anyone is interested:

"In the United States feral cats as exotic feral carnivores have no legal protection, as the native wildlife does. Any exotic animal, if they are not owned by someone, technically are a potential target that can be legally trapped and euthanized under the State nuisance laws. Many states do not even have an adequate definition of what a "feral cat" is, such as California and its State Codes. Furthermore, when Cities or Counties support TNR policies, they have been stopped with court actions when an environmental review was not completed to analyze the impact of releasing feral exotic carnivores into the environment. The case Urban Wiildlands Group v. The City of Los Angeles [2] stopped that city's TNR program because of a lack of an environmental review. The conflict between Listed Endangered Species and feral cats is a perennial legal problem, and Broward County in Florida has decided to solve that conflict by converting from a TNR program, to the new TSAFE [3] (Trap-Sterilize-Adopt-Foster-Euthanize). TSAFE program is designed to end the release of feral exotic carnivores into the environment." Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 06:51, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

Not sure I understand what you're saying, but if you're arguing that feral cats don't qualify as an exotic, introduced, species just because they've lived with humans for 1,000's of years, I'd have to argue the point. Just because they lived with humans in many places, that doesn't make them natural predators in North America; I don't believe they had domesticated cats until Europeans brought them over. Now we have huge populations of humans, which has brought huge numbers of cats which have entered the local food chains. They don't naturally belong there, and wouldn't be there in not for human actions. Sorry if I'm just misunderstanding you. AnnaGoFast (talk) 04:36, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

Significance of "&nbsp" in editsEdit

I noticed that Mr Stephen made a number of edits where "&nbsp" was added to footnotes and in one case to page content (between "1" and "cm" in discussion of ear-tipping feral cats). This code doesn't seem to affect the displayed content. I'd like to understand the significance of these changes. Is it to alert to some type of problem?

Sometimes it's where I've used a reference like "Neighborhood Cats" that I defined earlier in the footnotes stating "hereinafter 'NC TNR Guide'". I considered using named references, but because you can't add different page numbers to named references, they don't work well here, especially where I want to refer to more than one document in a footnote. So I've chosen to spell out "NC TNR Guide" and refer to it later. Maybe it will help avoid confusion if I give another announcement of its name under "External Links".

Sometimes I notice this "&nbsp" code was inserted where ellipses were used; is there some problem in using ellipses in a quotation where it is being truncated? In one case the ellipses were actually part of the title of the web page, but now I see that the organization has changed the title & I can change it accordingly: "Fosters are desperately needed…", MCA Society, Conroe, Texas, accessed July 10, 2014.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 18:22, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

  inserts a non-breaking space. It is used to prevent line breaks appearing in the wrong place. I think the particular uses here are described at WP:ELLIPSES and at WP:UNITS, and prevent the ellipsis or unit abbreviation starting a line. Regards, Mr Stephen (talk) 21:47, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Mr Stephen, good to know! Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 22:29, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Effect on wildlife sectionEdit

This section needs a fair amount of work ... someone asked for a reference for the UK data, and so I am going to add that with more details about what the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds says.

The statement just prior to that cites a reference which does not stand for what it says: "The International Union for Conservation of Nature states that feral cats have been responsible for the extinction of at least 33 bird species world-wide" references Jim Sterba's book, Nature Wars. (This was the citation given: Jim Sterba (13 November 2012). Nature Wars: The Incredible Story of How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 259.ISBN 978-0-307-98566-8. Retrieved 11 April 2013.") I read his book's discussion of feral cats, and it doesn't give a number of species affected. He makes a number of points that can be addressed in more detail, but for now this erroneous statement needs to be removed.

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 04:17, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Rationale and effectiveness of TNREdit

I plan to revamp the current sections and put them together into one that explains the main issues comprehensively. I like to explain the changes I make here, to be respectful to the people who put the effort into writing what is already there. I've included what is said now below. It contains some statements that are unsupported. The Longcore paper cited suggests that TNR effectiveness evidence is only supported by websites, not research. Well, that just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. The research will be provided.

Supporters of TNR embrace this practice as part of a "no-kill" philosophy. Euthanasia on a massive scale is not fiscally practical. TNR advocates agree that the traditional methods of trapping-and-removing will not work because of a "vacuum effect": As some cats are taken out of their territory, others will move in to replace them, which renders the initial removal ineffective.[1] However, there is little to no scientific evidence to support this claim.[citation needed] If other feral cats are available to do so, the primary factor of whether they will or not is the availability of food: If enough food is present, then any nearby cats may move in.[2]
This, however ignores one simple fact. The food supply for most "community cats" is food provided to them by people. If people are prevented from feeding free roaming cats, there will be nothing to attract other cats to replace those removed.[citation needed]
Studies have been conducted to gauge the effectiveness of TNR. Several of them suggest that the procedure works.[3][4][5] A PhD study in North Carolina found that TNR consistently reduced the populations of feral cat colonies by a mean of 36% over two years and with the extinction of one third of the colonies within the same period, while the non-TNR'd colonies increased by a mean of 47%.[6] One peer-reviewed study showed a reduction in numbers of cats with TNR by 66% over an 11 year period.[7]
However, a study by Castillo (2003)[8] found that TNR was ineffective due to feeding locations attracting even more feral cats while also providing a convenient place to illegally dump unwanted cats, although advocates argue that dumping is a separate issue and does not invalidate TNR.[9] A review article by Longcore et al. (2009) argues that TNR advocates are too concerned about cat welfare and not about the effect on indigenous wildlife.[10] The authors argue that populations are not stable and movement of cats is significant between urban areas and nearby woodland. They also state that cats can reach high densities when there is a reliable food source without proper sterilization and management. California State University researchers published mathematical models of feral cats populations suggesting that 71–94% of a population needs to be sterilized for the population to decline, based on case studies of San Diego and Alachua Counties.[11]

Canadianknowledgelover (talk) 03:17, 15 October 2014 (UTC)


  1. ^ Tabor, Roger (December 8, 1983). The Wild Life of the Domestic Cat. Arrow Books Ltd. ISBN 0-09-931210-7.[page needed]
  2. ^ Tabor, Roger (April 30, 2003). Understanding Cat Behavior. David & Charles. ISBN 0-7153-1589-7.[page needed]
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference Hughes 2002 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Levy JK, Gale DW, Gale LA (January 2003). "Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 222 (1): 42–6. doi:10.2460/javma.2003.222.42. PMID 12523478.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Zaunbrecher KI, Smith RE (August 1993). "Neutering of feral cats as an alternative to eradication programs". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 203 (3): 449–52. PMID 8226225.
  6. ^ Stoskopf MK, Nutter FB (November 2004). "Analyzing approaches to feral cat management--one size does not fit all". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 225 (9): 1361–4. PMID 15552309.
  7. ^ Levy JK, Gale DW, Gale LA (January 2003). "Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 222 (1): 42–6. PMID 12523478.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Castillo D, Clarke AL (2003). "Trap/neuter/release methods ineffective in controlling domestic cat 'colonies' on public lands" (PDF). Natural Areas Journal. 23 (3): 247–53.
  9. ^ The Truth About Trap-Neuter-Return and Feral Cat Colony Movement
  10. ^ Longcore T, Rich C, Sullivan LM (August 2009). "Critical assessment of claims regarding management of feral cats by trap-neuter-return". Conservation Biology. 23 (4): 887–94. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01174.x. PMID 19245489.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Foley P, Foley JE, Levy JK, Paik T (December 2005). "Analysis of the impact of trap-neuter-return programs on populations of feral cats". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 227 (11): 1775–81. PMID 16342526.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

Terrible one-sided delusional propagandaEdit

This is basically nothing but justification with no evidence, while it appears any criticism is downplayed if not entirely redirected into supporting perspectives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 19 December 2015 (UTC) @Seattle: The reason for this POV dispute still isn't clear, though. Did you notice any specific problems with this article when you added the {{NPOV}} tag? Jarble (talk) 05:35, 17 March 2016 (UTC)

Hey Jarble, thank you for the notice. I tagged this article as POV because there's several instances of peacock terms, ("organizing a mass neutering drive"... how big is "mass"?), non-neutral language ("They point out"... "point out" is actually an example of what not to say at WP:SAY), and synthesis ("TNR programs improve the welfare of the cats involved in many ways"). I'm sure there are other examples. If you need more, feel free to contact me again. Thanks. Seattle (talk) 01:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Cats vs birdsEdit

I'm not sure why people think that ensuring that all cats have owners is going to save many birds. Unless you keep it inside all the time, a cat will kill any bird that it can manage, judging by cats I've known in the past. Whether it's hungry or not. Whether the bird dies here or there, makes no difference. At least when it's killed by a feral cat, it'll probably get eaten, instead of left on your doorstep as a gift. AnnaGoFast (talk) 04:44, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your valuable opinion. 2601:644:1:3E52:0:0:0:5BC8 (talk) 16:11, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

This page is cat colony propaganda. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:40, 3 November 2016 (UTC)


All the citations in the first paragraph seem to be examples rather than studies. Just because one person/group does this, doesn't mean everyone who does TNR applies the same methodology. The citation about community cats had nothing to do with free-roaming/feral cats. I think free-roaming is more accurate here, as there is no hard and fast way to know if the cats you are trapping belong to anyone. — Preceding unsigned comment added by VasCat (talkcontribs) 02:29, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

I also created a new section for the groups who support and are against TNR, as I'm not sure this belongs in the intro. Edit to the acronyms section of the intro specifying that these are variations rather than necessarily being exactly the same thing as TNR. — Preceding unsigned comment added by VasCat (talkcontribs) 02:42, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 13 external links on Trap-neuter-return. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 01:43, 5 September 2017 (UTC)

TNR: No scientific basisEdit

  Moved from User talk:SMcCandlish

Regarding your revert [1] (and edit summary)You replace stuff that's factual, and some stuff that might be OR, and might not be, and stuff that's a WP:DUE balance between competing claims, with your own "stated like WP:TRUTH" decision that "there is no scientific basis". That's the original research here. We don't say one side of a sourced dispute is correct.

Well, for sourcing, I have papers from Nature and Wildlife Biology, and you have Alley Cat Allies. You're calling for false balance between these viewpoints. One is scientific, the other is fringe.

The statement that there 'no scientific basis' that you took particular exception to is sourced.

From the paper in Nature [2].

Claims that TNR colonies are effective in reducing cat populations, and, therefore, wildlife mortality, are not supported by peer-reviewed scientific studies.

From Conservation Biology [3]

First, TNR is often presented to policy makers and the public as a scientifically valid and humane way of controlling and managing homeless and unwanted cats. Proponents of TNR are well organized and push for TNR friendly policies in communities and shelters around the United States, often with little opposition from the conservation biology and wildlife ecology communities. The reasons behind this lack of opposition are unclear, but it may be that conservation biologists and wildlife ecologists believe the issue of feral cats has already been studied enough and that the work speaks for itself, suggesting that no further research is needed. Or, they simply do not want to devote time and energy to the issue and are unaware of policy actions....

When local policies or regulations are put forth that promote the teaching of creationism or intelligent design, the evolutionary biologists have responded in force from across the nation and world. Such responses have been successful in defeating attempts to favor the teaching of creationism or intelligent design and serve to remind the public that the scientific evidence overwhelmingly supports the theory of evolution. We the conservation community should consider the issue of TNR in the same light and challenge such propositions when they are raised. Without such challenges by those who are knowledgeable about the subject, we simply allow the use of TNR to grow and thereby gain further acceptance.

So not only does TNR have no scientific basis, they just compared it to Young Earth Creationism in a major peer-reviewed journal. It's not OR for me to say that it has no scientific basis, and there is no balance issue.

You should self revert. Geogene (talk) 14:32, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

@Geogene: I don't like being mass-reverted either. Unlike 99% of mass reverters, I'll actually commit to working through the material. You have an opinion that it has no scientific basis. That needs to be set aside (I actually tend to agree with your opinion, and have put aside my opinion, too). We have sourced evidence of real-world dispute about whether or not it has a scientific basis. Your sources should be added. We do not hide the fact that the world is having a dispute about this. We also do not delete sourced factual claims, e.g. "TNR is sometimes described as trap–neuter–release", while removing other material. We do not flatly state in Wikipedia's own voice "There is no scientific basis for claims that TNR is effective in reducing feral cat populations" when the real-world sources dispute this and your sources are primary-research papers. We don't just delete a claim, then present a counter-claim as if it's the truth (much less leave half the original claim behind, directly contradicting the new "truth", as you did in the top part of this edit. And so on. I can take this line-by-line if you want me to.

However, I think it would be way more constructive to for you to a) add sources and neutral, non-advocacy statements based on those sources, without ripping gaping holes in the existing material; and b) separately discuss any sentences you feel are engaging in OR, as you claim. I'm happy to help remove it, and already restored your deletion of this for example. It's just going to take a long time to go through it all, and WP:There is no deadline.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  15:06, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Literature reviews are secondary, not primary. There are some claims that should be removed, and replaced with the opposite view, when those claims are shown (by sources) to be false, and that is absolutely what we should be doing. The prior lead, which went into an aside about all kinds of detail of trivial differences in terminology, did not summarize the article nor did it even summarize the underlying issues. There is no such thing as a "real-world source" in policy, there are sources that are reliable and some that are not, and there's a continuum of reliability where some sources take precedence over others. Biology is a science, and peer reviewed journal papers, on scientific issues, take primacy. There is no legitimate controversy here, only science vs. opinion. Geogene (talk) 16:18, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Already re-integrated most of what you did, in more neutral terms, and without the massive deletion spree. When the lead has stuff that shouldn't be in the lead, move it, don't nuke it. When some ext. link entries aren't appropriate, prune them out, don't delete the entire section. Its just lazy and destructive; it triggers neutrality patrollers like me to revert without much question, and sort it out later. I feel almost certain you already know this, which makes the appoach you took seem strange.

I do see that Loss, et al., is a systematic review, and that's good. It'll be very solid material (barely used so far, just for about 5 sentences I think). But it's solid on the science. It's not anything at all against the fact that there's another view on this, a rather rabid activistic one, but one advanced by some high-profile organizations. We still have to give that side its voice within WP:DUE.

This topic should be approached like creationism, global warming, and other "feels versus facts" politicized topics with a science dimension. I can't be done by suppression. The encyclopedic approach to this is to present both sides, and let the overwhelming weight and quality of the sources on one side tell the reader what the truth is. I'm skeptical this has been studied enough, and by people with broad enough research backgrounds, funding sources, etc., to really declare a scientific consensus on all of it. There probably is for particular aspects. Even if there were, we'd still cover the controversy, but more toward the WP:FRINGE approach. Much of it's a matter of policing the content for statements in WP's own voice that need to be recast as the claims of particular parties.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:39, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Sourcing and statements to pore overEdit

Some material to go over in more detail with be [4] here, probably. The problem with this particular slash-and-burn is that it treated a socio-political topic like a WP:MEDRS topic. It's not. More than half of the reason we have an article on this at all is the controversy surrounding it. We don't hide half the controversy by claiming it cannot be detailed just because it's not from science journals. Many of these position are philosophical and politicized. We do not need a secondary source for the claim that X group supports or opposes TNR for Y expressed alleged rationales; it's an WP:ABOUTSELF matter. We need secondary sources for the science, and for WP:AEIS material, and other stuff for which WP:PRIMARY can't be used. Anyway, that material just needs to be massaged to make it clearer who's saying what (and that's it's not WP). I've already done that with some quotes from the 2005 Humane Society review (Slater & Shain).

The real problem section is "Rationales for and effectiveness of TNR". (I.e., a section to improve, not remove.) Most of these rationales have been studied and allegedly debunked, but we're not adequately covering that. Nor the counter-response to the studies, claiming all sorts of misrepresentations and methodological problems in them (which may or may not – probably not – be true, but is frequently and loudly being said, i.e., is part of the controversy from an encyclopedic perspective). Your idea that "those claims are shown (by sources) to be false" so removing any mention of the claims "is absolutely what we should be doing" is simply not tenable. WP:NOT#JOURNAL; this isn't a peer-reviewed science paper, it's an encyclopedia article about something people argue about, and we're writing it with breadth for a general audience. And no source absolutely shows a claim to be false; it's evidence it's false, but we're not allowed to evaluate it for truthfulness or accuracy; that's the job of secondary sources. Not just ones that happen to agree with you (and me).

PS: I feel justified in having my PoV detector go off. A journal source not reliable, just in need of firing an editor, because it compares a well-studied approach that has had some limited successes (primarily in fairly constrained environments) to "young-earth creationism" just because it fails to be very effective in broader, less controllable environments (like most of the ones it really would need to work in). They really should never have printed something that childishly hyperbolic and snide, and patently fallacious (appeal to ridicule, false equivalence, etc., probably also some courtier's reply in there). That's not science, it's just some scientists being massive assholes, much like Richard Dawkins and all his gross mockery of everyone who doesn't agree with him. (I do agree with him, but he gives all agnostics and atheists a bad name, and fuels more religiosity as a negative reaction.) Behavior like that – and likening people with a different view on animal control policy as akin to young-earth nutcases – just makes the scientists look like the extremists and kooks. It was a terrible idea. We have to treat that source with bias suspicion equal-but-opposite to that of the Humane Society paper. They've clearly put themselves in an ideological enemy stance. Not objective at all.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:36, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

The current version of the lead doesn't mention the ecological controversy at all. It describes TNR as being humane without any qualification, and states that barn cats are ideal. That's not neutral, especially if the controversy is the main reason for there being an article.
And as for this [5], it is pure advocacy that repeats unproven claims from non-RS sources as if they were fact. It also misrepresents the science (for example, applying a particular island case study globally). If there are no secondary sources specifically discussing those opinions that we could use to correct them, then it doesn't belong in the article, per WP:FRIND. Geogene (talk) 20:22, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
No doubt the lead needs work. If the [6] material comes across as advocacy it needs to be rewritten as WP describing what the advocacy is, rather than presenting the advocacy as non-advocacy. This relates to the issue with the "Rationales for and effectiveness of TNR" section as a whole. It is required for complete and proper understanding of the subject, including the controversies around it, for the advocacy positions (which includes some on the other side, such as the the Marra, et al., "kill all the stay cats" plan) to be spelled out and for objections to them to be aired as well. Otherwise we have an encyclopedically incomplete article. Fix it, don't delete it.

I've done an overhauling pass on that particular passage. (Most of what looks like expansion is simply doing full citations, plus some addition of counter-arguments, and a couple of HTML comments about where to insert more counter arguments.) Mostly, it was re-writing to make it clear that these are advocacy positions about the truth, not WP stating the truth. Removed one primary source as irrelevant (didn't even state what it was cited for), explained the actual nature of some of these claims instead of having that hidden in "why this source is great" editorializing inside the citations; moved a non sequitur about a UK bird society to where it makes sense, and countered it with a newer source; and so on.Overall, that section is a bit too lengthy and full of extraneous detail; much of it needs to merge into the subsections of the "Rationales for and effectiveness of TNR" section (where it's on-topic), with the "Controversy" section being re-done as an overview of the root controversy, not of every side claim. The overall article structure is also confusing, and needs to be re-ordered. E.g., we don't need a by-country list of stuff until the bottom; and two different by-country lists of stuff is utterly pointless. Also moved more terminology out of the lead just now.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:53, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

Update: Merged the by-country material into one list, at bottom of page [7].  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  11:55, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
Update, next round done [8]: Citation repair and cleanup (including shortening excessive ref names, templating all the WP:LDR cites, moving some cites into there, providing journal cite in addition to newspaper cite based on it, restoration of sources that went missing and were throwing errors, fixing numerous dead URLs, etc. Plus some copyediting, and use of a couple of cites in additional pertinent places. Also fixed all the WP:NOT#HOWTO problems in the "Methodology" section. I would think next step is merging much of the "Controversy" material into "Rationales for and effectiveness of TNR", then working over the combined material the way the "Controversy" material was neutralized and clarified. But I'm out of time and patience for this today. Other work to be done, besides improving the lead, would be merging duplicate citations into the LDR cites, then moving all the cites to LDR, and finally templating them all, and consistently. But that's a lot of work, even if you have a good regexp-capable text editor.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:50, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
Update again: I moved the "Methodology" trivia to just above the by-country list. This stuff needs to be trimmed to about 1/3 it's current length at most, per WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE and WP:NOT#TRIVIA.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:14, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
@Geogene: If the pounding I've given to that sectional material will suffice for that part of it, at least for now, what's your take on what to do with the lead section? I'm a little worn out on this subject for the time being, and would be prone to working on the big "Rationales for and effectiveness" section merging a lot of the "Controversy" bits into it, since the latter should actually focus on the central controversy matter (though that would incidentally also be important to nutshell in the lead).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:09, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

Recent editsEdit

@Samantha Michaels: I noticed that here [9], some text, TNR is often presented to policymakers as a viable alternative to lethal methods, cited to Nature, was moved from one subsection ("Reduced population over time") to another subsection about animal shelter kill rates, which completely changes the meaning of the text. This is not at all neutral to the original source [10], which is about feral cats being one of the worst invasive species in the world and which is overtly anti-TNR. Now it's being used in a pro-TNR context. Geogene (talk) 20:09, 30 April 2019 (UTC)

I also see that that later disappeared completely, and that the article now contains an enormous number of broken references. Geogene (talk) 20:15, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
@Geogene: Yeah, neither of those are good changes.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:38, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: Can we revert this article back to this version [11]? The post-April version is just not an improvement. A lot of references are gone, and a huge chunk of text on wildlife impacts also disappeared. Geogene (talk) 19:54, 2 May 2019 (UTC)
A revert certainly sounds reasonable to me. Removal of sourced information is clearly a WP:BRD matter. However, I would be cautious about intervening edits made by others; it's not fair to nuke everyone's input to fix one person's mistake or PoV. Integrating minor good-faith edits can be tedious but is necessary. I've not pored over the diffs, so I'm not sure there are any to account for in this case; just making a general statement about major/mass reverts.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:38, 2 May 2019 (UTC)

@Samantha Michaels: Regarding this link that you added to the article body: [12]. This pro-fringe piece crosses the line into fairly serious science denialism, which includes denying that invasive species are a thing. I find that calling it "excellent" in Wikipedia's voice is unacceptable. Geogene (talk) 04:06, 3 May 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Trap–neuter–return" page.