Caring for Community Cats Part 2
TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return)
TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, and Return. It is the only humane way of managing the population of feral cats; the cats are caught with humane box traps, taken to special veterinary clinics where they’re spayed or neutered and vaccinated, and then released back to the area where they were found.
Some advantages of spaying cats are listed below-
-Reduction in Cancer Risk
Spaying or neutering cats reduces the risk of mammary cancer, which is one of the leading cancers in the feline community.
-Less Risk of Infections of the Reproductive System
There is a high risk of severe uterine disease in cats that are not spayed, known as pyometra. If a kitten is suffering from the disorder, bacteria enter the uterus, enlarging the uterine horns and filling it with pus. If left untreated, the condition may turn toxic, causing kidney and heart problems, and eventually death.
-Better and improved behavior of cats.
A cat that is not spayed will show a heated and more aggressive behavior as compared to a cat that is.
-No hygiene problem
Neutered cats are considered to be more manageable and hygienic. The risk of bacterial infection and parasite infestation is more significant in a feline in heat, which is why spaying the cat is better for her as well as for the owner/community.
Spaying of community cats also helps in controlling the population of the cats in a particular area, making it safe and manageable for the cats as well as the residents.
-Post neuter care for cats
- It takes about 24 hours for the cats to fully recover from anesthesia and regain the ability to regulate their body temperature. It is crucial to control and regulate the temperature where the cat is resting post-operation.
- It is important for you to keep the cat calm, isolated, and indoors for a few days after the surgery. It will take some time for the cat to get adjusted and for him/ her to be normal again. Isolation is essential so that they may not get into a fight with other animals around them and cause harm to themselves and their stitches.
- Cats also have a tendency of jumping and running around; monitoring them and keeping them indoors after the operation will prevent them from doing so and will make it easier for you to watch them closely.
- Follow up with the vet after the surgery and be consistent with whatever he may have prescribed for the cat. The needs of all cats are different; hence the suggestion of the doctor should be followed.
- Keep their food, water, and an extra litter box closer to them and make it easily accessible for them. Keeping them in a comfortable place will make the healing process much more smooth.
- Inspect your cat’s incision area. It is vital for you to keep checking since there may be some swelling, itching or redness, etc. in that area. If anything persists for a longer time, consult a doctor immediately.
- Use a protective or a recovery collar. Using a cone or a collar is important so that the cat doesn’t lick and accidentally harm itself in the incision area. It’ll keep them from frequently licking or biting.
- Let your cat rest after the surgery. It is crucial for him/her to recover, and for that, their movement and playtime have to be restricted till they get better and their incision area recovers and heals.
- Do not pick them up or lift them unless it’s an emergency. It may cause them pain or hurt them. It’s not advisable unless it’s an emergency.
- Do not bathe them right after the surgery. Wait for the doctor to advise on that. It’s different for all cats, but bathing is not advisable for a few days or weeks, at least.
- Be on the lookout for any signs of infections, signs of pain, change in behavior, etc. Consult a vet immediately if you feel that your cat is not adapting well.
Ideally, Vaccinations for cats should start when they turn 45 days old. The first vaccine to be given should be FVRCP (which provides protection against distemper, Herpes, Calicivirus, and Parvo), followed by FLV(Feline leukemia) along with booster doses of FVRCP, followed by Rabies.
Usually, 2-3 booster doses of FVRCP are given (depending on your vet’s discretion) along with one booster dose of other vaccines.
Other vaccinations (non-core) include Bordetella and Chlamydia.
Cats should also get their boosters repeated once every year to strengthen their immunization. Another option is to repeat Core Vaccinations every three years and non-core Vaccinations every year. What schedule is great for your cats should be discussed with your vet.
Also, look out for signs of lethargy or fever after vaccinations since vaccines should never be given if the cat has a fever, but with the lack of expertise in paravets regarding feral/ stray cats, catching and checking each cat for fever before vaccination is difficult.
The best way to be able to vaccinate cats is to feed them regularly and develop a bond with them. This way, you know not only their schedule but also their hiding spots and can easily make vaccinations accessible for them.
It’s imperative to start major vaccination drives for cats like there are for dogs. Parvo has been a big killer for kittens in our country, and the only way to deal with a disease like Parvo is mass vaccination.