Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Two papers on cat colonies and TNR

Levy, J. K., Gale, D. W., & Gale, L. A. (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), 42-46.

Objective—To evaluate the effect of a long-term trapneuter-return program, with adoption whenever possible, on the dynamics of a free-roaming cat population.

Design—Observational epidemiologic study.

Animals—155 unowned free-roaming cats.

Procedures—Free-roaming cats residing on a university campus were trapped, neutered, and returned to the environment or adopted over an 11-year period.

Results—During the observation period (January 1991 to April 2002), 75% of the cats were feral, and 25% were socialized. Kittens comprised 56% of the original population. Male cats were slightly more numerous (55%) than females. At the conclusion of the observation period, 47% of the cats had been removed for adoption, 15% remained on site, 15% had disappeared, 11% were euthanatized, 6% had died, and 6% had moved to the surrounding wooded environment. Trapping began in 1991; however, a complete census of cats was not completed until 1996, at which time 68 cats resided on site. At completion of the study in 2002, the population had decreased by 66%, from 68 to 23 cats (of which 22 were feral). No kittens were observed on site after 1995, but additional stray or abandoned cats continued to become resident. New arrivals were neutered or adopted before they could reproduce.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A comprehensive long-term program of neutering followed by adoption or return to the resident colony can result in reduction of free-roaming cat populations in urban areas.

Foley, P., Foley, J. E., Levy, J. K., & Paik, T. (2005). Analysis of the impact of trap-neuter-return programs on populations of feral cats. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 227(11), 1775-1781.

Objective—To evaluate 2 county trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs for feral cat population management via mathematical modeling.

Design—Theoretical population model.

Animals—Feral cats assessed from 1992 to 2003 in San Diego County, California (n = 14,452), and from 1998 to 2004 in Alachua County, Florida (11,822).

Procedure—Data were analyzed with a mathematical Ricker model to describe population dynamics of the feral cats and modifications to the dynamics that occurred as a result of the TNR programs.

Results—In both counties, results of analyses did not indicate a consistent reduction in per capita growth, the population multiplier, or the proportion of female cats that were pregnant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Success of feral cat management programs that use TNR can be monitored with an easily collected set of data and statistical analyses facilitated by population modeling techniques. Results may be used to suggest possible future monitoring and modification of TNR programs, which could result in greater success controlling and reducing feral cat populations.

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