Community Cats TNR reaches 900th cat milestone.

April 19, 2019

Community Cats TNR reaches 900th cat milestone. 

LUDINGTON — Community Cats TNR, a local, non-profit group of volunteers, in partnership with Country Veterinary Clinic, and Animal Hospital of Ludington, has trap-neuter-returned (TNR) the 900th community cat.   

The cat, a young black and white male, was neutered by Dr. Stephen Paxton, of the Animal Hospital of Ludington on April 11, 2019.  

Since October, 2012, volunteers for the Community Cats TNR program have been working with caregivers to TNR homeless cats, primarily in urban locations, throughout Mason County.  TNR is the only method proven to be humane and effective at controlling feral cat population growth.  

Caregivers who regularly provide food, water and shelter for homeless cats care about the humane treatment of homeless animals and make it possible for Community Cats TNR to help control the population growth in and around the neighborhood.  By establishing a regular feeding schedule, they can determine which cats are homeless and can make it possible to humanely trap the cats.  

Community Cats TNR volunteers trap and transport the cats to a veterinary clinic where they are given a health check, rabies and distemper vaccines, parasite treatment, and are spayed or neutered.  The left ear of each cat is tipped for identification purposes.  After surgery, volunteers care for the cats in a quiet, temperature controlled environment for one to four days before returning them to their colony and caregiver for continued monitoring.  

Set traps are watched at all times to assure that trapped cats are not injured or subjected to heat, cold or rain.  As soon as the trap is triggered, it is immediately covered with a sheet or blanket to calm the cat and reduce stress.  The trapped cat is then removed to a quiet location to await surgery.  Set traps are never left unattended, especially overnight and cats are not trapped during winter months to avoid stress of cold temperatures and surgery at the same time.

The organization focuses on homeless cats that need to be trapped for safe handling and transport to the veterinary clinic.  People who are caring for friendly strays are encouraged to arrange for surgery with their own veterinarian and to contact to secure a spay/neuter certificate to pay for a portion of the cost.  Those who have free-roaming, feral, unsocialized cats that need to be trapped may call 845-7888 or 843-9312 for more information.  Community Cats TNR does not assist with surgery costs for pet cats and is not equipped to handle rescue situations.

Based upon the most conservative calculation of the birth and survival rate of only one litter per year per female, we estimate that the Community Cats TNR program has prevented the birth of at least 127,000 unwanted kittens so far.  Further, Trap-Neuter-Return has an immediate effect by reducing the neighborhood birth rate and potentially reducing the annual intake by Mason County Animal Control.  

Kitten season is at a peak from April through September.  The offspring of homeless cats face a very uncertain future and are at the mercy of cold weather, predators, and starvation.  For information about what to do if you find kittens, visit and click on the Kitten Care tab for a link to the Alley Cat website.  The site provides a comprehensive guide for caring for kittens, and an excellent progression link illustrating their age and growth.

Community Cats TNR relies on support from the community in the form of direct and memorial donations and fundraisers to continue its goal to achieve population decline of the free-roaming, feral, and/or abandoned cats in our area.  Thanks to the generosity of a caring community, this goal has become measurable and real.

Donations of cat food may be made at the drop off bin in the lobby of Shop N Save.  Canisters for monetary donations are available at a number of local businesses, and donations may be made to Community Cats TNR and sent to P.O. Box 384, Ludington, MI  49431.  

Pet owners are encouraged to get their pets, especially cats, spayed or neutered.

For more information on the success of TNR, deterring stray cats from your garden, building winter cat shelters, providing fresh water, and facts and studies about homeless cats, visit these websites:;; and