Trap Neuter Return (TNR)
A free spay or neuter program for unowned community cats.
The best way you can help community cats is through Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR ensures no new kittens are born, stabilizes cat populations, provides vaccines, and improves cats’ lives. It also stops the behaviors and stresses associated with mating, such as yowling, spraying, and fighting.
How you can make a difference:
- Pick up a humane trap at either Santa Barbara Humane campus. Provide a $50 deposit which is refunded when the trap is returned; there is no daily rental fee.
- Call 805-879-9705 to discuss appointment options.
- Set the trap the night before or morning of the appointment.
- Bring the trapped cat to the Santa Barbara or Santa Maria Veterinary Clinic the morning of surgery.
- Pick up the cat that afternoon, and release him or her back home that same day.
- Return the trap for a full refund of your deposit.
Questions? Email [email protected] or call 805-971-1430
When to Bring Your Trapped Cat in for Surgery
Santa Barbara Campus
Santa Maria Campus
Drop-off Time: 7:15 a.m.
Days will vary. Please call for availability:
805-964-4777 ext. 205
If the above days don’t work for you, contact us at 805-964-4777 ext. 205 to discuss alternative options.
Set the trap the night before or morning of the appointment. Line the trap with newspaper and partially cover it with a sheet or towel to give the cat a sense of security. Make sure water is available, but stop feeding 24 hours in advance so the cat is motivated to enter the trap. Use a high-value food, such as tuna, to lure the cat into the trap.
Wild-born kittens older than eight weeks can be safely spayed or neutered and released back to the property. If you have kittens under eight weeks of age, Santa Barbara Humane is happy to help provide foster care, socialization, and placement through the adoption program. Email [email protected] or call 805-971-1430.
When the cat is under anesthesia, his or her left ear is surgically and painlessly ‘tipped.’ This immediate visual identification prevents an unnecessary second trapping and surgery. If you trap a cat that has been eartipped, simply release it at the trap site.
Outdoor cats that are thriving in their environment don’t belong in shelters. While your first instinct when you see a cat may be to call animal control or bring the cat to Santa Barbara Humane, studies have shown that even friendly, owned cats are better off being left alone than experiencing the stress of a shelter environment. Community cats are generally not socialized to people, so the most humane thing you can do is ‘TNR,’ and then provide the cat with access to food, water, and shelter where it lives—outdoors.