During the month of June, Limerick Feral Cats (LFC) carried out a large Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR) in Limerick City. These cats were brought to City Vet to be neutered once they were trapped.
What does a TNR entail?
LFC begin by identifying the area in which the feral cats are. They observe the group for a time and record how many cats are seen and try to identify if there are any domestic cats in the area. They will then leaflet the area to inform people when they will be carrying out the TNR so they can keep their own cats in to prevent them from being trapped and causing them unnecessary stress.
They will then lay out traps on the day of the TNR. There will be nice, tasty food in the traps in order to entice the cats in. It also helps if the cats have not been fed before the TNR. Once the cats are safely in the traps, the traps are covered with large sheets so the cats feel more secure and to minimise their stress.
The cats are then transported to City Vet to be neutered. As feral cats cannot be handled, they are transferred to a cage called a crush cage. They are then weighed and anaesthetised using an injectable anaesthetic. This process needs to be done calmly so as not to stress the cats any further.
Once they are anaesthetised, they are prepared for surgery and neutered. While they are asleep, this is also an opportunity to carry out a health check on them. They are checked for external parasites such as lice, fleas & ear mites. We also check their teeth, ears, eyes & skin. If they require treatment, this is also carried out. While feral cats spend their lives exposed to the elements, they are quite often in good health with very little external parasites. The last step is to tip the left ear of the cat. This is so they can be identified as neutered if they roam to a different area in the future.
They are then place in a cat carrier lined with Vet Bed & a puppy pad to recover from the anaesthetic. They are also provided with a hot water bottle to keep them warm. Once they have recovered, their carrier is again covered with a large sheet to minimise their stress and to make them more comfortable. In the evening time, they will be offered a small meal. They are hospitalised overnight and discharged the following day. If any cat is ill or requires further treatment, LFC will care for them for a longer duration.
LFC do great work throughout the county and city of Limerick, giving up hours of their time voluntarily to feed feral cats, trap them if they require treatment and carrying out TNR. They are to be commended for their Trojan work. For more information on Limerick Feral Cats and their work, visit their Facebook page .