In 2015, Gateway Pet Guardians started a new approach to controlling the homeless cat population in the Metro East. We recognized the need to address the overpopulation of cats and prevent their intake at our local animal control, where the risk sickness or death. To address this issue, we implemented a TNR program (trap-neuter-return), which focuses on fixing community cats and returning them to their colonies as caretakers continue to care for them. We wanted to take a moment to share some exciting statistics about this program–statistics which indicate that this approach truly does work!

This year, we are focusing our efforts on reconnecting with caretakers and collecting data to support the program. We have fixed 550 cats across our 110 community cat colonies. This includes the 66 ‘original’ colonies that had 417 cats fixed between 2015-2017 and an additional 15 cats fixed in 2018. Of the 47 colonies with which we’ve connected so far, they have reduced by 27% from 320 to 234 cats (33 are pending TNR). This includes 6 colonies that were eliminated.

Furthermore, this year we’ve identified another 44 colonies where we’ve fixed 118 of 232 estimated cats YTD (with 114 pending TNR). Our annual statistics are included below.

Year Total # of colonies # of cats TNR’d YOY Aggregate # of cats TNR’d # of est. cats pending TNR
2015 12 77 77
2016 38 150 227
2017 66 190 417
2018 110 133 550 147


As we reconnect with caretakers, we identify additional needs in the form of food and shelter. We have distributed 19 shelters to caretakers so far this year with plans to distribute more with fall approaching. We’ve also distributed 562 pounds of dry food and 72 cans of wet food to caretakers as resources were available.

We hope you agree–these statistics say it all. TNR truly does work, and we still have a lot of work to do to help those new colonies that have been identified this year. Learn more about our Community Cat Program and how we are providing much-needed resources to both felines and their friends that care for them!