We at Crystal Creek Cat Rescue of Bentonville, Arkansas are dedicated to assisting and advocating for community cats in Northwest Arkansas.
Community Cats are any cats that do not have a home with humans and live at large in a town, city, or community. These cats can be feral (born in the “wild”). For more information on feral cats, feral cat behaviors, or how to socialize feral cats, visit this Feral Fact sheet.
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a humane approach to helping control the population of Community Cats and improving their quality of life. Community Cats are trapped, Neutered, or spayed, administered rabies vaccinations, and given any other health care deemed necessary and then Returned to the location from which they were trapped, providing there is a caregiver for the colony.
In addition to reducing the cat population, this approach has the added benefit of reducing fighting among the cats which in turn inhibits the spread of diseases. Cats should never be released at a site unknown to the cat, such as in the woods or a field. This is considered dumping of animals and not only is it against the law, but it is abuse, as an unfamiliar area makes the chance for survival negligible.
Often when trapping for neutering and spaying, one will come across friendly cats. These were probably someone’s pet at one time, and for one reason or another have ended up roaming with community cats. At Crystal Creek Rescue, we make every effort to locate the owners of such cats and return them. If this is not possible, these cats are placed in foster homes until they too can be adopted. Friendly cats should not be returned to the wild.
Feral kittens that can be trapped prior to 12 weeks of age can be easily socialized. They should not be returned to the area where they were trapped but rather placed in a foster home for socialization and subsequent adoption.
For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to TNR in your community, please visit Alley Cat Allies.
If you are moved to help community cats in Northwest Arkansas by joining our TNR team, contact us about volunteering.
Community cats usually live in colonies or groups of cats. When carrying out TNR on a colony, it is important to have an established caregiver for that colony. The caregiver regularly provides food and water for the colony, manages the health and well being, and monitors the colony for new cats that may need to be spayed or neutered.
If you are interested in becoming a caregiver, would like to substitute for caregivers or want to donate cat food for colonies, contact us.There are several organizations in Northwest Arkansas dedicated to TNR. You can find them on the NWA Rescues page.