A feral cat in barn

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) involves trapping feral or “wild” cats in humane traps, taking them to the vet to be vaccinated and sterilized, and then returning them to the place where they were originally caught.

What is a Feral Cat?

According to Alley Cat Allies, the national leader in work with Trap-Neuter-Return and feral cats, a feral cat is a cat that has lived his whole life without human contact and socialization.  Feral cats can also be stray cats (formerly owned and human socialized cats) that have become lost or have been abandoned and who have lived so long without human contact that they have reverted back to a “wild” state.  Feral cats are afraid of people and will avoid contact with humans.  They cannot be touched by strangers.

Stray cats because they once knew human companionship can be re-socialized and re-homed.  Truly feral adult cats, however, usually cannot be socialized and are happiest living outside.  Feral kittens, however, are another matter.  If you can rescue feral kittens while they are still young (between the ages of 8-10 weeks is best), they can often be tamed and placed into homes.

Estimates place the number of feral and stray cats living in Central Ohio at over ONE MILLION!!!


What we do
feral cat walking on fence

        Plain City, where these black and orange cats hang out, is a rural, farming community.  There are an enormous number of un-sterilized “"barn cats” who reside on farms, populating the area with huge numbers of unwanted kittens.

        Using a method called Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR), we are able to trap feral or “wild” cats in humane traps baited with tuna or other yummy cat food. Once trapped, these cats get a ride (often their first time in a car-terrifying to say the least) to the vet's office for vaccinations and sterilization.  Feral cats are also “ear tipped.”  A tiny portion of their left ear is removed in a universal symbol that tells everyone who might later come in contact with the cat that it has a feral catalready been fixed.

        Although we mainly focus upon stray and feral cats, we also help low income residents, who cannot afford the cost of sterilization and medical care, obtain care for their cats.

Butler the cat

        We work primarily in Madison and Union Counties, as Plain City is divided between these two counties.  We do, however, often receive calls for help from many areas within the Central Ohio area.  We help anyone we can, as our funding allows, because our main concern is decreasing the cat overpopulation problem to put an end to unwanted cats and kittens.


Common myths  about spay/neuter
  • Save lives spay and neuterIt's better to have one litter first.
  • My pet will get fat and lazy.
  • My children should experience the miracle of birth.
  • I don't want my male cat to feel like less of a male.
  • My cat is so special, I want another kitten of hers just like her.
  • Spaying and neutering is too expensive.
    There are many low cost spay and neuter services available in the Central Ohio area. To find one close to you, please visit the Columbus Dog Connection
  • I can always find good homes for the kittens.  I've done it before.

       For more information about common myths about spaying/neutering — go to The Humane Society of the United States' web site.