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Free roaming cats (both feral and stray) are the most significant source of cat overpopulation. They produce approximately 80% of the kittens born each year. Reducing the number of feral cats and managing their care is the goal of Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). TNR improves the quality of life for existing colonies, prevents the birth of more cats, reduces the number of cats over time, and reduces or eliminates nuisance behaviors associated with cats that aren’t sterilized. Thank you for taking the appropriate steps and actions in bettering our outdoor cat communities!

WCHS has Cat Traps that can be lent to TNR members for this purpose. You must put down a $50 deposit which will only be cashed if the trap is damaged, lost, or not returned by the agreed upon date.  To sign up for this program you must complete TNR Program Application.  

As this program is funded by donations, we suggest a $20 donation per cat but it is not required.  If you would like to contribute to our SNAP/TNR program you can donate by clicking HERE and specifying SNAP for the funds.  

TNR Tips and Tricks

Mother Cats—If you know a cat is currently nursing kittens (typically the kittens are less than 4 weeks old), it is best to delay trapping the mom. If you are unsure if she is currently nursing, or don’t know how old the kittens are, you could try either of the options below.

  1. Trap her and return the mother as soon as possible after the spay (Spayed females CAN still nurse after being spayed). 
  2. Release her and try again in a few weeks.

Please note with option "2" you may not catch her ever again. If you choose to release her, do so quickly so that the mom does not develop fear of the trap and your chances of catching her again will increase.

Kittens—As kittens get older, you will begin seeing them come out to eat the food that you set out for them. This means that have begun to stop, or have already stopped, nursing. Kittens are not eligible to be fixed until they are 2 pounds or more. If you catch the kittens sooner than 2 pounds and they are not nursing, it is possible to “tame” them. You may opt to bring them inside to “tame” them yourself or call the shelter to see about turning them in to us 509-332-3422.

            ***It is important to call the vet clinic the day before, or day of, setting the live cat traps. This will ensure they will be prepared to have more surgeries than normal the next day. If you trap the cat(s) before the vet clinic is open or ready for you, it is acceptable for the cats to “live” in the trap for up to 3 days. If the cat is to “live” in the trap, be sure they are being fed ample food and water.  The clinics that perform these services are listed below.

  • Affordable Vet Care/Spay and Neuter Clinic: 208-882-6288 –Moscow, ID
  • TLC Animal Care: 509-592-8073 –Palouse, WA

Helpful Tips:

  • At times, you may trap other wildlife, such as skunks or raccoons. It is best to release these animals as soon as they are found. If you trap a cat that is already sterilized (identified with a notched left ear), release the cat back as soon as possible.
  • Cover the trap with a blanket or towel to simulate a “den” making you more likely to trap the animal.
  • Do not make food available anywhere else other than the trap.
  • Heating up canned cat food (Do not place can in microwave) increases the aroma, making the food more enticing. Change out the food every day (if using canned). Try using canned tuna, if canned cat food is not working.


Thank you again for your life-saving efforts! Call us at 509-332-3422 with any questions. Staff are available 8:30-6pm.