2001-Sat Dec 10 11:42:00 MST 2016
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
More and more communities throughout the country have begun to understand the important role
trap-neuter-return (TNR) plays in caring for and controlling feral cat populations, but often, they've run into the same hurdle: an inability to do the surgeries on a large scale.
That's all about to change.
Operation Catnip, a TNR program in Gainesville, Florida, was founded in 1998 by Dr. Julie Levy, director of the
Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. The organization has cared for more than 45,000 felines in its free, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter clinics for community cats. And that doesn't include the projected number of prevented births of kittens over those 16 years. In 2014 alone, Operation Catnip examined, spayed or neutered and treated nearly 2,700
cats, preventing an estimated 6,142 homeless kittens from being born in the area.
And now the methods used by Operation Catnip will be shared — in detail — with veterinarians nationwide, thanks to an educational grant from
The PetSmart grant will enable communities everywhere to follow Operation Catnip's successful lead, from teaching handling techniques to offering suggestions about how to set up for the surgeries and more. Operation Catnip's success lies partly in the recognition that feral cats are different from domesticated cats. "There are some unique needs when it comes to feral
cats in clinics, both for the safety of the people and the cats,” says Dr. Levy. Even in communities where the actual surgical needs were able to be met, she still saw that the veterinarians and professionals involved needed training in handling feral cats, which is dramatically different from handling a typical house cat, including managing the cats' stress and fear.
The Operation Catnip team is also prepared to instruct shelters in the practical side of running a TNR program. "When we started Operation Catnip in 1998," says Dr. Levy, "we wrote a manual with step-by-step instructions." Because the operation functions with a volunteer workforce doing a lot of work at a high skill level, these instructions were crucial to its success. "We train people to do one task all day long, and we move the cats along through the stations,” she says, allowing each cat to be examined,
spayed or neutered, vaccinated against
infectious diseases, treated for
fleas and other parasites, given an identifying ear tip and allowed to recover before being returned to the location where he or she was trapped.
And if you're thinking that sounds a bit like a M.A.S.H. unit, you're right on-target.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
Christmas trees, fatty foods and other
seasonal items may bring cheer to your
home, but they'll cause harm to your…
Dr. Sarah Wooten takes a closer look at
this curious sleeping habit and what it has
to do with canines’ ancestry.
The Kromfohrlander is said to be
descended from a mixed-breed dog
who was a mascot for American troops.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.