Cats Roaming Your Rental Property? Here's What to Do
Humane stray management is smart stray management
Housing managers: Have you been seeing cats around your property who don't belong to your residents?
Unfortunately, you're not alone: There are approximately 30 to 40 million unowned, "community" cats in the U.S., and some may turn up on your grounds. Since cats tend to migrate to locations which offer a consistent food source, an apartment complex can be a desirable spot, especially if its dumpsters and trash systems aren't well secured.
You may be tempted to have the cats removed, but that's not the best approach: Not only does removal usually mean killing the cats, it's not an effective solution. Studies have shown that new cats will just move into the space.
The most effective strategy is to have the cats managed right where they are, using a practice called trap-neuter-return (TNR). TNR ensures the cats get sterilized and vaccinated so they don't spread diseases, multiply, spray, caterwaul, fight or cause a nuisance. The cats are managed by caring volunteers, who know how to feed them in a way that meets sanitation standards and deters wildlife.
The public supports non-lethal approaches to managing community cats. Your residents will be pleased that you chose a humane solution.
TNR is a well-studied practice with a great deal of public support, and there are many resources and materials available to help ensure your success. The publication Managing Community Cats: A Guide for Municipal Leaders is a great start, and contains plenty of advice and research that will help you handle your local felines in a way that's smart, effective and humane.