What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?
Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a humane and nonlethal method to manage the number of community cats in our neighborhoods. The goal is to humanely trap outdoor cats, take them to a clinic for spay/neuter, vaccinate them against rabies, and return healthy cats to their outdoor homes. While at the clinic, we will also ear-tip the cats to make them easily identified as already altered & vaccinated. This is a TNR best practice.

What is ear-tipping?
While the cat is under anesthesia for spay/neuter, the veterinarian also removes the tip of one ear. Ear-tipping is an easily recognized sign that signifies a community cat was already surgically altered and is unable to reproduce. This visual sign helps caretakers and trappers to know at a glance that a cat doesn’t need to go to the clinic for surgery. Please note that while all ear-tipped cats are surgically altered, this does not mean all cats with intact ears are in need of spay/neuter. Some cats seen outside may be owned, and have already been altered.

What if I need to trap a cat?
If you are interested in helping spay/neuter a cat colony in your neighborhood through TNR, traps are available for loan at our shelter located at 2700 Toomey Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203. For more details on the Community Cat Program and how you can help, contact our Community Cat Program Manager by phone at 704-494-7717 or

Where do I take a community cat for spay/neuter?
TNR surgeries are performed at the Gary T deLisser clinic, located within Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, 8315 Byrum Dr, Charlotte, NC 28217.

Do I Need An Appointment?

See our calendar for TNR surgery days and pricing. Drop-off is at 8am. No appointment is needed for TNR. Please be aware that TNR surgeries are on a first come, first served basis. Based on patient volume, we may decline surgery at drop-off. This is in the best interest of all patients undergoing surgery as we give each patient the time and care necessary to ensure their safety. Two cats per trapper are accepted during a visit. Cats must be in individual live traps. Any community cats in squirrel traps will be declined for surgery regardless of cat size.

Community Cat TNR Surgery Calendar

Click here for directions to the Gary T deLisser clinic

Learn more our spay/neuter services if you have a pet cat and want information.