I recently stumbled upon two litters of kittens and a couple of adult cats on my way home. The kittens are not of nursing age and some approach me without issue when I offer food. I started feeding them in the location I would find them as I headed to my own home but now I am hoping to get them to my yard for safer and regular feeding purposes. If all goes well I would even like to try TNR. How can I get the cats to follow me to my home or to recognize my yard as their feeding space when I have already started providing food in the one location? How can I be sure they will find me instead of thinking I just stopped feeding them, when I really just changed spaces? I haven't been doing this for very long so it may be easier to change spaces sooner than later. I just do not know how. My home is about two blocks over from the current spot I see the cats.

Any help or advice is appreciated!

1 Answer 1


I suggest trapping as soon as possible. In the case of the kittens, the younger they start getting human interaction, the easier it will be to get them adopted—meaning the sooner they can be adopted.

Adoptability drops with age. 8-week old kittens get adopted before the 12-week old kittens. 9 month old kittens are old cats as far as adoption goes. The kittens will likely need fostering before they can go up for adoption. Count on 2-4 weeks for that.

Plus, by 16-24 weeks, the kittens can start making more kittens.

It's rare that kittens have to be TNRed. I can only think of one kitten that was so nasty that we were going to TRN him. In that case I caved in and "fostered" him for two years and adopted him last week.

In the case of the adults, they may or may not need to be TNRed. That depends upon how wild they are and the resources available. We have cats that have come from colonies that are immediately ready to go into homes (after medical). Frequently, such cats are just afraid of people and can be made adoptable by getting them used to us. Then we have others that take a lot more time and patience but are adoptable.

(As my previous anecdote suggests, my house is filled with TNR candidates.)

As how to go about trapping, you need to find a rescue group that will work with stray cats. In some places municipal "animal control" means just that. Our shelter is a rare one that does animal control but does not euthanize viable (as in physically survivable) animals (e.g., excludes blindness, FIV, FELV, diabetes).

You should be able to find obtain the placement rate of a shelter. It should be over 90–95% for cats. If 1-in 10 to 20 cats not surviving sounds high, you have to considers that most litters of kittens have at least one that does not make it. (Dog placement rates tend to be higher than cat because of the lack of a TNR alternative.) Many shelters have placement rates below 50%.

  • Thank you so much for your input. I suppose that is the way to go, they are young and better to get them off the streets than to just feed them. I have never trapped before so I will read up on it and try from there as well as see who I can get in touch with for further help. I think it is wonderful that you have committed yourself to these kitties, and even give your home to those who are slightly more difficult. I am hoping to make some sort of impact but sometimes it is hard navigating around certain neighbors. I will try nonetheless! Commented Jul 16, 2019 at 13:13

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