Unsocial cats, which are cats not friendly to humans, are healthy and content in their outdoor homes. They do not want to live inside with you! Many of them have lived outside their entire lives and have never been in close contact with humans and it is difficult, if not impossible (and very stressful for the cat) to socialise these cats. Kittens need to be handled by humans at a very young age (generally under 8 weeks of age) for them to be a friendly house cat. This is why trap neuter return (TNR) is the ‘no kill’ option for unsocialised cats. They can be desexed to improve their health and to prevent the population getting out of hand. Research shows they do not suffer harsh lives or pose a health risk to other cats.
For thousands of years, cats have lived outdoors alongside humans. Just because they don’t live in our homes doesn’t mean they are ‘homeless.’ Unsocial cats have equally low rates of disease as the cats who share your home. Unsocial cats don’t spread disease or get sick any more often than your own pet cats; they deserve to live out their lives just like other cats do.
Misguided information can lead people to think that taking unsocial cats to shelters is the right thing to do, where sadly most are euthanised, as they have been told that this is more humane than leaving cats to live outdoors. This is not true! Remember that unsocial cats do not want to live as house cats and are happy in the outdoor homes they are used to.
Cats cared for through trap neuter return have long life spans. Sometimes they may be a little leaner than the cat on your couch but it is the result of a different lifestyle, not because they’re suffering or sick. Desexing unsocial cats can further improve weight gain and coat condition— just one more of the many ways TNR improves cats’ lives.
Unsocial cats live healthy, natural lives outdoors, just as cats have done for thousands of years. Removing them from their outdoor home and into shelters is a death sentence. Their numbers can be controlled in a ‘no kill’ way by using the TNR method.