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  • Author or Editor: Lisa A. Centonze x
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Objectives—To describe the characteristics of unowned, free-roaming cats and their caretakers who participated in a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program and to determine the effect of the program on free-roaming cat colonies.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—101 caretakers of 920 unowned, free-roaming cats in 132 colonies in north central Florida.

Results—Most (85/101; 84%) caretakers were female. The median age was 45 years (range, 19 to 74 years). Most (89/101; 88%) caretakers owned pets and of those, most (67/101; 66%) owned cats. The major reasons for feeding free-roaming cats were sympathy and love of animals. Most caretakers reported that the cats they cared for were too wild to be adopted, but many also reported that they considered the cats to be like pets. The total surveyed cat population was 920 before participation in TNR and 678 after TNR. Mean colony size was 7 cats before TNR and 5.1 cats after TNR. Most cats lived on the caretaker's property. At the time of the survey, 70% (644/920) of the cats had been neutered.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The decrease in the surveyed free-roaming cat population was attributed to a reduction in births of new kittens, adoptions, deaths, and disappearances. Recognition of the human-animal bond that exists between caretakers and the feral cats they feed may facilitate the development of effective control programs for feral cat populations. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220: 1627–1633)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate the use of the anesthetic combination tiletamine, zolazepam, ketamine, and xylazine (TKX) for anesthesia of feral cats at largescale neutering clinics.

Design—Original study.

Animals—7,502 feral cats.

Procedure—Cats were trapped by their caretakers for a feral cat neutering program from July 1996 to August 2000. The anesthetic combination TKX was injected IM into cats while they remained in their traps. Each milliliter of TKX contained 50 mg of tiletamine, 50 mg of zolazepam, 80 mg of ketamine, and 20 mg of xylazine. Females were spayed by veterinarians, whereas males were castrated by veterinarians or veterinary students. Yohimbine (0.5 mg, IV) was administered at the end of the procedure. Logs were kept of the individual drug doses, signalment of the cats, and any complications encountered. These data were analyzed retrospectively (1996 to 1999) and prospectively (2000).

Results—Of the 5,766 cats for which dosing records were complete, 4,584 (79.5%) received a single dose of TKX. The mean initial dose of TKX was 0.24 ± 0.04 ml/cat, and the total mean dose of TKX was 0.27 ± 0.09 ml. Overall mortality rate was 0.35% (26/7,502) cats, and the death rate attributable solely to potential anesthetic deaths was 0.23% (17/7,502) cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The use of TKX for large-scale feral cat neutering clinics has several benefits. The TKX combination is inexpensive, provides predictable results, can be administered quickly and easily in a small volume, and is associated with a low mortality rate in feral cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002; 220:1491–1495)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association