All About TNRM


“Community” cat is an umbrella term encompassing outdoor cats from a variety of sources.  Also referred to as free-roaming cats, populations generally consist of a mixture of truly feral cats, semi-socialized cats and lost or abandoned pets.

Community cats can be the result of people either abandoning their un-sterilized pet cat(s) or irresponsibly neglecting to spay/neuter their cats.  These cats then breed, producing kittens that may have very little or no human contact.  Feral or community cats although in many ways similar to wildlife, are in fact descendants of domestic cats.   Some may eek out a meager “existence” but without human assistance, they do not thrive.  For community cats to thrive they need a helping hand in the way of cat food, fresh water, and a simple shelter to protect them from the elements.


TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage) is a program in which community or free-roaming cats that live outdoors are humanely trapped and transported to a veterinarian to be evaluated, spayed or neutered and vaccinated.  Cats that have undergone the procedure are ear-tipped – while under anesthesia, a small portion (1/4”) of the left ear is painlessly removed for identification.  Friendly cats are put up for adoption.  Scientific evidence as well as decades of hands-on experience proves that TNRM is not only more humane, it is more effective than programs that rely on catch and kill.  For many ferals health and quality of life are dramatically improved through the TNRM approach.  Following surgery recovery, cats are returned to their site of origin, a dedicated caretaker provides food/water daily as well as a simple shelter.  This is known as a “managed” colony where the cats are allowed to live out their lives without the negative behaviors associated with mating and no future litters are produced.  Over time the size of the colony is reduced through natural attrition.  Ultimately, cats and communities coexist peacefully with mutual benefits.


Often times we receive calls regarding “removing” cats.  This is usually not feasible as there is nowhere to move the cats.  Even if land is available, there are other considerations.  Cats are extremely territorial and are bonded to the land on which they were raised as well as with other cats in the colony.  Evidence of cats travelling hundreds of miles to their original home is well documented.  Sadly, many cats trying to get back to their home die in the process from traffic or starvation.  Only as a last resort should the relocation of cats be considered.  Should this be the only alternative it is recommended to keep cats in a sheltered enclosure on the new land for a minimum of six weeks before releasing on the property. – More Info


A phenomenon known as the vacuum effect occurs when cats are suddenly removed from an area through trap/kill or relocation.  Inevitably un-sterilized cats that evaded capture or cats that show up for the newly vacated food source claim the territory, and begin the breeding cycle once more. – More Info

Whether owned, stray or feral, any un-sterilized cat will reproduce, contributing to feral populations of tomorrow and increasing not only the number of unwanted cats and kittens in our shelters but our already high euthanasia rates as well.

Stray/Owned Program

STRAY cats are friendly, approachable and usually adapt well to becoming a part of your household.



Stray or owned cats must be in a durable plastic cat carrier, one cat to a carrier.   Pricing below includes spay/neuter, FVRCP (distemper), 1-year Rabies vaccines and tattoo.

  • Stray Female  $80.00
  • Stray Male  $60.00
  • Owned Female  $90.00
  • Owned Male  $70.00

Optional Services:

The following services are optional and available for all cats.  Please call for pricing associated with these services. 

  1. Pre-surgical Blood Panel ”required” for any pet over seven years of age.   This blood panel helps to ensure that your pet’s organs are functioning properly and he/she can properly process and eliminate anesthesia.  It also helps to reveal any hidden health conditions that could put your pet at greater risk during anesthesia.
  2. FIV/FeLV combo test - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus/Feline Leukemia - FIV/FeLV information
  3. Microchip - More Info
  4. Frontline (Flea & Tick Prevention)
  5. Nail trim
Fees required to be paid in full prior to transport.  Cash or check made payable to Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program or by PayPal.  Additional fees for medication and/or medical treatments may apply.  Payment of any additional fees is expected at time of pick-up.

Feral Program

FERAL cats have an innate fear of people and will run away if approached. They desire no human contact and they already have a home…outdoors.



Feral cats are not socialized to humans.  Feral felines are domestic cats that no longer desire human contact.  Some were born feral and some were family pets lost or abandoned and forced to survive on their own.  Hiding in plain sight, ferals exist in colonies anywhere food can be found: around dumpsters, college campuses, apartment complexes, etc.  Even if only a small amount of food can be found, the cats will survive and continue to reproduce.  Un-managed feral cat colonies exhibit negative behaviors associated with breeding such as yowling, spraying and fighting and ultimately the colony continues to increase in size.

Traditional attempts to control feral cat populations have consisted of trapping and killing.  However, the trap and kill method of population control continues to prove unsuccessful and at a huge expense to taxpayers.  This is because it is not feasible for animal control to afford the manpower to effectively trap all members of a colony at once, and even if they could, unless the food source is removed, unsterilized ferals will re-colonize the area in a phenomenon known as the vacuum effect.

Since 1998, the Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program has offered an alternative to the proven unsuccessful trap and kill method of population control.  LNLCP offers the only humane, long-term solution to reducing feral cat populations through TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage).


The cost for a trapped feral cat is $50.00 and includes spay/neuter, FVRCP (distemper), 1-year Rabies vaccines, tattoo and “ear-tip” for identification purposes.

  1. Traps/trap dividers/carriers are loaned for free with a $50.00 per item refundable deposit
  2. Establish a regular feeding schedule for feral cat.
  3. Call 704-877-7779 to pre-register and set up an appointment to borrow trap and receive trapping instructions.
  4. Trap cats. (Never trap without a pre-arranged appointment.)
  5. Cover trap and place in a safe, temperature-controlled place overnight.
  6. Drop cat off the following morning at designated drop-off point for transport to clinic.
  7. On return from surgery, hold for overnight recovery.
  8. Return back to environment the day after surgery.
  9. Caretaker continues to provide daily food, water and shelter.