How to save & take care of a kitten and feral cats - an advocacy tool kit

Sample Letters to the Editor

Guide/How-to| Community Change

These sample letters to the editor offer an excellent way to educate the public about outdoor cats. For more information on writing and submitting Letters to the Editor, read our How to Write a Letter to the Editor tips.

Topics:

  1. Feeding Bans
  2. Leash Laws
  3. New TNR Program

Sample Letters

Sample Letter to the Editor—Feeding Bans

Feeding bans for cats don’t work

[CITY/COUNTY’S] proposed feeding ban for outdoor cats has already been tried in other communities and it has never worked. [CITY/COUNTY] must abandon this proposed law and implement a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program instead.

During TNR, community cats, also called feral cats, are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (to indicate that they have been neutered and vaccinated), and returned to their outdoor home. TNR is the only humane and effective approach to community cats. Studies show that TNR effectively stabilizes the community cat population, reduces the number of cats killed in shelters, and saves taxpayers money. TNR is good for cats and the community.

Starving cats through feeding bans is cruel, ineffective in managing the population, and often increases calls to animal control when cats become more visible scavenging for food. Punitive ordinances like feeding bans waste taxpayer dollars and penalize outdoor cat caregivers who are Good Samaritans making the community a better place for cats and people.

Hundreds of communities have adopted official TNR ordinances and policies, and thousands more conduct grassroots, volunteer-led programs. [CITY/COUNTY] doesn’t need to implement a feeding ban—it needs to follow a responsible path for its cats.

[NAME]
[ADDRESS]

Sample Letter to the Editor—Leash Laws

Leash laws for cats don’t work

The leash law that’s being proposed in [CITY/COUNTY] threatens the lives of all cats in our community. [CITY/COUNTY] must abandon this proposed law and implement a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program instead.

Leash laws that require domestic animals be kept on their owner’s property, and under their owner’s control, are lethal for community cats. The outdoors is home to community cats, also called feral cats, so they don’t have owners. These cats are not socialized to people and are therefore unadoptable. When laws cause them to be impounded, virtually all of them are killed. Leash laws also harm pet cats. Since any cat outdoors becomes a target for animal control, indoor-only cats who’ve snuck outside may be impounded and killed. In the end, leash laws send more cats to shelters where over 70% are killed nationwide.

In contrast, TNR is the only humane, and effective approach to community cats. TNR is the process in which community cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (to indicate that they have been neutered and vaccinated), and returned to their outdoor home. Studies show that TNR effectively stabilizes the community cat population, reduces the number of cats killed in shelters, and saves taxpayers money. TNR is good for cats and the community.

Hundreds of communities have adopted official TNR ordinances and policies, and thousands more conduct grassroots, volunteer-led programs. [CITY/COUNTY] doesn’t need to implement a leash law—it needs to follow a responsible path for its cats.

[NAME]
[ADDRESS]

Sample Letter to the Editor—New TNR Program

Good news for cats in our community

[CITY/COUNTY]’s decision to start a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program for community cats is good news for both the people and the cats who live there. The longer this program is supported, the more people will experience the benefits of TNR.

TNR is the only humane and effective approach to community cats, also called feral cats. Studies show that TNR ends the cycle of breeding and stabilizes the population. Disruptive mating behaviors also stop, which helps people and cats coexist peacefully.

TNR is sound public policy. TNR reduces shelter intake, shelter euthanasia, and calls to animal control—all of which saves taxpayer dollars. Instead of wasting money on an endless cycle of impounding and killing healthy cats in shelters, animal control officers and shelter staff can focus on animals in need.

In contrast, the outdated approach of rounding up and killing cats is being increasingly abandoned by animal control officers because it’s cruel and ineffective. The public does not support the killing of healthy animals. doesn’t want healthy animals to be killed.

Hundreds of communities have adopted official TNR ordinances and policies, and thousands more conduct grassroots, volunteer-led programs.  As more communities like ours make a commitment to stop killing cats and start improving their lives, the implementation of TNR programs will continue to grow. I’m proud to see that [CITY/COUNTY] is following a humane and responsible path for its cats.

[NAME]
[ADDRESS]

cat.org for more information.