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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Trap Neuter & Return (TNR)

    Trap Neuter & Return or TNR is a humane method for addressing the ever growing feral and stray cat population within the United States. TNR works by sterilizing unowned/feral cats and then returning the cats to their original locations/colonies. While the ultimate goal is that the colony will cease to remain as the cats are unable to reproduce, there are many immediate benefits of TNR, for both humans and cats. 


    It is estimated that there are more unowned free-roaming cats within the US than there are owned pet cats. Adoption and rehoming of these cats is not an option as most of the unowned and free-roaming cats are born wild and are lacking proper human socialization. Without the required socialization skills, feral cats fear and do not trust humans. At Operation Catnip Stillwater, our program addresses the feral and stray cat population through spaying and neutering.


    Benefits of TNR

    • Reduces birth rates and kitten suffering
      • Less than half of kittens born live to six months of age.
      • Most die due to disease and trauma
    • Decreases public nuisance complaints and health concerns
      • Reduces undesirable behavior such as spraying, vocalizing and fighting
    • Improves the overall health and quality of life of adult cats
      • Intact cats are prone to fighting and spreading cat related diseases
    • Decreases shelter euthanasia rates
      • Feral cats do not make good pets and are euthanized in shelter settings
    • Increases the number of cats vaccinated against rabies
      • Every cat in our clinic receives a FVRCP and Rabies vaccine
  • What cats do you accept?

    Operation Catnip Stillwater only accepts community cats that are unowned, free-roaming, within a 30-mile radius of Stillwater.

    Community cats are free-roaming cats within the community and are commonly un-socialized. Typically, community cats will form colonies around a food source and shelter. While classifying cats into defined categories can be a challenge; below are some commonly used terms to describe cats.

    • Free-roaming or Community Cat - Any cat allowed to roam outside. Includes both feral and stray cats.
    • Stray - A cat the was once owned but is not currently. Typically is socialized and friendly.
    • Feral - A cat that was born in the wild and never was socialized to humans. Untamed and evasive to human contact.
  • What areas do you serve?

    Operation Catnip Stillwater only accepts unowned, free-roaming cats that reside within a 30-mile radius of Stillwater. We hope by imposing this distance restriction, we will be able to better assist surrounding communities in high need of our services.

    If you have community cats in need of spay/neuter services that reside outside of the 30 mile radius, several municipalities have established similar TNR programs.

  • Why do you clip the ears of cats?

    Ear-tipping is the universal sign that the cat has been spayed or neutered.

    Ear-tipping allows for identification of spay/neuter status from a visible distance, making it easy for caretakers, trappers and animal control personnel to immediately identify a cat as spayed or neutered. All cats through our program will be ear-tipped for these reasons. We remove 1/4 inch of the cat's left ear in a straight line. This procedure is performed while the cat is anesthetized, is relatively painless, involves little-to-no bleeding and does not significantly alter the cat's appearance.

  • Where is the clinic located?

    Operation Catnip Stillwater holds its clinics in the basement of Oklahoma State University Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.The hospital is located on the corner of Farm Rd and Western. Signs will be posted during the clinic. Please enter the doors on the West side of the building located near the Dumpsters.

  • Are there any trap requirements for the clinic?

    Each cat MUST come in an individual humane wire trap. We will not accept cats in carriers, cardboard boxes, unsafe traps, etc. This is for the safety of our volunteers, the safety of the cats and to keep our clinic flowing efficiently.

  • Where can I rent traps?

    Traps are available for rent at our Trap Depot. We require each cat to come in an individual trap. The Trap Depot is located behind Stillwater Animal Welfare at 1710 S. Main Street. Learn more on the trapping page.

  • What time does the clinic begin?

    Check-in for the clinic will be between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. the day of the clinic. We require all cats to be registered to attend. You are welcome to bring the cats anytime during this period. Your pick-up time will be given to you at check-in. We base pick-up times on when the cats arrive at the clinic - the first cats to arrive will be the first cats done. The first-in-first out method will change if the cat has signs of contagious diseases. Any cats that have signs of upper respiratory infections or ringworm will be completed at the end of the clinic to reduce the spread of disease.

  • Why do you require a deposit for renting traps?

    We began requiring a $50 deposit for non-Stillwater residents for traps shortly after starting our program. The deposit serves to encourage caregivers to bring their traps back. Without this policy, our first few clinics had traps not returned to us. This deposit only applies to non-residents since animal welfare can assist in retrieving traps from Stillwater residents.

    Furthermore, since starting this policy, we have had great success in getting back all of our traps each clinic. Aside from yearly wear and tear causing us to retire a few traps, we have not had to budget for replacement traps in many years.

  • Will my trap rental deposit be cashed if I'm late returning the traps?
    No, but we do expect to be able to be in contact with you regarding the delay. OCS works hard to ensure returning traps is convenient for caregivers and can set up alternative times to return traps when needed. We understand transportation issues, family commitments, and work schedules can change plans and just ask that you communicate with us if you need to return your trap later.
    We are sorry your cats do not qualify for our program, but that's great that you still want to help control the pet population and get them fixed! There are ample resources available throughout Oklahoma that you may qualify for. For a list of services, please see Services for Owned Pets (PDF).
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