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Many communities are plagued with the problem of homeless cats. The Winnipeg Humane Society offers humane traps to capture feral/unsocialized cats and have them spayed/neutered.

While we have made great strides in encouraging people to spay or neuter their companion cats, the stray and feral cat populations in our community continue to reproduce and contribute to Winnipeg’s cat overpopulation problem.

The Trap, Neuter, Release (TNR) program is available to approved, responsible applicants.The WHS views this program as an alternative to euthanizing cats that would otherwise be unadoptable. We ask for a minimum $20 donation for each cat to help offset the costs of surgery and care. Vaccinations are optional and are $10 plus tax. Please note: Due to a limited amount of traps, they can only be rented for use through the TNR program.

 Check your municipality bylaws regarding the legalities of harbouring feral cats.


1. Qualify for the program

In order to qualify for our TNR program, the stray cat must be:

  • Over four months of age
  • Feral—a cat that is not socialized to human contact, cannot be handled and must be trapped

Please be sure that the cat you bring in is NOT owned, and that your neighbours are in agreement about unowned cats hanging around your house.

Call 204-888-7627 or email us to register. Once registered for the TNR program, you will be issued a surgery date. By renting a trap from The WHS, you can safely and humanely trap your cat the morning of surgery. Please be aware that due to limited numbers of surgery dates, The WHS cannot guarantee that we will have the ability to accommodate all cats within the TNR season.

2. Treat the cat

On your surgery date, our veterinarians will spay or neuter the cat. They will also vaccinate the cat and provide identification. If other health problems are discovered during the examination or surgery, you must be willing to treat the cat as prescribed, or allow euthanasia.

3. Become a Feral Cat Guardian

After the surgery, you will be responsible for returning the cat to his or her home territory and providing the cat with food, shelter and ongoing care. Please be aware that cats need to be confined for 24-48 hours prior to being released.

 Check your municipality bylaws regarding the legalities of harbouring feral cats.

More TNR program details

  • Traps are rented from The WHS for a maximum period of one week. A $30 refundable deposit for a trap and an additional $10 non-refundable administration fee are required. The deposit is refunded upon return of the same trap in the same condition it was rented in. Arrangements can be made to pick up traps Monday to Friday at The WHS’s Clinic. Identification with current information, including proof of address, is required for the trap agreement. We appreciate your patience when renting a trap, as The WHS has a limited number available.
  • When dropping off cats for TNR, please use the clinic entrance during arranged drop-off times. Please advise our staff that it is a TNR cat. Also please bring a crate/cage along for placement post-surgery. If you are bringing multiple cats on one day, please deliver the cats in separate carriers/traps. For safety reasons, they cannot be received if all cats are in one enclosure.
  • Any cat that bites is a public health concern and will need to be euthanized and sent for Rabies testing.
  • Any cat displaying illness will NOT be spay/neutered. The Feral Cat Guardian will be notified if treatment is possible. If the Feral Cat Guardian is able to administer treatment, the cat will be released back into their care.
  • Any cat deemed adoptable, and therefore is not truly feral, will become the responsibility of The Winnipeg Humane Society and as such, will be assessed for entrance into The WHS adoption program.
  • Post surgery, all cats need to be contained and monitored closely for a period of 48 hours. Please ensure you have an area to contain the cat.
  • All cats are vaccinated against distemper, calici, rhinotracheitis, psittaci, and chlamydia while under anesthetic.
  • All cats are tattooed at the time of surgery. The tattoo will be registered to the Feral Cat Guardian who has registered with the TNR program. The Guardian will assume all responsibility for the cat, including medical treatment, and fines acquired if the cat is trapped by the City of Winnipeg in the future.

PLEASE NOTE: The TNR program is available from April until October, with exact dates to be determined by appropriate weather conditions. Traps are not to be set when temperatures exceed 0C or +20C. All traps must be checked a minimum of every three hours and be placed in a sheltered area. If you have any questions, please call 204-888-7627.

 Check your municipality bylaws regarding legalities of harbouring feral cats.