The TNR program of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region leaves the cat colonies intact. However, there are lots of resources on the Web that say feral cats and kittens can be turned into loving house cats. Here are some we recommend.
Socializing Shy or Very Fearful Cats
Best Friends Animal Society developed techniques for socializing cats called Miss Sherry’s Finishing School. It’s humane, consistent and effective. As Sherry herself puts it, “We are also animals, so we just have to convince the cats that we are good animals.” This document also has an excellent description of cat body language. Click here to go to a link for downloading their excellent PDF.
Karen Pryor, who brought clicker training to companion animals from the marine mammal world, has a whole system for use at shelters and with ferals. Pairing the positive reinforcement of treats with clicks makes the socialization go much faster and deeper. Click here for more info.
From Maddie’s Fund, dedicated to helping shelter animals, a step-by-step guide for starting your own program to help those feral cats in your neighborhood and keeping them from being euthanized at shelters.
This is from the San Diego Feral Cat Coalition, a little more traditional and invasive for the cats:
Also from California, The Lucky Few is another Trap, Neuter, Release organization with good practical tips for working with your feral friends.
For an opposing view of feral cats, this is from Alley Cat Allies, the organization that developed the method of Trap-Neuter-Return. They have a wealth of information, but it’s all from the point of view that feral cats cannot be tamed enough to be adopted and should be allowed to stay outdoors.