Trap-Neuter-Return With Detroit Alley Cats

Instructions and Policy

If you are a cat caretaker who needs help with getting your colony spayed, neutered, vaccinated and ear tipped, please read this page carefully to schedule assistance with one of our volunteers!

If you are unfamiliar with the trap-neuter-return process, please see our What is TNR page for a quick primer!


Put your cats/colony on a feeding plan if they are not already. This way, around trapping time they will be more likely to come around for food. Feed and provide water for the cats once a day every day at the same time, in the morning or evening. For more colony feeding instructions, see this article.

If you are not the owner of the property we are trapping on, please obtain permission from the landlord and/or neighbors of any adjoining properties the traps will be placed on. 

Withhold food from cats 24 hours before trapping, but provide water. 


A DAC volunteer will reach out to you prior to trapping to coordinate their arrival with you. Our volunteer will provide the traps, bait food, trap covers and pee pads.

As the colony caretaker, please guide our volunteer to place the traps where you have observed the most cat activity. Location should be somewhat secluded from random passerby, and within the parameters of where you have permission to trap.

Setup time is between 4-5pm. Our volunteer has signed up to stay a minimum of 1 hour at the site with you. After this time, if you wish to continue trapping your cat(s), please be prepared to:

  • Check on the traps every 15-20 minutes. 
  • When a cat is caught – cover the trap (covers will be provided) and remove them from the trapping site. If waiting for other cats to be caught, set the trapped cats aside where they will not likely be disturbed by humans or other cats, preferably indoors or on your porch.
  • Drive the cat(s) to the volunteer’s house (pee pads will be provided), unless our volunteer has offered to return for them. 3-4 traps will fit in the backseat of a 4-door vehicle. 


To trap a cat is unpredictable and never guaranteed. By signing up to trap with us, you are responsible for meeting your volunteer during the time that you have coordinated to trap with them. There is no fee or penalty for uncaught cats. We only ask that you try your best and be respectful of our time. 


When requesting our TNR service, we do not charge for the service. Our service of TNR is completely on a volunteer basis. The only payment that we request is the reimbursement of the cost of the services to us. The cost of each TNR per cat is $25 and that covers the sterilization, rabies and distemper vaccines and ear tip. Caretaker is also responsible for the cost of any additional treatment/services. 

A payment invoice with the veterinary receipt will be emailed to you upon the cat’s release from the clinic. 


Our volunteer has signed up to assist you with the following:

  • Trapping at your location
  • Collect the cat from your property within the hour that they have committed to assist on the site with you
  • Hold the cat indoors prior to the appointment and during their recovery
  • Drive the cat to and from the clinic
  • Returning the cat to your property upon recovery (see post-care instructions below)

Cats will receive:

  • Spay/neuter
  • Rabies and distemper vaccines
  • Eartip
  • Other medical care upon request of caretaker such as
    • FIV/FeLV test – $25
    • Microchip – $25
    • Flea and tick treatment – $10
    • Wound cleaning $20-50
    • Antibiotic injections for wounds and/or upper respiratory infections $20-50


Volunteers will release males back outside on the day of their release from the clinic, and the females 1-2 days after. Females will be held indoors with our volunteers and returned to you for release. Please schedule with your volunteer if you wish to be present at the time of release. Your presence is not mandatory if you select during signup that you give the volunteer permission to release on your property. 


Please schedule a TNR session with the link below. You will be sent a Liability Waiver. Waiver must be signed to confirm your trapping session.

A DAC volunteer will be assigned to assist you for your trapping day. Once assigned, your volunteer will reach out to you via text to schedule their arrival for trapping. Please allow 2-5 business days for your volunteer to get in contact with you.