Controlling the Cat Population In Austin


The number of feral cats in the United States is estimated to be in the tens of millions, and just one unsterilized female cat can be responsible for 370,000 offspring over the course of seven years. Sadly, many communities still opt to control populations using outdated methods, including lethal elimination or relocation. Not only are some of these methods horribly barbaric, they are also highly ineffective.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the method of humanely trapping free roaming feral cats and spaying or neutering them. I became involved in TNR in Central Texas after fixing and adopting out a colony of cats in my neighborhood. I decided to make photographs with the people who were making a dent in the feral colonies,
documenting their dedication to animal welfare.

See more of Austin photographer Sandy Carson’s work at

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to [email protected]

Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space. That means we rely on the generosity of our readers who believe that this work is important. You can chip in for as little as 99 cents a month. If you believe in this mission, we need your help.

Sandy Carson is a Scottish photographer, cyclist and musician who emigrated to the United States in 1993. Carson's commercial work is published in The New York Times, Aperture, The Guardian and more. In addition to photography, he rides bikes for Fairdale and makes music for Iglomat in Austin, Texas, where he recently founded Cardinal Press.

You May Also Like: