Feral Cat Trapping
Check List & Tips
WHAT YOU NEED
An appointment for spay/neuter (do not trap without a scheduled appointment)
Tarp (to protect the floor after trapping and during transport)
Large Towel (to cover trap and keep cat calm)
Cat Food (wet food, tuna in oil, something really stinky to attract the cats)
Humane Trap (see the traps pictured on scheduling page)
HOW TO TRAP
If a trap can be safely left outdoors in the cat's territory for an extended period of time, it's possible to train her to go in. The area needs to be secure so no one walks off with the equipment, like a secluded backyard or a private courtyard. You can also train an entire colony with this method, using one trap per cat. The process usually takes from one to two weeks. For each trap deployed, follow these instructions:
Secure the front door of the trap in a raised position. Zip ties work great
Place the trap in the cat's territory near the normal feeding spot. Leave it in place throughout the training period.
On the first day of the training, put the cat's usual meal on the ground a foot or two away from the trap's front door. Use a small plate or bowl.
Keep putting the plate at this spot, the same distance from the trap, until the cat starts eating the food. Then, for the next meal, move the plate six inches or so closer to the trap's front door. When the cat starts eating from this new spot, move the plate closer to the front door again.
Keep waiting for the cat to eat, then moving the plate further in until it is all the way in the back of the trap and she is going in after it.
On your scheduled trapping date, at the time the cat is used to eating, untie or unblock the front door, bait the trap and set the trigger.
Once trapped, move the cat to a safe area out of weather and away from potential predators
What has worked for me
I start desensitization at least 10 days - 2 weeks prior to the appointment
I feed daily at 7AM - The cats are always there ready for a meal
Morning feedings minimize the possibility of catching an unwanted critter like opossum, fox, or skunk. These guys feed mainly at night & love the same easy meals as cats
I trap the day before the appointment to allow time for the adrenaline to work out of their system