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How hard is it to trap......

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am new to the feral cat world. There are, I believe, two feral kitties at my workplace. I was only vaguely aware of them before November. They were kittens last summer, we believe they were dumped nearby. I never saw them for quite a while. Others where I work began feeding them in Sept. The cats became a little bolder and showed themselves a little more, especially when someone 'forgot' to feed them. I donated food to one of the people feeding them, then realized that there was no organization or regularity to the feeding, and that poor quality food and no water was being provided. With winter setting in, I decided to become more involved. I checked every am to be sure the cats had been provided for, started feeding on weekends and holidays, and provide most of the food. After some disturbing comments by management at the facility, I looked into seeing if anyone would come take the cats and 'rehab' them, and found that a rescue was not available, that the best I can do for the kitties is to trap, neuter, and return. I found our local organization that coordinates this and I now have 2 traps and a date with our ferals this weekend. I guess I need a little encouragement that this is a do-able task. I am feeling a little nervous about this, and a little down as others at work have backed off of caring for the cats because management has been negative about them. Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 22
Absolutely it is do-able! You should be commended for stepping in and doing the right thing by these cats.

I've only every trapped one feral kitten and it took a few days for success so patience will be the key.

Someone with much more experience will most likely come along with tips and encouragement. In the mean time you might do a forum search to find other folks who've been in similar circumstances.

Good luck!

(By the way - the feral kitten I trapped became a loving member of our household. It is none other than EMMA whose picture is below.)
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinny View Post
I am new to the feral cat world. There are, I believe, two feral kitties at my workplace. I was only vaguely aware of them before November. They were kittens last summer, we believe they were dumped nearby. I never saw them for quite a while. Others where I work began feeding them in Sept. The cats became a little bolder and showed themselves a little more, especially when someone 'forgot' to feed them. I donated food to one of the people feeding them, then realized that there was no organization or regularity to the feeding, and that poor quality food and no water was being provided. With winter setting in, I decided to become more involved. I checked every am to be sure the cats had been provided for, started feeding on weekends and holidays, and provide most of the food. After some disturbing comments by management at the facility, I looked into seeing if anyone would come take the cats and 'rehab' them, and found that a rescue was not available, that the best I can do for the kitties is to trap, neuter, and return. I found our local organization that coordinates this and I now have 2 traps and a date with our ferals this weekend. I guess I need a little encouragement that this is a do-able task. I am feeling a little nervous about this, and a little down as others at work have backed off of caring for the cats because management has been negative about them. Thanks for any help.
Chinny....you can certainly do it!!! Have you visited Alley Cat Allies website?? It's full of good information for you.

http://www.alleycat.org/

Katie
post #4 of 22
Is the group that coordinates this giving you instructions on how to go about trapping? I'm one of those people that go out and coach people that have never done it before. There are a lot of general rules, but it's always good to see the environment they live in to recommend the best place to put the trap, etc.

Here's some general rules that I provide:

Place the closed trap next to the area that you normally feed in and leave it for a few days. When they are used to the trap, tie the door open with a strap, put newspaper in the bottom of the trap and start moving the food into the trap. You are getting them used to entering the trap. Do that for a few days, slowly moving the food deeper and deeper. Clean out the food each day.

When you have the date for the speuter lined up (always do this in advance), get yourself some strong canned food or (preferably) Kentucky Fried Chicken. Set the trap without the strap and bait the trap with the food. It sometimes works to drop a few pieces of food outside the trap as a trail to the trap - but not enough that they are satisfied. Go away from the trap but monitor it from a distance. Depending on your environment, get into your car and watch, go into the building and watch, just be away from the trap but within visual distance.

As soon as you have trapped the cat, cover the trap with a towel and remove it from the location. Set the next trap and move away. If you are trapping more than one cat, the first catch will often spook away the other cats and you often have to return another time for the other cats.

If you are transporting the cat yourself, line your car seats with thick plastic and cover it with a blanket. Trapped cats will often eliminate in the trap out of fear. But keep the trap covered with the towel the entire time - it keeps them relatively calm.

Good luck trapping!

(don't ask me why KFC works - it just does)
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and encouragement so far. Tomorrow is the big day. I have read up on the trapping procedure. Unfortunately, because I am not in control of the location of the cats, I am limited in what I am allowed to do. Basically, mngmnt said I could come in on a Sunday when no one is around and try to trap the cats. All other days, this is a very busy location, so they do not want any type of trapping activities to occur. Like I mentioned, they are not thrilled about the cats so I am trying to keep everything very low-key. I am transporting, hopefully, and yes, I am a little worried about the interior of my car. I plan to cover the back with plastic, newspapers, and puppy pads. One thing I am wondering about- if I am able to get one cat and not the other, I am concerned that the two keep each other warm at night and one will suffer or worse without the other. What do you think? It has been near 0 around here at night.
post #6 of 22
If you catch one and not the other, the one left should be OK. They wouldn't be hanging around there unless there was some shelter that they find at night.

My little colony is down to 2 and one of them has been coming in at night. I had the same fear (cold) for the one outside, but she does OK by herself.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well I am 2 hrs into my trapping attempt- home for a bathroom break and to drop off my daughter who is quite bored. She caught a glimpse of one of the kitties-, I have not seen either. They must have been spooked by the sight of us setting up the traps. I have poured tuna juice from their woods towards the traps in the feeding area. I am going back now with my Sunday paper and portable DVD player and some episodes of "The Office'.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinny View Post
Well I am 2 hrs into my trapping attempt- home for a bathroom break and to drop off my daughter who is quite bored. She caught a glimpse of one of the kitties-, I have not seen either. They must have been spooked by the sight of us setting up the traps. I have poured tuna juice from their woods towards the traps in the feeding area. I am going back now with my Sunday paper and portable DVD player and some episodes of "The Office'.
Chinny....some trappers swear by warm, deboned, deskinned KFC chicken torn into pieces and placed in the trap. They say the "smellier" the bait..the more enticing it is to the cats.

Katie
post #9 of 22
I am sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for you and your crusade, I hope you are able to trap the kitties.



Keep us posted on how you are doing.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
No luck! What a terrible day. I did see both cats in the early afternoon- they stayed far away from the feeding area and the traps. I put in about 7 hrs over there. My local contact called me and advised me to cover the traps which I did to no avail. I will have to try again next weekend. My contact says she has a spaying clinic going on next Sunday so she will need the cats trapped Friday afternoon or Saturday, which goes against management's wishes. I am going to try leaving the traps (closed) in their feeding area during the morning feeding to see if they will get used to them at all. I will also stop feeding them earlier in the week. To complicate things we are expecting a big snowstorm this week. I will hate to not feed them during harsh weather like that.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinny View Post
No luck! What a terrible day. I did see both cats in the early afternoon- they stayed far away from the feeding area and the traps. I put in about 7 hrs over there. My local contact called me and advised me to cover the traps which I did to no avail. I will have to try again next weekend. My contact says she has a spaying clinic going on next Sunday so she will need the cats trapped Friday afternoon or Saturday, which goes against management's wishes. I am going to try leaving the traps (closed) in their feeding area during the morning feeding to see if they will get used to them at all. I will also stop feeding them earlier in the week. To complicate things we are expecting a big snowstorm this week. I will hate to not feed them during harsh weather like that.

Still sending prayers and hugs from Mississippi for you, I wish you the best of luck next week. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNR1 View Post
Chinny....some trappers swear by warm, deboned, deskinned KFC chicken torn into pieces and placed in the trap. They say the "smellier" the bait..the more enticing it is to the cats.

Katie
I've seen KFC work when all else has failed. There was a feral that my TNR group tried to trap for 3 years and finally caught her with KFC (once they realized that it was the secret ingredient).
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
I caught one of my ferals this am!!!!! The more social black and white one.This is how I did it. I left the trap set up during the day the past few days. One day I put a can of fancy feast inside the closed trap. Then I put fancy feast inside the open, unset trap yesterday, and somebody ate it.
Today i arrived at 6:45 am. He/she watched me set up the trap and put fancy feast in the back of it. I went back to my car where I had no view of the trap due to snow banks from our 2/14 Nor'easter. So I checked about every 15 min. When I opened the car door at 8:15, I could hear the cat.
He/she thrashed about a bit while I loaded the cage into the car, but has been quite calm, almost serene since then. I will go back later to try to catch the other. I will try to post a picture soon. Thanks for all the tips and encouragement.
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 




Here are the pictures, not so great. My DD had to do all this for me.
post #15 of 22
Wow....congratulations!!!!! Although this little fellow doesn't know it yet...you have just given him the best gift he could get. Now, he will be neutered and provided shots and the vet care he deserves. Thank you for helping this guy.

Katie
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I am so disappointed I was not able to catch the other cat. Today was the perfect opportunity as the one I did trap was still in recovery from his surgery. The remaining kitty hasn't eaten since Thursday! I was sure he/she would want to eat today. It was in the area, but would not come near the feeding spot. I released it's brother later in the day, then left food for both. I hope to be able to catch the other sometime soon. Should I continue feeding from the trap?
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinny View Post
I am so disappointed I was not able to catch the other cat. Today was the perfect opportunity as the one I did trap was still in recovery from his surgery. The remaining kitty hasn't eaten since Thursday! I was sure he/she would want to eat today. It was in the area, but would not come near the feeding spot. I released it's brother later in the day, then left food for both. I hope to be able to catch the other sometime soon. Should I continue feeding from the trap?
Perhaps try a new tactic....try putting catnip in the trap and see if he goes for it. If he does...trap fairly soon afterwards so he doesn't develop trap avoidance.

Katie
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Great news... I finally trapped my other feral kitty on Tuesday. I went at 6 am before work and set up, then within about 10 minutes the little tiger kitty walked right out of the woods and into the trap. I am so happy/relieved. She was spayed Wednesday, and was found to be pregnant with 6 kittens. I believe her pregnancy hunger pangs made her alot bolder so that she entered the trap. I pick her up tonight and release tomorrow. Her brother/boyfriend has been lonely without her. I hope their lives will be healthy and happy now.
post #19 of 22
Thread Starter 



Here is the little girl. She has a beautiful face.
post #20 of 22
Congratulations on trapping the girl!!!!!
post #21 of 22
I was so excited when I read about your success with the second cat. And, although you didn't dwell on it, KUDOS for going ahead with the spay. It's not fun to think about, but every kitten who isn't born means another kitten or cat with a shot at decent food and medical care.

I'm having a go at a couple of kittens myself tomorrow night--wish me luck!
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Good luck to you in your kitty trapping venture. I felt mostly relief about the kittens as I am sure they would have had a tough time in the woods they would have been born in, and would have likely drawn the attention of predators. Not to mention I would have been insane with worry.
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