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Hard-to-Trap Cat Issues

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
The stray cat that's been lurking around my house every evening for his dinner is proving to be so much harder to trap than I imagined. He set off the trap once, from the outside, not sure how, but since then, he never goes near the trap. I've tried draping a towel around the whole trap and leaving just the side of the trap door open as well as not using a towel at all.

He's much too smart for his own good!

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

I've been thinking of somehow trapping him INSIDE because right when you enter the house, there's this long hall and I can keep all the doors closed, so it's a small enclosed area, but what the heck am I supposed to do after that? I feed him right in front of the door, so I'm sure if I put the bowls inside the hall instead and have two people come from either side on the outside, he'll have nowhere to run but INTO the hallway.

Is this a smart move? I have no idea. I also can't contain him in that hall for long because it's shared with my landlord and he has no idea I've been feeding the cat. He'd throw a fit.

Here's a pic of the smart cat himself:


Thanks for reading.

P.S. Does he look fat to you? I feed him 1/3 cup of dry food only for dinner and I'm not sure whether anyone else is feeding him. He's quite meaty, so if not, he's obviously getting an abundance of food from somewhere else. He doesn't just walk; he wobbles. Should I be worrying that his weight might slow him down outside?
post #2 of 10
He looks kinda plump. He is either catching a lot of prey or he is also getting food elsewhere. Maybe switching to wet is good so it will be fewer calories.
He is still gorgeous.
My luck with trapping one of my elusive cats has been horrible. I need another trap but I have my hands full with my fosters. I am trying to get my ex husband to catch him because he is good at it but he is procrastinating.
post #3 of 10
I don't think the hallway is a good idea. A cornered animal will fight like heck, and someone will get bitten or scratched - or both - and likely seriously.

I'd try washing the trap. Get the smell of other cats and fear off of it. Spray Feliway on the side bars and at the entrance. Because you feed him right in front of the door, put a plastic tarp or bag down (not too much larger than the trap) and put the trap on that. Sprinkle cat litter or dirt over the bottom of the trap so kitty won't feel the wires. Leave the trap un-tripped for a couple of nights and put his regular food in there. Even if he doesn't go in to eat, don't worry about it. He's getting food somewhere else - he's pudgy! If he doesn't go in after two nights, just try the third night to set the trap - but put small amounts of REALLY stinky food in there - like Tuna, Herring (no sauce), or KFC with no skin.

He actually looks over-fed but otherwise well cared for. Are you sure he's not an indoor/outdoor cat that belongs to someone? Does he let you pet him? Can you get a (breakaway) collar with a note on it on him? (With your name and phone number on it?)

Just FYI - if cats are on our property, they get spayed & neutered, owned or not.

Laurie
post #4 of 10
I second the "hallway is a bad idea" motion. But if you are willing to do that, you should try a drop trap. That is how we caught our feral a few weeks ago.

Since he's large and smart, you may need a big one. And you'll need a lot of patience! But it worked for us.

And LDG's advice is great- that's how we caught our fostered feral mommy when she escaped.

Good luck!!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
I don't think the hallway is a good idea. A cornered animal will fight like heck, and someone will get bitten or scratched - or both - and likely seriously.
That crossed my mind, but I'm getting desperate, and the cat rescue person even told me it'd work and that I could call her once I get him in there! Then she'll come with a net. Um, I'm not so sure now. Did you mean that he'll feel cornered when 2 people approach him from the outside and scratch/bite to get away *outside*? Because if we do manage to get him to actually go into the hallway, I would just close the door behind him and make the call. No way am I going to go into the hallway with him, lol. I don't know - that's why I asked

Quote:
I'd try washing the trap. Get the smell of other cats and fear off of it. Spray Feliway on the side bars and at the entrance. Because you feed him right in front of the door, put a plastic tarp or bag down (not too much larger than the trap) and put the trap on that. Sprinkle cat litter or dirt over the bottom of the trap so kitty won't feel the wires. Leave the trap un-tripped for a couple of nights and put his regular food in there.
Thanks for the tips! The only thing I'm scared of is that there are raccoons around and so I never left the trap out over night, in fear of seeing one in there in the morning.

Quote:
Even if he doesn't go in to eat, don't worry about it. He's getting food somewhere else - he's pudgy!
Yup, he definitely can't be getting pudgy over the 1/3 cup kibbles I'm giving him. Only the past couple of months. He was like this before I even started feeding him. He waits at my door for hoursss in the evening to be fed.

Quote:
If he doesn't go in after two nights, just try the third night to set the trap - but put small amounts of REALLY stinky food in there - like Tuna, Herring (no sauce), or KFC with no skin.
OK, will try.

Quote:
He actually looks over-fed but otherwise well cared for. Are you sure he's not an indoor/outdoor cat that belongs to someone? Does he let you pet him? Can you get a (breakaway) collar with a note on it on him? (With your name and phone number on it?)
I went around and asked my neighbors and only one lady knows of the cat I speak about. She says he's been hanging around here for at least 4 years now, ever since she moved into the area, and suspects the family who sold the house to her abandoned him She always sees cat fur in her children's playhouse, so suspects he sleeps in there at night. The lady has cats and has had cats her whole life and guesstimates him to be AT LEAST 10 years old.

She's not currently feeding him, though. I'd honestly be so so happy if I found out he's actually someone's pet without a collar, but I have my doubts. I see him outside at 2am sometimes, just sitting in the middle of the alley. One time around 4am or so, he was fighting something outside my window. Unless he is a pet and chooses to be outside all the time, but I thought even most indoor/outdoor cats prefer to be indoors at night? I'm not able to get more than 2 meters from him or he'll bolt, so nope, can't pet him or put a collar on him.


Quote:
Just FYI - if cats are on our property, they get spayed & neutered, owned or not.
Yes, that's what I'm planning to do. TNR.

Thanks!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelongsToEvie View Post
I second the "hallway is a bad idea" motion. But if you are willing to do that, you should try a drop trap. That is how we caught our feral a few weeks ago.

Since he's large and smart, you may need a big one. And you'll need a lot of patience! But it worked for us.
I'll ask the cat rescue if I can borrow a drop trap. She mentioned swapping the trap I have with a wooden one - same thing, just made out of wood. I'm pretty darn sure a drop trap would work, but I need to get my hands on one first.

Thanks!
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
He looks kinda plump. He is either catching a lot of prey or he is also getting food elsewhere. Maybe switching to wet is good so it will be fewer calories.
He is still gorgeous.
Thank you. It's one of those things where the more I look at him, the more beautiful he seems

I have a quarter of the kibble bag I'm currently feeding him, so when this bag runs out, I'll switch to wet food. Occasionally, I do feed him wet.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
I'll ask the cat rescue if I can borrow a drop trap. She mentioned swapping the trap I have with a wooden one - same thing, just made out of wood. I'm pretty darn sure a drop trap would work, but I need to get my hands on one first.

Thanks!
I second the drop trap. We caught a couple of feral cats with one that had alluded capture in a regular trap for years. If you don't know what they are, do a search on the topic in the forums. There are a couple of threads on how to make them.
post #9 of 10
I always forget about the drop trap because we never had to resort to one - but it is a great idea.

I didn't realize she was going to use a net in the hallway. If she's used to nabbing cats with a net, then maybe it's OK. I've seen those "noose" grabbers used (a feral we brought in escaped the room at the vet) - but even that looks pretty traumatic to me - and I know that animals get hurt with the nets. But I'd base that decision on her level of experience and confidence.

No matter what you decide - good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laurie
post #10 of 10
You are very welcome.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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