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Trapping advice

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I need some advice on trapping feral cats. Me and my neighbor are very determined to trap 2 feral female cats to have them neutered. Both of them live in our backyards. None of us did it before, so I'm a little nervous. We got traps from the shelter, and I've been reading how to set them up. But I was wondering if it's better to trap them at night, or in the morning? We have to drop them off for surgery between 8-9am, so I'm wondering if it would be better for them to get use to the cage? Does it matter? I just would like to make it as easy for them as possible.

I would be grateful for any advice.

Thank You
post #2 of 7

Good on you for helping these kitties out

Are you feeding them? If not, start feeding them at the same place, at around the same time each day in the evening preferably.

Once they're coming regularly, stop feeding them, then set the trap out the next night, so they've had 2 nights of no food. I find the best time is at dusk.

Put something nice and smelly in the trap - tuna, sardines, BBQ chicken, and put a towel over the top, but don't cover the end of the trap - they're more likely to go in if they think they're entering a "tunnel" rather than an enclosed space.

Keep an eye on the trap because once the kitty is trapped it's going to flip out. Have a sheet, or really big towel nerby that you can put over the top of the cage. As soon as it's completely covered they settle right down.

Once you have it, just put it in a bathroom, a warm garage or something else like that where it won't get disturbed or too cold.

The kitty will be fine in the trap overnight in a warm place, just make sure it's completely covered, and then leave it be. Don't give it any food or water, and don't go trying to stick your fingers in the cage, because they are going to want to bite you

When you bring it back from the vet, just keep it in the trap in a warm place. I wait about 8 hours after surgery, then put a bit of food in the cage. Don't open the trap too far, open it just enough to slide some food in.

I generally keep the cat one night, and release it the next evening. If it's female, and it's doing fine, I keep it 2 nights. I have a feral cat recovery cage, so they have a litter tray and a bit of rooom to move. If I didn't have that, I would probably only keep it one night.

If it's a female and in heat or pregnant, you'll probably need to keep it a bit longer, so talk to the vet about the best thing to do.

Good luck
post #3 of 7
Sarah's advice is great - and she knows what she's doing! All I would add is:

One thing I recommend here - put down a big plastic sheet on your car seat and wherever you're going to set the trap. We have never had a feral not pee or poop or vomit (or all three) out of fear on the drive to the vet.

You can also consider putting newspaper down over the bottom of the trap - they can still trip it, and that way they don't have to feel the wires on their feet. Actually, depending upon where you're doing it, if you can, poor litter over the bottom or loose potting soil - the trap just lifts right up throught it.

Good luck trapping vibes!

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all your advice.
We're feeding them, me and the neighbor regularly. I was planning to keep them overnight in the basement, and bring them to the vet in the morning. I'll probably keep them overnight after the surgery and release in the morning. They are both females, but unfortunately I can't keep them longer than that. Besides, I think we will be able to keep an eye on them afterwords since they're always around.
I'll let you know how did it go.
post #5 of 7
Good points Laurie - I forgot to mention those things

If you can at least keep them until the next evening, that would be ideal. In the morning they may be a bit disoriented still, and they may walk onto a road or something silly. I like releasing in the evenings so it's nice and quiet, and they have a good 12 hours to settle down before people start their days.

Good luck.
post #6 of 7
I just want to add - even though Im relatively new at this myself (ive learned a TON here by the way)....

When you pick up the cage after covering it with a towel - be ready for them to run back and forth in the cage - making it a bit difficult to pick up - somewhat like a seesaw. This doesnt happen often and only for a few seconds while picking up the trap - but its happened enough to startle me every time. So just make sure you have a tight grip and wear gloves!! I do that just in case I have to touch another part of the trap while carrying it - dont want to get a nail in my hand. Im guessing thats why others wear gloves too.

post #7 of 7
Oh yeah, the see-saw effect That drives me nuts!!!

I hold the end where the trap door is as well as the handle, because the trap part is a bit recessed, and they can't get to my fingers. Wearing gloves is also good because they can be heavy little things, and the handle digs into your fingers
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