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Trapping tips?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have a lot of ferals that hang around my house. I managed to catch 3 of them for TNR (and they're doing great!), but so far I can't catch any others. The mama cat, especially, seems to be wise to the trap. So far, I've tried using canned cat food, cheap (smelly!) tuna, and sardines. I always cover the trap with a towel.

Anything I'm doing wrong? Any tips for a beginning trapper?
post #2 of 10
You're not doing anything wrong if you've caught three already! You' ve just run into your fist savvy feral. You may need to use a box trap for her - some shelters/rescues will lend them out.

But first try this - used a large crate. Tie a length of twine to the top of the door and lope it inside the crate and then loosely over the top and out the back. That helps keep it up out of the way when you're waiting for her. When she goes in to eat, pull the rope and close the door.

You have to sit at a distance and behind the crate, so when you pull the rope, the door comes to you. Somebody to help is good - cause you have to keep tension on the rope in case she realizes the door is closed and throws herself against it (which mine did). (Actually, mine looked like a batch of popcorn - at first I thought there were two cats in there!)

Put straw on two sides and the top and leave the back clear a) so she wouldn't realize there was only one way in and b) to give me room to maneuver the rope.

This had the added bonus of giving me a nicer place to keep her until spay time.

Good luck - and GOOD JOB!
post #3 of 10
I agree - you're not doing anything wrong!

Something else to try: totally clean the trap with a light bleach solution. Get the smell of other cats and fear (and probably urine, etc.) off of it. Spray it with feliway. Cover it with stick/leaves instead of a towel - before you do that, pour potting soil (or clay litter, depending upon where you're trapping) over the wires on the bottom. Then the cat doesn't have to walk on the wires, it lifts right up through it, and it doesn't smell like a "trap" anymore.

Some people have had great luck with the drop trap. We've never had to use one, though we have used the crate and the rope trick.

Good luck! This is a wonderful thing you're doing.

post #4 of 10
to the previous posts.

And if you have a Kentucky Fried Chicken nearby, buy a piece of original formula and use that as bait (skin and bones removed). PUt a small amount leading up to the trap and a larger chunk in the trap. For some reason, cats go absolutely wild over KFC.

If you start re-catching the ferals that you've already speutered, you might need to catch them and lock them in a garage or something until you catch the savy female.
post #5 of 10
One of our trappers has huge success. She makes a slurry of mashed up Sardines, Jack Mackeral. Spreads it evenly from front to back of trap on to the news paper lining the trap, and puts a larger amt at the back. Works every dang time. The cats que up to get in her traps.

She also pulls for for 2 days - though I think with a hungry cat
1 day is fine.

Congrats on trying out TNRing. One fewer litter of kittens to suffer
a short nasty brutal life, thanks to YOU!
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I doubt I'll re-trap the cats I already speutered, LOL. The tom will leave the feeding station if he sees me looking out the window . I hardly ever see him. The other 2 (1 boy, 1 girl) were the mama cat's babies. She had 4 last fall; the little boy I wasn't able to catch has already been chased off by the resident toms , and the other female seems to take after her mother when it comes to trap savviness. There are several tomcats, and 2 older kittens that are not the mama cat's babies. I don't know where they came from.

Will the crate and rope trick really work? I'm not sure I could hold enough tension on the rope to keep them from escaping. They get really carried away when they're scared. I could try it though.

Is a "box trap" a Havahart? If so, that's what I've been using. Just a plain ol' raccoon-sized drop trap. If it's different, I'll ask around. There is a local cat rescue that I could contact. Unfortunately, they can't help with the price. I did contact a low-cost s/n clinic a couple hundred miles away....long trip, but worth it if I can catch more than 3 of them.

She makes a slurry of mashed up Sardines, Jack Mackeral. Spreads it evenly from front to back of trap on to the news paper lining the trap, and puts a larger amt at the back
Thanks! I'm definitely going to try that! The mama cat doesn't sem tempted by anything I've tried, and she won't even eat canned food when I put it out. She just wants dry food. Hopefully I can find something she wants.

I'm sure I'd have more success if I took the food away for a couple days, but if I do that, they go into my fenced yard to look for dog food. Although my dogs are OK with the housecats, I don't trust them not to hurt the outdoor cats. And if the cats can't find any dog food, they get into the neighbors' garbage, and then they'll get mad. So I don't think that's really an option.

I'll keep you posted on my success!
post #7 of 10
I think by box trap, they meant drop trap. Here's a thread that talks about them.

Havaheart is a humane trap and is different.

The drop traps work when all other methods fail.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
OH! I thought by "drop" trap it meant the drop door. Interesting. I may have to go there if she really doesn't want to fall for the fishy mixture or the crate and rope trick.
post #9 of 10
Drop traps are fabulous! If you can manage to buy or make one (and Boston Hub Cats sells them but the wait is very long...)

I will try to find it (the link) for you.....

Then after you get a drop trap, you feed for a while UNDER the trap enclosure, area. With the trap in "up" position, then when they are
comfy, you feed one day, drop the trap, and cover. The you put them
into the have heart traps one at a time... it works SO WELL...

Vibes to help you find one! And someone to help you out!!!
post #10 of 10
we trapped the last 2 strays in a hav-a-heart trap with a combination of tuna and homegrown catnip
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