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How do you go about trapping multiple cats in a colony?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
First, let me just say thanks so much for the advice given to me so far. I'm now trying to TNR about 5 cats. The only problem I see is that 4 of them hang out together, and when it's meal time they all eat from the same bowl. Trapping the loner isn't a big deal, but how would I trap the other 4? If they see one cat trapped, the rest won't go into a trap. Also, I'm most likely going to have less traps than cats, probably only two. I guess one way is to not feed them for a day or two and then put the traps in various places, out of sight from each other and hope that they smell the food and go for it. Again, any advice is much appreciated.
post #2 of 5
Glen, if you're going to have two traps, that's what you have to work with! There are a lot of trapping hints/suggestions in this thread: Helping Ferals: Socialization, Trapping, etc.

We've never had to trap cats that weren't near us. We would put out the traps and pop outside every 15 min - 1/2 hour or so. We did trap the same cats several times, and we would just simply start over again.

Best thing, I think, is put out the traps with food in them. I doubt you'll get more than one cat into a trap - but you never know. If two walk in there (two would have fit into the traps we used) - I guess so much the better?

But best to put out the traps, put the food in there, and get out of sight as much as possible.

I guess you could try putting out boxes first and feeding them in there. Might help get them used to "going into something" to eat. If you put out four boxes with separate food bowls in them, maybe you'll get them used to eating separately inside of something?

And definitely have them ear-tipped, or have a notch or something done as a sign to both you and others that they've been fixed. You may want to start a "TNR journal" and keep track of the descriptions of the cats you've had done, dates, etc...

Trapping the first two might be easier than trapping the others... BUT - if you get them used to going into boxes to eat, you might even be able to use crates to trap them! We were able to do that with a couple of them. Just feed them in the crates and then shut the door. With ferals that won't work unless they're used to it, and you might not be able to get them to go in there to eat, period. If you do, you have to be VERY quick about it as they're fast!

The trapping hints should help for trapping the others if the first two are fairly easy.

And for really hard to trap cats... if they're used to being fed every day, if you skip one day, it might help. It helped us. But I wouldn't skip more than one day. You don't want the cats to think there's no more food coming and stop coming by at their regular time...

When you go to release them, what we always did was put wet food out before opening the crate. Some of the more "comfortable" ferals would eat it before taking off... others just bolted. But it helps them know it's still a "friendly" place where they're going to get fed.

Again - if MA (hissy) has any tips here, I'd take them!!!!!!

Good luck, and I really hope you keep us posted!!!!!!!

post #3 of 5
Oh - just FYI. We had just one crate, and over the course of about 3 - 4 months, we trapped 20+ cats. But again - this was just out back behind our home. (We also trapped a number of possums and raccoons).

People who help trap colonies in places where they do not live, in rural areas I believe will put out traps and then head back after a few hours to check them. In urban areas, I really don't know if they would leave traps unattended for any period of time. But sometimes the presence of a person will deter the cats from entering the crates.
post #4 of 5
I would use a drop trap on them. I would put the trap up- and feed them without worrying about trapping them, until they are comfortable with seeing the trap. Then set the trap, feed and you have caught all four. The problem with a drop trap is you have to be nearby to trigger it and you have to have help to keep it in place if you have more than one cat inside as they tend to get a bit......active in it.
post #5 of 5
here is our drop trap- notice it is a bit worse for wear. We will have to build another one soon as it does take a beating
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