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trying to catch multiple ferals

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone. I posted here a while ago asking for advice on the best trap to buy over the internet. I ended up buying a Tomahawk, and have started to trap a group of about six ferals in my neighborhood. Believe it or not, I caught the first two pretty quick (using good old tuna) got them fixed, vaccinated, etc. My problem is, I though I was on a roll, and the rest would go in the trap as easily as the first two. Long story short, I was wrong. It has been weeks since I caught the first two - I think the problem was that the other cats were around and witnessed the other two being trapped. As we all know, cats are smart, and now they won't go near my trap with a ten-foot pole! Some even run away before I even put it on the ground and set it! The others will go up to it, sniff for a few seconds, then trot away as well. How do you guys manage to catch all the ferals in a colony when they eventually start to get weary of you and your trap? What if they never come near me again? I will never be able to get them fixed!
post #2 of 13
Are you feeding these cats? If you are, you will have to starve them to make them go into the traps.

Put something very smelly in the trap and try and disguise it a bit. I put a thin layer of newspaper in the bottom, and some dry leaves and dirt. I also put some branches on the top.

It took me over 3 weeks to trap my mommacat. She could actually go IN the trap, stretch her neck and eat the food without setting off the trap!! I moved the newspaper up further to cover the trigger, and she just got careless one day.

BTW, that was the second time I had trapped her, so it can be done!
post #3 of 13
You set the trap in a secluded area, not out in the open, and you also put a very thin layer of newspaper on the bottom, for cats don't like the feel of the steel on their pads. Use kippered herring, or catnip as a lure and just have patience it will happen. I also scrub out the traps out really well after a cat has been released from it, and spray it down with feliway spray before setting it out again.
post #4 of 13
Good lucky trapping the rest of the cats!!!

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the support! And thanks for the catnip idea - I have a bunch at home for my own cats, who go crazy over it, but never thought of using it for outside strays. Duh! I will also try the suggestion of not feeding them for a few days, but a part of me is worried they would get sick or just plain leave the area and search for food elsewhere. I'll take that chance. Thank you all very much!
post #6 of 13
My ferals ignore the wild catnip growing in my yard. A woman at our Humane Society swears by Kentucky Fried Chicken as bate. Break it in small pieces and leave a trail into the cage. She always uses this on the last few in a colony (which are the hardest to trap for all the reasons you stated). Something about the seasonings that attracks them like nothing else will.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks Momofmany! I will remember the KFC if I have trouble with the last few, which I'm sure I will! I'm gonna try to catch again in about a week.
post #8 of 13
You are an absolute angel for doing this!!! I'm so glad things went so well initially. This is a very typical pattern.

Good luck, and keep us posted if you can!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well, I managed to catch another one! It turned out to be a boy with nice blue eyes. I call him "blue"! I think I have four left, at the most. I'll let you know when I catch another one.
post #10 of 13's wonderful what you are doing...and I wish you luck with catching the rest.

post #11 of 13
2 other tips.

When good ole tuna loses its charm, lately I've used tuna in oil AND deli meat together. A tempting combination it seems.

Really the most successful thing for me was the time when I could trap in an area where I could always leave the trap, 24/7. Most of the time it wasn't set. I fed them their plain old dry food next to it, then in front of it, then just inside, then further back, and so on. They never know when it's going to be set and I've managed to catch a colony of about 6 with one trap that way. I used a cable tie to keep the door open and just snipped it some nights...
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I hadn't thought about deli meat. That's a great idea, thanks!

I'm not sure I could do your second suggestion, though. I would be afraid of someone stealing my trap.
post #13 of 13
Laurie: Me too when I lived in a city--I'd never leave my trap out in some areas. But now I live in a rural town, and the feeding area is between a wall and dense bushes behind some buildings. Nobody goes back there ever and I felt confident that my trap wouldn't be tampered with. But just in case I labeled it, "PROPERTY OF XX UNIVERSITY" with my husband's extension (he works there) in case grounds keepers came across it. Where we live here there's a culture of politeness instead of toss it in the trash and call the cops, so I knew my trap as property was safe.

But when I was trapping, I checked it regularly and was very careful. The safety of whatever beastie was in the trap was important to me. I didn't want them sitting in the trap for very long without my collecting them.
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