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Going on a Kitten Hunt

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just came back from a morning of volunteering at Humane Society/adoption center and apparently I've been recruited to go on a "kitten hunt".

An older couple walked-in and informed us of a colony of a whopping "30" or so that are taking over the entire block. They don't seem to mind so much but are worried because they overheard a neighbor claiming he would put poison out if the cats don't leave soon. Not good!! This couple explained they have seen mostly adults but there are a few kittens out there that look very young...sounds like only a few weeks young from what they described.

Since I live rather close to them, I left adoption center with carrier in hand, blankets & of course KMR. The goal is grab those kittens asap, clean them up, get them medication if needed and adopted. The next step is to inform out City shelter to get out there and do some TNR which they proclaim they are doing free of charge to anyone living within my City.

Wish me luck..."a kitten hunting" I go.
post #2 of 15
Oh, boy, good luck, Leesali!
post #3 of 15
Good luck. In my experience if these are outdoor kittens you need patience, time and a lot of kitten traps.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the "good luck" wishes and Yes...these are outside kittens that belong to a very large colony...so I'm told.

I do have a trap and a few carriers...hoping I won't be chasing these little ones with a net. Hate that!! Have never seen the "net" technique done but it sounds so traumatic for the little ones.

Will let you know what happens...have a phone number for the couple that is asking for help & have to wait for them be home so I can hide-out in their backyard
post #5 of 15
You sure have your work cut out for you!! Good luck!
post #6 of 15
I've caught around 25-30 kittens so far and don't typically use traps. If they hit around 5-10 weeks, they're usually pretty active and I use a 30-inch or 36-inch pet crate. I set up the crate with the food in the back and a rope that goes through the top of the crate, from the back of the crate to the front. I tie the rope to the top corner of the door. I then leave the door open halfway.

Kittens tend to be more foolish than adults and will start investigating more aggressively as the adults mill about outside the crate - the large open crate is a little less intimidating than a trap. I'll let the kittens go in and out until I feel I hit a good number (there's always a bold kitten and a shy kitten) that are deep enough into the crate, then pull the door shut and hold the rope tight until I can latch the door. If there's a certain combination I don't want (a male, or a cat already spayed), I don't pull the door closed, or I walk towards the crate until they exit, then start again. Once closed, I will untie or cut the rope so the cats don't get caught up in it.

The other good traps for this are Tru-Catch traps -- they're not spring-loaded. You can spring them manually with the old "stick-and-string" box method. When the kittens are in the back of the trap, pull the string so that the stick falls and the trap door falls gently.

Anyway! Just some alternate trapping methods. I prefer these methods for kittens because I feel I have much more control over catching multiple kittens at once. The boldest kitten goes in first, and it's not long before the brothers and sisters begin to investigate.

Of course this doesn't work well for really young kittens, or kittens that you don't know are there. I think mother cats do a good job of "telling" their kittens when it's OK to come out, and some days it seems like mom says "STAY PUT" and no amount of waiting is going to coax them.

The only thing with the above method is you: a) have to make sure the crate is assembled properly and all secondary doors are closed; b) you have less control over the kittens in a larger space, so don't try transferring them from the crate to anything else unless you're in a closed room with no hiding places or escape routes; c) I prefer to use Tru-Catch traps for adults when catching manually; an adult feral can push through a crate door no matter how hard you hold it shut.

Good luck!
post #7 of 15
Best of luck with this! Please ensure that the shelter gets out their quickly. We had a colony in Danbury that no one knew about - and by the time we were made aware - someone had poisoned a lot of them. Some teenagers had also been beating some, and many came in with serious injuries. Sadly some died.

When you hear a threat like this - it's a possibility that they will do it.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas1pd
Best of luck with this! Please ensure that the shelter gets out their quickly. We had a colony in Danbury that no one knew about - and by the time we were made aware - someone had poisoned a lot of them. Some teenagers had also been beating some, and many came in with serious injuries. Sadly some died.

When you hear a threat like this - it's a possibility that they will do it.
Agree...I don't doubt what some people are capable of!!

Rain is predicted for tomorrow...so, with the home owner's permission and cooperation, I will get out there today with the hopes of grabbing those kittens first.
post #9 of 15
Oh...do let us know how the "HUNT" went. I hope you get them all! If it`s going to rain tomorrow maybe they won`t mind so bad once they see that they are getting out of the WET! :-)
Linda
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott77777
I've caught around 25-30 kittens so far and don't typically use traps. If they hit around 5-10 weeks, they're usually pretty active and I use a 30-inch or 36-inch pet crate. I set up the crate with the food in the back and a rope that goes through the top of the crate, from the back of the crate to the front. I tie the rope to the top corner of the door. I then leave the door open halfway.

Kittens tend to be more foolish than adults and will start investigating more aggressively as the adults mill about outside the crate - the large open crate is a little less intimidating than a trap. I'll let the kittens go in and out until I feel I hit a good number (there's always a bold kitten and a shy kitten) that are deep enough into the crate, then pull the door shut and hold the rope tight until I can latch the door. If there's a certain combination I don't want (a male, or a cat already spayed), I don't pull the door closed, or I walk towards the crate until they exit, then start again. Once closed, I will untie or cut the rope so the cats don't get caught up in it.

The other good traps for this are Tru-Catch traps -- they're not spring-loaded. You can spring them manually with the old "stick-and-string" box method. When the kittens are in the back of the trap, pull the string so that the stick falls and the trap door falls gently.

Anyway! Just some alternate trapping methods. I prefer these methods for kittens because I feel I have much more control over catching multiple kittens at once. The boldest kitten goes in first, and it's not long before the brothers and sisters begin to investigate.

Of course this doesn't work well for really young kittens, or kittens that you don't know are there. I think mother cats do a good job of "telling" their kittens when it's OK to come out, and some days it seems like mom says "STAY PUT" and no amount of waiting is going to coax them.

The only thing with the above method is you: a) have to make sure the crate is assembled properly and all secondary doors are closed; b) you have less control over the kittens in a larger space, so don't try transferring them from the crate to anything else unless you're in a closed room with no hiding places or escape routes; c) I prefer to use Tru-Catch traps for adults when catching manually; an adult feral can push through a crate door no matter how hard you hold it shut.

Good luck!
What excellent info. Anyway it can be stickied at the top of the forum?

Best of luck to you, Leesali. I hope you catch a bunch of babies!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is going to be more involved than I thought!

Went this morning to the block where the colony & babies live and no little ones in sight. I was greeted by the couple who requested assistance and they walked me around the area where they have seen cats. Within minutes, I spotted about 6 adults...all looked to be fairly young...at best 1-year.

The couple explained that the neighbors on the block all claim they are not feeding the colony except for 1 house/1 neighbor, who is not approachable and strongly suggested that I not even ring the bell. This particular house is where I spotted most of the cats and will bet my last dollar that this is where the colony is getting food. Their yard which is mostly a side-yard is covered with heavy brush...branches, bushes, and unfortunately a lot of junk...very heavy with "stuff". Impossible to see if any created a "nest" area for newborns.

So...back to the Humane Society...explained what I was told and saw. The plan now is to head back out with multiple traps and some of the neighbors cooperation. Noticed some of the neighbors have scattered moth-balls to deter the cats from coming around.

Weather permitting, VP and myself will head out tomorrow and see if we can start putting traps out.

Scott...excellent post on TNR & kittens...really appreciated!!
post #12 of 15
If you have any problems with the cats entering the traps - try leaving them tied open for a few days. Also - I found the best food to load a trap with is Figaro Tuna.

Make sure the family who asked you to help is not feeding the cats - or it will deter them from going inside the traps. These fur kids gotta be hungry!

Keep us posted! I hope all goes well!

Donna
post #13 of 15
Hi Leesali,

I'm new to this board, but something you wrote made me think...
Quote:
The couple explained that the neighbors on the block all claim they are not feeding the colony except for 1 house/1 neighbor, who is not approachable and strongly suggested that I not even ring the bell. This particular house is where I spotted most of the cats and will bet my last dollar that this is where the colony is getting food. Their yard which is mostly a side-yard is covered with heavy brush...branches, bushes, and unfortunately a lot of junk...very heavy with "stuff".
that maybe you have a hoarder in that house and that is where the cats are coming from. I'm wondering if the adults you are seeing look healthy.

Newt
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
maybe you have a hoarder in that house and that is where the cats are coming from. I'm wondering if the adults you are seeing look healthy.

It is possible there is some hoarding going on but it seems the cats are roaming the entire block...not in one specific backyard.

The adults I have seen look small...possibly they are just young adults and couldn't get close enough to really look at the appearance of eyes, etc.

Unfortunatley, I have been told to call our City Animal Shelter who is supposed to be doing TNR at no or little charge for residents.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
maybe you have a hoarder in that house and that is where the cats are coming from. I'm wondering if the adults you are seeing look healthy.

It is possible there is some hoarding going on but it seems the cats are roaming the entire block...not in one specific backyard.

The adults I have seen look small...possibly they are just young adults and couldn't get close enough to really look at the appearance of eyes, etc.

Unfortunatley, I have been told to call our City Animal Shelter who is supposed to be doing TNR at no or little charge for residents.
At least they are being TNR'd. Some cities just trap them and then kill them.

Katie
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