Friday, July 6, 2012

Trapping Feral Cats in your Neighborhood

Trapping feral cats in your neighborhood is a way to save lives.  

When you trap the cats and take them in for spay, neuter and their vaccines you are helping the cats to live a longer and safer life and you are controlling cat populations.  

"When I trap a cat or kitten I use Havahart 1089 collapsible one-door live animal cage trap it is the same trap that I use for raccoons, groundhogs and other medium sized animals that need to be rescued.  I always have good results with this trap."

Trapping is not difficult however you must be organized and take steps to be gentle and caring to the feral cats.  Understand that they are terrified of you, I always give the respect that they deserve by approaching them slowly and calmly with my eyes lowerd to the ground.    

Take steps to get the cat accustomed to you by feeding and providing them with fresh water  twice a day at the same time.  This is way for the feral cats to become dependent upon you.  When the feral cats are dependent upon you for food and water you would set a a humune live animal trap.

The humane trap will allow you to confine the cat safely while transporting the cat for medical care and sterilization. 

Contact your veterinarian or pet clinic and inquire about their procedure. My veterinarian will take the feral cats as soon as I trap them. I schedule my trapping for Monday – Friday.  Some clinics will give discount services for feral and stray cats. When in doubt join a cat network and ask about inexpensive cat spay or neuter clinics in your area.

Refrain from feeding cats the night before trapping.  Do provide them with water.   On the day that you set up the trap, the only food available will be inside the trap. 

Choose a safe area for trapping, I usually put the trap on my brick patio behind the ornamental grass garden or I will set it inside our garage shelter. I have trapped many stray kittens inside the shelter.  They tend to go inside to hide. 

Line the trap bottom with newspaper.  Take a large sheet and fold it over so that it fits the confined space.  

Trapped feral kitten waiting for transport to veterinarian
 I trap cats in parks and in the woods and for these cats I find it best to line the bottom of the trap with a layer of straw and is some cases I will put down a layer of leaves.  It mimics the woods and the cats are more comfortable and trusting of the trap.

Spray Feliway Behavior Modifier Spray 75 ml onto the blanket that will cover the trap once the trap door closes.  Also spray the paper that is in the front of the trap by the trap opening only. 

The feliway will help in keeping the cat calm.  It takes the stress out of an anxious situation as the cat will think the trap is their safe place and not the scary place.  

Fold the blanket back so that it does not conceal the trap opening, but does provide a cozy area in the back of the trap.

Bait the trap by with a strong fish scented and flavored cat food.  Set the food on the newspaper in the back of the trap.  The food in the back of the trap will draw the cat into the trap.

Havahart  Live Animal Trap  For Stray Cat

When the trap door closes, cover the entire trap with a blanket. The blanket will comfort the cat. Bring the cat inside your garage, basement or house if you unable to take the cat directly to the veterinarian's office.

When adult feral cats return from the veterinarian office, the female will need to stay inside for medical care for 3-4 days, release the male cat to the same area in which you found him. Allow cat to regroup with the colony.

Ask the veterinarian to tag the cats left ear. This universal symbol indicates to animal control workers that the cat is part of (TNR) trap neuter and release program.

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