Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Catch a Lost Domesticated Cat

Today one of my friends asked me how I go about catching adult domesticated lost or abandoned cat and I replied that it is not an easy task because they are freaked out and have trust issues, but that it can be done.

Know that before I bring out the live animal trap I try my best to get the cat to come to me. I use the trap as the last resort because it terrifies the cat, that is stressed out to begin with.

When I say lost or abandoned I am referring to cats that show up in my woods out of the blue. Could be a cat that left their home and got lost or it could be a cat that was abandoned. Know that my woods has predators and it is no place for a domesticated cat.

Steps to Take to Catch a Domesticated Cat

The first thing I do is locate the cat by seeking it with the lens of my camera.  Then I will get a safe distance from the cat, lower my eyes to look at the ground, followed by calling out to the cat.  "here kitty kitty kitty".  Pause to see if cat responds.  

Know that if you look at the cat eye to eye that the cat will become defensive because direct eye contact indicates dominance.

If the cat does not come right away, I will sit down and wait...calling out to the kitty occasionally. The cat knows I am there and if it wants to come to me it will come to me very slowly. (May take several hours)

When waiting for the cat does not work, say the cat moves closer to where you are but is still cautious. Set out a bowl of stinky fish flavored food like salmon pate or whitefish.  This food puts out a strong aroma that will get the lost domesticate cats attention. 

For me it works to squat or sit down and read a book. If a cat is hiding in my yard I will put out a sleeping bag so I can sit on it. Then set up food and water close to where I am sitting and wait.

A few days ago I rescued a lost housecat from the woods, the rescue took 6 hours, it occurred at night when coyote were out and about.   If the cat had not been stressed out we would not have rescued at night but since the cat was putting out a stress meow, husband and I reacted and did everything possible to keep the coyote back and rescue this lost cat.  
Lost cat in woods

When the cat finally came to me it walked behind me and rubbed on my back, marked me as their person. Then it stood on my lap and rubbed its face on mine. Then I could pet the cat and get a hold of its scruff before picking up to put in cat carrier.

Know that if this waiting procedure did not work then I would have to trap the domesticated cat with live animal trap. If you do not have a live animal trap then I would recommend these online stores for cat traps.

Always bait the trap with a stinky fish flavored canned food and cover the trap with a twin size blanket. But do not cover the opening.
Trapped feral kitten

Learn more about trapping and baiting a trap here
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