TRAPPING BASICS

Start by watching these short videos and reading through the Tips and Tricks for Trapping. 


How to Trap a Feral Cat for TNR (by KittenLady):
Preparing and Setting the Trap:
TIP AND TRICKS FOR TRAPPING...

1.  Make sure appointments are available the next day before trapping to minimize how long the cat has to stay in the trap.  For example, you should not trap on a Friday if appointments are not available until Monday. Check with Nita for appointment availability.

2.  Use a tarp with a blanket or towels on it to protect your car.

3.  Count your traps before getting started, and frequently throughout the day. Never leave a trap behind.

4.  Line traps with newspaper. This will protect the cat’s feet and help absorb urine. See video below for demonstration.

5.  When baiting traps, use small amounts to lead cat into trap, with a larger amount all the way to the back of the trap. Do not put bowls or plates in trap.

6.  Be mindful of where you place your trap. Make sure trap is on even ground, that door will drop freely without catching on anything, that it is not sitting in mud or water, and that there are no ants in the area. Try to place it in a shaded area, if possible.

7.  Use small rocks to weigh newspaper down if it is blowing around in the trap.

8.  If you will be staying with the traps, you can leave them uncovered for trapping.

Sometimes the wind blows around the covers and scares the cats. As soon as a cat is trapped, quickly cover the trap to calm the cat. If you are leaving the traps unattended, the traps must be covered.

9.  ALWAYS cover traps when a cat is in them.

10.  Only leave traps unattended if it will be for short periods, or if someone is at home to watch the traps. If you do leave them unattended, be sure the trap is covered, the area is free from ants, and the trap is protected from sunlight and rain. Check the traps frequently, or stay in contact with the person monitoring them.

11.  Tie off ring side of trap with pipe cleaners once cat is inside, and make sure the locking latch on the guillotine side of trap is engaged.

12.  Label the trap BEFORE leaving the area with the address and description of the cat.

13.  If there is not an address where the cat was trapped, use the closest address you can find, and then detail exactly where the cat was trapped on the paperwork. When labeling the trap, label with address, but also note to check the paperwork.

14.  When transporting traps, make it a habit to never cover an empty trap. Only traps with cats in them should be covered. It helps serve as a visual reminder so cats aren’t left in the car.

DO NOT TRAP KITTENS YOUNGER THAN 12 WEEKS OR LESS THAN 2 POUNDS unless they are sick or in imminent danger. DO NOT TRAP A MOTHER CAT IF KITTENS ARE NOT EATING ON THEIR OWN. Read this article and contact us with any questions. 

https://www.alleycat.org/community-cat-care/finding-kittens-outdoors/


Contact us when you are ready to get started and we will arrange a time to give you a hands on demonstration of how to use the traps. We can also arrange a tag-along on a TNR trip so you can get first hand trapping experience! Once you feel comfortable and are ready to start trapping on your own, we will lend you the traps and help get you started! Spay/neuter costs are funded through donations for regular trappers... so there are no out of pocket expenses for you! 
Be sure to sign up for our free 5-email course on cat trapping! You will receive one email every day for five days with information such as what to expect, the ins and outs of trapping, and tips and tricks for successful TNR! (Note: this does not have to be completed before trapping)
ADVANCED TRAPPING TECHNIQUES

Trap Training:

In some instances, cats simply will not go into a trap. Trap training can be a valuable tool to acclimate the cats to the trap so they will learn not to fear it, and they can eventually be trapped. This is generally done with a traditional box trap, but can be done with a drop trap.

1. Place the trap in a secure area, out of site, in an area where the cat typically frequents. Be sure the trap is in a place where it can be monitored, and will not be taken. This is usually in the back yard of the feeder. 

2. Tie open both ends of the trap securely. Make sure the doors can not accidently close. Bungy cords work well for this purpose.

3. Begin feeding every day at the same time. Start by feeding near the trap, but not inside of it.

4. Once the cat is eating near the trap comfortably, begin moving the food closer and closer to the trap, until the cat is eating right at the entrance of the trap.

5. Next you will be moving the food into the trap, slowly moving it into the middle of the trap, until the cat is comfortable eating in the trap. 

6. Once the cat is no longer afraid to eat in the trap, choose a time to actually set the trap. The cat should go in without a problem and become trapped. 

A FEW KEY POINTS:
-This process should take about a week. Each day you should be moving the food bowl as described above. 
-Be sure to have an appointment for spay/neuter before actually setting the trap.
-Once the cat is trapped, be sure to cover the trap and tie off the rings at the bottom of the trap. 
-If trap training does not work, you may need to try using a drop trap.




How to use a Drop Trap:

Using a drop trap can be very useful to trap one cat out of a colony, trap a cat who will not go into a traditional box trap, trap a litter of kittens, or to trap an injured cat. However, drop trapping requires more time, more skill, and generally more than one person. If you need to use a drop trap, please watch the video below and then contact us for more instructions. 
 
All self trappers borrowing traps are required to sign a release of liability waiver and consent to spay/neuter of the cats they trapped. It can be accessed here: