Trapping Feral Cats

DIY – Trapping cats the day before surgery

Tips & Advice on TNR’ing Feral Community cats

  1. If you catch a cat or kitten it is advised to never release them until they are fixed. They become trap shy and might never go into a trap again.
  2. The larger the trap is always better, however some TNR centers have different rules. Please call the clinic/vet for complete instructions from the place you have chosen.
  3. Placement of the trap should be in a bushy area, garage against a wall etc. It is best not to leave it out in the open. Lining the trap is optional but some find it helpful in hiding the trigger plate, be sure it does not interfere with the trap door closing tightly.
  4. Some cats may require some coaxing into a trap, begin with feeding the cat next to the trap, and zip tying the cage door open so it cannot close. Feed at the entrance and each day move the bowl a few more inches into the trap. Once the cat is eating at the back of the trap you can set it.
  5. Use smelly interesting food, canned cat food typically works but other baits include tuna, mackerel, turkey and chicken.
  6. Once trapped keep the cat in a quiet and dark place until you are ready to transport. Do not engage with the cat as it will frighten it more, put a towel over the trap to prevent sensory overload fear. Never open the door unless you own a professional trap fork. Cats should not eat or drink after 5pm the day prior to surgery. Try to flip over the bowl to empty it, and not spook the cat (easier said than done but go slow)

What happens if you catch a feral kitten?

  1. Be careful not to be bit, often times it is there first glance at a human, and you are the predator. Offer food and water, a calm voice and a few days’ patience. 99% of the time the kitten will become a sweet ball of love in just 1-7 days. The younger the easier!
  2. Kittens should be given a wonderful chance at a home life. Cats are not meant to be feral. Gainsville’s Operation Catnip offers a wonderful community program for kittens called KSD short for Kitten Shelter Diversion program and will assist fixing the kittens that weigh in between 2 pounds up to 4. They realize people want to do good for these kittens in finding them homes but sometimes those homes do not get them fixed.
  3. Please home this kitten a deserving home to someone you would trust. The world is not always what is seems, please do your homework and bring the kitten to their home. Always trust your GUT instinct.


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