Last post about ferals were about kittens. And today we will talk about trapping feral cats. Trapping ferals is important if you want to Trap-neuter-return them. I will split this in 3 parts. I will also link to the Alley Cat Allies website to specific things that are important to know.
Because feral cats never or barely had any contact with humans, they are fearful, and they cannot be adopted. Tho, I do believe — personally — that there is always a way to make feral cats so-called “House-cats”. But the outdoors is their home.
If you want to help feral cats, you need to trap-neuter-trap them. This program ends reproduction, stabilizes feral cat populations, and improves individual cats’ lives. The behavior and stress associated with mating— pregnancy, yowling, and fighting— will stop.
What is Trap-Neuter-Return?
Trap: Humanely trap all the cats in a colony (a group of cats living outdoors together).
Neuter: Take the cats in their traps to a veterinarian or clinic to be neutered, vaccinated, and eartipped (a universal symbol indicating they have been neutered).
Return: Return the cats to their original outdoor home.
Since 1990, Alley Cat Allies has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals and local organizations worldwide improve the lives of feral cats by providing guidance on how to implement Trap-Neuter-Return, and educating communities about the benefits of the program. This guide will show you how easy it is to help cats in your community. Armed with your new knowledge, you will be able to join thousands of other people working to improve the lives of feral cats! Thank you Alley Cat Allies!
Only use a humane box trap to trap a feral cat this means that you will and shall never use darts, tranquilizers or nets to attempt to catch a cat. These methods are dangerous and stressful to the cats, they are cats, not prisoners. Take a look at Ally Cat Allies’ equip list.
Don’t Pick Up A Feral Cat
Never attempt to pick up a feral cat (such as when you put her in a carrier or trap). No matter how sweet she seems, or innocent she looks like, handling a cat who has never or barely been touched will become scared and she will stress out. She may struggle to get away and harm you in the process. With no vaccination records, she is bound to be killed or put into quarantine — and you don’t want that. That’s why you have to use the correct trapping practices, to make sure you both are safe, and no one will get hurt.
Keep in mind that your trapping will be most effective if you use targeted trapping. Learn more about Targeted Trapping.
Feral cats are fearful of people in general. This could mean that feral cats may feel even more frightened and threatened when faced with a new experiences, new things. For example, being trapped and taken to a vet (not-feral cats tend to do this too). Feral cats will not show or let us know their needs if they are in pain, hurt or frightened. Instead they will trash about when they are in carriers, or they may “shut down”. It’s important that you stay quiet, calm and conscious of the cat’s well-being during the trapping.
No trapping effort is exactly the same. A colony’s location—a college campus, a warehouse, a farm, an alley, a small business parking lot— will have other elements for you to consider. For instance, you may need to work with college administrators, connect with other caregivers, or make sure you have enough traps and vehicles for a large colony. So maybe don’t go alone?
Before the Trapping
Make sure you’re known or even practiced the Trap-Neuter-Return process and plan your trapping days in advance to ensure the safety and well-being of the cats and reduce your own stress.
- Coordinate with other caregivers who may be feeding the cats, and prepare the cats for trapping by feeding on a schedule and in a designated feeding area.
- Determine how many traps and neuter appointments you will need to schedule after assessing the colony.
- Determine a safe, temperature-controlled location where you will be able to hold the cats after surgery while they recover.
- Gather and prepare all of the appropriate equipment and understand how it all works ahead of time—and practice! It is important to test all traps, to ensure that the trip plate works.
- Withhold food 24 hours before trapping, and you are ready to start trapping.
Go to our Before You Trap section on the Alley Cat Allies site to read more about Before You Trap.
- On the day-of, prepare the traps by lining the bottom with newspaper, tagging with a location description, and baiting.
- Set the traps and watch them from afar.
- Once a cat is trapped, cover the trap – this will help keep the cat calm.
- Ahead of time, learn how to deal with particularly hard-to-trap cats.
- After securing the traps in your vehicle, head to the veterinarian or clinic for surgeries that day or the following day.
Go to our Trapping section to learn more about these steps on the Alley Cat Allies website.
- After surgery, keep the cats in the trap at all times.
- Transport the cats safely back to your secure, indoor location where cats will be in a temperature-controlled environment, dry, and away from danger.
- Monitor the cats for any illness.
- For your safety and the cats keep them in their covered cages at all times.
- Feed the cats eight hours or so after surgery and return the cats.
- Return the cats to the exact location where they were trapped.
- Clean the traps.
Everything is from Alley Cat Allies.
So all information about TNR’ing, trapping etc can be found there.
If you’re interested in it, I suggest you take a look!