How To Catch A Stray Cat

How to Catch a Feral or Stray Cat with a Trap

In order to protect the safety of both yourself and the cats during trapping, there are a number of precautions that must be taken. The good news is that trapping is quite simple if you have the correct information and tactics. Some considerations to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Make use of the appropriate equipment. Only humane box traps should be used to securely capture cats. Cats are extremely vulnerable to injury or stress when using nets, darts, or tranquilizer guns
  • These methods should never be used. Please do not pick up cats. For the sake of your own and the cats’ safety, refrain from picking up or attempting to capture them with your hands, a blanket, or anything else. No matter how adorable the cat appears, being picked up by a stranger may be highly distressing for a cat that isn’t used to dealing with people. Instead, concentrate on targeted trapping. If you target a specific colony or region of cats, you will have more success with your trapping operations. The greater the number of cats in a given area, the greater the number of cats you are likely to capture in a single day
  • Cats do not enjoy being trapped. A trapped cat is not always a contented cat, and vice versa. It’s likely that the cat may thrash around in the trap in an attempt to get out of the trap. Using a towel or blanket over the entire trap will assist to relax the cat and give him a sense of safety and comfort
  • Trapping will never be the same again. Locations such as college campuses, warehouses, farms, alleyways, and parking lots all have their own set of characteristics that must be taken into consideration while organizing your trapping operations. If you need to collaborate with college authorities, interact with other carers, or carry more traps than normal, you should plan ahead of time.

It’s time to get down to business with the traps! Here are some guidelines to follow to ensure that you complete all of the tasks necessary to be successful on trapping day:

  • Cats should not be given food. Cats should not be given food for 24 hours before to trapping, although they should still be given water during that time period. In other words, on trapping day, the cats will be sufficiently hungry to venture into the traps. Inform other caregivers and neighbors in the neighborhood so that they, too, will refrain from providing food. Fill up the bottom of the trap with newspaper. To make the bottom of a trap more pleasant for feline paws, line the bottom interior with one or two pieces of newspaper folded lengthwise and place them in the bottom interior. In the event of strong winds, it may be essential to tape the newspaper to the ground. Mark the trap with a tag. Always mark the traps with the location of where they have been put up so that they may be found. When you catch the cat, attach a tag to it that includes a brief description of the cat. This will assist you in reuniting the correct cat with the correct family. Prepare the bait for the traps. The more pungent the scent, the better! Fill the trap with roughly one tablespoon of bait (tuna in oil, sardines, or other strongly scented food), and place it at the far back of the trap so that when the cat tries to reach the food, it steps on the trigger plate. Drizzle a small amount of bait juice along the trap floor, moving toward the entrance. In order to persuade the cat to enter the trap, you may even lay a little amount of food (about a quarter teaspoon) right inside the opening
  • Setting traps. Always ensure that traps are set on flat and firm terrain to ensure the safety of the cats. Spread out your traps and face them in different directions if you’re employing multiple traps at the same time. If possible, position the traps in peaceful and inconspicuous locations so that cats will feel more comfortable approaching them
  • Monitor and maintain track of the traps. Traps should never be left unattended, even if they are not being used. Maintain regular contact with the traps while keeping a safe distance so as not to scare away the cats. Decide on an area to wait where you are far enough away from the cats to provide them with a sense of security while still close enough to be able to see them. Always keep a careful watch on the situation in case a trap fails and you need to take immediate action to protect a cat from getting hurt. A cat has been caught in a trap. The caged cat will most likely be scared and writhing around in an attempt to escape. Cover the entire trap with a thick towel or sheet as soon as possible to relax the kitten and keep it peaceful. Move the covered, trapped cat to a calm and safe location that is temperature-controlled to prevent her from frightening away any remaining un-trapped cats that may be there. You should keep in mind that an outdoor-confined cat may succumb to hypothermia or heat stroke, which might result in death. If it’s too hot or too cold outside for you, it’s probably too hot or too cold for the cats, according to a decent rule of thumb. Cats that are difficult to capture. Some cats are exceptionally shy, while others are simply too intelligent to fall for the trap. Fortunately, there are alternative methods for properly catching a cat that is too intelligent to be caught in a traditional box trap. Because you activate the trap yourself with a drop trap, you will have greater control over when a cat is ensnared
  • For example, Make a list of your traps. Always remember to count the amount of traps you have when you are through trapping so that you can be sure you haven’t left any traps behind, especially if there are cats within the trap. Take the cats to a veterinarian or a spay/neuter facility so they may be sterilized. If your appointments aren’t on the same day as the trapping, keep the caught and covered cats in an indoor holding space that is dry, temperature-controlled, and away from potential threats such as poisonous odors, other animals, or people until your appointments are scheduled. It is preferable that trapping coincide with the clinic’s capacity to neuter the cats on the same day or the next morning, so that the cats do not linger in their traps for an excessive amount of time. Cats should be transported in a safe manner. Keep cats safely contained within covered traps while moving them in a vehicle on a level surface to avoid injuries. To prevent traps from toppling over when being placed inside a truck, make sure they are secured with bungee cords or other restraints before stacking them. In the event of a bathroom accident, place puppy pads or newspaper between the piled traps for protection.

Your trapping day will be a breeze now that you have all of this trapping expertise! Wishing you the best of luck!

The Secret to Catching a Skittish Cat

In the event that you need to trap a cat, whether it’s an outdoor cat that is terrified, a housecat who has been separated from its owner, or a stray or feral cat who need medical treatment, follow these guidelines to ensure that Kitty is captured securely. Are you unsure of what to do if you come across an outside cat? If you have reason to believe the cat has been separated from his owner, or if she is a stray in need of medical attention, it is vital that you find a safe method to capture her and provide her the care she requires immediately.

We teamed up with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to give some advice on what to do if you come across a cat who isn’t delighted about being put in a box or picked up.

You’ve Discovered a Stray Cat…Now What?

The first step is to figure out what she could require in the future. Perhaps you are her owner, but she will not come to you because she is afraid of you. Especially if your cat is not accustomed to being outside, all of the new stimulation may cause her to get confused or scared. A stray or feral cat in the neighborhood may require medical treatment, such as spaying or neutering, before she can be re-released into the community. However, because you must exercise caution when dealing with any unfamiliar felines that may carry contagious diseases, this procedure will not necessitate any physical contact with the cat in any manner.

How to Bring The Cat Out of Hiding

Choose a remote spot in the area where you’ve seen the cat—somewhere peaceful and with few distractions—in which to photograph it. It is likely that you will have to use food to draw them out into the open, according to Samantha Nigbur of the American SPCA’s Behavioral Sciences Team Counselor. Although it will most likely take many days before you are able to capture the cat, Nigbur recommends that you try to win the cat over by feeding her on a constant basis in your presence. The cat should be fed every day at the same time, according to Nigbur, so that she becomes accustomed to coming at that time.

The cat will notice if you put the food out at the same time every day, and she will begin to come around when she knows she’s going to have a snack.

It is true that dry cat food is effective in attracting their attention, but moist cat food may be even more attractive. Baby food, catnip, sardines, anchovies, and fried chicken are all good options. The more enticing the goodies, the quicker she will pick up on them.

How to Catch the Cat

For this step, you’ll need a cat carrier or kennel of some form to hold your cat (try these before resorting to a trap). Try leaving the carrier near the feeding station once your cat has become accustomed to the daily meal. Over time, gradually bring the food closer and closer to the carrier while keeping an eye on the cat to ensure that it is still comfortable. Move the dish a few inches each time you feed your dog until it’s completely situated inside the kennel. Close the carrier door and cover it with a towel once the cat’s entire body has been placed inside.

Bring the cat to a secure spot until you can make an appointment with a veterinarian.

“Because cats can become wounded or medically impaired if they are improperly trapped, it is critical to adhere to the TNRM’s trapping instructions.” Once you’ve had cat safely contained in the crate, take her to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

If not, they will offer any necessary medical treatment, spay or neuter the cat if necessary, and release the cat back into the wild when it has recovered.

How to Catch a Stray Cat Without a Trap

In the event that you are attempting to capture an escaped stray without a trap, you can wing it. Horia Varlan is shown here. In fact, Phoebe was one of those chance cats, the sort that comes up to you out of nowhere. I went to an antiques shop in the neighborhood, and she followed me in. She was a friendly young lady who had become something of a regular at the establishment — but she was unquestionably a stray. It was only about 6 degrees above zero outside, and I didn’t want to abandon my new acquaintance because of the weather conditions.

However, the woman behind the desk discovered a dirty carrier from a previous rescue effort outside the shop, and the cat was able to go into it with with a little resistance.

The Havahart Option

Havahart traps are perfect for capturing and saving stray cats. However, no matter what kind of delectable delicacies you use to entice them, they cannot guarantee success. When it comes to cages, strays can, as Nina Malkin writes in her book An Unlikely Cat Lady: Feral Adventures in the Backyard Jungle, “be a little wary of people.” Because they are wary and do not fall for the alluring baited trap. For the simple reason that they avoid contacting the trip plate — either via planning or dumb luck — by entering the trap to eat in style, or by stepping around it or bending over it.” My buddy Linda recently had a first-hand encounter with a trap that didn’t work properly.

  • Just moments before, she had convinced him to dine on her back porch, right close to the Havahart trap.
  • But not even boiling chicken tenders were going to be enough to get the small boy into the trap.
  • A hungry stray can only defy temptation for so long before giving in, and Julian did just that.
  • Linda dashed over and manually tripped the lock by lifting it off its hinges.

Julian’s injuries worked to her advantage because it caused him to move more slowly. In any other case, he would most likely have taken off running. Havahart traps are excellent for capturing and saving stray cats. They do not, however, ensure success.

Catching a Stray Cat Without a Trap or Net

Sometimes you simply have to take a chance and hope for the best. Unless, of course, you’re going on a rescue operation, you’re not going to be lugging a trap around with you. When you come across a cat or kitten — occasionally more than one — in need of assistance, you have no choice but to make due with whatever resources are available to you. At least, that’s how I’ve always approached my job. During our childhood summers, my brother Gary and I would spend much of our time chasing barn kittens up on our grandparents’ farm.

  1. Obviously, this strategy necessitates dexterity and quick reflexes.
  2. Take into consideration the fact that releasing the animal would result in a completely terrified animal with little prospect of recapturing him or her that day.
  3. You can get the Band-Aids and Bacitracin out later if you need to.
  4. If the cat is really fearful, it may even turn against you in some situations.

Alternative Methods

A carrier comes in useful, and a big carrier is typically the most effective. According to Judy Levy, director of Animal Friends of Connecticut, “pack some food in a carrying case before you go.” “And while they’re occupied with their meal, slam the door.” Alternatively, you might try luring the cat into the carrier by leaving a trail of food in front of it. If you find yourself in a circumstance where a cat and her litter are involved, place the kittens in a carrier. The instinct of a mother cat will drive her straight in after her kittens.

Wrap the stray in a towel or blanket so that he or she is as safe as you can make him or her.

Additional Resources

  • Fixing Our Ferals: Tips and Tricks for Trapping Difficult to Trap Cats
  • Feral Cats in the Spotlight: Tips for Catching Difficult-to-Catch Cats
  • Is It Difficult to Trap a Feral Cat? Catster: How Do You Capture a Feral Cat That Is Difficult to Trap
  • FixNation: Top 10 Tips for Catching Your Trap-Savvy Cat
  • FixNation: Top 10 Tips for Catching Your Trap-Savvy Cat

How to Catch & What to Do With Stray (Feral) Cats

We live in a society where unwanted animals are unfortunately a part of life. They are the kittens who were abandoned because they grew up, became inconvenient, and lost their cuteness; and the cats who were too expensive (difficult, annoying, or problematic) to relocate with their owners and were, as a result, abandoned. Feral cat colonies have exploded as a result of the fact that many of these cats and kittens have not been spayed or neutered.

These stray cats are a common sight in every neighborhood. They reproduce at an alarming rate, which only increases the problem. Many of the stray cats are also unsuitable for being kept as housecats. So, what can you do to be of assistance to them?

How to Catch a Stray Cat

Using a Havahartor box trap, you may humanely catch a stray cat in your community if you notice one in your neighborhood. A pet carrier can be purchased, but they are frequently available for loan from local veterinarians and animal shelters. Once you have the live trap set up and are ready to catch the cat, fill the bottom of the trap with newspaper and bait it with food to begin the capture process. Place the trap in a location where you regularly see the cat and wait for it to be activated.

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Because cats are nocturnal hunters and feeders, it is possible that catching them at night will be more effective.

What to Do with a Stray Cat

Prior to attempting to catch the cat, make contact with a no-kill shelter and inquire about trap, neuter, and return (TNR) programs available in your community. Despite the fact that the TNR does not locate homes for the cats, they neuter or spay the cats (after removing one of their ears to make them clearly identifiable to humans) and return them to the location where they were discovered. This will not only prevent them from reproducing unwanted kittens, but it will also minimize their urge to mark a territory or fight, allowing them to live longer and healthier lives as a result.

  • They are committed to dealing with instances like these, and they will have a website that will offer information on how to bring in a stray cat and deliver it to the appropriate authorities.
  • What if you want to take a stray animal to the veterinarian in your neighborhood?
  • Investigate the TNR groups in your region; they are frequently willing to lend you one of their traps if you are willing to do little research.
  • These groups will also have veterinarians on staff who will neuter or spay the cats for a discounted rate.
  • If the cat is a kitten or a young cat, the odds of survival increase.
  • Nonetheless, be sure to assist them and get them fixed, as this will help to prevent the cat colony from expanding further and will provide the strays with a happier, healthier life.Image courtesy of Victor Bezrukov/Flickr

Trapping Instructions — Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon

We were able to catch all of the feral cats in our town because we were able to gain access to your various sorts and styles of traps and were knowledgeable about how to use them. Christina, a feral cat caretaker, says

Trap Troubleshooting

When I attempt to set the trap, it is far too sensitive.

  • Make a phone call to the trap depot where you purchased the traps and request a replacement
  • Placing a piece of paper inside the folded area in the trap door will help to keep it closed. As a result, the door becomes thicker and the trapping mechanism becomes less sensitive. If the trap is too delicate to capture the cat, do not set it to catch the cat.

I have a number of cats, and I’m hoping to trap one in particular.

  • Make sure you have enough traps for every cat in the colony. Ensure that all of the cats are captured and held in the traps while capturing the remaining cats. Once you’ve captured the target cat, you can liberate the other cats that have been held hostage. This technique should not be used to catch and release unfixed cats
  • Instead, utilize the “water bottle trick.” Instead of setting the trap as usual, use an item such as a water bottle to prop the trap door open while setting the trap. Using string, secure the object with a length of at least 20 feet, and then wait for the target cat to enter the trap and begin eating. Pulling the cord will cause the trap door to close swiftly behind the cat
  • A drop trap is recommended. This is a bigger, box-like trap that is designed to slide down around the cat in question. This trap can only be used if you are present. If there is no one available, call the FCCO headquarters
  • Otherwise, use a remote control and trap attachment. Using this method, you may program the trap to only activate when the target cat is inside and you hit a button on a remote control. For availability, please contact the FCCO office.

I’ve been baiting the traps for more than three days, but the cats are refusing to eat anything that I put inside the traps.

  • Can you confirm that the cats have access to food outside of the traps, whether it is from you or a neighbor
  • If you provide food for the cats outside of the traps, the cats will have no reason to eat within the traps if there is food accessible outside of the traps. Dispose of any food that has accumulated outside the traps, especially dry food
  • If you have reason to believe a neighbor is feeding the cats, go speak with the neighbor and urge them to remove the food while you are attempting to catch the animals.
  • Make use of enticing scents to lure the cats into the traps. Fish such as tuna, KFC chicken, sardines, mackerel, and stinky wet food are all wonderful alternatives
  • However, there are certain restrictions. Take advantage of one of our bigger traps with a transparent door. The cats will believe that both ends of the trap door are open as a result of this. Make use of a drop trap. Essentially, this is a bigger box-like trap that lowers down around the target cat (s). This trap can only be used if you are present. For availability, please contact the FCCO office.

It appears that the cats are either eating by walking over the trip plate or that the cats are able to pull out food without setting the traps off.

  • Use the “water bottle technique” to your advantage. Instead of setting the trap as usual, use an item such as a water bottle to prop the trap door open while setting the trap. Using string, secure the object with a length of at least 20 feet, and then wait for the target cat to enter the trap and begin eating. Pulling on the thread will cause the door to close swiftly behind the cat, and Fill the rear of the trap in the upper corner with some chicken and secure it with a string. Because of this, the cat will have to stand in the trap differently, and the cat will be prevented from taking the food out. Fold the newspaper such that it barely touches the end of the trip plate before it is folded again in half. Place some food on a piece of paper plate and lay it on the bottom of the trap, beyond the trip plate and the newspaper. This will keep the trap from being clogged. The cat will have to reach farther into the bowl to eat since he will not be able to pull the food out on his own.

Regular visits by the cats are not taking place.

  • Do you keep food on the counter at all times? Feeding throughout a limited window of time during the day may be more effective. Continually reduce the size of this window of time until the cats learn to come inside a one-hour window to feed
  • Consult with your neighbors to see whether the cats are consuming their meals someplace else in the area. Many cats alternate between many different feeders on a regular basis. Ask them to temporarily cease feeding the cats while you are attempting to capture and spay/neuter them, or inquire as to whether traps may be placed in areas where the cats are typically fed.

Neighborhood Cats

Most colonies have at least one cat who is particularly cunning or fearful and will not enter a standard box trap, no matter how long you deprive him of food or how much you spend on roasted chicken, mackerel, sardines, rare roast beef, Wendy’s burgers, or solid white tuna (all of which are excellent choices). Take a look at one of our difficult-to-catch cat tactics before giving up and attempting to relocate to a location where there are no wild cats (good luck with that!). Also, have a look at our Trapper Tips.

Both the cat and the trapper can be seriously injured or killed by using these instruments, which should only be utilized by qualified animal control personnel on a rare occasion.

Drop Trap

When it comes to ordinary box traps, most cats have a natural phobia of entering them, which is why you must withhold food from them the day before and ensure that they are really hungry before heading out to catch them. Some people may refuse to eat even after going without food for a day. A drop trap is the ideal solution for these stubborn holdouts. Cats are less terrified of goingunder a drop trap than they are of going into a box trap. As a result, drop traps are effective for catching the majority of difficult-to-catch felines.

For further information, including how to employ a drop trap, seeDrop Traps.

Camouflage Trap

The appearance of the box trap as a natural part of the cat’s environment will increase the likelihood that the cat will feel comfortable entering it. You may disguise the trap if you’re operating in a grassy or wooded area by first hanging burlap on the trap’s bottom and then over the top and sides of the trap. Leave the doors to the front and back of the house open so that the cat may enter and exit the house without being hindered, as well as see out the back. Leaves, sticks, and other loose natural materials should be placed on the burlap.

Techniques similar to these can be used in a variety of other situations.

Then cover the box with debris and other materials collected from the immediate surrounding region. Another option is to put a piece of wood against a wall or fence and lay the trap below it. The better the trap mixes in with its surroundings, the more probable it is that the cat will enter.

Train the Cat to Enter a Trap

A trap that can be securely placed outside in the cat’s territory for a long length of time may be able to be used to train her to enter the trap. The location must be safe, such as a remote backyard or a private courtyard, to ensure that no one steals the equipment. This approach may also be used to train an entire colony of cats, with one trap per cat being used. It normally takes between one and two weeks to complete the process. You must follow the following procedures for each trap you set:

  1. Place the trap’s front door in an elevated position and secure it with a latch. In order to prevent the trap door from dropping, you can insert a stick between the edges of the trap and bind it in place with a twist tie or other similar material. Place the trap in the cat’s domain, close to where he or she normally feeds. Maintain it in place during the training session. The cat’s customary supper should be placed on the ground a foot or two away from the trap’s front entrance on the first day of the training session. Use a small dish or bowl to hold the food. Begin further away if you’re dealing with a more fearful cat
  2. Keep setting the dish in the same position, at the same distance from the trap, until the cat begins to eat the food. When you’re ready to serve the next meal, slide the dish about six inches closer to the trap’s front entrance. When the cat begins to eat from this new location, move the dish closer to the front door once again
  3. Repeat this process until the plate is directly in front of the trap’s front door opening. As soon as the cat appears to be comfortable eating there, slide the plate a few inches deeper into the trap. Continually wait for the cat to eat before pushing the plate a few inches deeper into the trap until it is completely encircled by the trap and she is chasing after it
  4. Untie or unblock the front entrance on the day of your scheduled trapping date, at a time when the cat is accustomed to feeding
  5. Bait the trap and set the trigger
  6. And

If you have to utilize this approach in an area that is not completely secure, remove the trap’s back door and take it with you to another location. Anyone with malicious intent will be unable to employ the trap as a result of this. You won’t be able to educate the cat to eat all the way to the back of the trap, but you should be able to train her to eat in the middle of the trap, which should be satisfactory. Consider placing the trap in a well-hidden location and using a chain and lock to tie it to a stationary object such as a pole or a fence.

See-through Rear Door

Trap-averse cats will be less scared of approaching the small confines of a box trap if they feel there is an exit at the other end. Using a transparent rear door, such as the one made by Neighborhood Cats and Tomahawk Live Trap, you may provide the appearance of a back escape to your home or business. It is designed to suit Tomahawk traps that are 10 inches wide by 12 inches high, and it takes the place of the standard wire mesh back door. Model NC1012 may be ordered online at Tomahawk or by calling 1-800-272-8727.

Instruct them to drill a hole in the middle of the trap and then fasten your see-through door to the trap with a cable tie or a strong twist tie to prevent it from falling out.


Cats are really intelligent! Some people are aware of the danger of stepping on the trip plate. Instead, they’ll just go over or around it in order to get to the bait. One method of outwitting them is to circumvent the entire trip plate mechanism and physically close the front door with a bottle and thread. Open the front door and place one of the corners of a one-liter water bottle against it. Tie one end of a long length of thread around the bottle’s base, and then move away from the trap while hanging onto the other end of the line to keep it from falling.

  • Prepare by tugging the bottle away once or twice in your practice session before doing it in real life.
  • However, try not scare him away by making loud noises or sprinting up to the trap, or he will not return for more than a few seconds.
  • Occasionally, the cat may step on the trip plate as he is departing the building.
  • Alternatively, the bottle-and-string approach may be used to identify an individual cat from a large group of cats, such as one who is pregnant or wounded.

At order to selectively trap, place a large amount of bait in the back of the trap before setting it. As a result, a large number of cats can come in, have a nibble, and depart while you wait for your target cat to do the same thing.

Hide the Trip Plate

Another method of catching a cat that knows how to evade the trip plate, in addition to the bottle and thread, is to conceal the plate behind a sheet of newspaper. Cover, plate, the floor in front of it, and the floor a little bit behind it are all covered. Using clothespins to hold the paper in place and prevent it from blowing about, which might scare the cat, is recommended if there is any wind at all. To make it much more difficult for the cat to evade the trip plate, slip a stick through both sides of the trap and place it a few inches above the ground and just in front of the trip plate (see photo).

Lure into a Closed Space

If you can successfully attract a cat into a confined location such as a basement, garage, or shed and then lock the door behind her, you’ll be well on your way to capturing her in a trap. Once the cat has entered the house, you may either take a patient strategy, which involves just placing a baited trap in the area, or take a more aggressive approach, which entails chasing her into a trap. Preventable escape routes include cracked open windows, holes in the wall, and other openings that should be checked ahead of time.

  • Restock the bait with fresh ingredients at least twice a day, and keep a container of water outside the trap at all times.
  • Don’t do this for more than two or three days, and don’t withhold food for more than a few hours if the cat has specific requirements or is a kitten.
  • Leaning a huge board against a wall and concealing a pre-set trap behind it is the most efficient method of capturing her.
  • This should be done on both the rear and front ends.
  • The idea is that when the cat realizes she’s trapped in the room, she’ll scramble about desperately looking for a spot to hide.
  • Even if the cat finds an unexpected hiding area, gently flush her out with a broomstick or other long item and urge her to seek another hiding spot on her own own.
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Humane Trapping – Tips for Hard to Catch Cats

Cats can become trap-shy, which means they are afraid to go near or enter a trap, or trap-savvy, which means they have learned the technique of taking food from a trap without activating it.

Don’t let this get you down. The following are a few simple strategies that may be used to catch cats that are difficult to catch.


A little respite might help to alleviate a cat’s anxiety of the trap. While waiting for this to happen, continue to feed that cat and any others trapped in un-set traps for maybe a week or more before capturing them a second time. Feed the cats at the same time and at the same area every day. Since a precaution, you should load the trap in the other direction of how you typically would, so that the food is in front of it and the front door is closed, as you do not want the trap to be activated.

Place the food at the trap’s entrance, then inside, and then, over a period of many days, gradually move it closer to the trap’s back entrance.

While the cats are eating, keep an eye on the traps to make sure no traps are taken or no cats are unintentionally captured.

Hold off on feeding for 24 hours until you are ready to trap once again.


Some cats may feel more comfortable entering a bigger trap with a higher aperture and wider sides than a smaller trap.


If you have a cat who is exceptionally adept at avoiding traps, you could consider delaying food for up to two days, but do not withhold food for longer than that. Never withhold water from a child.


Fresh catnip (smear fresh catnip on the trap plate)– Bits of jarred baby food (that does not include onions)– By heating the pungent plant “valerian root” in water, you may create a strong-smelling broth that you can use to douse the trap with. – You might also experiment with different sorts of bait, such as “people tuna” in oil, mackerel, canned cat food, sardines, anchovies, or fried chicken. Cats have a distinct odor that is difficult to describe. It is common for traps to smell like humans or cleaning chemicals.

Always leave trap covers out in the open to ensure that the human fragrance is not picked up.



With the use of a laser pointer, you may be able to direct certain cats into a trap. In addition, you may utilize a pointer from a considerable distance away. Use the laser to simulate the movement of an insect in order to attract the cat’s attention when it is within the trap, as seen below. Above the trigger plate, tie a piece of cooked chicken on a thread and hang it there. It is likely that the cat will have to walk on the trigger in order to reach the chicken. Tie the chicken to the far right corner of the trap so that the cat would have to “reach” for it in order to get it out.


Do this in order to outwit a cunning feline who intends to saunter in, have a bite, and then walk out).

  • Measure and cut a piece of corrugated cardboard so that it is 12 to 18 inches in length and approximately 12 inches thinner than the inside width of the trap.
  • To attach this cardboard rectangle to the top of the trip plate, use masking tape or painter’s tape.
  • Another piece of tape should be used to hold the base end of the cardboard to the wire mesh near the trap door entrance, but only loosely. The length of the metal trip plate is increased by using this piece of cardboard. A trip plate is required for successfully capturing the cunning kitty that goes into the trap and then gently lays one paw over the trip plate while blissfully eating the tasty treat you have placed for her. When the cardboard platform conceals the trip plate and the wire mesh at the trap’s aperture, the feisty feline isn’t aware that there is a certain point along the way to the meal at which she will activate the trip plate
  • Instead, she goes straight for the food.


Moving the trap to a more peaceful or sheltered spot may be sufficient to increase the cat’s comfort level and encourage it to enter.


Disguise the trap such that it is indistinguishable from the surrounding environment. To begin, conceal the trap beneath a shrub, under a leaning piece of wood, or in a box so that the cat believes he is entering a dark hole, as described above. Cover the sides of the trap with branches, leaves, camouflage material, burlap, or other natural materials (but not the back – the cat has to be able to see all the way through), as well as the bottom of the trap, to further disguise it. Even something as simple as covering the trap with a dark cloth or a towel would suffice.

Even the simplest solutions, such as placing the trap inside a cardboard box (with the back door left open) or pushing a huge board against a wall and placing the trap behind it to keep it hidden, have been proven to be effective.


Even if you have been unsuccessful in your attempts to catch the cat, or if the cat has learned how to steal bait without setting off the trap, try utilizing a drop trap, which does not need the use of a trigger plate to seal the trap door. Drop traps allow you to capture a cat without having to push him into a restricted place, which is ideal for outdoor cats. After being activated by you with a rope, the drop trap slides down over a cat, removing the need for kitty to go into a small entrance.

Using a drop trap almost always necessitates the assistance of another trapper.


Some cats are cunning, while others are simply interested in you because he’s the only one you want among a large group of others who keep going in front of him, which may be frustrating. In either situation, the remedy is to circumvent the trap’s trigger/trip plate system and instead manually spring the trap into action by pulling the trigger. This may be accomplished by propping the trap door open with a full water or soda bottle and connecting a pull rope to it, as shown. Tie a long piece of twine around the neck of the bottle and then stand back a few feet.

Make sure to try the approach at least once so you can have a feel for it, and wait until the cat has gotten far enough inside the house (up to or past the trip plate) before pulling the string on the trip plate.


If you have already captured a female cat in heat, you can utilize her to assist you in capturing the hesitant male (s).

Placing the traps side by side, as if you were catching mom cats and kittens, and covering the “bait” trap.


Toss the cat into an interior location (with no egress, holes in the wall, or other obstacles) and lock the door behind him if at all possible (see below). Once confined, you can follow the patient method by installing a standard trap and depriving the animal of food in different ways (though this can take days). If you are unable or unwilling to wait, then remove everything from the area where the cat may hide under or beneath before luring the cat in. Leave only a single huge board (about 5 ft.

broad) lying against one wall, forming a triangular gap between them.

When the cat first enters the room and becomes alarmed, he will run under the board and into the trap, which he will occasionally do.

If that doesn’t work, take a break, give the cat some time to settle down, and then try again later.


If a cat refuses to enter a trap after numerous tries, take a break for a week or two and try again (except in the case of an injured cat). Trap-averse cats must be re-trained so that they are no longer terrified of being caught in a trap. It is critical to refrain from trapping until you have captured the trap-averse cat. Continued use will almost certainly result in the cat becoming more and more apprehensive.

Homeless Cats: Trapping Is the Kindest Solution

More than 60 million homeless cats are reported to be wandering the streets, parks, parking lots, backyards, alleyways, and streets of the United States of America. The dread of people is understandable in so-called feral cats, who have not been socialized and are frequently the children of other abandoned cats. However, they are still domesticated creatures who struggle to fend for themselves and do not live for long when left to their own devices. Homeless cats do not die of “old age,” as is commonly believed.

Those that do not survive exposure, malnutrition, or extremely contagious deadly infections like as rabies, feline AIDS, feline leukemia, or feline infectious peritonitis are among those who do die.

Victims of Humans and Nature

The digging in their flowerbeds, the taking refuge beneath their porches, and the climbing on their cars are all reasons why many people perceive stray cats to be a “nuisance.” A few people may decide to take matters into their own hands and murder cats in horrible methods, such as by shooting, drowning, poisoning, or any other means. Two cats in Kentucky, both described as “local cats,” died from what seemed to be poisoning, while another died after being beaten to death or being struck by a vehicle.

  1. His lips was lacerated as a result of his unsuccessful attempt to eat the wire out.
  2. 3 These are just a handful of the horrific injuries and deaths that outdoor cats are forced to endure on a daily basis.
  3. Even diseases that are easily curable might be fatal for cats that do not have access to basic veterinarian treatment on a regular basis.
  4. Cats’ eyes and nostrils get so caked with mucus as a result of untreated upper-respiratory illnesses that they are unable to see or breathe properly anymore.
  5. Others perish as a result of worms or fleas causing blood loss or anemia.
  6. In addition, cats that roam freely in the wild constitute a threat to animals.
  7. 4 Along with killing up to 4 billion birds and 22 billion animals per year, “free-ranging cats have caused or contributed to the extinction of 33 (14 percent) of the current bird, mammal, and reptile species,” according to the study.

Free-roaming cats kill at least a million birds a day in Australia, according to a study conducted there, and the main researcher concluded that “the level of predation is startling, and is likely to be causing the continued loss of numerous species.” 5

Cats Can’t Live on ‘Bread’ Alone

It is not sufficient to just feed cats without catching them in order to secure their safety; doing so might potentially exacerbate the issue. Simply providing food to homeless cat colonies encourages them to reproduce, resulting in more kittens that are doomed to suffer and die in agonizing circumstances. Remove these animals from the streets immediately in order to avoid causing them or their children any distress. When it comes to trapping, feeding should only be considered as a preliminary to making cats acclimated to eating in a specific location and at a particular time.

Trapping Do’s and Don’ts

Prior to capturing any cats, make sure you have formal permission from the owner of the land where they are congregating first. If you want to handle kittens or cats, make sure you wear thick gloves since unsocialized or terrified animals can quickly hurt you (or themselves). Gentleness is required: Even humane (box) traps can be frightening to animals since they feel weak and defenseless when they are trapped. The bottom of the trap should be lined with a heavy piece of fabric, a folded piece of newspaper, or an old towel.

  1. The animal will feel more confident entering inside the enclosure without having to walk on wire, and he or she will be provided with a tiny level of comfort.
  2. Set a trap and then leave it unattended, even for a few minutes, and you risk attracting attention.
  3. After you’ve set up your trap, take a few steps back and keep an eye on it.
  4. Make a plan to perform your trapping when you have the luxury of leisure to do so.
  5. When it comes to being out and about, cats are more likely to be seen in the early morning or late evening.
  6. (See illustration.) When the cats enter, position it in such a manner that they can keep an eye on you or whatever threat they would rather not ignore when they are inside.
  7. Bait should be a strong-smelling meal that is placed on a paper plate or a piece of newspaper.

Right after the cat enters the trap, cover it with a towel or a blanket (if it is chilly outside) or a sheet to keep it warm (in hot weather).

Make certain that they are able to breathe freely.

Because the cat will be alarmed, it is important to remember that even the smallest motions or noises might create more stress.

Take cautious not to swing the trap from side to side or tilt it as you walk or spin around in your shoes.

It is best to drive or have a buddy take you to the trapping spot even if the animal you wish to catch is only a few blocks away in order to reduce the distance the trap must be transported.

Make a decision on where you will take the cat ahead of time, and make the necessary preparations ahead of time.

Ideally, if you intend to attempt to rehabilitate and adopt out the cat, you should take him or her to a veterinarian right away so that he or she may be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and tested for feline leukemia and feline AIDS, as well as treated for worm and flea infestations.

Never let an unsocialized cat roam around the home alone; you may not see them for several days, and it may be difficult to catch them again if you want to take them to a veterinarian or an animal shelter after releasing them.

It is possible to bring the cats back inside the house once they have recovered (never allowanycat outside).

Many homeless cats, on the other hand, are not feral at all: They are amiable creatures who are merely terrified and may recover very fast if given the opportunity.

See also:  How To Make A Cat Tree

You can seek assistance from your veterinarian, or, if your local animal shelter euthanizes cats with an injection of sodium pentobarbital, you can transport the cats there.

If you leave them in their current location, they will very probably experience a horrible and delayed death. A painless death is considerably preferable to the situation that homeless cats would face if they are allowed to fend for themselves in the wilderness.

Where to Get a Trap

If your local animal shelter is unable to give you a box trap, you should consider purchasing one for yourself. Cat traps are normally $40 to $50 in price and may be found online or at most hardware and feed-and-seed stores, among other places. References 1 ‘Frankfort Police Open Criminal Investigation Into Cat Deaths,’ according to Steve Rogers of on September 30, 2020. 2 On September 30, 2020, Christine McCarthy published an article titled ” Norton Family’s Cat Injured by Illegal Wire Snare Trap,” which can be seen at, September 30, 2020 4 “The Impact of Free-Ranging Domestic Cats on Wildlife in the United States,” by Scott R.

Nature Communications, published online on January 29, 2013.

The New York Post published an article on October 4, 2017.

The Best Way To Trap A Feral Or Stray Cat

We at H R have a special soft place for stray and feral cats, and we encourage you to do the same. Whether we’re contributing money to one of our favorite animal organizations as part of our Big Black Friday Give Back or disseminating as much information as we can about how you can assist homeless cats in your town, we’re doing it for the animals. Take a peek at some of our most popular articles by clickinghere,here, andhere.. You might wonder why such a strong emphasis is placed on these creatures.

Even if humans have contributed significantly to the problem, the good news is that we can also be a part of the solution.

However, before we can do that, we must first determine which method of catching feral cats is the safest and most compassionate.

What Is The Best Cat Trap?

Rescue organizations all agree that either drop traps or box traps are the most humane cat traps available. These look like cages and are often regarded as the most secure method of capturing stray or wild cats in your neighborhood. With more than 9 million wild and stray cats in the United Kingdom, we have a major problem on our hands. To send a tweet, simply click here. Cats, even strays, are protected by law in the United Kingdom, therefore before you find yourself in a legal struggle with your neighbor, you must be very certain that the cat in issue is a stray or wild cat.

What Is Trap Neuter Return?

Trapping, neutering, and re-releasing feral cats is the only method to keep their ever-increasing population under control. TNR, or Trap-Neuter-Return, is a method that includes humanely catching feral cats, neutering them, and then releasing them back into their colonies.

An ear clipping is performed on the cat’s left ear as part of the procedure. As a result of this, neutered cats can be identified quickly and readily, and they are less likely to be captured more than once.

Why Is TNR Necessary?

There is no getting around the reality that stray cats and feral colonies may be a nuisance, which is why trap, neuter, release (TNR) is required. Not only does neutering prevent unwanted litters, but it also has the added benefit of reducing the nuisance-like behavior of these homeless cats. Cats who are no longer driven by the need to reproduce quit marking their territory, fighting with other felines, and roaming far less than they did previously. Not only does their behavior improve, but so does their health as a result of this treatment.

How To Prepare?

Now that you understand why capturing feral cats is necessary, let’s have a look at the finest methods for doing so. Our discussion includes not only what sort of equipment you will need and how to go about arranging it, but we will also provide you with helpful hints as well as key Dos and Don’ts for the trip. Keep in mind that in order for ‘Operation TNR’ to be a success, you will need to put in a significant amount of time and effort into planning and preparation. This involves having the proper equipment, preparing ahead, and knowing what needs to be done thereafter to care for the cats in your neighborhood or neighborhood association.

Equipment you will need

  • The use of a humane box or drop trap. The use of carriers or boxes to transport the captured cats
  • Blankets to cover the carriers, if necessary Bait
  • The trap’s camouflage is important. You will be provided with a torch, a blanket, refreshments, and beverages.

Plan ahead

Anyone who has had any experience capturing cats will tell you that planning is essential. Even in those cases, it is wise to be prepared for the unexpected. Make a strategy ahead of time to ensure that you are prepared.

Know the law

As previously stated, cats are protected in the United Kingdom and are regarded to be the property of their owners. Trapping and transporting cats to a new area is considered larceny, so unless you are 100 percent certain that the cat is wild or a stray, you might find yourself in hot water with the authorities. In the event that you are trapping cats on someone else’s land, you must first obtain permission from the appropriate parties. You should also inform members of the local community about your plans as well.

Plan ahead with a rescue centre

Depending on the size of the colony, you may need to consult with your veterinarian or a local animal rescue organization first. In addition to being aware of any cats you will be bringing in to be neutered, they will need to make sure they have enough room to retain them while they are recovering from the procedure. If you want financial assistance, you should contact your localCats Protection Center. They run regional campaigns in which they provide neutering services at a discounted fee.

Research the colony

It is necessary to conduct extensive study on the feral cat colony before beginning trapping operations. Knowing how many cats are there, whether any are wounded, and whether any are nursing mothers with kittens may assist you in better planning and preparation. Occasionally, a cat caretaker will come to feed the cats in the community.

If this is the case, speak with them to see what time the cats are fed and plan your activities around that time. Another option is to make an arrangement with the person who is feeding them to withhold food from them for a day. A hungry cat is more likely to enter a trap if the trap contains food.

Trapping Feral Or Stray Cats – What To Do

Feral cats are notoriously difficult to capture, no matter how well-prepared you are or how much planning you have done ahead of time. But don’t give up hope just yet. Our step-by-step tutorial will assist you in catching even the most observant moggy on the street.

Make sure the trap is big enough

You should keep in mind that street cats are likely to be afraid of small, enclosed settings. Always choose a larger trap over a smaller one since it is less dangerous.

Consider the location of the trap

It is possible that after a week or two of observing the cats, you will have discovered where they are most happy eating and resting. It is a good idea to place the traps as near as feasible to these points of interest. Other than that, keep them in an isolated location, out of sight of other people.

Cover the trap

The top and sides of the trap should be covered with blankets or towels in order to provide a dark hiding place. It’s important not to block the entry.

Use leaves to camouflage the trap

If the trap appears to be too obvious, consider covering it with leaves, twigs, and tiny branches to disguise it. Cover the whole cage, including the trap floor, so order to fit in as much as possible with the surrounding environment. Make a test run beforehand to guarantee that your handy work will not interfere with the trap door’s ability to close properly.

Use the trap as a feeding station

The use of food is one of the most effective methods of luring a cat into a trap. To begin, place the food near the cage’s entrance for a few of days. This will help to establish a routine. Once the cat has become accustomed to this arrangement, you may gradually increase the amount of food in the trap by placing it farther inside the trap each day.

Use tasty treats as bait

The attraction of a delicious-smelling goodie has yet to be overcome by any cat we have encountered. For some who find that their regular meal isn’t working, try canned mackerel or salmon, chicken, or even baby food in a jar.

Cover the trigger plate

Cats are quite fast to pick up on new things and will be able to maneuver their way around the trigger plate with relative ease. This may necessitate the use of a blanket, towels, or newspaper to protect the surface. The use of a piece of cardboard trimmed to size and duct taped to the trigger plate is another alternative. However, in order for it to function properly, it must be somewhat narrower than the trap and a few inches longer than the plate, respectively.

Spring the trap yourself

Whenever you are attempting to capture a specific cat, you might save yourself a lot of time and effort by personally setting the trap. This may be accomplished by filling a bottle halfway with water. Simply tie a piece of thread around the bottle neck, use it to prop the trap door open, and stand a couple of steps away from the bottle. Immediately upon entering the cage, give the thread a solid pull to attract the attention of the cat you’re after. It is possible that the bottle has been accidentally released from under the door, trapping the cat within.

Change traps

If you are not having much luck with a box trap, you might want to consider utilizing a drop trap as an alternative. The water bottle method, as well as a stick with a thread tied around it, can be used to hold up the trap while you wait for the unwitting cat to wander beneath it.

Make a note that this strategy works best when you are attempting to capture a specific cat. Other cats will stay away from the trap as soon as they notice it in operation.

Set up traps side by side

You can consider placing two or three traps side by side, with the entrances facing in opposing directions, if you are trying to catch a cat that is adept at evading capture. This strategy is effective when the cat revolves around the trap rather than entering it from the inside. It is possible that it will stroll directly into one of the traps on either side if it is not aware of the side-by-side deception.

Use kittens to lure a mother cat

Using kittens to entice a mother cat into a trap is a possibility. This strategy will only work if you have successfully captured the kittens before attempting it. Place them in a separate carrier and place them behind the box trap. To create a dark tunnel, wrap towels or blankets around the trap’s opening. Mum will believe that her babies are trapped in the trap and will rush in to rescue them.

Use technology to trap kittens and mother cats

Using a cell phone to capture kittens and mother cats is a convenient option for capturing these animals. Find a clip that has meowing kittens in it, and then position your phone towards the back of the trap to attract the kittens. This strategy will attract kittens that are alone or terrified, as well as mother cats who will believe it is their infants calling when they hear the sound.

Stop Trapping

Take a break from trapping unless you’re attempting to capture a wounded or ill cat, in which case you might want to reconsider. Attempting to capture cats for a lengthy period of time will just make them more wary.

What To Do Once You Have Successfully Trapped A Stray Or Feral Cat

Once you have successfully imprisoned the cat, you should put together a strategy for dealing with it. This involves making arrangements in advance with your veterinarian or a local rescue center to have the cats examined for any ailments and to have them vaccinated and neutered before you bring the cats home. Having a plan in place for what to do with them after they are deemed ready to be returned to their home neighborhood is also essential.

Keep them in a carrier

Because there is no way to predict when time of day you will capture a cat, there is a potential that you will not be able to transport it promptly to a veterinarian or rescue center. If this is the case, you will need to move it from the cage to a container of appropriate size until you are able to transport it. We recommend that you place the carrier up against the trap and open the door cautiously at first. Make sure the carrier is equipped with blankets or towels to keep the cat comfortable, as well as food, drink, and a litter pan for when the cat is transported.

Not only will you have a difficult time getting it again, but it has the potential to spread infectious diseases to family members and pets as well as to you.

Returning feral cats to their community

Male cats can be neutered and discharged on the same day if they have recovered from the anesthesia and there are no underlying health concerns to concern the veterinarian about.

Females may need to spend a bit more time at the veterinarian’s office or animal shelter. Make sure there is a food station as well as a shelter for the cats in order to keep them healthy.

Trapping Stray or Feral Cats – What Not To Do

Some actions should never be done while catching wild or stray cats, including the following: Continue reading to learn how not to catch community cats for the sake of your own safety and the protection of others.

Don’t try and catch a feral cat with your hands

Keep in mind that wild cats are not accustomed to being around people and have not been socialized in any way. Striking stray cats and dogs, on the other hand, may be a bit friendlier, but they will still fear if you try to grab them with your hands. Attempting to catch cats in this manner may end in you being scratched or bitten, or the cat becoming injured in its struggle to escape.

Don’t use traps that are not safe and humane

Never, ever try to catch a cat with anything other than a box trap or a drop trap. They are both quite effective. These traps are the most compassionate, safe, and ethical method of capturing a cat. Other methods may cause significant injury or death to a cat, and you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law as a result of your actions.

Don’t withhold food or water

While it is understandable that a hungry or thirsty cat may be more inclined to go into a trap in search of food and water, we highly advise against withholding any of these necessities. If a cat goes more than 48 hours without eating or drinking, he or she may get extremely unwell. Trapping feral cats for the first time may be scary, and even the best-laid plans can (and will) go awry. Here are some tips to help you get started. If you’re not sure where to begin, have a look at this video…

allowfullscreen/iframe Any experience with TNR or knowledge of a local hero in your neighborhood would be very appreciated.

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