ITEMS YOU’LL NEED:
Traps, bait (tuna), plastic lid or paper plate, trap covers, trap divider, soft cat food and fresh water (and dishes) for recovery, newspaper or puppy pads, and a cushion for the cat to lay on.
1. To begin, prepare the traps away from the trapping site. Place the trap on a flat surface as you bait and set it. Do this so that if a trap doesn’t work properly or goes off too easily it will not scare off the cats.
2. Unlatch the rear door and take it off so you can get your hands inside the trap.
3. Place approximately one tablespoon of bait (tuna) along the very back of the trap. You can use a lid or container for this if you wish. Now drizzle some juice from the bait along the trap towards the entrance in a zigzag pattern. Place about one-fourth teaspoon of bait in the middle of the trap on the trip-plate, and one-fourth teaspoon about six inches inside the front of the trap. The cat will move his or her paws trying to get the zigzagged bait, thus springing the trap. It is important not to leave too much bait in the front or middle; this may satisfy the cat and she will leave without setting off the trap.
4. Now take the traps to the trapping site, most likely the feeding area. Place the trap on the ground and make certain it is stable and will not rock or tip. (Suggestion: try to place the trap length-wise against a wall, a fence, etc., and not leave it out in the open.)If you are using multiple traps, stagger them, and place them facing in different directions. Try to think like a cat and place the traps where they will be tempting. Move quietly & slowly, & try to remain relaxed so your mannerisms won’t frighten cats away.
5. Set the traps. Leave the area quietly. The cats are unlikely to enter the traps if you are standing nearby. You may want to go sit in your car or take a walk. If you are trapping in your yard, you can go inside.
6. Traps should never be left unattended. It is preferable to watch the traps from a distance, out of sight of the cat. You do not want to leave a cat in the trap for too long. Also, traps may be stolen, damaged, or set off. Someone who does not understand your intentions may release a trapped cat.
7. Have your trap covers ready when you check the traps, in case you’ve caught a cat. Trapping feral cats may take some time. Be patient. Once a cat appears, it may take a few minutes for him to go into the trap. Make sure the trap is sprung, and the cat securely trapped, before you come out to cover the trap. After the cat has been caught, cover the entire trap with a towel or cloth before moving it. Covering the traps will help to keep the cats calm. It is normal for the cat to thrash around inside the trap. It is very tempting to release him but he will not hurt himself if the trap is covered. If a cat has already hurt himself, do not release him. Most injuries from traps are very minor, such as a bruised nose. The cat will calm down once the trap is covered.
1. After surgery, allow the cat to recover overnight in the same trap, still covered. Usually the veterinarian’s staff will replace any soiled newspaper in the bottom of the trap with fresh newspaper. Fresh newspaper will make the cats more comfortable during recovery. Keep the cats in their traps and make sure they are dry and warm. They can stay in a basement or isolated room if the weather is poor. It is possible for the cat to die from hypothermia confined in a trap outside in cold weather. A simple guideline: If it is too cold outside for you, then it is too cold for the cats. Do not leave cats in traps exposed to excessive heat or sun.
2. Using the trap divider, replace any soiled newspaper/puppy pads. Put a cushion in one end of the trap for the cat to rest on. Put one can of soft food and water on the other end. You can give them another can of food in the morning before you release them. Make sure they have plenty of fresh, clean water. Always use a trap divider. Make sure to keep traps covered at all times.
1. Make sure all cats are fully conscious and alert before release.
2. Release the cat in the same place you trapped him or her. ALWAYS point trap away from the street. Open the front door of the trap and pull back the cover, then walk away. Do not be concerned if the cat hesitates a few moments before leaving. He is simply reorienting himself to his surroundings. It is not uncommon for the cat to stay away for a few days after release; he will return eventually. Keep leaving food and water out, he may eat when you’re not around.
3. Never release the cat into a new area. Relocating cats can endanger the cat’s life. She will try to return to her old home, and may become lost or attempt to cross major roads. Also, feral cats form strong bonds with other cats in their colonies. Separating a cat from her colony members and leaving her alone in a new environment will cause stress, depression, and loneliness.
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