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How To Trap A Stray Cat

How The Problem Of Feral Cats Multiplies

Making a Simple Net Trap to Capture a Stray Cat.

First, what is a feral cat? According to Margaret R. Slater, DVM, PhD, senior director of epidemiology, animal health services with the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , a feral cat is any cat who is too poorly socialized to be handled … and who cannot be placed into a typical pet home.

According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, there are between 60 million and 100 million feral cats in the U.S. They are usually the offspring of cats who were lost or abandoned by their owners, and they grow up not socialized to humans.

Because a female cat can become pregnant as young as 16 weeks of age and go on to have two or three litters a year, the feral cat population — and the problems associated with it — grows and perpetuates. In seven years, a single female cat and their kittens can produce 420,000 more cats.

Excellent Tips On How To Catch A Stray Or Noisy Feral Cat

Feral cats can become a huge problem when they start breeding. These critters prey upon a wide range of insects, birds, mammals and reptiles. Cats can also have an indirect adverse impact on livestock and wildlife through the transmission of diseases such as sarcosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis.

There are many cat control methods including poison baiting, exclusion fencing, shooting, trapping and using cat repellents. Although trapping is not very effective for large areas, this tool may be useful and effective in residential or urban areas where cat population has already been reduced or where domestic cats are present.


The rate of feral cats reproduction is high because only 4% free-roaming, wild cats are neutered or sprayed. This is why TNR program is so popular in the U.S.

The program allows humanely trapping destructive feral cats, having them neutered or sprayed, vaccinating and returning to the cat colony. This non-lethal method is more cost-effective and human than trapping and killing cats.

To catch the cat:

  • Prepare for trapping Its essential to make the proper arrangements to care for the trapped cat when he is in your custody. Plan trapping according to the type of cat you are going to trap.Stray cats plan on locating their home as quickly as possible.Feral cats If you want to trap them with the purpose of neutering, call TNR clinic.
  • The area where you often hear or see the cat.
  • A feeding area where cats have fed on scraps
  • How Can I Capture Stray Cats

    How to Catch a Stray Cat Method 1 of 3: Getting Prepared. Observe the cat for a while. Method 2 of 3: Trapping a Stray. Start feeding the cat a couple of days before you want to trap it. Method 3 of 3: Finding the Stray a New Home. Have the cat neutered and medically treated if necessary.

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    Get The Help Of A Companion

    Any job becomes easier when you have someone to help you. When you are planning to trap a feral cat, enlist the help of a family member or a friend. An extra set of hands can be invaluable. For example, the other person can close the door of the carrier while you are luring the cat with a laser pointer.

    How To Catch A Stray Cat

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    If you see a stray cat in your neighborhood, you can catch it humanely using a Havahart or box trap. You can purchase one yourself, but these can often be borrowed from local vets and shelters. Once you have the live trap and are prepared to catch the cat, line the bottom of the trap with newspaper and bait it with food. Take the trap to an area where you usually see the cat and set it. Keep an eye on the trap from a distance and check it frequently. Since cats are nocturnal hunters and feeders, trapping at night may be more successful.

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    Keeping A Stray Cat As A Pet

    If you find an adorable stray which you’d love to give a “furever” home, there are a few things to consider. Just because you possess a stray doesn’t automatically make you their lawful pet parent. There are different laws on pet ownership from state to state and city to city, so check with your local government.

    Usually, there’s a holding period for strays before they lawfully belong to you. This holding period differs depending on where you live. During this time, you’ll have to take appropriate steps to show that you’re trying to find the cat’s original owner. You’ll also need to take steps to show that you are the new owner.

    You can prove you’re trying to find the cat’s original owner by checking their microchip, posting online, and putting up flyers around your neighborhood to see if someone lost their cat.

    If you’re unsuccessful in finding the original owner, you can take steps to show you’re the new owner, including microchipping, vaccinations, ID tags, flea treatments, etc.

    Why Feral Cat Adoption Is Not An Option

    Many experts agree that feral adult cats simply cant be tamed. They are wild animals, like raccoons. They tend to stay away from humans, hide during the day, and when adopted, are very difficult to socialize. Just like you would never try to handle a raccoon, you should never try to pick up a feral cat. Call for assistance from the humane society or other animal welfare center.

    The ASPCA advocates adopting the many available domestic cats and kittens rather than trying to tame feral cats.

    However, feral kittens — especially those less than 8 weeks old — often can be socialized. Abandoned and lost cats can also be reintroduced to domestic living.

    How can you tell a stray from a feral cat? Lost or abandoned felines are usually comfortable around people and will frequently attempt to live near humans — under porches, or in garages, sheds, or backyards.

    Still, Slater maintains that TNR is the most humane and effective long-term solution. What weve done historically hasnt gotten us anywhere, she says. We need to try something different. Were not talking about neutering cats and then dumping them. What were really talking about is managed colonies, with a human feeding the cats, caring for them, getting them health care, providing them shelter.

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    Catching A Feral Cat Without A Trap

    You can catch a feral car without a trap by using a towel, a drop trap, or a pet carrier.

    While you are walking on your way home, you find a feral cat that is visibly injured and needs immediate medical attention. Or maybe you chance upon a feral cat in the center island of a high traffic road. One wrong move and he can figure in a road accident.

    Either way, you need to catch the feral cat and give him the attention that he requires. But how can you do that if you do not have a trap?

    If you do not have the luxury of time and you need to catch a feral cat, you need to improvise and use the tools and resources that are readily available to you.

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

    How to trap a feral cat

    Once you have successfully trapped the cat, you should have a plan in place. This includes making arrangements beforehand with your vet or a local rescue centre to have the cats checked over for any illnesses, as well as getting them vaccinated and neutered. Knowing what to do with them once they are ready to be returned to their neighbourhood is also important.

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    Trapping With A Towel

    One alternative to cat traps and nets that you can use is a towel or a similar-sized fabric. Just make sure that the towel or fabric is thick and not too big. If the towel is too big, you risk stumbling on the excess fabric. Also, the towel should be thick enough to offer you some degree of protection against bites and scratches.

    If possible, you should also protect your arms by wearing a thick, long-sleeved shirt or hoodie. You can also use gloves for added protection if available.

    Start by approaching the cat in a non-threatening manner. Feral cats are often wary of humans and if you approach him aggressively, the cat may run away from you before you have the chance of catching it. You can entice the cat to approach you by offering food or treats.

    When the cat is calm, throw the towel over his back and wrap the rest of the fabric all over his body. It is critical to act fast during this step. Felines have quick reflexes and you might think that you have the cat in the bag only to have it escape from your clutches. Once that chance is gone, you might not be able to get another.

    Wrap the cat like a burrito, covering the whole body, including the legs. However, avoid wrapping the cats head. This helps you achieve two things. First, you are ensuring that the cat breathes properly, and second, the cat will be more relaxed.

    Once the cat is secured by the blanket, grasp the cat and the fabric firmly to prevent him from squirming away from your clutches.

    Reduced Population Over Time

    Some long-term studies have claimed or been cited to show that TNR is effective in stopping reproduction and reducing the population over time, but the methodology, analysis and conclusions of some of these studies have been called into question.

    • An eleven-year study of a TNR program at the University of Central Florida achieved a population decrease of 66%, from 68 cats in 1996 to 23 cats in 2002. No new kittens were born after 1995, and newly arrived stray or abandoned cats were neutered or adopted to homes. However, as many proponents fail to note, TNR was not the sole reason for success. The population reduction was primarily from adoption and euthanasia , or due to the cats no longer living on site with their whereabouts unknown .
    • A TNR program begun in 1992 by the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society on the central waterfront of Newburyport, Massachusetts has been widely cited as an example of TNR success on a community level however, only superficial reports about what took place have been available and there is very little statistical data to support the claims.

    The success of specific focused studies to advocate TNR as a solution for controlling and reducing free-roaming cat populations worldwide is problematic. More broad-based approaches include using matrix population models to estimate the efficacy of euthanasia versus trap-neuter-return for management of free-roaming cats, such as the one researchers established for use in urban environments.

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    The Best Way To Trap A Feral Or Stray Cat

    Here at H& R, we have a particular soft spot for stray and feral cats. Whether we are donating money to one of our favourite animal charities during our Big Black Friday Give Back or sharing as much information as possible on how you can help homeless cats in your community.

    Take a look here, here and here to see a few of our most popular articles.

    Why such a focus on these animals, you ask? Well, with over nine million stray and feral cats in the UK, it is fair to say we have a very real problem. And as much as we as humans have contributed to it, the good news is we can be a part of the solution.

    In this article, we discuss the best way to trap a feral or stray cat safely and humanely, what equipment you will need, how to prepare and what needs to be done once you have trapped the cat.

    However, before we get to that, we need to understand what the safest and most humane way of trapping feral cats is.

    Dont Try And Catch A Feral Cat With Your Hands

    Caught the stray cat!

    Remember, feral cats are not used to humans and havent been socialised at all. Strays, on the other hand, might be a little friendlier but may still panic if you attempt to catch them with your hands. Trying to catch them this way could result in you being scratched or bitten or the cat getting hurt in its attempt to escape.

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    Ciac Ac Vet Office To Conduct Stray Cat Trap

    Clark International Airport Corp. , with the help of the Angeles City Veterinary Office on Tuesday launched a trap-neuter-release project for at least 15 stray cats wandering around the corporate office building premises to help control their population and maintain their well-being.

    Theres an increasing number of cats here at the CIAC grounds and we want to make sure that they are healthy and will not pose a threat to employees and stakeholders. This is to promote human health and safety as well as animal welfare, Irish IC Calaguas, CIAC vice president for operations, who initiated the week-long project, said.

    • CIAC President and CEO Gen. Aaron N. Aquino
    • CIAC VP for Operations IC Calaguas

    Calaguas, an animal lover and rescuer, added the captured cats will be spayed or neutered. Ear tipping will also be administered which is a sign of the universal neutered feral cat.

    I have instructed the security staff headed by Rey Nanquil to conduct an inventory of the stray cats and well ensure an environment where these animals remain strays but will not be harmed and will survive, she said.

    A licensed veterinarian will administer the spaying or neutering of the animals and will be given an anti-rabies vaccination before being returned to the CIAC grounds, Calaguas noted.

    Why Is Tnr Necessary

    There is no getting around the fact that stray cats and feral colonies can be pests, which is why TNR is necessary. Not only does neutering prevent unwanted litters, but it also reduces these homeless cats nuisance-like behaviour.

    Because they are no longer driven by the need to breed, strays and feral cats stop marking their territory, fighting with other cats and tend to roam a lot less. Not only does their behaviour improve, but so does their health.

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    Watch For Signs Of Aggression

    Chances are, you’ll be unsure if a cat is feral or abandoned at first glance. As cats can quickly become defensive when frightened, you should wear long sleeves and gloves to avoid any serious bites or scratches during a rescue.

    When approaching stray cats, watch out for obvious signs of aggression. Signs of aggression and fear include:

    • Hissing

    • Dilated pupils

    • Low posture

    If you notice any of these signs of aggression, give the cat space and back off until they seem calmer.

    How Do You Catch A Hurt Stray Cat

    How to trap a STRAY cat HUMANELY | Live trap basics

    The information below include tips and considerations for safely trapping a sick or injured cat:

  • Use a Drop Trap. Drop traps are the best way to ensure you trap the right cat in the swiftest manner.
  • Get creative.
  • Transfer the cat to a humane trap, with comfort padding if needed.
  • Get to the veterinarian right away.
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    How Long Does It Take To Tame A Stray Cat

    Taming a stray cat can be a difficult process that lasts several months. A feral cat may never behave the same way a domesticated house cat would, but many reach a point where they make loving pets and are able to live indoors. Some stray cats are actually lost cats that were previously domesticated.

    Returning Feral Cats To Their Community

    Male cats can be neutered and released on the same day, provided they have recovered from the anaesthetic, and there are no underlying health issues. Females might need to stay at the vet or animal shelter a little longer. To maintain the cats health, make sure there is a feeding station as well as shelter.

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    Use A Smelly Product For Trapping That Will Carry In The Wind

    Canned tuna in oil, canned sardines, or mackerel all work well. The only food you should place out on a trapping day is the food you place directly inside the traps. If food is available elsewhere, cats will have no reason to walk inside the traps. Place a small portion of your bait in front of the trap opening. Drizzle some juice and scant particles of food along the length of the trip plate and place a larger portion of food at the back right corner of the trap beyond the trip plate .

    What Is The Best Cat Trap

    Stray Cat Trapping

    Rescue organisations agree that the best humane cat traps are either drop traps or box traps. These resemble cages and are considered the safest way to capture stray or feral cats in your neighbourhood.

    However, cats, even strays, are protected in the UK by law, so before you find yourself in a legal battle with your neighbour, you must make 100% sure that the cat in question is definitely stray or feral.

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    Difference Between Feral And Stray Cats

    There’s a big difference between feral and stray cats, but both types of cats should be rescued to help reduce cat populations. Feral cats are domestic cats that have lived outside their entire lives and avoid human contact. Meanwhile, stray cats are pets that have been abandoned or lost.

    While it’s rare for feral cats to become family pets, it’s still important to take them to your local humane society or animal shelter. Most animal shelters have a trap-neuter-release policy. This ensures the feral cat isn’t euthanized but also can’t contribute to the feral cat population. Feral cats that are neutered and vaccinated will live longer, happier lives.

    After neutering a feral cat, the shelter will clip the end of the cat’s ear to signify to others that they’ve been part of a TNR program. Check with your local shelter/humane society to see if they have a TNR program.

    If you find an abandoned or lost cat rather than a feral cat, they may purr, make eye contact, and blink at you. Abandoned or lost cats may also approach you, which is rare for feral cats. Stray cats will usually walk with their tails up, while feral cats are more guarded.

    Stray cats are also much easier to secure than feral cats. Often, you can lure an abandoned or lost cat into a carrier by setting food as a trap.


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