How to Trap a Feral Cat for TNR

If you have seen cats in your neighborhood And you want to help them out, the best way to do that is through TNR Trap-Neuter-Return. Trap-Neuter-Return is a process by which outdoor feral cats are
trapped with a humane trap, Neuter and vaccinated at the veterinarian, and then return to their outdoor home. I’m going to show you how you can trap cats in your own neighborhood.

Before you get started, you want to find out exactly how many cats are in your neighborhood. The best way to do that is start feeding them, And if you feed them once a day, the same time every day. You’ll start to see that all of the cats will come out at that time, So get them on a feeding schedule for about a week or two, So that you can take notes of who’s really there. When you are identifying the cats in your neighborhood. The first thing to look for is an ear tip.

An ear tip is the removal of the top three-eighths of an inch of the left ear on the cat, And this signifies that they have been through the TNR program, If the cat already has an ear tip, that means they’ve been through the TNR program. So you don’t need to trap them, If they don’t have an ear tip – pretty good chance that cat is still intact. And you’re going to want to get them spayed or neutered. My best advice is to try to catch the whole colony of cats at once.

So don’t try to do one at a time try to get as many as you can at once, Before you go ahead and start trapping, You’re going to want to make an appointment at a veterinarian. Make sure you find a veterinarian that is feral friendly, Find a vet that has experience working with feral cats in traps.

Because it is different than taking your pet cat to the vet, Identify the day that you have the appointment. And then you’re going to want to trap the day before. So to prepare to trap you’re going to want to gather some supplies. The supplies that I recommend are: A humane trap, Bait for the Trap, And I recommend tuna in oil.

It’s very fragrant so it gets them to come from far away, And the oil helps it to not dry out, You will need some newspaper, so get a stack of newspapers. You’ll need a tarp, And this is to line your vehicle when you’re transporting the cats.

As well as your space that you keep them in overnight, Some a large towels that will cover the traps, And if you’re working in an area where you know there are feral kittens. You might want to grab some bite gloves, I never recommend trying to pick up a feral cat or kitten by hand.

But even if you find some very tiny kittens, You’re going to want to protect yourself if you are going to try to pick them up. I recommend talking to some of your neighbors, Before you start a trap, just so that there’s no confusion about what’s going on. You might also learn a little bit more about the cats from your neighbors, who may also be taking care of them.

And if any of your neighbors are feeding the cats, Then you do need to ask them not to feed them, They need to be hungry enough to go into the trap. Once you’re setting up to trap, The very first thing you want to do is count and prepare your traps. You can’t be too careful about counting traps, So I would literally write down how many you have. One, two, three, four.

Make sure you know how many traps you have with you, because if you leave out a trap and you forget it, Then that can be very dangerous or even deadly to an animal who gets caught in it. I recommend putting a label on your trap also, Mine says: “Property of Kitten Lady” with my email and phone number on it, Ok, so let’s prepare our traps.

I am unlocking the back of these traps and opening them up, So inside the trap you’re going to want to line it with a light layer of newspaper, Which you can take and fold over. To fit the inside of the trap
Be careful that your newspaper is not too thick, As it might make it hard for the trick plate to go off. So the newspaper is going to help support their feet, It’s also going to act as a bit of a pad, To absorb any urine or food.

So here’s the front of my trap, Every trap is a little different, this one is a “True catch” brand, And on this one. These rings come up, this goes out, And then there is a little latch here. And that’s how you set the trap, So this is the front where the cat is actually going to walk inside.

Back here there’s a trick plate, So when they step on this trick plate, The two rings hold them up, Open the door, Then this latch comes up.

Step on the plate and The door will gently close behind them, So because we want them to walk all the way to the back, We need to put the food as far back as it can possibly go. Make sure that if you’ve been feeding this neighborhood cat, You do NOT feed them the day before You want them to be sufficiently hungry that they’ll be willing to go into this strange little box here.

You also don’t want to give them too much food, So this is a tablespoon, that’s about as much as I recommend putting I also recommend putting a little bit of food closer to the door. So that the cat can get a tease for it To also incentivize them to go all the way in. So this is stinky stuff. I really recommend using something like tuna and oil, Because it has a really strong smell that’s going to attract the cats in your neighborhood.

They’re going to get these little tiny pieces at the front of the door, And then they’re going to want to walk all the way in, step on that trip plate in order to get the bigger meal. Close your back door and latch it, because cats are really smart they know how to escape, The last thing you need is your towel, about half to two-thirds of your trap. And this I recommend putting over your trap from the get-go. So that once the cat walks in you can quickly cover them up.

If you don’t have a trap cover, The cats can see outside and they might get very fearful. So a lot of the time you’ll see them lash around in the cage, They can injure themselves on the side here. Once you cover them completely.

They calm down every single time, So I recommend just having the towel on there, ready to go. Okay, so we’re ready to go let’s trap, It’s a cat right there? See him?

Oh I saw him run away, – We’re going to get him – Alright. We’re gonna put out some traps now. We’re going to see who we catch and then we’ll go from there, So when you’re putting your trap down, make sure that it’s flat on the ground.

If you put it somewhere that’s got an uneven surface like this, The cat’s not going to want to go in that because it’s not sturdy, Move it around a little bit to see if this is an even surface. Once your traps are set, you don’t want to just leave them there, All night or go out to work for the day. You want to stay kind of nearby them, I recommend checking on the traps at least every 20 to 30 minutes. You also don’t want to loom over them, Because the cat’s not going o walk into this trap you’re sitting right next to it.

But you want to be close enough that if you hear it go off, You can run over, cover the cat up and get them safely into your car or into your house. I got that orange cat from earlier, so I completely covered
And I’m going to bring him inside. So the first thing I’m looking for is an ear tip and he does not have an ear tip, Which means it’s pretty likely that he is intact. He might be a little upset, when you cover it, you can see that he does calm down, If this were off, he would be going nuts so You wanna limit your interaction with them.

I’m pretty sure this is an intact male, So when I’m looking in here I’m just making sure it’s not a cat that has an ear tip, Or a collar, or anything like that.

What should we name him? What would your name be? Bobcat Ollie, We can name him Ollie after the Bobcat. We’re going to name him after Ollie, who is a bobcat that recently escaped the DC Zoo
Hi Ollie! And keep your fingers away from the cat. You know, you don’t want to Put your fingers in there, these are Feral animals that might not be socialized to people.

So just be careful, Stay in this room overnight. You can see that I’ve laid down a tarp, So this will catch any, you know, urine or feces or anything like that, to protect your floor. And then this tarp in the morning I’ll bring to my car To lay down in my car, to help transport in a clean way.

For tonight Ollie is going to sleep in here and then tomorrow morning, He will be off to the vet for his neuter, And then we’ll have no babies this spring. Sorry Ollie, no babies for you!

His cheeks are huge! That’s what happens with big boys when they’re not neutered, Not for long sir! Snip snip Okay, so we’ll take this one inside We’ll check out who the heck this is. The other important thing about the cloth covers is that this prevents them from seeing each other, Which can be pretty upsetting for them, so they’re just going to be covered next to each other.

I’m gonna check out who this is, Who are you? Brown and white tabby, looks young! Looking for an ear tip, I don’t see an ear tip. Hi There’s no collar, there’s no ear tip. So we are going to bring this one in as well.

This could be a female cat That would have become pregnant from this male cat living in the neighborhood, And that’s how you end up with this abundance of kittens.

You liked that tuna! You came all the way over here for that tuna, We’ll name you Tuna, Since that’s what you like. No more food for these guys tonight, So don’t put any food in there with them.

You don’t wanna to put your fingers anywhere near, And you know, that meal that they’ve had is quite enough. When they’re getting surgery the next day you don’t want them to have a full belly anyway
Cover them up, And this is where they’re going to stay tonight, Then tomorrow. Tuna and Ollie will be going to the vet, The morning after the surgery check on each of the traps.

Take a look at the cat inside, Make sure that they are bright-eyed and alert, Make sure that you don’t see anything concerning, such as bleeding or lethargy. And if they are looking like they’re, Awake and ready to go, then you can return them to their outdoor home. Here we go Ollie, you ready? Come on Tunafish

Leave a Reply