Trapping 101









Help is Here

If you’re new to colony care and trapping, Stray Cat Alliance can help. Please contact us.

We provide humane traps and training on all aspects of trapping for the purposes of TNR for people in southern California. We will help anyone anywhere with advice, however. We don’t lend traps unless you are going to do the right thing and that never includes the pound. Traps are expensive, so we ask for a refundable security deposit if you’ll help with this all-important, ongoing project we call TNR.

The above video shows a demonstration of setting a trap. 

Trapping with an experienced trapper is always best until you learn the ropes.

Figure on one trap per cat and a few extras… just in case. Do not plan to utilize tranquilizing medications, either oral or in dart or injection form, to speed this process along. It’s too risky and unnecessary.

In the meantime, before you trap, ensure that the cats are fed and given clean water regularly. Establish a routine. When caring for a community cat colony, try to feed the cats at the same time every day. You’ll notice how the cats associate you and your car and soon, they’ll begin showing up. You can also encourage them by using a distinctive whistle or a dog training clicker at each feeding. Cats with an ear tip clipped are already altered.

Important: If at all possible, cats shouldn’t eat for 12 hours before surgery, so discuss this with your veterinarian. Cats will be hungry and more willing to go into the traps for food. Plan trapping so the cats only stay in the traps overnight before surgery. It will be stressful for them—and for you because you care about them—but remember you’re providing an invaluable service.

“T” is for Trap

So you’ve assumed responsibility for a community cat colony. You want to get the cats vaccinated and fixed. Great! You’ll need these supplies first:

• Traps (see above!)
• Newspaper
• Can opener
• Catnip to enhance bait
• Plastic spoons or forks
• Bait, a.k.a., food: Canned mackerel is a favorite. Take a lid or foil for already-open cans.
• Flashlight if trapping at night: That’s when you will usually trap.
• Rubber and work gloves
• Water and snacks for trappers
• Paper towels, pre-moistened wipes for hands or spills
• Towels or fabric for covering traps
• Masking tape to mark traps, covers or to tape down newspapers; marker
• Food and water to leave for cats to be trapped
• Zip ties or twist ties
• Binoculars
• Trash bags
• Cat carrier
• Canvas garden bag with outside pockets; easily carried in one hand

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