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Trying to trap a feral (semi-feral?) cat

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  • Trying to trap a feral (semi-feral?) cat

    I've seen this poor little tuxedo cat limping around the barn lately. It is literally going around on 3 legs. I highly doubt it can catch much without being able to use one of its front paws. I want to try to catch it and vet it, but I have no clue how to really do so.
    Kitty is not terribly scared of people. I've been able to get close enough to pet it twice. Once it was under a bush and I managed to get two cans of wet food to it and a quick pet on the head. The second time I was able to spend a good 10-15 minutes petting it, and it seems pretty friendly, just scared. Once I started petting it, it started purring and acting like a happy kitty. It is verrrry protective over its paw though, and from what I was able to feel, there are scabs all over it, it is swollen, and probably infected. It's a little thing, quite possibly an older kitten, and pretty much skin and bones.

    I set up a have a heart trap with a can of food, but so far no catches. Any other ideas?
    come what may

    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

  • #2
    We had a feral cat around our farm earlier this year.

    He was VERY feral and we only caught glimpses of him. Our cat was losing his fuzzy little mind trying to monitor the situation.
    We wanted to get the feral cat fixed and vaccinated to keep everyone healthy.
    I did some research first then, we set up a have-a-heart in an area we had seen him in. It took a few days but we caught him.
    Vet couldn't get out for a few days so I rigged the trap to a larger cage so he could have a bit of room and I move him between the two to feed/water and keep the area clean w/o risking getting bitten or him escaping.
    After the neutering/vacc we moved him to a run and let him go after a few days...

    Sorry I don't know if any of that was helpful, just our story...

    Since you can touch your kitty do you think you could pick her up to put her in a crate?
    If not I would keep putting wet food in the hava-a-heart.
    If its not already, I would drape a towel over it to make it appear less exposed to her. Eventually she will go in.

    That may be the best scenario because if she is very skittish to handle it would be easier to sedate her while she is in the trap. They make special dividers you can stick thru the cage mesh to squeezed the cats enough to inject them. Or you could do it like we did and tip the cage on end and stuff some towels or feed sacks down into it to gently restrain the kitty enough to inject it.

    A good resource: http://www.alleycat.org/page.aspx?pid=330


    Includes pic of cage divider: http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/HOW_..._AND_EQUIPMENT


    • #3
      Good luck and Thanks for trying to help your kitty. We finally bought a hav-a-heart trap cause we have found ferals in our barn. Usually the dogs chase them out, but I would like to try to trap them and take them to our vet. Especially since it seems to want to make friends - I'm sure once you get it healthy it will be easy to tame ? Let us know -


      • #4
        Are you feeding the cat at all outside the trap? If you do not put out food for 24 hours, then put the stinkiest wet food you can find in there you should be able to get him/her. I would definitely leave the cat in the trap (with towel) as you want to be safe yourself.

        By the way, be sure the trap is positioned near somewhere that the cat will feel safe - ie the bushes you referred to and definitely cover w/ a towel. Put the wet food in for maybe 12 hours, if no cat, pull it and wait another 12. You want that bugger hungry!!
        We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


        • #5
          Go to your local hardware store and buy a big havaheart trap. Or havahart, whichever is correct spelling. I don't like the little ones as they are so small that some cats don't like to enter them. The bigger one is $101.00 including tax at my local independent hardware store. It caught a feral mama cat and her kittens (one at a time) who are all now in a pen. Mama and the male have been "fixed." The 2 female kittens need to get larger and older before spaying. Don't buy off of ebay as the same traps are sometimes listed for far more than you will pay at your local hardware store.

          The larger haveahart trap is easy to set up. you just put a really good smelling bait in it. Like a can of starkist tuna. Best to try to trap during day as at night the coons and possums will be vying for the bait.

          Doesn't take more than a day or two to trap the wildest kitty. Vets will accept ferals, just make sure you tell vet. They will sedate kitty right away so no one gets bitten. And you can take kitty to vet in the trap. Make sure kitty gets rabies and other shots while at the vet. Then if you want to turn kitty loose at home fine. Or you can put him in a large dog crate and try to tame him. Some cats never trust humans because of what they've been through before you got him. But some adjust well and move right into the house or barn.


          • Original Poster

            Ok thanks guys. So far I just put the trap in a place I had seen the cat before and threw a can of wet food in. Tomorrow I'll switch the spot to an area I *think* the cat likes to hang out in, plus put a towel over it.

            I don't think I would be able to get it into a crate. I tried to pick it up and it was NOT happy with that idea. It didn't try batting at me or biting me though, so I guess that is a good sign. Plus trying to approach it in a non-threatening way with a crate might not go over too well. The other day I literally had to crawl up to it...the things we do for animals.

            Its a very sweet kitty, I don't think it will be hard to tame at all, it doesn't seem truly feral, just scared.
            come what may

            Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


            • #7
              If you can get that close to it, is it possible to throw a towel over it?

              I have used hav-a-hart traps to catch feral cats here. Tunafish works good if the wet cat food doesn't do it.

              Damrock Farm


              • #8
                This recently happened to me. Skinny kitty was lurking. Finally went out near her one day with food. I sat down and let kitty eat near me. She ran away with food at first but then got comfortable enough to eat near me. After awhile, i was able to put her in my lap and feed her. We have a have a heart trap, which I plan on using if need be. I would feed her In the same spot every day then move food into the trap.
                Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
                White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

                Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


                • #9
                  I actually was able to catch a semiferal kitty with a fishing net. When it came within two arm lengths I was able to get the net over it. My only issue was that Mr. DDK was in the front of the house washing the car so I ended up stuck with this cat stuck in a net until he finally came looking for me Make sure you have help if you go the net directions
                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                  • #10
                    I second the tuna idea. One of our kitties we actually found at a dumster at a shopping mall where my sister used to work. The only thing that could get her to come out was tuna. We tried the havahart trap that our humane society lent us, but at the time, she was too little and stepped all over the little trigger thing without putting enough pressure on it to actually make the door close. But patience and food and she let us catch her. Good luck! (:
                    Follow my instagram @snafflesandwellies for all things horses + fashion!


                    • #11
                      If the kitty is sort of tame, can you just sit beside a crate, put yummy food in the crate and shut the door when kitty goes in for food? I've done this with the ones who aren't too wild.
                      Follow us on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/River...ref=ts&fref=ts


                      • #12
                        My never fail method is to surround the trap with straw/hay bales, all sides and the top, then use loose hay to camoflage the door. Make sure there are some small gaps to let light show through; otherwise, it should look like a little tunnel with yummy food at the end. A wise friend taught me this, she said kitties love thier little hidey holes. So true, I catch them the first night almost every time. I have to lock up my barn kitties so I don't catch them, too!
                        Graphic Design & Websites


                        • #13
                          There is an online video about trapping feral cats.

                          Bait suggested for tough to catch feral cat is a ky fried chicken leg tied in the cage. Original recipe.

                          I caught a feral cat, but used dog food, chicken meat that is what it ate in the buffet I put in the cage.

                          BTW the skunks sprayed that cat in the cage. They wanted the cheese I had in the trap and cat wouldn't leave (duh it was in the trap) so it got sprayed.

                          Caught the skunk the next day. this was one of many skunks I have caught this season. pee you.

                          good luck