View Full Version : Trapping Ferals

11-03-2002, 09:01 AM
HI all!

I'm going to start today to trap (at least) three ferals who have shown up on my porch.

We've just moved to the country and have 6.5 acres with a 1200 sq foot barn in back. I plan to TNR them, with rabies shots and with one in particular, have her tested for FeLuk, etc.

Do you have any suggestions which might make this easier on the cats? I have borrowed two traps from a rescue org to try to do it as unfrighteningly as possible for them.

One of these kitties is a small, starving, gray girl. She's got a LONG fluffy tail, tufts in her ears and between her toes, golden eyes, and a small, pointy face. If she were longer haired in body, I'd think she had some 'coon in her. Anyway, she let me pick her up, but she's becoming more feral by the day. I hope to bring her inside (if she tests OK) to join my four furbabies.

Wish me luck -- and suggestions are welcome!


11-03-2002, 09:14 AM

What you're doing is truly wonderful! I've done TNR for over 5 years and although I don't like releasing back where they came from, sometimes you have no other choice.

Okay...the first thing you can do is start by putting food near the trap and feeding them there for a couple days so they don't fear it. Cover the trap with a sheet so they don't see it.

Then stop feeding them for at least 2 days so they'll be hungry. No, this is not cruel, but it's the only way to make sure they're hungry enough to want the sardines. Once you think they are comfortable around the trap, get some sardines. Cut a paper plate in the shape of a pie wedge. Put a whole bunch of sardines on the plate and place it way in the back of the trap. Dribble some juice leading to the trap with a "teaser taste" to let them know that there's more where that came from. Never leave the trap. It takes time and patience (alot!!) but it's so worth it. Also, cover the bottom of the trap (the grate part) with leaves so they don't feel it under their paws.

Then just sit and wait (out of site). It may not take long. It may take a while. I've seen where cats will go part way in the trap (seeing the sardines) then change their mind. If they are hungry enough, eventually they'll go for it. Once you've trapped a cat, completely cover the trap (the cat, if feral, will thrash around and could possibly hurt themselves) in order to calm them down.

I wish you alot of luck. I hope you can catch the little gray girl. If she lets you pick her up, you might want to bring a carrier with you and just place her in that. I've done that before. She sounds like she's just starving for food and a little love. You might be surprized.

Please keep us posted.

11-03-2002, 06:31 PM

I neglected to mention I've been feeding them on my porch, with the food wayyyyy inside a regular carrying case. Just regular hard food, too. There's a towel in there, in case they might want to stay.

I figured I'd move the towel into the trapping cage and put the food in the back of that, then put the same dark hefty bag around the sides of it. Or should I use newspaper so they don't feel the grate of the trap?

I borrowed traps from a rescue group yesterday. I can only try to trap them on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights, because that's when the vet will take ferals. They do a package deal of $100 for fixing, tipping (Ouch!) rabies and fe-luk testing. I thought that sounded reasonable, don't you?

If you think I should get them sardines, I'll run out and get some. Cats do like fishy stuff, don't they? My babies don't get it because it makes the urine so strong.

I digress. I'll let you know what happens! Thanks for the tips.

11-05-2002, 10:27 AM
Hi hi HI!
I just wanted to let you know I got the little gray kitty the very first night of using the trap! She came for the hard food.

Actually, I put the trap out, covered, on my front porch during the day while I was at work. When I came home, there she was plaintfully mewing at me. I brought the trap into the room where I could keep her separate from the house cats and dog. Since I knew she's let me pet her and pick her up, I let her out. We spent a lot of time petting, eating, rubbing and purring. She's a beautiful baby!

The GOOD news is my husband is smitten with her. He's so wonderful with all our furbabies, so now he has another. I told him he has to name her. :)

Right now she's at the vet being checked to see if she's already fixed, shots, teeth, bath (she's all tick-y), and everything a house cat needs. Because this one is coming inside for the rest of her and our lives.

Tomorrow the trap goes out to see if I can get any of the other, more feral adults. I am sooooo excited!

Oh - the other cats came to check her out. She was so busy rubbing on me that she couldn't decide whether to hiss or purr. It came out as kind of a horse-like "Harrumph." The others were unimpressed, except for my 17 year old tabby who hates everyone. The dog wanted to sniff her bottom, but that wasn't going to happen. <LOL>

I am crossing my fingers that she's not F-Luk positive, because she's already in our hearts and home!

11-05-2002, 01:44 PM
Congratulations on catching the little girl, she will be a wonderful addition to your family :D :D

I am not sure where you live in the DC area, but you might want to consider phoning around to some of the SPCA's in the area because they will spay/neuter animals & vaccinate for less than most vets.

(I live up in Baltimore and have had some experience with TNR here.)

11-05-2002, 07:37 PM
I actually live 15 miles south of Annapolis, where Bowie and Upper Marlboro come together off route 301. We're definitely in the country. :)

I'll start making calls tomorrow. I have a couple more ferals to get ahold of.

Tubby & Peanut's Mom
11-06-2002, 11:16 AM
Congratulations on getting her, but more importantly, congratulations on your new little fur baby! I sure hope she checks out ok at the vet. She sounds like a real little sweetheart. :)

Good luck on getting the adults! :)

11-06-2002, 06:45 PM
She's got a clean bill of health and she's home again!

The other cats are just curious, the dog wants to sniff her, and she wants to eat. Which we're letting her do any time we go near the catfood cupboard. :)

At some point I'll figure out how to use the digital camera I bought 8 months ago and get a photo up.

Thanks for the encouragement. Now if I can just get the other two ferals....

11-07-2002, 07:26 PM

WOOHOO!!!! Between you and Kimmy, you two have been very busy. I'm SO glad that you're keeping her and that she has a clean bill of health. Have you picked out a name for her yet??

Good luck with the other kitties.