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Trapping Guidelines




  • Practice working your trap(s) ahead of time.
  • Talk to neighbors/businesses about your plans to trap.
  • Withhold food for a day before trapping. A hungry cat is more likely to go into a trap.
  • Use a smelly canned cat food, sardines, salmon or oil packed tuna.Dry food will attract raccoons and oppossums.
  • Prepare traps at a distance from the actual trapping site. Loud noises and quick motions will scare the cat(s) away.
  • It is best to make spay/neuter appointment(s) before setting the trap(s). Plan your trapping sessions so the cats are transported to the vet as soon as possible. Avoid having the cat in the trap for more than a day if possible. Remember to keep trap completely covered at all times - before and after trapping.
  • Dribble a small trail leading to and through the trap with the 'jackpot' at the back of the trap.
  • Cover the trap with a dark towel or blanket.
  • Stay out of sight of the cat(s). A car or building is best.
  • Once the cat is trapped, move the trap away from the sight as soon as possible. A garage or shed is best, remembering to keep the trap covered. Additional food can then be dribbled through openings in the top of the trap.
  • Keep the cat in the trap unless you are an experienced trapper. It is very easy to lose a cat if you try to transfer to a carrier.
  • Bait should be refreshed daily. Be sure the 'teaser' pieces of food are in place when checking the trap. It is not uncommon for a cat to eat the 'teaser' food, but not go inside.
  • Don't trap on a hillside. Traps must be on a flat surface. Be sure there is nothing in the way of the trap door. A twig, clump of grass or part of a towel will interfere with the door mechanism--resulting in an escaped cat.
  • Don't withhold food for more than two days. Many of these cats are already underweight and very hungry.
  • Don't trap in extremely hot or cold weather unless you are prepared to take the cat out of the weather immediately.
  • Don't trap a nursing mother of kittens who are under 4 weeks old unless you can spay and return her within 24 hours.
  • Don't release an unsterilized cat that you trapped unintentionally. You might not be able to catch that cat again.
  • Don't leave trap unattended unless it is in a safe place and well hidden.
  • Don't leave too much bait at the front of the trap. You don't want the cat to fill up before going to the back of the trap.
  • Don't use dirty traps. Even traps that appear clean will carry the scent of cat(s) previously trapped. Bleach solution at 10:1 works best for cleaning.
  • Don't forget to keep the trap covered before, during and after trapping. This will help to keep the cat(s) calm.
  • Don't trap before having a plan in place: Spay/Neuter appointment(s), eartipping, recovery and release.
  • Do not attempt to 'transfer' a cat into a carrier unless you are experienced - ask for help from an experienced trapper.