Cat Trapping 101

TNR (Trap – Neuter – Return) is the only humane and effective means of feline population control. Here is how it’s done.

Techniques to Ensure Success

  1. Get the cat on a regular feeding schedule. Most feral and strays come out in the evening. Set food out after dinner, but before dusk and never leave it out overnight. This will get the cat to return at the same time every day. You can trap earlier on an intake day, but don’t trap overnight unless absolutely necessary. If you only have late night feeders, discuss overnight trapping strategy with us.
  2. Bait and set the trap. Place a small amount of food on a paper plate and place it behind the traps step plate. Set your trap and wait until the cat returns for its regular feeding, and hopefully walks into the trap, setting it off.
  3. Cover the cat. Always cover the trap immediately after trapping to calm the cat. After being trapped the cat will panic. In order to calm him/her cover the trap with a sheet or towel. If possible, remove the trapped cat from the feeding area to prevent it from spooking other cats. Keep cat in an area that is temperature comfortable until you can bring to us.

If That Doesn’t Work, Try This…

  • Feed inside the trap for a few days. Use a zip tie or rope to hold the trap open and allow the cat to acclimate to the new scenery, and start gradually putting the food closer and closer to the trap until it is eating the food directly inside, and then set the trap.
  • Use stinky bait. Use wet canned cat food, tuna (in water), or jack mackerel. On cold days microwave it bring out the smells and lure the cat in.
  • Limit food day prior to trapping. Only feed half as much as normal. This will ensure the cat is hungry.
  • Contact us so we can ensure your success. We have plans B,C & D also.
  • NEVER GIVE UP!

Other Tips & Techniques

  • Do not leave traps set overnight or unattended for long periods of time.
  • Collect as many cats as you can. We are a 100% TNR organization. This means, we want you to capture each and every cat you have roaming your area. Every cat you bring us prevents 11,000 kittens from being born over the next five years.

Once a Feral Cat is Trapped

  • Text Carol’s Ferals immediately (616-560-0555). Appointments are not necessary, but a heads up is appreciated. Leave a message. Do not expect a response unless there is a problem with your drop.
  • Trapped cats are accepted Sunday through Tuesday from 6:00PM –7:30PM unless we have a posted block out day. Those days are listed on the main page of our website. If you do not have online access, text (preferred) or leave a message at 616 560-0555 letting us know you intend to trap. If we will be closed that week, we will let you know.
  • If you believe you have trapped a nursing mother, call us first and we will determine if that is the case and it should be let go.
  • Be sure to read and agree to The Ten CATmandments.
  • Be sure to view our online video resources or request a DVD copy when picking up equipment.

Contact Carol’s Ferals via e-mail. tnr@carolsferals.org   We are here to make sure that you are successful. We have trapped countless cats and have encountered dozens of different situations.  Every cat can be trapped with the right technique. We always have ideas if you are struggling.

Watch Instructional Videos

Watch videos on how to trap feral cats and bring them in to Carol’s Ferals for TNR.

Carol’s Ferals – TNR – How to Trap a Cat

Carol gives all the educational instruction, tips, advice and suggestions necessary to humanely trap feral cats and transport them for spay/neuter surgery.

Carol’s Ferals – TNR – Helpful Strategies and Advice

Carol offers up tips and suggestions that will help community cat caregivers capture the harder to get cats.

Carol’s Ferals – TNR – Rules and Procedures

Carol discusses the ins and outs of their TNR program a some rules and procedures that are necessary to know.

Carol’s Ferals – TNR – Things to Consider

Carol talks about the “big picture” and brings to light some issues that you need to know when discussing TNR with neighbors.

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Our mission is to end feline overpopulation in west Michigan through community education and empowerment.

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