You've heard of the mouse trap, but what about the cat trap? I hear you giggling to yourself as you read this, but if you have a stray cat problem in your community, maybe it is time that you helped to do something about it, rather than counting on someone else to sort out a problem that is never going to end up getting fixed unless each person makes a difference.
I hear you ask the question – "What on earth will I do with a stray cat once I have caught it?" Well ladies and gentleman, the answer is very simple – take it to the shelter or enroll your new little buddy into a catch, neuter, release program!
It all depends on the type of cat that you have caught to decipher where you will take the poor little guy. A stray cat is one that did have an owner once and could have gotten lost, been abused or neglected, and other similar scenarios. Either way, this pet is tame, could have had a few vaccinations etc. and may be suitable for a new home with new loving "parents"
A feral cat is a different story – this one will be one that has been born into the street life and will not respond well to humans. Even still – take them to a Vet or CNR, (catch, neuter, release) clinic and let them have the poor little dude spayed or neutered, and then either tamed for a new home or released back into the wild. It doesn't solve the problem, of course, but it prevents more problems being born. It also helps to reduce fighting and spraying cats, which can be a nightmare all by itself.
So... how do you catch a cat? Obviously, if the cat is a stray and not a feral one, it will be more open to interaction with humans. It might take you a little while to win the critter over, but with a loving, petting hand, soft spoken words and some scraps of leftover food, you will soon have it eating from your hands, quite literally. Once you are in this position, you can wrap it up in a blanket, pop it in a cat travel box if you have one, and take it to the shelter.
A commercial cat trap can be found pretty easily if you look in the right places, and if you don't know where to start, the internet and the local animal services of wildlife control authorities can help.
The cage will normally come as a wire "box" with a cage divider, cover, a set of instructions and a door hook. Make sure you read the instructions. We all know that men don't like to read instructions, but you paid for the thing so you might as well make sure that you use it properly!
Bait is easy enough – cat food, the usual foods that cats like such as tuna, chicken, sardines, etc. Catnip or catnip oil can help – these little mini-beasts love this stuff!
Placing the trap can be a hard task. You are going to want to put it somewhere that is actually going to catch a cat. If you are used to them being in an alley near your home, put it there. If they come into your garden at night, put it there. You know where you have seen them, so use your head and choose placement wisely.
Stray cats are not vicious, nor are they normally aggressive to people (with one exception at a hotel I was hired to work at). Because the people at the hotel were feeding the cats. Never feed stray cats - it causes several problems.
Stray cats will leaving droppings and urine in the areas they live, and will of course scratch and dig. Stray cats are a source of fatal and non-fatal diseases transmittable to humans and domestic cats, including rabies, ringworm, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch fever, allergies, feline leukemia, feline distemper and secondary bacterial infections.
The best way to help with America's stray cat problem is to never feed them, and to initiate trap, neuter, release programs. Always spay or neuter your pet cat!
Here is a complete list of my stray cat educational articles:
Trap Neuter Release Programs for Stray Cats
Stray Cat Trapping Techniques
Stray Cats in the Attic
Should You Feed Stray Cats?
Common problems caused by stray cats
How to catch a stray cat to bring it to the shelter
How many stray cats are in the United States?
What should you do if you find a litter of stray kittens?
How to Adopt a Stray Cat
What to do About Stray Cat Fighting and Spraying
How To Get Rid of Stray Cats