6 Tips To Prepare For Cat Trapping
Now that you have found The Teal Cat Project, you have probably become more aware of feral cats in your neighborhood or at work and are asking yourself “How can I help these cats?” The answer is with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return), and here are a few tips to help you get started.
Survey the area
Visit the location different times of the day, especially early mornings and at night, for a few days if possible. Count the cats that you see. Make note of any kittens, pregnant females, nursing moms, and/or injured cats.
Locate a TNR group in your area
Finding an established TNR group can be very helpful. They can advise you on everything you need to get started, such as information on local low cost spay/neuter clinics, where to buy or rent traps, how to trap, and they can offer you valuable tips and tricks. Keep in mind that they are volunteers just like you, not paid employees and should not be expected to do all the work for you.
Find a low cost spay/neuter clinic
Check with the local animal shelters to find a low cost spay/neuter clinic that offers surgeries for feral cats. Surgeries for feral cats are usually offered on certain days of the month and at a discounted rate, so plan ahead, mark your calendar, and set appointments early. If you have any problems locating a low cost spay/neuter clinic in your area, contact Alley Cat Allies for advice.
Buy or rent humane traps
If there is a feral cat program in your area you may be able to borrow/rent traps from them. Traps usually go fast, make sure you reserve them well in advance. You can also purchase traps at local farm supply stores or order them online. It is always better to have more traps than you need.
Determine where you will recover the cats
You will need a place to keep the trapped cats the night before their surgery and for 24-72 hours after their surgery. Pick an easy to clean, quite place such as a garage or a porch. Since it is not safe to handle feral cats, they will remain in the traps during recovery. You will need something to keep the traps up off the ground, such as pieces of wood or bricks because the cats will be eliminating (pooping and peeing) inside the traps during recovery and you don’t want them to have to sit in their own urine.
Figure out how many traps will fit in your vehicle
Be prepared by putting empty traps into your car to figure out how many you can fit for transport. In most cases traps can stack 2 high, be sure to put cardboard or something in between the layers of traps to keep the bottom cats safe. You will also need to protect your vehicle by putting something such as cardboard or a tarp down first.
Thank you on behalf of homeless cats everywhere for getting started with TNR. Good luck on your cat trapping adventures, and let us know how it goes!