So you want to learn how to go CATchin’.
Well lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place. So far this year alone I have trapped over 35 cats/kittens. In doing so, I have used various styles of traps. Some have made my life SO much easier, while others have made me yell out “$#&!” a few too many times.
Let me show you the pro’s & con’s as well as some tips & tricks that I have learned from CATchin’.
The Ol’ Faithful Kitten CATcher. (Ok, Ok…I’ll drop this pun from now on!)
PRO: The size is ideal for kittens. I have also unintentionally caught an adult cat in this one too. While it held up for the intended purpose, it was not ideal for the long term. He was transferred into a bigger one when leaving the vet office.
CON: I do wish that it had a latch on the door so that I could have it stay open.
A) for leaving it open to get them going in to eat beforehand and getting used to it. B) for having it remain open when putting the bait in. Although it is not hard at all to still put the bait in.
T&T: My tips and tricks for this one would be to make sure that the external trigger rod is always pushed through the inner plate; over time it may wiggle out a bit and then not trigger as well on one side. If you’re having trouble trapping with wet food, open up a can of tuna!
Big Bertha. Now, while she’s a bigger trap, she’s actually not that “big”. You’ll see in my “PRO” section below. But she’s about as rough and tough as they come. I’ve caught some real “doozies” this year when it comes to ferals. She’s withstood all of their slammin’ & jammin’ without a flinch.
The really nice part is that this is just like the “big sister” to the kitten one above. So you can get both traps, and not be confused by either! Simplicity at it’s finest!
PRO: Ladies and gentlemen, this little sweetie is …wait for it…drum roll…please …c-o-l-l-a-p-s-i-b-l-e. Yes, you read that right! It’s like music to my ears! Remember, I only live in a trailer here…space is limited! And for the rest of you that have the extra space around, I’m sure that you don’t want a bunch of bulky traps lying around! OR! You can also place the kitten one, above, inside of this one!
CON: Same as the smaller one. I wish it had a latch to keep the trap door open if you wanted to.
T&T: Be sure to watch the plate inside and the external trigger rod. *Not just on these traps, but all!
Now, I’ll be honest here. These next couple of traps I don’t actually have yet. I just have multiples of the ones above. These are traps that I have been eyeing up and are thinking about adding to my collection for certain reasons. If you happen to have them or used them in the past, please let me know your experiences with them!
Smooth Sliding Sally. Now, if you’ve ever TNR’d before, you can understand the difficulties of only having one door. With TNR you have to keep the cats in these traps for 12-24 hours, post-op. You give them lots of food and water during that time, but you need them to stay confined and close so that you can make sure they are doing OK after their big surgery. Having a second door in your trap, in my opinion, should make your life a lot easier for two reasons.
1. You can insert the food & water on the opposite side that they are curled up in without having to try and persuade them to go to the other side so you can have access to the main door. (They tend to like to stay curled up under the slanted side for extra protection).
2. When it comes to releasing, surprisingly, it’s not always just bolting from the trap. Depending on how they are facing, they may not have realized you opened the trap door to see the big open sky outside of it. You have to kind of wiggle and shake to get them to turn around to see that the door has been opened.
By having two doors, you eliminate both of these issues right away and both doors are still heavily and securely locked so they can’t force their way out of them.
Two Faced Tina. Now this one I am excited yet still hesitant about. It has two doors that you set open and are released by the trigger plate. Which means that it is less intimidating for the cat as they can see the other side. BONUS. What I’m worried about is the off chance they can get out before the doors come down. They can run out head first a lot faster than they could if there is only one door and they have to turn around or back out.
However, the reviews are quite convincing and so I think this is my top pick for my next trap to purchase.
BONUS: It has a timed safety release. You can set it for 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 minutes and walk away from whatever animal you’ve trapped. (Remember, these are great for more than just cats!). I have personally never had an incident with a feral cat turning on me after I released it. But I would be lying to you if I said the worrying thought hasn’t crossed my mind. If I was catching that pesky skunk or rakken (raccoon), well I would definitely be a lot more worried!
Here is another little bonus or tip for you. I do recommend this handy little gadget….for the “littles” trap and for the “biggers” trap. These will slide in to keep that cat secure on one side so you can safely open the trap door to add food & water, bedding, etc.
It makes a world of difference and is a great addition if you already have traps.
If you are just starting out in the TNR world, I also recommend this little number. It is a great starter pack! The burlap cover is great and it also comes with the divider already. I use old sheets and towels as covers, but only after I’ve caught them. (I’m always worried that the scent of laundry soap may be a deterrent)
Well folks, I hope this has answered any cat trapping questions you may have had. Or maybe even put a little bug in your ear about starting to TNR a cat colony near year. At the very least, consider donating one of these traps to one of your local shelters, TNR groups, vet clinics, etc. They are ALWAYS in need of them!
Meow for now!
All the best,