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February 08, 2023 5 min read

In this article we will discuss the art of catching cats. It doesn’t matter if it’s three cats or thirty, the target is to catch each and every cat spayed and neutered in a colony. Employing a mass trapping strategy is the swiftest way to ensure you meet your goal but at the same time you can take it one, and time, you can still meet up with your objectives just that it will take longer time. Click for more information and product reviews…

Merits of mass trapping

A faster way to get the entire colony under control: it takes only a couple of days to change the situation around. No more kittens, less yowling, reduction in foul odors, and zero mating activity.

Requires lesser time and effort: With mass trapping, certain logistics such as securing traps, transportation, and surgical appointments are done once rather than repeatedly like one at a time strategy.

Catching all the cats becomes easier: Mass trapping allows you to capture all the cats all at once with relative ease as compared to try to trap them singly. Single trapping will consume time and lead to usage of more resources, time and effort.

Preparation phase

Logistics and planning

Before the trapping commences, certain plans and logistics have to be in place. Firstly, there needs to be a warm, secure, dry and large holding space that can hold the number of cats you intend to catch. Make spay/neuter appointments beforehand, purchase or borrow traps, and also make transportation arrangements. Have a vet on standby in case there is a post-surgical emergency.

Create a feeding routine

Using a feeding routine is one of the established methods in the trapping process. Cats are habitual creatures, and they love to follow a particular pattern or routine. You can use that to your advantage by establishing a feeding pattern, and this requires that you put out the food at the same time, the same place consistently over a period of time. Choose a suitable time to put out the meals like in the late mornings, and the cats will follow suit.

Withhold food

Naturally, feral cats take caution when it comes to tight box spaces. For them to go in, they need to be extremely hungry. Part of the trapping plan is to withhold the food a day before, so they become very hungryon the day of the trapping. Look around the trap site to ensure no food is left outside the day before the trapping.

Trapping process

Allow for enough time

Create enough time for the trapping process. Set aside a minimum of two days to trap a colony, and at least three days for ten or more cats. Mass trapping fails because the trapper didn’t give enough time for trappingor maybe lousy weather or a large volume of noise around the area to drive away the cats

Set the traps

Set the traps at an allowable distance from the feeding area of the cats. The traps can be lined up in a row. The rear doors of the trap should be facing the direction of the feeding area. It is advisable to do this in the absence of the cats. Carry out a check on the traps to ensure they are working and conceal the handles with a folded sheet. If your trap comes with a thin trip plate, attach a piece of cardboard with a tape to extend the plate. Raise the rear doors, put the bait such as mackerel or tuna in place and close the back door.

Put the traps in the territory

All traps should be in place at the same time. It is advisable to have more traps than cats so you can catch them easily. The traps should be in the path frequently followed by cats in the feeding area. Place the traps close to a surface like a fence or a wall and don’t leave it open. Remove any blockade in front of the traps. If everything is in order, make a trail of a treat to lure the cats to the front door of the trap.

Action Time

Stay close by and monitor the traps. Try and remain casual as cats can sense if you are anxious and this might make them a little bit apprehensive in entering the trap. Just hold your position and allow them to fallinto the trap. If they are hungry (which they should) they will fall for the bait.

Catching one cat

A cat will typically panic when the trap door shuts behind her. You should quickly cover the trap with a sheet to calm her down and release the tension. You can also use a trap divider to limit the space in the trap, this will act as a way of calming her down if the sheets don’t work.


After catching a cat, take the trap along with the cat to a different location and place another trap in the same location as the previous.

Continue Trapping

The window of opportunity for you is still there to catch as many cats as you can as long as they are still interested in the bait. Set out the traps and wait to catch as many as you can. You can come back the next day to round up the rest of the gang until they are all trapped. Trapping is a continuous process until you achieve your results.

Caring for trapped cats

A trap will serve as a holding space for the cat before and after surgery. It is essential that to have traps with enough space to accommodate the feral cats. Trap dividers are handy at this moment, and for specifications, traps can be more than 10 inches wide and up to 36 inches long.

For novice trapper, utilizing a trap may be an uncomfortable experience, but it isn’t a problem for feral cats as they like tight, dark spaces as their confinement area and not necessarily large ones. Cover the traps with sheets and feed the cats twice a day. Using a cage for each cat might be an expensive option, and this will mean a larger holding space which might pose more danger for the cat and the trapper as well.

Returning of the cats

When the surgery is done, the cats can be held for a period of 24 to 72 hours. In as much as the trapper wants to quickly release the cats after surgery, doing so may expose the cats to a high level of risk. An immediate release won’t give enough time for the cats to recuperate and limit any post-surgical complications. On the flip side, if a feral cat is held on for too long, it could increase her stress level thereby leaving her exposed to illness.

For female feral cats, thoroughly inspect the site of their spay with a flashlight to see if there is an inflammation or excessive bleeding. If this proves to be the case, don’t release her, take her to the vet for a thorough check-up.

Ensure you release them back to their colony site and not an unknown or new location. Even if they disappear for a few days, they will always return.

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