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Old 10-31-2009, 04:16 PM
 
Location: On the west side of the Tetons
1,357 posts, read 1,101,597 times
Reputation: 2575
Default Catching a Stray Cat

I've had a stray cat spending nights in my garage for the past several weeks. I have a heated garage that I don't park in because it's set up for my dogs to be able to get out of the weather if I'm gone during the day and they are in their kennel outside. There's a doggie door so they can go in and out and that's how the cat is getting in.

I've put up posters and placed a found cat ad on Craigslist. Unfortunately, I think this cat doesn't have a home.

I have three dogs with very high prey drives, none of whom have ever been around a cat. I'm worried about what might happen if the cat is still in the garage when they go out in the morning. I've tried to catch the poor little guy so I can take him to the shelter. He (or she, I'm not sure) is scared and hisses and tries to scratch. I don't want to block off the doggie door at night, because temps are well below freezing and I don't want the poor cat to freeze to death.

Does anyone know of a safe way to catch a frightened cat? He/she really needs to have permanent shelter and proper care.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:37 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,670,371 times
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By the sounds of it, you'll have to trap it.

Now you can head down to the nearest Tractor Supply or wherever else sells traps, or call one of your local cat rescues and see if they'll lend you one.

Bring the dogs in the house and bait the trap with something delicious - mashed sardines is what I've used in the past because the odor carries. I place the food in something disposable (a small tart tin for example) and put that on some good, hard cardboard so it can't be got at but from inside the trap.

Place the "bait" well in the back - but not too close to any side. Traps are sprung-loaded so pressure will release the door catch. Just ensure it's big enough so tails don't get caught. Once the cat is trapped, cover the trap with a blanket (or at least the back half) and put it somewhere dark and quiet - noise is going to stress the cat. The dark acts as a natural sedative.

In a nutshell, that's how to trap a cat. It sounds easy... but cats will routinely outsmart you. Be prepared to do this for some days.

But then... what do you do with it? Are there local shelters that can take it?

Fair play to you for being concerned.

ETA: once the cat is trapped, place the trap on some easily washed & disinfected surface. Fear may well make the cat eliminate, so you want to be able to clean it easily.
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:40 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,716 posts, read 16,896,658 times
Reputation: 18735
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdna View Post
I've had a stray cat spending nights in my garage for the past several weeks. I have a heated garage that I don't park in because it's set up for my dogs to be able to get out of the weather if I'm gone during the day and they are in their kennel outside. There's a doggie door so they can go in and out and that's how the cat is getting in.

I've put up posters and placed a found cat ad on Craigslist. Unfortunately, I think this cat doesn't have a home.

I have three dogs with very high prey drives, none of whom have ever been around a cat. I'm worried about what might happen if the cat is still in the garage when they go out in the morning. I've tried to catch the poor little guy so I can take him to the shelter. He (or she, I'm not sure) is scared and hisses and tries to scratch. I don't want to block off the doggie door at night, because temps are well below freezing and I don't want the poor cat to freeze to death.

Does anyone know of a safe way to catch a frightened cat? He/she really needs to have permanent shelter and proper care.

Thanks for any advice.
Your local animal shelter should have live traps for this purpose. If they do not, you can check with some local government offices such as the Department of Conservation, who offer live traps for consumers. Trapping the cat really is the kindest choice, even though it seems mean. And it will save you from some bites an scratches.

Good luck and thanks for caring about the kitty.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 10-31-2009, 04:41 PM
 
Location: On the west side of the Tetons
1,357 posts, read 1,101,597 times
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Thanks. I called the shelter and they will take him if I can get him there. They didn't have a trap I could borrow.
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:21 PM
 
Location: ST paul MN
622 posts, read 814,327 times
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Depending on if the cat is feral it maybe better to neuter/spay and then release it.



No buddy wants feral cats
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:47 PM
 
482 posts, read 1,560,680 times
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I tried to trap a stray a few times but he outsmarted me each time and was being fed by someone so he wasn't hungry.

He has to be hungry to go after the smell of food. Very hungry. So if you know that anyone is feeding him ask them to please stop while you're trying to trap him. Please keep your dogs inside if possible.

Five Horses has it right!

Good luck and kudos to you for caring about a homeless kitty.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:23 PM
 
2,548 posts, read 3,417,377 times
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You can buy a small trap at Harbor Freight.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
1,188 posts, read 3,255,347 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PantherPride View Post
Depending on if the cat is feral it maybe better to neuter/spay and then release it.



No buddy wants feral cats
Actually it's called Trap-Neuter-Return. Because it is important to return the cat from the area where you trapped it. Trap-Neuter-Return - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia There are benefits to TNR http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/feral_cats/testimonials_describing_advantages_of_tnr.html (broken link)

We have a female we feed that we TNR. We have enjoyed seeing her every now and then when we can catch a glance of her. We've had her for over a year. We feel she is doing her part controlling area rodents. This is the exact Havahart trap we used. We bought a double doored trap. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000AVWMX/...SIN=B0000AVWMX

Here is a GREAT link on how to humanely do this: Welcome! (http://www.vawokc.org/main.asp?id=56 - broken link)
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Southeast Missouri
5,823 posts, read 11,300,814 times
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We used a trap.

We live in a rural area, but a friend was kind enough to bring us one.

If you live a near a city, you can probably find a trap.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:28 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,670,371 times
Reputation: 1770
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdna View Post
Thanks. I called the shelter and they will take him if I can get him there. They didn't have a trap I could borrow.
Fantastic. Believe me, it's a lot easier to find a trap than it is to find a shelter space!

If you can afford it - you can always donate it to the shelter that takes the cat or you can just keep it.

If you really need to borrow one, call one of the national TNR groups. They usually have chapters all over and they might be willing to lend you one. Alternatively, call around some local vet offices. While I doubt they'd have traps, they'd be in the best position to know who does.

I meant to add to my original post that you should place the trap in the garage. If this cat has figured out the doggy door, it should ensure you trap the right cat. Well.... eventually.

Just remember it will take patience.
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