How to Catch a Feral Cat Without a Trap?

How to Catch a Feral Cat Without a Trap?

Trapping is the best way to catch a feral cat. But when that is not possible, you have to figure out how to catch a feral cat without a trap.

Catching a feral cat without a trap

You can catch a feral car without a trap by using a towel, a drop trap, or a pet carrier.

While you are walking on your way home, you find a feral cat that is visibly injured and needs immediate medical attention. Or maybe you chance upon a feral cat in the center island of a high traffic road. One wrong move and he can figure in a road accident.

Either way, you need to catch the feral cat and give him the attention that he requires. But how can you do that if you do not have a trap?

If you do not have the luxury of time and you need to catch a feral cat, you need to improvise and use the tools and resources that are readily available to you.

1. Trapping with a towel

One alternative to cat traps and nets that you can use is a towel or a similar-sized fabric. Just make sure that the towel or fabric is thick and not too big. If the towel is too big, you risk stumbling on the excess fabric. Also, the towel should be thick enough to offer you some degree of protection against bites and scratches.

If possible, you should also protect your arms by wearing a thick, long-sleeved shirt or hoodie. You can also use gloves for added protection if available.

Start by approaching the cat in a non-threatening manner. Feral cats are often wary of humans and if you approach him aggressively, the cat may run away from you before you have the chance of catching it. You can entice the cat to approach you by offering food or treats.

When the cat is calm, throw the towel over his back and wrap the rest of the fabric all over his body. It is critical to act fast during this step. Felines have quick reflexes and you might think that you have the cat in the bag only to have it escape from your clutches. Once that chance is gone, you might not be able to get another.

Wrap the cat like a burrito, covering the whole body, including the legs. However, avoid wrapping the cat’s head. This helps you achieve two things. First, you are ensuring that the cat breathes properly, and second, the cat will be more relaxed.

Once the cat is secured by the blanket, grasp the cat and the fabric firmly to prevent him from squirming away from your clutches.

2. Using a drop trap

The drop trap may have a simple design. But do not let that fool you. Simple can get the job done. For your makeshift drop trap, you will need a few things, including a milk crate (or similar container), a roll of string or wire, two markers, and a bait.

Start by attaching your bait to the wire. Next, attach one end of the string or wire inside the milk crate, preferably in the center. Finally, prop one end of the milk crate with your markers. Place the wire between the markers and one end of the milk crate.

Once you have assembled your makeshift trap, all you can do is to wait for the cat to come and investigate the bait you have set for him.

When the feral cat goes inside the milk crate, pull the string and you will have the feline trapped.

3. Using a pet carrier

If you own a cat or dog, it is highly likely that you have a pet carrier at home. Of all the alternatives to cat traps, a carrier is perhaps the best option for you and the feral cat.

But with a carrier, your biggest challenge is luring the cat to come inside of it. To overcome this problem and coax the cat to go inside the carrier, you should use smelly foods like baby food, canned fish, broth, or wet cat food. You can also dab the insides of the crate with catnip or oil from canned fish.

If possible, wash the carrier thoroughly before attempting to catch the feral cat. Some felines are wary of the scent of humans and they may not enter the carrier if they detect your presence. 

You can also lure the cat to go inside the carrier by using a laser pointer. Play with the cat for a while using the laser pointer. Slowly, draw him close to the carrier until he gets too engrossed with the idea of catching the red dot. Do this until he is close to the trap and then point the laser pointer inside the carrier.

A few helpful tips for catching a feral cat

Whatever method you choose to catch the feral cat, you will face a few considerable challenges. Chief of these is the feline’s wariness. To overcome these, here are a few helpful tips that you might want to try.

1. Find a confined space

Whether you are using a blanket, drop trap, or a carrier, the task of catching a feral cat becomes easier if he has limited available exit points. If possible, coax the feral cat to go into a confined space using food or treats. Once inside this confined space, you can bide your time and find the right opportunity to make your move while reducing the chance of the cat making a run for it.

2. Hide your trap

If you are using a drop trap or a carrier to catch the feral cat, you should make it blend with the environment.

For example, if you are trying to catch a cat in a garden, you should place your trap near the bushes. You can place additional leaves and twigs on top and around your trap. Alternatively, you can use a towel or a similar fabric and drape it over your trap.

3. Get the help of a companion

Any job becomes easier when you have someone to help you. When you are planning to trap a feral cat, enlist the help of a family member or a friend. An extra set of hands can be invaluable. For example, the other person can close the door of the carrier while you are luring the cat with a laser pointer. 

4. Call the professionals

When all else fails, do not hesitate to call in the professionals, especially if the feral cat you are attempting to catch needs immediate help. Ask your local animal control unit or an animal volunteer organization for some assistance. They might have the necessary tools and skills needed to catch the cat. Apart from these, professionals can also help you avoid hassles while minimizing distress in the feral cat.

Catching a feral cat is not easy

Catching a feral cat with a trap is not easy. Whatever your reason for wanting to catch a feral cat, a cat trap is your best option. But if time is of the essence, you can improvise and use whatever you have at your disposal to catch that cat.

Image: istockphoto.com / vvvita

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