Trapping Community Cats
Let’s Talk About TNR
TNR stands for Trap, Neuter, Return. It is a program through which free-roaming cats (not belonging to particular humans) are humanely trapped, sterilized, and returned to the outdoor locations where they were found. Talking about TNR is our biggest tool. Being honest about when, where, and why we are trapping is imperative to succeeding in our mission to save lives!
Many studies show that TNR reduces the amount of free roaming cats, as well as keeps them from inundating over-crowded animals shelters. Simply put, it is the only option that saves lives, it is the only option that works.
Whether you are trapping your own colony, a single stray, or an unknown clowder of cats – these guidelines and tips will ensure a successful trapping venture.
- Identify who is feeding cats in the area and let them know when and where you will be trapping.
- Establish a feeding schedule. It is best to ‘prep’ the colony for about one week with a solid feeding schedule. Choose one hour a day to put food out and stick to it!
- Introduce the traps to the area BEFORE you actually begin trapping. Put the traps next to the food source with the door closed for a day. The next day without actually setting the trap, prop the door open, and place the food at the entrance to the trap.
- Completely withhold food 24 hours before trapping. Cats have to be hungry enough to walk in to the trap. This step can make or break the success of your trapping! So no food for 24 hours!
- Find a quiet area with flat ground near the normal food source.
- As bait, use canned cat food, tuna, sardines, or something extra tempting that the cat cannot resist. Place the bait at the back of the trap behind the trip plate and set the trap. It is best to remove the food from the metal can and place in or on something that the cat could not accidentally cut itself on.
- Set the trap!
- Once you catch the cat, completely cover the trap. Once the trap door closes, many cats get very scared and try to find a way out. If you cover the trap with a sheet the cat will calm down very quickly.
- Transport the cat to Humane Fort Wayne for surgery.
- After surgery, allow the cat to rest at least 24 hours.
- Return the cat back to where it was caught.