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.
We offer trapping assistance for just $15 if you are in the City of Fort Wayne, and $25 for those living outside city limits. Trapping cats can be a lengthy process, and our resources are limited. If you request the assistance of our Community Cat Crew to trap and transport community cats, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines. If we find that the guidelines have not been followed, we will be forced to leave the location, and you will have to begin the process of assistance all over. If you require assistance trapping a colony, first contact us at 260 744-0454 x208. Once we make contact with you, and schedule a date to trap, we will ask you to follow these guidelines.
- Feed the cats at the same time every day during the same hour for at least a week prior to trapping. Remove all food outside of your allotted feeding time. (Cats are very smart and adaptable, they will learn quickly when to show up for a meal!)
- Withhold food 24 hours before the allotted trapping date, this includes food and treats of any kind. Please leave water out.
- If any food or treats are found while trapping, trappers will not set traps and you will have to call in to re-schedule.
- Do not mow or cut your grass within 24 hours of scheduled trapping. Please refrain from any loud outdoor activities 24 hours prior to scheduled trapping.
- During the trapping process, we ask that you leave the traps in place and do not disturb the traps. While cats in the colony may be used to your presence, it is best to stay away from the traps unless specifically asked to do otherwise by the trapping liaison. Keep the area as quiet and undisturbed as possible please!