How to catch a smart feral cat

I have a very smart feral cat around. She has had 2 litters of kittens so far. I have worked with the Animal Control officer to try and catch her with no luck. We have used her kittens as bait once, she was able to get one. Since then she will not get in another trap. I have my own hav a hart trap now. She had 1 litter in my barn and put the trap in the barn w/ tuna in it. She didn't touch it. One other time I used dry cat food with canned and some catnip. I watched her come to it sniff all around it then sat and looked at me watching her, as if to say "not gonna do it!" The kittens have all been taken to the Humane Society in my area which DO NOT euthanize. I would love to take care of her, I do feed her daily, I was hoping by doing so she would learn to trust me, but not yet. When I see her I run food out and yell "here Momma Kitty" she will look at me and run then stop an wait. She will usually come back with in 15 min. Thanks for any help.

Asked by Kitty on Dec 13th 2009 in Other Adoption & Rescue
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Be patient. Approach her slowly and quietly. Wait for her to come to you when you offer yummy smelly food. Let her come to you and get used to being close to you. Repeat this day after day as long as necessary. She should develop a trust and you will be able to start petting her.
Don't expect her to willingly go into a crate or cage.
Go slow, be patient.
And good for you for being willing to take care of her and her kittens.

Member 201551 answered on 12/13/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

"Locate the cage in an area where the cat is often observed. Place the cage on a level surface. Position the cage against a wall or in a path commonly traveled by the cat. After setting the cage, it maybe helpful to cover the cage. Cats often venture into enclosed areas.Leave the area.Check the cage as often as possible.After the cat has been caught, place the cover over the cage. This helps to calm the cat.. Please do not allow children or pets near the cage." These tips are from the Hav-a-hart company. I would also like to add that you can put the oily, smelly tuna outside the cage and make a path to the food. Make sure the trigger is set properly. Once I set the trip on a cage and didn't check it. Unfortunately, I had set it the wrong way and I myself could have jumped up and down on it and it wouldn't have tripped. One final tip- Do NOT attempt removal of the cat yourself. You could be seriously injured!

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I'm curious what kind of trap you are using that she was able to get a kitten. The way we do it is to put the kittens in a carrier, place the trap in front of the carrier so they form a straight line (like cars on a train) and place a large towel or blanket over the whole thing. We also bait the trap with smelly food. Mama should be able to see her babies at the back of the "tunnel", and will then go in the trap to get the babies. It also works in reverse to use the Mama as bait to get a mobile baby.
We have also used a large net like a fishing net if you can get close enough to her.
Good Luck. It is very good of you to take care of her and want to do the right thing.

QUINCY answered on 12/14/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


You need to outsmart this feral kitty! Try to put her food outside of the trap, then move it into the trap. Let her be able to go in and out of the trap for about one week. Then, set the trap when you have your appointment to bring her to be spayed. Keep an eye on the trap the day you plan on setting it. Once the cat is in the trap and you have her, cover the trap with a large towel. This will keep her calm and she won't injure herself. Always protect your hands when you pick up the trap. You don't want to risk getting bitten. Best of luck.

Member 185886 answered on 1/1/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer