Catching an abandoned kitten [New Issue!] - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Catching an abandoned kitten [New Issue!]

Hey guys,

About a week ago, I saw someone literally drop a young cat (c. 6-8 months) out of a car in my parking garage (not anyone who lives in this building, otherwise they would be hearing about it from me). I have spent the past week trying to catch it so I can get it its shots/neutered and find it a home (probably with me).

I started by feeding it in a specific part of the garage at the same time. It comes when I call it, but will not let me touch it.

I rented a cat trap, baited it, and stopped putting food outside the trap. The cat, however, just sits outside the trap meowing at the food. It must be getting food from somewhere else because it has not gotten desperate enough to go in there. The second thing I tried after the trap didn't work was to get a large fishing net (the kind with a long handle) and, while it was eating I was able to net it. I pet it while it was in the net, and he calmed right down and actually purred, but then as soon as I tried to lift him, he flipped out and ended up getting out.

So now I am left trying to figure how to catch this. He doesn't let me get too close ever since the net incident and the trap has not proven useful.

Is there anything else I should be trying? I am thinking about calling a vet to see if there is something I could put in the food to knock it out (like feed it, and then follow it around waiting for him to fall asleep.

I really want to catch him because a parking garage in the middle of a big city is no place for a cat...

Thanks!
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post #2 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 03:50 AM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Wow. Welcome to CatForum and THANK YOU for trying to make a difference and save this poor, abandoned kitty!
You really have tried a lot of great ideas. Unfortunately, they are all the same ones I would have suggested. I would *not* recommend sedating the cat, because as the sedation begins to take effect, they get a little freaked because they're feeling weird and their body doesn't work right. This can be dangerous if he retreats to an area you cannot reach and/or gets into a dangerous situation they cannot get themselves out of; traffic, in/under a car, other inaccessible areas or even missing a critical jump they usually are able to make with ease.
Can you try covering the cat trap with a large towel, so it looks more 'cave-like' and not like a 'cage'? You already know because of your experience that once you 'catch' him, secure him before trying to love and reassure him.

I once caught an entire litter of kittens in one large trap by rigging it to spring, not with the floor-trip-plate, but with me having to manually pull a string to allow the trap to snap closed. Doing it in this manner allowed me to wait until all of the kittens had entered the trap, instead of only trapping whoever first stepped on the trip-plate.
Good luck, and I wish I had more to offer. Please keep us updated, I would so love for this to have a successful and happy ending!
heidi =^..^=



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post #3 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 04:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Thanks for the reply; I have had the cage covered with a blanket (I've also tried without it), but he hasn't seemed interested. He literally has sat out at the opening staring in at it.

What worries me is that he seems to be at teh very edge of becoming full blown feral. He is getting less and less trusting of me (probably because of the net incident, haha)... I dunno.

Part of me wonders if he is wary about the smaller size of the cage (it's a cat trap, but he seems to be wary of it)... Maybe if I tried to get a larger trap he would be more comfortable going in and I could trigger it manually. I worked for Animal Control when I was in high school and I never saw a cat so intuitive regarding a trap before, haha. I hope I can catch him. He is really a pretty cat--- looks part siamese. He doesn't deserve to have to live in a parking garage.
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post #4 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 04:39 AM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

What are you baiting with? Canned food? I've usually been very successful with canned food. Maybe you could use canned food IN the trap (at the back), but place a small amount outside the trap and maybe another small bit just inside the trap ... sort of leading him in?



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post #5 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 04:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

haha tried the lead in trick.

I'm using canned chicken cat food. I also tried tuna. and leftover roasted chicken my wife made for dinner.

**** I almost found myself getting caught in the trap!
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post #6 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 05:54 AM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Im sure hes acting quite rationally being fearful of humans and you when you try to trap him. Hes just looking at experience of humans so far. So far, theyve been bad news. I can imagine that he feels his circumstances are too dangerous to take the added risk of climbing into an enclosed space for food even if hes hungry. Wouldnt the way to go be to try to make him comfortable in the garage for a week or two before catching him? Its like hes hanging around people because because he wants to trust someone, but he doesnt dare to yet after whats just happened.

Quote:
I really want to catch him because a parking garage in the middle of a big city is no place for a cat...
Oh I see. Hmmm. I think I'd go down with treats and just spend several hours moving really slowly and at his height all the time at a comfortable distance for him, be prepared to stay at that distance for a long time, if your eyes meet, wink slowly as a smile but dont stare, yawn slowly and relaxedly, talk quietly and friendly, etc and get closer really slowly. She comes when you call, so that should be a good start. I think thats what Id try to do anyway.
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post #7 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

That is a good idea. You are definitely right-- he is in a middle ground between between being domesticated and feral right now.

Perfect example: about an hour ago I went down to see if I could find him. I called out "kitty kitty" loudly and he started crying from across the parking garage (roughly 125 yards away, around a corner). I walked to where he was and just sat there making chattering noises at him for like 15 minutes (he was under a car and wouldn't let me get too close) then walked back to the elevator. Something told me to go back and check on him, so I walked back down with some food and in the 5 minutes between me going back up and coming back down he had come to where I normally get off the elevator. So obviously he isn't completely scared of people.

I used the canned food to make another trail to the cat trap and put the rest in. Then I walked back a bit and sure enough he went right in, eating the food up until the panel that sets the trap. Then he just stared at the rest of the food and left the cage. I ended up taking the trap back upstairs because I don't want him having to sit in an exposed trap for 6-7 hours if he were to go in it while I am sleeping (I have noticed he won't go in the trap at all if it is covered...)

I am thinking your idea is a good one-- socialize with him as much as I can. What I will do is use a cat carrier and I will start leaving the food in it at night so he gets used to being in it. Then, if I can get him comfortable with being in the cat carrier while I am around, I can catch him. I guess I just have to be more patient; its hard to be, though, when I hear him cry the way he does!
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post #8 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 07:43 AM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Quote:
I called out "kitty kitty" loudly and he started crying from across the parking garage (roughly 125 yards away, around a corner). I walked to where he was and just sat there making chattering noises at him for like 15 minutes (he was under a car and wouldn't let me get too close) then walked back to the elevator.
I think hes just dying for you to give him a good enough reason to take the plunge and trust you. Im not sure about the carrier though, if he's decided it looks threatening, he might not quite trust you as long as thats visible, but I could be wrong. You'll have to play it by ear, I guess.
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post #9 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 03:14 PM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm excited!
Quote:
Originally Posted by NDLaw2009
...sure enough he went right in, eating the food up until the panel that sets the trap. Then he just stared at the rest of the food and left the cage.
If the kitty goes into the trap up to the trip-plate ... is that far enough to "catch" him in the trap? Can you rig the trap and spring it yourself with a quick tug on a string?

...do a couple test-runs to see what length of string you need, how strong the string is and how firmly you need to pull to spring the trap.



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post #10 of 126 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 08:32 PM
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Re: Catching an abandoned kitten

Good luck with this . . . I'm so hoping for a happy outcome here!


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