How to catch a pregnant cat without a trap? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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How to catch a pregnant cat without a trap?

I wrote awhile back about a lady feral cat that I trapped, but who later got away. Well now she's back and looking suspiciously plump. Unfortunately, she's totally wise to my trap. The last time I tried putting it out (last week), the food went untouched three nights in a row.

She's very feral and has never let me get anywhere near. However, for the last two nights, she's started coming a lot closer than usual, about 10 feet away. I've read that this can happen with pregnant cats. What's the best way to take advantage of this new state of mind? Should I concentrate on trying to lure her closer, and maybe eventually into a crate? Or should I just keep putting the trap out?

I don't really have high confidence that I can lure her anywhere in time for the birth, or at all. She has every reason to hate me, since not only did I trap her once, but before that I helped steal her last round of babies. Any advice would be greatly appreciated -- thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-09-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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I went through the same thing caught a cat too early released her then had to retrap her. You can try getting her use to the trap again by feeding her in it open for a while. Or try putting food in a carrier she might be less timid with that.

Or you can try making a box trap if she trap shy. Good Luck Jet!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Gina! Can you tell me more about what a box trap is, and how to make one? I confess that I'm not familiar with the term.

Gladys may be able to be lured after all, though, because she's getting braver in a hurry. She came within three feet of me last night to eat wet food. I just wasn't allowed to look directly at her. Her new boyfriend of the moment, Greg, is tame and very affectionate, so I think he's having a positive influence. (He's next on the list to be fixed, even though I'm pretty sure he has an owner.)

Gladys is one hungry girl, too. She vacuumed up a 5.5 oz. can of Friskies, then ate Greg's leftovers, then had some dry food. I'm doubly sure she's pregnant now.

Tonight I'll set out a small two-door dog crate that I have, leave both doors open, keep my distance and see if she'll go in there to eat. Then over the next few days I'll try edging closer, then leaving one door closed, etc. I'm still convinced she's too smart to fall for this, but we'll see!!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-10-2007, 07:24 PM
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Here's a picture with instructions for a box trap. They're not fool proof, but it's a alternative. Good luck!

http://www.neighborhoodcats.org/info/droptrap.htm




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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-14-2007, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeanie! (Sorry for the delay in thanking you. I've been away from the computer for a few days.) The box trap is interesting. It never ceases to amaze me how ingenious people can be. I suspect Gladys would still be too wary and fast for me to catch her in one, but I'll definitely keep it in mind.

She went missing for a couple of days over the weekend, while her escort Greg came repeatedly by himself. Last night and this morning, they showed up together again, however. She still looks a little plump to me, but I confess that I'm really just guessing. If she disappeared to birth the kittens, would there be any obvious changes to her appearance and behavior? Would she still be hanging around with Greg? Would she still be friendly and super-hungry?

I've read that, if you catch young kittens prior to catching mom, you can use them to lure her into the trap. Do you think that would work if I used Greg? He's tame and should be easy to catch. Gladys was previously "dating" Robert, and when I had him in captivity, she would lurk around his crate sometimes when I wasn't there.

I've left Greg roaming freely so far because he seems to be her lucky charm that makes her less afraid of coming near me. She's coming closer, but progress is sloooooooooow. I just wish I knew her pregnancy status -- this is so nerve-wracking!
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:00 AM
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I'm afraid Gladys might not be completely faithful to Greg. She will be attracted to the food and Greg, but if she has already found another Tom, I would imagine she's been "busy."

If she was pregnant with more than 1 or 2 kittens, she would be considerably and obviously thinner.

I haven't been online for a few days either. I got a new computer for Mother's Day, and the service man was loading all of my old info from the old one.




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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-18-2007, 12:36 PM
 
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The box traps are great because the cat loses his (trapped) fear since she does not have to actually go in anything. When making the box be sure to get the door opening to match the trap you use to make transition easier with moving the cat from the drop trap to the humane trap! Good Luck!!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback! I appreciate the suggestions, because Gladys has been handily foiling all my plans to catch her in the crate. She's gone in to eat a few times, but only when I'm far away. Unfortunately, she's a smart cookie.

I also think Greg knows what's up: while she was in the crate and I was trying to edge closer, he actually jumped into my lap! It was almost if he was trying to pin me in place to protect her -- very chivalrous. What a pity she's probably running around on him!

I suspect that at this point, she might go into the Havahart trap on her own if I left it in a dark corner of the yard. The problem is that Greg or Stephen would definitely blunder in there first. Stephen has already managed to get himself retrapped once.

But the three of them almost always show up together at night now, and as long as I feed and pet the boys, they stay close to me. Maybe I can keep them distracted long enough to eventually get her into the trap. If that doesn't work, I may have to try building a box trap. We'll see!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 12:32 AM
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On my Hav-A-Heart trap I remember setting it to NOT go off when the pressure pad was stepped on. This was how I captured the litter of kittens. I set the trap out and propped the door open so it could not fall and fed them several times in there so they were comfortable going in.

Then I set the trap, but not with the pressure plate, I used a stout string that I had to pull to activate and drop the door. I waited until all the kittens went inside the trap to eat the canned food and caught them all in one fell swoop!

Can you do the same with Gladys? Set the trap to be non-operational but they have to enter to eat. Then attach the string to activate when YOU want it to activate and pull the string when the correct cat is inside.



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