Catching two ferals on top of a roof, please advice! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-14-2011, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
Senior Cat
 
Lenkolas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chile, South America
Posts: 693
Catching two ferals on top of a roof, please advice!

I have read every single website about catching feral cats and setting traps etc etc.
So now that I'm decided, I just want to tell you about my plan and maybe you can share some advice with me. I will appreciate it so much, honestly.
And thank you for reading such a long post!

This is the story: We rescued Chiquis, our 5 months old baby from my boyfriend's office. He fell from the tin roof I'll show you later. He was in pretty bad shape so we had no choice but to separate the little 1 month old baby from his mom (from now on "Mom Cat") and take him to the vet to check if he had suffered from the fall and to cure his eyes (he had an awful corneal ulcer). We adopted him and now he's a healthy, beautiful kitty!

Mom Cat and one kitten (brother/sister of Chiquis) continued roaming the office. We began to feed Mom Cat and brother/sister cat from that very same day (Royal Canin dry food). 5 months after, they have gotten used to our voices and the everyday office sounds and stuff, but they refuse to get down that awful tin roof that actually belongs to the property located right at the back of the office's patio. We have to settle with them eating and drinking on top of the roof. They run away when we get too close.

So, I have decided to catch them. Mom Cat is going to get pregnant again if I don't, and if brother/sister cat is indeed a "sister", she will get pregnant too (or get other homeless kitties pregnant if he's a he). I'm not expecting to find a home for them, but at least I can take them to the vet to address any health issues and get them spayed.

I don't think I can set a "drop" trap on that roof. A cage with a sliding door (that I can close once they both are in there) is the idea I have. I can't use an automatic one either, 'cause if one of them steps on it and the other one is outside, I guess that's it for the catching operation.

And of course, I'm gonna have to build the trap. I can't buy anything like it here in Chile. I'm pretty determined to do whatever it takes to give them a better life. It just keeps me from sleeping at night. I think I owe that to Chiquis.

Any ideas, comments, am I doing something wrong?

Here are the pics:

My baby Chiquis



With Don Gatito my other baby



Office photos:
Mom Cat and brother/sister kitten at the back.


Bro/sis, it just breaks my heart to see him/her living like that.




Another one of bro/sis, it looks like he/she has been gaining some weight, but not enough.


Thank you so much everybody!

Last edited by Lenkolas; 03-14-2011 at 09:49 PM.
Lenkolas is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 01:48 AM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,534
Wow! I wish you much luck!

First, can you purchase a biggish (like raccoon-size) humane trap and have it shipped to you?
Next, I used a humane trap that I had rigged to NOT close with the trip-plate so I could catch an entire litter of kittens. I had got the cats and kittens used to me being 'nearby' when I fed them so I tied a string to the mechanism of the trap and walked away the 6-9 meters they were comfortable me being near and waited until all were inside, then I tugged the string and had them all captured at once!
Last, good luck!
h =^,,^=

Here is a pic of a do-it-yourself humane trap:
Website: This Humane Trap Can Guard Your Vegetable Patch!


Here is the Havahart website. Havahart® Live Animal Traps, The Trusted Animal Trap Brand For Over 60 Years | Havahart®
I would recommend the large raccoon trap, 32" x 10.5" x 12" so both mother and young cat can easily fit inside and be trapped together.

This is similar to the Hav-a-Hart trap I use:




Heidi n Q is offline  
post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-15-2011, 08:01 PM
Cat
 
Whaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: connecticut
Posts: 286
it is difficult to tell from the pics, but what is the pitch of the roof? if it isn't to great perhaps you could use suction cups to act as a breaker so that you could set up a drop trap up there and have it still be functional but stay in place once it has dropped?

they are beautiful kitties!

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
--Mark Twain
Whaler is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
Senior Cat
 
Lenkolas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chile, South America
Posts: 693
You're right, it isn't too great (the pitch). The suction cups are a GREAT idea. I'm just between that and the pivot/rod mechanism (Thank's Heidi!!) that I believe i can build myself. I'm just worried about the moment I have to "close the door" behind them, 'cause I know if that fails they'll be spooked and never come back. So it has to be perfect.

I'll give it a thought this weekend, and keep you posted , thank you so much for your ideas!
Lenkolas is offline  
post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 07:58 PM
Cat
 
Whaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: connecticut
Posts: 286
if you try the pivot/rod set up and it doesn't work don't fret, given a little time they will return. when i was worried about having a trap fail and losing the chance to get some of my feral cats the best bit of wisdom i got was from my local animal control officer. she told me not to worry because when it comes to food they are stupid

one more thing if you go for the drop trap, i don't know if you have used one before but if you haven't make sure to have someone with you. once they are in there they will start thrashing around, so make sure on of you stabilizes the trap so that they don't' escape.
good luck and keep us posted!

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
--Mark Twain

Last edited by Whaler; 03-16-2011 at 08:01 PM.
Whaler is offline  
post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 09:48 PM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenkolas View Post
... the pivot/rod mechanism (Thank's Heidi!!) that I believe i can build myself.
I'm just worried about the moment I have to "close the door" behind them, 'cause I know if that fails they'll be spooked and never come back. So it has to be perfect.
Whaler makes a *very* good point about a cat thrashing around inside. You want to make sure a thrashing cat cannot tip the trap over, slide the drop door up or pull on the trip-bar and lift the drop door up.

I believe:
If you make the base w-i-d-e (like extend bottom past the side walls 4-6" / 10-15cm) a cat would be unable to tip it over.
If you make the drop-door's slide guides very smooth and the drop door is very heavy, it should close conclusively.
If you make the trip-bar and its' guides smooth and non-catching it will also help the door drop down.


But I also see no reason why you couldn't set this up in such a manner that you don't need to use the trip-bar and instead run a light string to you and when you see both cats in the trap you just pull the string and you catch them both. (...that is what I did with the litter of kittens, I bypassed the trip-plate and sprung it myself by tugging a string. Practice how much force you need to tug the string for the distance you'll be away from the trap...)

You may also want to design it in such a way that when the trip-bar is triggered and the door drops down, it lifts the trip-bar far enough UP that the cat cannot fish at it and somehow drag it back down to open the door.
HOWEVER, I also don't see how a cat could pull the trip-bar/twine down to open the door and then have time to scoot to the other end of the trap to escape before the door drops back down. But you don't want a cat to lean on the trip-bar and have their body weight hold the door open (especially if you are trying to catch both cats at once) as at least one may escape or spring the trap before the other cat enters.

Another thing you may wish to add is some sort of exterior 'catch' to 'lock' the drop door down and/or use a strong cabinet door magnet clasp to help hold it closed.
One final thing to keep in mind when you design is cats will try to avoid touching things firmly with their bodies, so your trap will need to be narrow-ish in such a manner that the cat *must* brush past the trip-bar with enough force to release it, but not so responsive that it will release when a cat paws at the mesh outside before it attempts to enter the trap to reach the food.

Wow! I'm excited for you and looking forward to what you plan to create!



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
Senior Cat
 
Lenkolas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Chile, South America
Posts: 693
Wow! Thanks Whaler and Heidi SO much for all your help. You are both absolutely right about the trashing around inside.

Making the base wide and past the side walls: Definitely, I haven't thought about that. I definitely will.

Sliding door: I'm still thinking about how to make it smooth.

Locking mechanism after the door closes: I had to get up from my bed last night at 2 am to check more pictures on the internet 'cause the need of finding a safe closing mechanism wouldn't let me sleep! I believe a magnet might not be enough.

...

I found this website, Raising BackYard Chickens, Build a Chicken Coop, Pictures of Breeds he uses a different trip mechanism. Looks too sophisticated anyway.

Just wanna take some ideas from different types of traps, so I can build one that really works.

This one doesn't look like a "smooth" drop door...


I wonder how this one works, looks pretty dangerous tho



Phewww I'm so sleepy...thank you so much for your help! More tomorrow I hope I can actually have a good night's sleep tonight
Lenkolas is offline  
post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:04 PM
Cat
 
Whaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: connecticut
Posts: 286
i agree that both of those look too dangerous, the guillotine door that they both use is too apt to cause injury. the havahart style traps are really the way to go other than a drop trap, for safety if nothing else.


i hope you got some sleep

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
--Mark Twain
Whaler is offline  
post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 02:02 AM
Premier Cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 13,534
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whaler View Post
i agree that both of those look too dangerous, the guillotine door that they both use is too apt to cause injury. the havahart style traps are really the way to go other than a drop trap, for safety if nothing else.
I disagree.
The reason I disagree, is I *have* a Hav-a-hart trap and that door SLAMS shut with the force of a heavy spring behind it. I believe my Hav-a-hart's spring-loaded door would hurt/injure far more than a gravity-dropped door *unless* the gravity-drop door has a sharp edge and/or is extremely heavy.
IMO, the reason most of these cat-traps have the trip-plate so far into the trap is to allow the cat's entire body and tail to be IN the trap so the door doesn't drop/slam on them.
...but if one cat is in and one is only half way in when the trip-plate is triggered, the cat at the back is going to be hit with the door coming down on whatever part of the cat is under it at the moment. That was why I rigged my trap to spring when *I* pulled the string, I wanted to make sure all of the kittens were IN and not under the door.



Heidi n Q is offline  
post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 08:38 PM
Cat
 
Whaler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: connecticut
Posts: 286
after reading what you said Heidi i was a bit perplexed. i have only used a couple of traps other than a drop trap and the ones i have used are not actually havahart brand traps, but the same basic idea. they have been loaned (read given) to me by my local aco.

the traps seem very unlikely to injure the cat from it getting hit with the shutting door. albeit the door comes down fast it stops short of contact with the floor. i looked at the manufacturers website and sure enough, the trap "as is" is just as you described. i called up my local aco to ask what is up with the traps, why the different operation? she told me that since when she does trap she is worried about the exact type of injuries that concern you so what she did is make a few modifications to the stock version of the traps. hard to describe the modifications but basically she modified the spring mechanism as well as the door so that were a cats tail to be sticking out it would not get the tail since it does not go all the way down, as well as the door itself is physically lighter and slightly padded so as to greatly reduce the chance of injury should it slam down on one of the cats head.

it really is a brilliant design, definitely not 100% safe but now that i compared her model with a stock one i see that it certainly is much more risk free. the only drawback is that it does limit the type of animal that it could be used on since the door is not as sturdy as it originally was.

its funny that i thought that this was a regular havahart style trap all along. it really makes me appreciate all the the effort that my local aco puts in.

"In studying the traits and dispositions of the so-called lower animals, and contrasting them with man's, I find the result humiliating to me."
--Mark Twain
Whaler is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome