Cat Forum banner

1 - 20 of 56 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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! :catsm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,661 Posts
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:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,661 Posts
... 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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
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 8-O
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
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 :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,661 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,661 Posts
... 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.
YOU ... are ... AWESOME!
I am going to have my Husband look at our trap and see if he will modify it so a cat's tail cannot be trapped under the door slamming down, but also not allow a kitty to harm themselves if they struggle to get out. I'll also see if he can modify the tension of the spring.
Thank you for the ideas! I never thought about modifying the trap, though I should have. :oops:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
273 Posts
thanks Heidi! i wish the modifications were my idea but like i said, the credit goes to my local aco.

the main modifications are a replacement door made out of padded aluminum mesh and the spring was actually replaced, not altered. my aco was able to have the work done by some of the town employees at the DOT garage so all of the materials and tools were not a problem.

let me know how you make out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Hey guys :) Just to let you know I'm planning "the catch" for next Saturday.

I saw Mom Cat and brother/sister cat yesterday. I think brother/sister is a boy, which would be great. But it seems to me Mom Cat is pregnant. (I'll post pictures later). So that complicates things a little bit more. I'm not sure what to do. I don't think I can leave her caged until she has her babies (can I?) and I would never take her to the vet so they...take the babies out before due time and spay her. The office has a garage where I could leave her inside a cage, (I was planning to do so overnight after the catch, so I could take them next thing in the morning...) but would it be ok if I just have her there for one, two weeks until the kittens come? I don't think so, that's gonna drive her insane. And if she is pregnant and I release her, what's gonna happen with those kitties...? :(

Right now I'm just focused on the trapping and taking them to the vet. I'll figure out later what to do if she's indeed pregnant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,308 Posts
A few of my thoughts

If the mom is pregnant, I can understand why you would want to avoid an "abortion". However, as you also said, she'd probably go nuts kept in a cage until birthing time. And then what are you going to do with the kittens once they're here?
I know many would disagree with me, but I think it would be easier for you and Mom Cat to trap her as soon as you can and just have her spayed - pregnant or not. Unless you're in one of those places where the vet won't spay pregnant cat anyway... then you'd have to keep her/kittens after all.

If you're worried about not catching them easily, here's a few suggestions:
First, keep up your current routine of feeding and being near with a soft voice.
Put the trap where you feed, and set it up as if you were going to trap. Put the food in there, and leave the trap open without rigging it to spring (if you're going to use an automatic one). I would think even just a couple days would work, but if you have the time for a whole week to get them used to going in there and getting food safely.
Then you're ready to trap. Be warned that while some cats are "stupid" about food (as somebody else mentioned), others are smart. Cynthia refuses to go in the trap even when I have tuna or canned food...Disco (her daughter) has been trapped 3 times, and another cat I got twice. So it depends on each cat - just watch and try to adjust to them.

Good luck with all this!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thank you so much Vivid...

I'll try and set the trap on Thursday, so they have at least two days to familiarize with it. I'll keep you posted.


Regarding Mom being pregnant...yeah I see your point, and deep down inside......I think you're right. It's the most logical thing to do.

Geez.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,661 Posts
... I see your point, and deep down inside......I think you're right. It's the most logical thing to do.
Geez.
First: :patback:patback:patback I know that is a difficult thing to contemplate.

Keep in mind:
With feral cats, there will almost *never* be a time that you could catch a female cat and have her not be pregnant. They can become pregnant w/in 3 days of giving birth and spaying a cat who is nursing leaves them at a high risk danger of infection from the kittens' nursing and kneading her incision area ... so unless you could control the environment and keep her away from male cats, you'd be facing this problem no matter when you tried to trap/spay.

A terrible story of a feral who birthed in captivity:
WARNING: Do not read further if you have a weak stomach.
~
~
~
~
~
~
I loaned, to a woman in the town south of me, my trap to catch feral cats at her work and she had trapped a cat and was taking it right to her vet. The vet was meeting her at the vet office that night to perform the spay/neuter. Turns out it was a girl-kitty and she began to give birth. The vet put her under and did a sort of combo C-section/spay. They birthed the kittens and removed the reproductive organs. Mamma cat refused her kittens at first, but then accepted them.
She was being cared for in a foster home and appeared to be adjusting ... but after a short time she 'snapped' and cannibalized her litter, the foster mom found kitt-parts vomited around the bathroom. Only one kitten survived that night and it was removed from the mom-cat's care and bottle raised while the mamma cat was returned to the work area territory she came from.

She proved to NOT be a good candidate for taming/socialization so she was returned and at least she was spayed. We do not know if there was something wrong with the litter and I found it difficult to believe that so many kitts would be killed on the same night with 'birth defects' and/or 'cleaning the nest' (if that many kitts expired on their own in the same night) were to be the reason. The sole survivor grew up to be a healthy cat and we wondered if the mom-cat's mental state was too unstable to handle captivity and raising kittens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Wow. :sad:

Thank you Heidi, really. Your story has given me the determination to do what it has to be done.

Also, I have the feeling she can't be socialized. The little one seems more eager to get close to me, but Mom Cat is wild. I can see that in her green wild eyes.

Another concern: When they spay her, can the vet use those absorbable sutures? Because that's the only option I have, or should I keep her confined until I can take her to the vet again so they remove the non-absorbable sutures?

I think I have to consider that because if I have to keep her caged for a few days, I have to set a proper place for her.

I'm calling the vet.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,173 Posts
I have seen many "cat abortions". At my spay neuter clinic we'll just go ahead and do it. Many of the people bringing in the cats (lots of barn cats/ferals) request that we just don't tell them whether she was pregnant or not. It's a hard thing to deal with sometimes, but it sort of just a fact of life. Occasionally we get a cat that is pretty much full term and I have seen times that we C-section the kitten and decide to keep it. One of them turned out to be a little flat-faced lynx point persian looking little thing, came from an all black mama, the oddest thing! There are just so many kittens out there, and while I feel that each and every life is precious sometimes there is just nothing you can do. It's best just to get her spayed so that no more kittens can come into the world through her. I support your decision whatever you choose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Has anyone seen a minnow cast net? How about laying it over the food and water bowls so they don't get into the net. Attach to the line and wait for them to both be on the net with bowls centered under the net. As they try to access the water and food, the net can be yanked up, the cats pulled right to you and into a crate or whatever, if you can position yourself above and slighty away to give them a sense of distance and false security. This may seem extreme, but you have extreme cicumstances. They will probably become intangled in the net, but you will be there and have control and the net can be cut away once inside the crate. Getting them is the #1 thing now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
More pics of "my" ferals, taken yesterday.

Do you think Mom looks pregnant? I don't have much experience, but it looks very much pregnant to me.













They are very pretty...I like the little one so much. He has a pretty face, just like his/her brother Chiquis...

Today I went to the office after school and we talk about future steps to be taken. We decided (my boyfriend, his partner and I) that if she's pregnant and the babies are almost due, we will keep her inside the garage and wait for the kittens to come. Then, we will raise them until they're 3 months old, and put them for adoption (not before we can neuter/spay them).
If she is pregnant and babies are not due soon, and if the vet agrees, we will do what it has to be done, and spay her. So that's how it is.
Also, and because judging by her size we think Mom's pregnancy is very advanced, we decided to move catching day from Saturday to Friday. So if it doesn't work on Friday we still have Saturday...

Maybe I'm getting a little bit obsessed, but I just can't stop thinking about them. I arrive home and I see Chiquis and it just makes me feel so sad that I can't have the ferals here living a happy life. I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind going and going over cages and traps and plans and sliding doors and absorbable sutures and all... I believe you need a lot of...fortitude, a lot of strength of mind to dedicate your life to rescue homeless animals and dealing with bad outcomes and disappointment...

Well, just that. Hopefully I'll have pictures of the trap and some good news soon.

Thank you so much for everything, it really means a lot to me. You know nobody cares/understands what I'm doing aside of my bf and some guys from the office. They think I'm crazy, or just ask me why would I waste so much time/energy/money doing something like that for two homeless cats. So, your support means everything.

And I'm sorry for my bad English!:oops: I accept any correction if you want to do so :)
 
1 - 20 of 56 Posts
Top