Humane Cat Traps

Humane cat traps are a great way to trap feral cats. Many cat lovers and animal rescue organizations advocate the sterilization of feral cats, in order to control feral cat populations. Feral cats can also be humanely trapped if they need to be taken in for veterinary care. Read on to learn about using humane cat traps.

What Feral Cats Are

A feral cat is a domestic cat that has been allowed to revert to a wild state. Cats often become feral when they are abandoned by human owners. Abandoned cats often haven't been spayed or neutered, and so they're able to produce litters and increase the feral cat population. An intact feral cat can produce as many as three litters each year.

How Humane Trapping Benefits Feral Cats

Most feral cats can't be adopted by people because they would never be able to adjust to domestic life. Cats undergo a period of socialization during youth; as kittens, cats learn how to relate to and bond with other creatures. If a feral cat wasn't exposed to human companionship during this crucial socialization period, then there's a good chance that he'll never be able to feel comfortable and safe around humans. 

These cats can't be adopted, but neither are they safe on the streets. They could succumb to disease, weather, starvation, predation or cruelty. Unsterilized feral cats continue having kittens, adding to the homeless cat population. Humane cat traps allow animal advocates to catch feral cats, so that they can be sterilized, vaccinated and returned to the wild. Sterilized, vaccinated feral cats live safer, healthier lives and can no longer add to the feral cat population.

Using Humane Traps to Help Feral Cats

Human cat traps, also called live traps, allow animal advocates to trap cats without harming them. Feral cats must usually be coaxed to feel safe in the company of the trap and human trapper before they can be successfully trapped.

Start this process by placing food for feral cats in the same place and at the same time each day. Place the humane cat traps nearby, covered with a towel or sheet, so that the feral cats become accustomed to its sight and smell. Gradually, the cats will become accustomed to receiving food from you and will keep coming back. 

Skip feeding your feral cats the night before you plan to trap them, so that they'll be hungry enough to go in the trap in search of their food. Bait the trap with a savory smelling food.

You don't want to have to hold the feral cats too long before taking them in for sterilization and vaccination. Try to trap them the night before surgery so you only have to keep them overnight. Remember, they should not be fed for at least 12 hours prior to surgery. After surgery, release the cats in the same place where they were trapped.

If you trap a lactating mother, do not separate her from her kittens. Either find and collect the kittens, or release the lactating mother. Feral kittens may be socialized and adopted as pets if they are taken from their mother at six weeks of age.