As a female cat could give birth to multiple kittens in a blink of an eye, millions of stray cats have to be euthanized every year in order to keep the feline population under control. In most cases, putting feral cats to sleep not only free them from a life of suffering but also maintain the delicate balance of wildlife. With that said, more and more people embrace the TNR (Trap-Neuter-Capture) policy as they believe it's the best approach to homeless felines. Still, there is an issue that trouble novice followers of TNR: how to get a feral cat into a carrier?
You spot several stray cats near your place but don't know the right method to make them go into the carriers that you arrange? If that happens to be your current situation then this article is what you need.
Notable Characteristics Of Feral Cats
To successfully capture stray cats, it's of utmost importance that you master their nature. Generally speaking, charging in blindly without understanding the animals would produce less than ideal results.
Usually, homeless felines go to great lengths to avoid humans. Most of the time, they refuse to be touched by people so it's common for feral cats to run if people approach them. If you inadvertently force a stray cat into a direct confrontation, it's going to hiss, growl, bare its teeth,... Though cats prefer to escape in the face of dangers, they tend to become extremely aggressive once they feel corned. Because of that, it's strongly recommended by experts that you prepare yourselves properly before moving forward with the capture.
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Getting Feral Cats Into Carriers: A Step-By-Step Guide
Overall, different people have different ideas about how to get a feral cat into a carrier but the core steps remain constant in most cases.
Step 1: Gather Necessary Items
Of course, handling frightened feral cats with your bare hands is out of the question. Stray cats have various means to cause injuries to humans, not to mention the diseases they may carry in them. Therefore, you must keep a thick pair of gloves around to safely hold the felines. Furthermore, get yourself self a couple of live traps in order to catch the feral cats. Cat shelters, sanctuaries, pet hospitals and so on shall loan you some if required. Finally, clean the carriers as the average cats obviously don't like to head into dark boxes with offensive odors.
Step 2: Scout The Surrounding
After you manage to get everything in order, it's time to visit the scene. Bedside assessing the terrain to locate suitable spots for the traps, you should keep an eye out for your targets. Needless to say, it's going to be quite hilarious for you to capture cats that already went through TNR. Normally, TNR cats have a distinct mark: a clipped ear. While eyeing the felines, you need to beware of erratic behaviors like drooling, heavy breathing, .... For cats that exhibit clear signs of diseases, call animal control instead of attempting to catch them on your own.
Step 3: Set The Traps
It's safe to say that cats forget practically everything when they see foods which is a trait that could be exploited to your advantage. In the beginning, leave a few dishes of delicious foods near locations that the feral cats tend to hang out. Doing that would give the homeless felines a good reason to stay in the area. After a couple of days, proceed to place the traps using the same types of foods to bait the cats. To increase the chance of success, camouflage the traps with fabrics to make things seem less conspicuous to the animals.
Step 4: Make The Transfer
Assuming that the capture proceeds as expected, you shall have several irritated feral cats in your traps at the end of the days without fail. But here comes a part that often proves difficult to ordinary people: transferring the felines from the traps to carriers. Fortunately, you don't need to be an expert to learn how to get a feral cat into a carrier. All you need to do is to position the traps and the carriers so their entrances align with each other. Afterward, cover everything with fabrics again, slide out the gates and shake the traps a bit to force the felines to move into the carriers.
Step 5: Visit the Vets
Once all feral cats enter their carriers, you have only one task left: get the felines to the veterinary clinics. Usual neuter operations only last for a few moments so the newly neutered cats may check out within the day. In order to ensure that the animals have time to recover from their surgery, cage rest is the preferred option. When it's certain that the feral cats could resume normal activities, release them back to where they originally belong. Every now and then, you should drop by to give the colony foods and waters.
Just A Couple Of Suggestions
Knowing how to get a feral cat into a carrier is good but when it comes to capturing feral cats, there are several issues that you must keep in mind.
- Minimize Noise, Vibration And Light: It would not take much to stress cats so it's widely advised that you keep the carriers in a secluded corner of the house. Aside from mealtime as well as sanitary checks, people must refrain from disturbing the felines.
- Always Make Appointments In Advance: Don't casually stroll into clinics, shelters and alike without informing them of your attention beforehand. In fact, call people to see if they are willing to take in feral cats first then catch the felines.
- Consider Adopting A Feral Cat: Let's make one thing clear here: It's extremely tough to socialize stray cats. In the best case, it might still take months, if not years, for homeless felines to open up to humans. That is why most cat rescuers nowadays often focus on finding homes for feral kittens instead of their adult counterparts. Nonetheless, if you could use some company and take a liking to a feral cat, you should consider adopting it.