Catnip to attract ferals to the trap?

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
I'm struggling to trap a couple of females that roam around my colony and have delivered a few kittens in the last two years.
Those two cats are very smart, so smart to avoid the trap even with the smelliest food in it. So far I always used tuna fish to attract all the cats to the trap, and I nearly never failed. These two cats seem totally uninterested in it.

I asked two different persons who are expert in trapping and they both told me to use a different bait, an Italian large sausage called Mortadella, I'm rather sure you know it. The two persons do not know each other, yet they gave me the same advice.
One of them, though, added that she uses a catnip spray to give the trap a "good scent" and she guarantees it to work fine.
Have you ever tried it?

I am not sure to find it in my usual stores soon, so I was thinking to prepare something similar leaving the catnip powder (usually sold with cat toys) in some water overnight and then use the solution as a spray.
Could it work?
 

dahlia

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Messages
272
Reaction score
98
Antonio,
I just decided to try catnip spray because I have several cats who come up to the trap and smell it and then walk away so I thought maybe there was someway to make it smell more "friendly". I sprayed the trap on Saturday afternoon and caught a cat on Sunday morning almost as soon as I set it down. I just resprayed it this morning and one of my hard to catch cats was definitely interested and kind of rubbing on it but did not go in (even with the anchovie and tuna bait). I ran out of time and had to pick the trap up but I think she will eventually go in. I think the spray has been helpful. I got mine at Wal-mart but I imagine that is not an option for you.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
I sprayed the trap on Saturday afternoon and caught a cat on Sunday morning almost as soon as I set it down. I just resprayed it this morning and one of my hard to catch cats was definitely interested and kind of rubbing on it but did not go in (even with the anchovie and tuna bait). I ran out of time and had to pick the trap up but I think she will eventually go in. I think the spray has been helpful. I got mine at Wal-mart but I imagine that is not an option for you.
That sounds really interesting! Thank you D dahlia !
We have no Wal-Mart over here, of course, but we have plenty of stores and shops for pets' stuff, only I'm not sure they have what I'm looking for. I should try and walk in.

This is the product I was told about
https://shop.dogsitter.it/it/images/shop/trixie-4238-big.jpg
Catnip spray.JPG
The label is in German because Trixie is a German company that sells all over Europe.
 

amethyst

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
656
Reaction score
1,484
Location
Alberta, Canada
One thing with catnip is not all cats carry the gene that causes them to react to it (about 70% of cats have it) so it might help mask scent and give the trap a more "planty" smell but it might not act as an attractant. The past two cats I caught I sprinkled fresh ground catnip in the trap (I grow my own) it's the oils in the catnip that cats react to, along with dribbling tuna water from a tin of tuna all over the newspaper I used to line the trap, and bits of tuna in the back. Another suggestion I've read on here is using fried chicken (like from KFC or similar place), it sounds odd, but cats go nuts for the smell of that.
 

pearl99

In memory of Pearl, my labrador. RIP Pearl.
Alpha Cat
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
513
Reaction score
1,361
Location
Colorado, USA
I've read that Silver Vine can be something cats that don't react to catnip might react to the same way. I have one cat that catnip does nothing for but have not tried Silver Vine. It may be available in pet stores where you are.
 

Tobermory

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
3,311
Reaction score
8,139
Location
Oregon
Mine react more strongly to silver vine than they do catnip. Mocha seems mostly immune to catnip, but silver vine gets her attention.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
One thing with catnip is not all cats carry the gene that causes them to react to it (about 70% of cats have it) so it might help mask scent and give the trap a more "planty" smell but it might not act as an attractant. The past two cats I caught I sprinkled fresh ground catnip in the trap (I grow my own) it's the oils in the catnip that cats react to, along with dribbling tuna water from a tin of tuna all over the newspaper I used to line the trap, and bits of tuna in the back. Another suggestion I've read on here is using fried chicken (like from KFC or similar place), it sounds odd, but cats go nuts for the smell of that.
If about 70% of cats have the gene that makes them sensible to the catnip, I'd be alright, I have two adult cats to catch and two junior cats, I could be able to catch 3 cats out of 4 :lol:
I, too, use to sprinkle the trap and the cardboard I put on its floor with tuna water from the can, but it hasn't worked with those cats so far.
We haven't any KFC or similar over here... though we have McDonald's and Burger King, but not close to where I live.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
I've read that Silver Vine can be something cats that don't react to catnip might react to the same way. I have one cat that catnip does nothing for but have not tried Silver Vine. It may be available in pet stores where you are.
I've never heard of Silver Vine before, I googled it and found out that it's something that we do not have easily available over here, apart from chewable sticks on Amazon. I don't think there is any spray solution with this essence here around.
Yesterday I found a small bottle of catnip spray from a pet store, not the same that I posted yesterrday, but I think they are all similar. If tomorrow it doesn't rain, as they have forecast, I could try.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
One way is to disguise the trap
Nice! :)
There's only one thing... my cat is remote controlled, that is, I press a button on a remote to trigger it closed. With a bag or box around the trap I couldn't be able to see what is going inside and choose the right moment to shut the trap.

Just out of curiosity, what are those papers on the top of the bags for?
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
10,761
Reaction score
131
Location
Garden City, Singapore
Nice! :)
There's only one thing... my cat is remote controlled, that is, I press a button on a remote to trigger it closed. With a bag or box around the trap I couldn't be able to see what is going inside and choose the right moment to shut the trap.

Just out of curiosity, what are those papers on the top of the bags for?
You can have the opening facing you or have some holes made on the boxes so that you can roughly see what's going on in there before you release the shutter for the trap.

I got this photo from another thread some time back that was posted by one of our Advisors, so you can either use extra large packing bags or cardboard boxes. As for the papers on top of the paper bags, I guess it was maybe a shipping note or something like that and has got nothing to do with the trapping. But if you think you want to have some data recorded for your trapping, I guess you could place the information in a transparent waterproof bag and stick it to the bags or cardboard boxes.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
You can have the opening facing you or have some holes made on the boxes so that you can roughly see what's going on in there before you release the shutter for the trap.
I doubt I could see something.
I usually hide a bit away from the trap (usually 40-50 feet away) and I'm rarely "aligned" with it to the point that I could see something through some holes on the boxes.
Once I even purchased a wifi mini-cam to be aimed at the trap while I was well concealed, but that cam only worked a few minutes...

But if you think you want to have some data recorded for your trapping, I guess you could place the information in a transparent waterproof bag and stick it to the bags or cardboard boxes.
I never had that need. Do you think I should?
I mean, I'm there during the trapping, I take photos of the cat inside right after the trapping, then I take the trapped cat personally to the practice and I pick them up as soon as they can be returned. I also take a video of the releasing :)
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
10,761
Reaction score
131
Location
Garden City, Singapore
I doubt I could see something.
I usually hide a bit away from the trap (usually 40-50 feet away) and I'm rarely "aligned" with it to the point that I could see something through some holes on the boxes.
Once I even purchased a wifi mini-cam to be aimed at the trap while I was well concealed, but that cam only worked a few minutes...



I never had that need. Do you think I should?
I mean, I'm there during the trapping, I take photos of the cat inside right after the trapping, then I take the trapped cat personally to the practice and I pick them up as soon as they can be returned. I also take a video of the releasing :)
In this case, then I think you can get a reasonable binoculars and go by sight with the cardboard boxes without holes over the trap. This makes your vision clearer than with your naked eyes.

Also if you can modify the trap to have dual release meaning either by remote or by the normal trap door release but not sure which you prefer. I always find that with the remote you can have a premature closing of the trap door which will result in injuries to the cats, but whichever works better for you.

I think you can record the data on your phone using the notes app or manually entering the data in a notebook on every mission or tag a note to the photos you take.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #15

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Also if you can modify the trap to have dual release meaning either by remote or by the normal trap door release but not sure which you prefer. I always find that with the remote you can have a premature closing of the trap door which will result in injuries to the cats, but whichever works better for you.
I press the remote control only when the cat is totally inside and at the very bottom of the trap, intent on eating. This way the cat doesn't have the time and chance to turn and run out or get injured.
I can also catch two cats at the same time, as I did lately. Had the trap shut with the normal trigger pan, I could have only got one cat.
Before I modified the trap (which is a normal trap with some work on it to transform it to a remote controlled one), on one occasion I had set up the trap and walked away with the intention of coming back an hour later. And when I did come back I saw I got two cats, mother and kitten, but because the mom had entered the trap before the kitten and triggered the pan, the kitten got caught under the door and you can imagine my horror when I saw the kitten motionless halfway in and under the door!!! :eek:
Luckily enough he was safe and uninjured when I got to intervene. That kitten was Leo, that you see in my signature ;)
 

Talien

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
1,164
Reaction score
2,847
Location
Michigan
I've been told that Marshmallows work good as bait for Cats, but I've not tried it yet, canned Cat food and Tuna has been working just fine for me.
 

amethyst

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Nov 25, 2016
Messages
656
Reaction score
1,484
Location
Alberta, Canada
If about 70% of cats have the gene that makes them sensible to the catnip, I'd be alright, I have two adult cats to catch and two junior cats, I could be able to catch 3 cats out of 4 :lol:
I, too, use to sprinkle the trap and the cardboard I put on its floor with tuna water from the can, but it hasn't worked with those cats so far.
We haven't any KFC or similar over here... though we have McDonald's and Burger King, but not close to where I live.
Unfortunately the 70% is of cats in the world, it's genetic, so if the cats are related it's possible that all 4 don't carry the gene for reacting to catnip. As others have mentioned there is silver vine, as well as honeysuckle and valerian root that cats can also react to.

At least in the US and Canada McDonald's and Burger King don't carry fried chicken, so that's no use :ohwell: . I know I've heard people using fried chicken from the grocery store hot food section too, not sure if you have that there, or even hot (eating temperature) roast chicken.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #18

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Unfortunately the 70% is of cats in the world, it's genetic, so if the cats are related it's possible that all 4 don't carry the gene for reacting to catnip.
Yes, of course, mine was kind of a joke 😊

At least in the US and Canada McDonald's and Burger King don't carry fried chicken, so that's no use :ohwell: . I know I've heard people using fried chicken from the grocery store hot food section too, not sure if you have that there, or even hot (eating temperature) roast chicken.
I didn't know that McDonald's and Burger King don't carry fried chicken, because I don't eat meat and haven't been in one of them for nearly two decades.
Yes, we have shops that sell roast chicken, but I want to try with Mortadella first, easier to find and carry 😊
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
1,111
Reaction score
1,788
Location
Los Angeles
Just adding my two cents....yes, I know what mortadella is as my dad was born in Italy! I am in the KFC camp as that is what has never failed me. Not saying that mortadella won't work but if you can get some greasy type fried chicken anyplace that has been my most successful bait, especially when trapping is of the essence.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,386
Reaction score
5,114
Location
Orbassano - Italy
UPDATE:

On Saturday morning I bought some sliced mortadella and along with the bottle of spray catnip off I went to my trapping adventure.
On my arrival on the spot I saw one of the cats that I would like to catch. I set up the trap with the mortadella after having sprayed the catnip on the cage.
Unfortunately the cat I saw on my arrival had disappeared by the time I was ready... I waited an hour, but I didn't see her again.
So I moved and saw another of the cats I have in my trap list. I spread some tiny pieces of mortadella around the cage so to entice her. After 30 minutes she came closer, ate all the pieces around and walked away. The trap and the bait, though, attracted several other cats that I don't need to trap because they were fixed already.

Three hours later I thought I was tired enough and decided to pack it up and go back home.
 
Top