Feral in my garage

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Bitsy's Mom

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Hello - I borrowed both a drop trap and a round trap. I decided that I would not be able to use the drop trap alone and so am going to try the round trap. I feel a bit afraid of him truth be told - so I hope I’m up for it! I have two large dog crates inside attached together in a separate room. Will try to trap him and then put ihim in to see if I can work with him. I don’t mind if he has to hide for weeks as long as he’s eating. Here he is this morning behind a fence next to the stick pile.

I’m going to try trapping him next to my car at night. I can watch from the window. He only comes up to ear ans then leaves and so if it’s going to happen - it will happen quickly. I’ve started feeding him near the round trap and amhoping it won’t be a big deal.
 

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shadowsrescue

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I am thinking about you and hoping for the best. Just remember it is not unusual for a cat to not eat at first. Be sure to have lots of yummy stinky food on hand. I always have tuna in oil, turkey or chicken baby food (Gerber stage 1 in the glass jar) and plain cooked chicken. It can take a few days, but as long as a few morsels are eaten that is good. Most will start eating again in a day or two.

Also another tip is to keep the two dog crates covered. I usually cover on all sides but one. This really helps them to feel safe. After a week if things are going ok, I then uncover another side. Also if needed I cover the 4th side.

Another idea is to have a wireless ip camera to keep tabs on him. You can find Wyze cameras on Amazon pretty cheap. It will help you to know what is going on in the room.

Keep us posted. Just stay calm. I just know you can do this!!
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Thanks so much! I saw him this morning as he sat way back in the side bushes and watched my two big dogs walk and sniff around the yard. I think he likes to sit over there to observe me up at the house. I may go back to feeding him in that spot only and trap him there. I will move the trap down there later so he gets used to its presence. I will then try feeding him right next to it and then finally inside.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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I am actively looking for a house to buy but the market is very competitive here with little inventory. But I would say 2 months at the earliest.

I saw him this morning; he is always somewhere close. He was at the side of the yard behind some bushes and watches me and my two dogs. They have no idea he is there. I do and after I bring them in, I feed him. I am debating trying to trap him there at 6 am or at night next to my car at 9:30 pm. I can watch both areas from my house and if he goes in .. run right out. Does anyone have any experience whether early morning or at night would be better? If he does go in the trap, then I will carry it inside and put the trap in the crate.
 

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I don't think it makes a great deal of difference either way. When I've TNR'd colonies I've trapped in the evening because they would be taken for surgery first thing in the morning. If they'd been in the trap all night I knew they wouldn't have eaten anything, so could safely be anaesthetised. But as Oscar isn't going to have surgery I think trap at whatever time is the most convenient for you.

Make sure once he's trapped you cover the trap before moving it. He'll be calmer that way. Make sure you wear gloves too. I've been scratched through the sides of a covered trap before, so be careful.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Thanks Norachan. I moved the trap to the side yard since that seems to be a new routine for him. He's there at 6 am, watches my dogs, and then I bring out food. I put the round tomahawk trap down there closed and today fed him a plate of food next to the trap. Not sure if I should zip tie the trap shut and feed him once more almost in the trap with the door open or not. For the trap to work,he has to go completely in and kind of turn to where the food is. I am using that instead of a regular box trap since he may not recognize it. Not sure.

The key is getting him safely inside and in the dog crates that I have set up. Safely for him and for me!
 
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Yes! He’s still doing OK but not yet trapped. I tried the tomahawk round trap but he wouldn’t go in. So just yesterday I was able to borrow a box trap and am going to try that.

I was too nervous to try the drop trap alone here - given He’s an older feral and I’ve never done it before.

I’m planning on trying the box trap this week and must admit I am nervous about it - no matter how many videos that I watch.
 

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It is a very nerve wracking experience, but so very worth it in the end. Just keep watching videos. I used to practice with the equipment to familiarize myself with it. I am thinking about you and hoping it all works out well. Keep us posted.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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OK advice please.

I did not feed him today and set the trap near my car as he always comes at night even if I don’t see him during the day. So the trap was set and as he was hungry - he came early about 8:20 pm. He ate the little bit of food outside the trap and then went back under the car and waited.
At 9:15 pm , I couldn’t take it anymore since I wanted to go to bed and so fed him right next to the open trap. I know I shouldn’t have - but I was tired and didn’t want to leave the trap set overnight. A Fox could go in there or He could ultimately go in and then be freaking out all night while I snoozed.

advice please. The only good (?) thing is that he eats next to the trap so now I just have to get him to go in it.
 

shadowsrescue

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I like to make a trail of food. I will use puppy pee pads or newspaper. Put a small amount of something extra stinky ( tuna in oil is a good choice). Even dribbling some of the oil onto the newspaper is good. I usually just put a tiny tiny amount of tuna and make a trail all the way back to the dish. It's best to use something different than his regular food.
 
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Hello caring cat peeps,

It's been awhile and I'd like to update you about Oscar.

Well, the good news is that Oscar is fine. The bad news is that he is still outside.

I have had the trap near where I feed him down in my yard, and also moved it up alongside my car. I feed him in the yard in the early morning, and at night when he is under my car and it's dark. I have tried feeding him with the box trap zip-tied open, and he goes in about 3 inches. That said - when the trap is set . .he walks around it but will not go in.

Granted, I have not "starved him" for more than 24 hours so he will go in. That is hard for me to do.

I can now get within 3 feet of him but don't try any closer . . I did once and he hissed at me big time and starred me down.

I have two dog crates attached in my guest room with a cube bed and litter in there and my hope was that I could catch him and see how he does inside. I did get tape worm meds in his food which he ate. Have not tried flea meds yet or round worm meds yet either. I worry a bit about bringing him inside with fleas but don't really have much choice. I cannot get close enough to him to put on anything topical. He does have his rabies and distemper shots last November, 2021.

Any suggestions to trapping him and also the flea issue? I am actively putting offers on houses out of state and hopefully will be moving in two months or so. My plan was to bring him with me if I can trap him. He probably won't have a great life with me and that I would have to set him up in the basement with cat trees near the basement windows. I am not sure what else to do. That won't be a great life for him but better than starving outside. He is not a young guy - probably 4 years old or so.

Thanks and I hope everyone is well.

Liz
 

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I would suggest calling a rescue group and seeing if someone is willing to help you. Explain that you are moving and want to take him along, but have not had success in trapping. Someone with lots of experience might come out to help you.

Have you tried really really stinky food in the trap? I am talking mackerel, tuna, salmon. Some have found that Kentucky Fried chicken is a winner. Just be sure to take it off the bone. Also are you making a trail with the food? I usually dribble tuna or mackerel juice or oil all over the pee pads heading back to the trigger. Also what are you lining the trap with? I have found cheap puppy pee pads work better than newspaper.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I have tried rescue groups but frankly, most are inundated with kittens and way too busy saving lives. I will keep trying though. I got the trap from a group a month ago.

I tried human tuna and then sardines and then salmon under the car without the trap - to see if he loved it. He did not touch it . . . seems to like his regular fancy feast best.

I have not tried lining the trap . . should I? You cannot see the plate but it is wire . . .maybe that bothers his paws?

Thank you.
 
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