Help with advice on transporting two outdoor feral cats pets who won't go into cat traps

Pudner1

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I am posting here as the local feral cat association and and animal sanctuary have proved unhelpful to my predicament and I at a loss as to what to do.

I adopted a bicolour entire tom 10 years ago. For the first four years he was completely wild and eventually he allowed me to pet him. Five years later another large ginger tom showed up. For several years there were standoffs and cat fights between them. I'll admit the truth here - I did not want to trap and neuter them as i wanted both of them to have a full life. I dislike the idea that a neutered tom loses all his territory and status in the cat world and I don't feel that we have the rights as humans to interfere with that cats quality of life. I still feel that way and I realise I should have left the cats alone and not fed them as there was plenty of wildlife where I live and they were hunting and feeding well on birds and small pygmy shrews. I am a loner myself - don't like people based on childhood and life experience and admire the self sufficiency of cats

However eventually I was swayed by the continued pressure to neuter the cats - that it was better for their long term health etc. Last year I invested in a cat trap and tried to trap both of them for neutering and vaccination. I was unable to trap the bicolour and instead the large ginger cat was trapped and neutered. Since then things have gradually quietened and the ginger tom has had a personality change and become very dependent on the elderly bicolor - something I am not happy about. I regret neutering him and ruining his wanderings. He has also become very dependent on me and incredibly affectionate and demanding. He rubs off my legs and vocalises to me constantly (something he never did before being neutered) but I still cannot pet him; he flinches and runs away. He has also scratched me on numerous occasions when I am putting down food so I have had to resort to using a water spray can when putting down food.

I did not expect to get attached to these animals but have done so. Now I am facing the unavoidable decision for personal and housing reasons that I have to move away from the countryside to a small bedsit in a block of apartments in the city which has a small high walled garden in the back. The bicolor is now very elderly and arthritic; he refuses to go into a cat trap. Once he was very sick with an eye infection and I was told to leave him go hungry and he would eventually go into the trap. Well I waited and waited for a day and a half and he would not go in and then I read that leaving a cat without food for 48 hours can be fatal so I just got antibiotics which fixed him. I cannot handle the ginger cat who is now huge; he weighed nearly 7kg before neutering and he is now more like 8.5kg.

I want to bring these cats with me as they are now both totally dependent on me for food and care thanks to my interference but the closest I have gotten to advice is an episode of 'My Cat from Hell' where two indoor ferals were encouraged gradually go to into cat carriers that had nice blankets inside and food and gradually the owner closed the door a little more each time. Before I invest in these (as I am on a very limited income) has anyone else got an other ideas. I live in Europe not the US and just to remind you again the various cat organisations have proved completely unhelpful when I asked them for help in the past nor will you get a vet to call out where I am from.
 

Natalusky29

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Hi,if you’re doing this on your own it’s going to take a while but have you tried to give them raw food (such as chicken breast or something like that) and if that is not enough you could try to cover the trap with that kind of bedding that guinea pigs use to sleep and pee :)
Also you could try to put a blanket outside the trap so that the trap itself is not visible enough to the cats
Good luck!
 
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Pudner1

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Hi,if you’re doing this on your own it’s going to take a while but have you tried to give them raw food (such as chicken breast or something like that) and if that is not enough you could try to cover the trap with that kind of bedding that guinea pigs use to sleep and pee :)
Also you could try to put a blanket outside the trap so that the trap itself is not visible enough to the cats
Good luck!
Thanks Natalusky29 - I already tried covered the trap but cats are very bright and it doesn't matter what I put on it - they know it's a trap
 

Natalusky29

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Thanks Natalusky29 - I already tried covered the trap but cats are very bright and it doesn't matter what I put on it - they know it's a trap
Have you tried not feeding them for a day so that they’re hungry enough to go to the trap without thinking it twice?
 

terricacatwood

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I assume you’ve tried putting very stink food like salmon, tuna or sardines in the trap? For me even that wouldn’t work with my feral. A drop trap was the only way I was able to capture my difficult to trap ferals who would not go into live traps. Do you have access to a drop trap, or the ability to build one, or a handy friend who could build one for you? Neighborhood Cats | How to TNR | Drop Traps
 

fionasmom

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Welcome to The Cat Site! I always bait traps for ferals with KFC or any supermarket fried chicken either from the deli or even frozen and cooked beforehand. The greasier and more odorous the better as you are not going to make it their sole diet once you get them.

It is not uncommon for rescues and the like to be unhelpful. Most are busy doing their own work of rescue, which is certainly to their credit; however, it is not usually open to the general public even if it seems as if it should be. In all my years of rescue, dog and cat, I have had exactly one beagle rescue offer to take a dog, for a nice donation, and one Brussels griffon offer to take another dog because basically it is a rare breed and they never had any dogs in rescue in the first place.

Alley Cat Allie has a Feral Friends Network.

Feral Friends Network® Connect

It is easy enough to complete the form and costs you nothing. They have a nationwide network of rescuers who specialize in TNR and the like and they might be able to give you advice. They are volunteers, so you may not hear from them, but it is worth a shot.

Drop traps are useful; if you have not used one you will definitely need someone to help you though.
 

Kuraudo

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Drop traps are useful; if you have not used one you will definitely need someone to help you though.
I always like drop traps because I've noticed that cats don't feel threatened by them and will eat under them for sure. Only thing is that u need to always activate it yourself? There's no auto kind like a regular trap? Also, then u need one of those comb dividers to give them into the humane trap and a trap for each cat you need to catch. It seems some cats are only willing to feed at 3am or something lol and waiting there could put you to sleep xD
 

fionasmom

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Traps :: Feral Cat Traps & Accessories :: Feral Cat Trap Accessories :: Remote Control Trap Trigger :: KITDT2 - Neighborhood Cats Drop with Remote Trigger

So I guess that there are remote control trigger drop traps but I think that it only gets rid of the string. It does not drop the trap on its own once the cat goes inside.

If you can use a drop trap and are able to sit and wait for the cat, it might be your best idea. I am terrible with them, despite owning one, but for many people they are a really good solution.
 

Kuraudo

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Traps :: Feral Cat Traps & Accessories :: Feral Cat Trap Accessories :: Remote Control Trap Trigger :: KITDT2 - Neighborhood Cats Drop with Remote Trigger

So I guess that there are remote control trigger drop traps but I think that it only gets rid of the string. It does not drop the trap on its own once the cat goes inside.

If you can use a drop trap and are able to sit and wait for the cat, it might be your best idea. I am terrible with them, despite owning one, but for many people they are a really good solution.
Yea, I'm totally agreeing that i wouild just fall asleep right before the time I need to drop the trap XD.. I mean difficult to trap cats don't always come at the time that's convenient haha
 
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Pudner1

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Have you tried not feeding them for a day so that they’re hungry enough to go to the trap without thinking it twice?
[/QUO
Have you tried not feeding them for a day so that they’re hungry enough to go to the trap without thinking it twice?
Hi Natalusky29, thanks for replying again - I did try that before and it did not work. I heard that cats that go without food for more than 48 hours can suffer liver failure so after a day and a half of them looking in the window in distress I crumbled and fed them.
 
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Pudner1

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Welcome to The Cat Site! I always bait traps for ferals with KFC or any supermarket fried chicken either from the deli or even frozen and cooked beforehand. The greasier and more odorous the better as you are not going to make it their sole diet once you get them.

It is not uncommon for rescues and the like to be unhelpful. Most are busy doing their own work of rescue, which is certainly to their credit; however, it is not usually open to the general public even if it seems as if it should be. In all my years of rescue, dog and cat, I have had exactly one beagle rescue offer to take a dog, for a nice donation, and one Brussels griffon offer to take another dog because basically it is a rare breed and they never had any dogs in rescue in the first place.

Alley Cat Allie has a Feral Friends Network.

Feral Friends Network® Connect

It is easy enough to complete the form and costs you nothing. They have a nationwide network of rescuers who specialize in TNR and the like and they might be able to give you advice. They are volunteers, so you may not hear from them, but it is worth a shot.

Drop traps are useful; if you have not used one you will definitely need someone to help you though.
Hi Fionasmum

Thanks very much for replying and sending the link to the Feral Friends Network. I didn't get notifications as I had not enabled them so didn't think I had any further replies before I went on the site tonight. Apparently there are 5 people in my country. I am registered now so will get their contact details - thanks very much for that - appreciated greatly.

I have one large cat trap and humane cat cage with a false bottom that I purchased in the hopes of putting it on top of the cat and sliding the floor - I don't think that will be possible as the floor had a grille structure and I don't see how I can push it in without the bicolor going insane with fright and getting his paws caught in the grille. It won't fit the ginger cat as he has grown now to 9kg over the past year since he was neutered and doesn't take any exercise so it won't actually fit over him. This only happened in the last year since he was neutered. I bought diet nuts and diabetic nuts and he is still getting fatter and fatter so I am now reducing him to two sachets of wet food a day. I have tried feathers and cat toys to exercise him but he ignores them and rubs off my legs instead.

Funnily enough the cats are quite picky and won't eat anything breaded but I think it's a good idea if I were to get the KFC and take off the breaded part. I tried all the others sardines/tuna etc. The cat cage has a plastic door that I could open and in the hopes of transferring the cats from the drop trap if I had one. The local association has access to a drop trap but as I wrote previously were not that helpful - I don't blame them as they get little money and are snowed under with requests for help from people that want colonies neutered for nothing.

Longterm though it is not good that I am not able to put these cats in a cage so that I can take them to the vet if needed. One other thing I had considered was a cat grabber and a pair of raptor gloves - I hate the idea of using these. I did ask the local association about it and they said that they would never handle a feral cat as they would be ripped apart. I don't know if I would have the strength to lift the ginger cat with a cat grabber and put him in a cat cage and and I think it would damage my relationship with both cats as it's a form of a torture and restraint in my view.
 

nurseangel

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I apologize in advance if I am giving any advice that has already been given. I helped assist a rescue with in desperate cat/kitten situation. We were instructed not to feed them the previous night, as I think someone has already suggested. I had no luck with the tuna that the rescue person brought; so I came up with a Tempations Treats plan. My already-owned cats are addicted to them. If your cats like KFC, I would give it a shot. They just have to trip that door. I made a little trail of Tempations leading to the trap and then all the way to the back. To my surprise, the first cat we caught was Big Red. I didn't even know he was in the yard at the time, especially with a stranger there. He is extremely feral and went wild in the cage, as I would have expected him to do. It was a horrible thing to watch. The rescue worker covered the cage with part of an old sheet to calm him while she filled out paperwork. I was shocked that it worked. Then she really did a tricky carrier to cage transfer, so he could be vetted and altered. It has not changed my relationship with him. In fact, he seems to be warming up to me a little. Not so much that I will ever trap him again, but at least now he is fixed and has had at least some shots.

The biggest problem I had was when I caught two kittens at once. They had to be separated for transport and the rescue person had this giant fork thing. She gave it to me to operate. I was scared to death I was going to hurt someone.

I wish you luck. Please keep us posted...
 

fionasmom

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You have to be quite adept to use a cat grabber and one mistake and it might be over forever in terms of getting these cats. Raptor gloves are another story. I have grabbed cats with raptor gloves BUT there are a lot of variables. If it really went south, the cat could probably harm you if it began to fight and flail. If you try this, put on a very heavy jacket, heavy pants, shoes that protect your feet and ankles, and possibly eyewear of some sort. Having said that, if these cats are older, the bicolor is not that mobile, and they may be trusting enough of you to be picked up. Only you can really judge that.

You are right not to try anything on the grille as that will be a mess. Don't worry about the long term care of getting them to the vet right now. Just try to get them moved with you and then go onto the next step.
 

nurseangel

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I agree with fionasmom fionasmom . When I worked at the prison, we sent inmates to work at animal control. Even though rabies is a worse case scenario, I'll use it as an example. One of the inmates was feeding a cat. He was putting food in its bowl and got attacked. The other two inmates tried to help him and long story short they all ended up at the emergency department. They have special gloves at animal control for handling cats that are feral or afraid. I was questioning them about why they weren't wearing the gloves and they said they were. The cat ripped right through them. I was even afraid of the kittens at the time and they just barely met the weight requirement to be spayed.

I'm not trying to discourage you. I just wish someone from a rescue would assist, knowing that you have the best intentions for the cats.
 

vizibara

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I am posting here as the local feral cat association and and animal sanctuary have proved unhelpful to my predicament and I at a loss as to what to do.

I adopted a bicolour entire tom 10 years ago. For the first four years he was completely wild and eventually he allowed me to pet him. Five years later another large ginger tom showed up. For several years there were standoffs and cat fights between them. I'll admit the truth here - I did not want to trap and neuter them as i wanted both of them to have a full life. I dislike the idea that a neutered tom loses all his territory and status in the cat world and I don't feel that we have the rights as humans to interfere with that cats quality of life. I still feel that way and I realise I should have left the cats alone and not fed them as there was plenty of wildlife where I live and they were hunting and feeding well on birds and small pygmy shrews. I am a loner myself - don't like people based on childhood and life experience and admire the self sufficiency of cats

However eventually I was swayed by the continued pressure to neuter the cats - that it was better for their long term health etc. Last year I invested in a cat trap and tried to trap both of them for neutering and vaccination. I was unable to trap the bicolour and instead the large ginger cat was trapped and neutered. Since then things have gradually quietened and the ginger tom has had a personality change and become very dependent on the elderly bicolor - something I am not happy about. I regret neutering him and ruining his wanderings. He has also become very dependent on me and incredibly affectionate and demanding. He rubs off my legs and vocalises to me constantly (something he never did before being neutered) but I still cannot pet him; he flinches and runs away. He has also scratched me on numerous occasions when I am putting down food so I have had to resort to using a water spray can when putting down food.

I did not expect to get attached to these animals but have done so. Now I am facing the unavoidable decision for personal and housing reasons that I have to move away from the countryside to a small bedsit in a block of apartments in the city which has a small high walled garden in the back. The bicolor is now very elderly and arthritic; he refuses to go into a cat trap. Once he was very sick with an eye infection and I was told to leave him go hungry and he would eventually go into the trap. Well I waited and waited for a day and a half and he would not go in and then I read that leaving a cat without food for 48 hours can be fatal so I just got antibiotics which fixed him. I cannot handle the ginger cat who is now huge; he weighed nearly 7kg before neutering and he is now more like 8.5kg.

I want to bring these cats with me as they are now both totally dependent on me for food and care thanks to my interference but the closest I have gotten to advice is an episode of 'My Cat from Hell' where two indoor ferals were encouraged gradually go to into cat carriers that had nice blankets inside and food and gradually the owner closed the door a little more each time. Before I invest in these (as I am on a very limited income) has anyone else got an other ideas. I live in Europe not the US and just to remind you again the various cat organisations have proved completely unhelpful when I asked them for help in the past nor will you get a vet to call out where I am from.
I hope this works. Quite inexperienced with cats was able to trap 1 of them. I like you detested the idea of TNR. I even created a list of pros and cons. Researched a lot and thought we humans had gone crazy and brained washed about the TNR trend. However research helped. These are the tips on how to trap that I found helpful. Below 2 articles that will help

1st left trap open for days so they get used to it. 2nd started put food closer to the trap little by little yet still outside the trap 3rd still trap open put food closer towards the entrance of the trap then 1-2 days later towards the trigger plate 4th catnip was the wonder that made the cat go inside and a change of food which i used tuna since it was so smelly voila. Hope these link helps

 

nurseangel

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Yes, I forgot. As V vizibara said, leaving the cage out for a few days might work. We had a large cage (not a trapping one) borrowed from animal control. The kittens took to playing and sleeping in it. My husband is on disability because of an arm injury. There is no way we could have picked up that cage even with a kitten in it, but it did help associate the "food in the cage" mentality.
 
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Pudner1

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Thanks nurseangel and vizibara for the suggestions. I have been speaking to a few people since including the vet and am advised that it would be unwise to transport the cats to the city on the basis that they have lived all their lives in the country in one place and it would be too traumatic for them to go to a small piece of lawn down a large flight of narrow steps surrounded by high walls in the city.
One of them is too elderly to get up the steps and levers himself up on one step to get to flower bed he likes to sleep in.

Currently they have access to a beautiful garden with lawns and a limestone walk and lots of trees and they are surrounded by fields on all sides and totally private and it's right in the country. There is someone who still lives where I live who is unreliable but 'could' look after them. I don't really know what to do now. The ginger guy would 'get out' if transported to the city. On the left hand side there is a large unkempt back garden which is derelict; to the front there is a car park and to the left there is another house with yet another high wall; if he got into the car park that would lead out onto the street; this guy is still very mobile and would get out I am sure of it and then he would get hit by a car. If that happened I don't think I could bear it TBH.

They are both used the two of them to coming in the back door and lying on the wool rug several times a day. They could do not that if transported to the city as I would be living in the top flat up 5 flights of stairs and the garden steps lead to a cold garage. They can't live 'in the flat with me as they are feral - they get panicky if I close a door if they are inside the house.
 

fionasmom

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I do see your point, but from experience I do not see them being maintained after you leave. Most people firmly believe that cats can hunt, end of story. If this is where it stands, try to find someone who will feed them whatever that entails.
 
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Pudner1

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well if that is the case am I better to try and transport them up so and if the cat does get out and get hit by a car so be it?

The people involved are 'close' relatives who live in the same house. They know the cats well and profess to 'like' them a lot. One of them will feed the cats but is not physically that well - the other one is unreliable. I do not know of anyone else who will take on the responsibility of feeding the cats twice a day. I want to do whatever is best for the cats whatever that entails- I have already contacted my local feral cat association about rehoming - the only option is the 'farm cat' option - that would not suit the older cat who is arthritic. I contacted the Animal Welfare Association pet guardianship programme about rehoming but they won't take them as they are feral.
 

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I moved 3 years ago and brought 3 feral cats with me and made them inside cats. I had cared for them for many years on my deck and property. I knew when I moved they had to come too. They had all been trapped and neutered before so they were all trap leery. I decided to open my sliding door and lure them inside with food. I kept my door open and slowly they all came inside. I had cat carriers situated in the room with yummy food inside as well as catnip. I did this routine every day for 6 weeks. The cats started to look forward to it and all would enter the cat carriers. I decided to place them in a spare room in my current house before moving. I wanted them inside for a bit and I also wanted a mobile vet to come and check them out. I was able to secure 2 of the 3 cats quite easily. They went into the carrier I closed the door and took them to the spare room. Once I got the other one, I allowed them to come out. The room was completely empty except for litter boxes and 2 cat trees.

The cats did remarkedly well. One cat threw himself against the window a few times, but then settled quickly. They all hid for a few days, but would come out to eat. I put a wireless camera in the room to watch them at night and they all came out to explore.

When the mobile vet came, they all were deemed healthy and she gave me a sedative to give them on moving day. It worked well and the cats made the one hour trip to my new home. The new home had an indoor sun room that became their home. I placed bird feeders outside the windows. They all adjusted very well. I think it really helped being away from their old territory.

So 3 years later, they are still scared to death of visitors. They do allow my DH and I to pet them. Yet I cannot pick them up. They love the sun room and sometimes venture out to check out the rest of the house at night. They love to watch the birds. They play with each other and will play with my DH and I too.

I do not miss them being outside at all. It was such a worry each and every day. They are safe, warm and loved. I had been warned that it would be a difficult task. Many told me it should not be done. I could never leave them behind. I knew if inside did not work for them, I could have a catio built. That never happened. When I open the screen door, they sniff, but never try to get outside. They run when the doors are open. I really think they are much happier living inside.

I just wanted to share my story with you!
 
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