to solve your nuisance animal
Tampa Bay, FL with humane animal
trapper 24 hrs a day* and 7 days
a week !
here for a free service call!
It wasn't long ago that the Tampa
Bay area was mostly forested and
of our wild friends either get
pushed out or become 'urbanized'.
attics seem like
a cozy nesting place. Trash cans
and pet food are easy meals and
swimming pools are convenient
toilets and bathing spots.
harmless as their intentions may
be, some animals
can be extremely destructive
to your property.
Trapper Guy will come out and
the live animal
from your property. I will fix
the damage caused and make preventative
measures so they won't return.
proper animal control
we can co-exist with our wild
hour services are for emergencies
only. Live animal in a living
area where safety of the occupants
is in question is considered an
Feral Cat Trapping Instructions
These instructions assume
that trappers are using traps from the
Tomahawk Live Trap Company. Specifics
regarding the traps may be slightly
different if you are using another type
of trap. Make arrangements with the
vet in advance of trapping. Be sure
to tell the vet to use stitches which
will dissolve, or do not need removal,
and that the animal is wild.
If possible, get the cats used to being
fed at the same place and time of day.
You might try leaving the trap unset
and covered with a large towel during
routine feeding so that the animal will
get used to seeing and smelling it in
the area. Don't feed the cats the day/night
before you are going to trap so the
cats will be hungry. Be sure to notify
others who may feed the cats not to
leave food out either.
Plan to trap so that
you don't have to keep the cat too long
before surgery. Trapping the night before
is usually the best approach. Cats should
not eat 12 hours prior to surgery.
Prepare the area where
you will be holding the cats before
and after the clinic. A garage or other
sheltered, warm, protected area is best.
Lay down newspapers to catch the inevitable
stool, urine and food residue. You may
want to use pieces of wood to elevate
the traps off the newspapers. This allows
the mess to fall through the wire away
from the cats. Spraying the area ahead
of time with a cat-safe flea spray (like
Adams or Ovitrol) will discourage ants.
Prepare the vehicle
you will use to transport them as well.
Plastic may be an additional precaution.
But remember that you will need to use
newspapers or some other absorbent material
in addition. ( Urine will roll right
off of the plastic and that isn't what
you want )
Plan your day of trapping
carefully. Remember that if you trap
an animal and release it for some reason,
it is unlikely that you will be able
to catch it again. They learn very quickly.
If there are young kittens
involved, remember that they should
not be weaned from the mother before
4-6 weeks of age. If you are trapping
a lactating female, you may want to
wait until you have located the kittens
and they are old enough to wean. If
you wish to tame and foster the kittens
to adopt out, they should be taken from
the mother at 4-6 weeks. If you wait
until the kittens are older than 4-6
weeks before trying to tame them you
will find the job progressively harder
Setting the traps
Plan to set traps just before or at
the cats normal feeding time. This is
often at night. Dusk is usually the
best time to set traps.
Don't trap in the rain
or the heat of day without adequate
protection for the trap. Cats are vulnerable
in the traps and could drown during
storms or suffer from heatstroke in
the sun. Use common sense !
Fold a piece of newspaper
to line the bottom of the trap just
covering the trip plate. Cats don't
like walking on the wire surface and
the paper helps to keep their feet from
going through when you pick up the trap.
Be sure that the paper does not extend
beyond the trip plate. Too much newspaper
can interfere with the trap mechanism
or prevent the door from closing properly.
Plan placement of traps
on a level surface in the area where
the cats usually feed or have been seen.
Cats are less likely to enter the trap
if it wobbles. If trapping in a public
area, try to place traps where they
will not be noticed by passersby (who
may not understand that you are not
trying to harm the cat). Bushes are
often places where cats hide and provide
good camouflage for the trap.
Use smelly food to bait
the trap. We find that canned Mackerel
is very effective and relatively inexpensive.
It is best not to put any bowls inside
the trap to hold food since the animal
can easily hurt itself on it in a panic
or while recovering from anesthetic.
Soak a small scrap of
newspaper (2-3 inches by 3-4 inches)
in the Mackerel juice and place it on
the ground where you plan to place the
rear of the trap.
Spoon a small amount
of food onto the soaked newspaper scrap
and place the trap on top of the food
so the food is as far back in the trap
as possible while still not accessible
from outside the trap. (You want the
cat to go all the way into the trap
to avoid being injured when the trap
door closes.) Press the trap down onto
the food so that it squishes up through
the wire. The idea is to make the food
a little hard to get so that the cat
has to go into the trap as far as possible
and has to work at getting it long enough
to trip the trap. (Some cats are very
good at getting in and out of traps
without getting caught. We don't want
to make it too easy for them to get
away with that trick. Also, having the
food essentially outside of the trap
prevents the cat from eating it in the
trap before surgery and is less messy.)
After baiting the trap,
open the trap door by pushing the top
of the door in and pulling the bottom
of the door upward. There is a small
hook attached to the right side of the
trap top. It hooks onto a tiny metal
cylinder on the right side of the door.
The hook holds the door in an open position
which also raises the trip plate. When
the cat steps on the plate it will cause
the hook to release the door and close
After setting the trap,
cover it with a large towel or piece
of towel-sized material. Fold the material
at the front end of the trap to expose
the opening while still covering the
top, sides and back of the trap. The
cover will help to camouflage the trap
and serve to calm the cat after it is
Just before you are
ready to leave the trap for the cat
to enter, you may want to push the hook
(ever so slightly) a little bit back
off the cylinder to create a "hair
trigger". (Don't get too carried
away with this step or the trap will
trip as soon as the cat takes a sniff!)
Waiting for success
Never leave traps unattended in an unprotected
area, but don't hang around within sight
of the cat (or you will scare it off).
The trapped animal is vulnerable. Passersby
may release the cat or steal the trap!
Wait quietly in an area where you can
still see the traps without disturbing
the cats. Check traps every 15 minutes
or so. You can often hear the traps
trip and see the cloth cover droop down
slightly over the opening from a distance.
As soon as the intended cat is trapped
completely cover the trap and remove
the trap from the area if other cats
are not in sight. You may consider putting
another trap in the same spot if it
seems to be a "hot" one. Be
sure to dispose of the food left on
the ground when you pick up the trap.
(You don't want to litter or give out
any freebies and spoil any appetites!)
When you get the captured
cat to a quiet area away from the other
traps lift the cover and check for signs
that you have the correct animal and
not a pet or previously neutered feral.
(The FCC marks the right ear of every
animal we alter so we can avoid repeat
animals) If you note that you have captured
a lactating female check the area for
kittens and remember that this female
must be released 10-12 hours after surgery
so she can care for and nurse her kittens.
Cover the cat back up as soon as possible.
Uncovered, the animal may panic and
hurt itself thrashing around in the
Of course, there is
always the chance that you will catch
some other wild animal attracted to
the food or an unintended cat. Simply
release the animal quietly as stated
in the releasing procedures here.
After you have finished trapping, you
will probably have to hold the cats
overnight until you can take them to
the vet. (Unless you have made previous
arrangements with a vet)
Place cats in the prepared
protected area. Don't feed them. You
can place a small bowl of water in the
trap by opening the trap door just a
couple of inches and placing the bowl
by the trap door. Try to use a bowl
that won't be tipped over easily. An
empty catfood or tuna can works fairly
well. Don't open the door too wide or
the cat may escape. (Be sure to remove
the bowl before transporting the cat
to the vet.)
Keep cats covered and
check periodically. They will probably
be very quiet as long as they are covered.
Don't stick fingers in the trap or allow
children or pets near the traps. These
are wild animals which scratch and bite.
ALL ANIMAL BITES ARE SERIOUS! IF YOU
ARE BITTEN SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AND
DO NOT RELEASE THE CAT. IT MUST BE QUARANTINED.
CONTACT YOUR VET FOR QUARANTINE INSTRUCTIONS.
Wash and change clothes
before having contact with your own
pets as a precaution against spreading
any contagious diseases the cats might
Always get feral kittens
checked out by a vet and isolate them
from your pets. Some deadly diseases
can incubate without symptoms. Check
with your veterinarian and use caution.
Releasing the cats
If a cat does not seem to be recovering
well from the surgery, consider having
it checked out by a vet before releasing.
When cats are ready for release, return
to the area in which they were captured
and release them there. Do not relocate
the animal! It will be disoriented and
most likely die. In all likelihood,
area cats will drive it away.
If the veterinarian
has indicated a serious medical problem
with the cat which you will not be able
to treat, you, with the advice of the
vet, must make the decision on whether
it is safe to release the animal or
kinder to euthanize it. Untreated abscesses
and respiratory infections, and a number
of other conditions, can mean suffering
and a slow death.
Make sure the spot you
pick for release does not encourage
the cat to run into danger (like a busy
street) to get away from you. Keep the
trap covered until you are ready to
release. When ready, simply hold the
trap with the door facing away from
you and open the door. The cat will
probably bolt immediately out of the
trap. If it is confused, just tilt the
trap so the back is slightly up and
tap on the back of the trap to encourage
it to leave. Never put your hand in
the trap! If the animal still will not
leave, prop the door open with a stick
and leave it for a while. A trapped
skunk or possum, which is nocturnal,
may decide to sleep in the trap all
day and not leave the trap until dark.
After releasing the
cats hose off traps and disinfect them
with bleach. Never store traps in the
"set" position (door open);
animals may wander into even unbaited
traps and starve to death.
Bring a flashlight with you if trapping
at night. It will come in handy for
checking traps from a distance and might
help you avoid a twisted ankle in the
Bring a cap for the
top of the Mackerel can. Nothing smells
worse than fish juice spilled in the
car. Don't forget a spoon!
Females with kittens
will be attracted by the sound of their
kittens if the previously captured kittens
are placed in a covered carrier just
behind the trap. Similarly, kittens
will be easier to trap if the previously
captured mom is in the carrier. Females
in heat can be placed in a carrier to
attract male cats who have been eluding
the traps. Never place the "bait"
animal in the trap or anywhere where
it may be harmed by the trapped animal.
Even moms can hurt their babies if frightened
enough. Be careful not to let the "bait"
Some kittens can be
caught without a trap but are still
too wild to be handled easily. Use a
thick towel to pick up the kitten to
help protect you from scratching and
biting. This also helps prevent the
kitten from squirming away from you.
For advice regarding
the taming and/or fostering of feral
or orphaned kittens consult your veterinarian.
You may also obtain information on these
subjects from the Feral Cat Coalition.
will return you to the Feral Cat Coalition
Content and HTML Copyright 1995 Feral
Last update March 6, 2000