How to catch a stray cat to bring it to the shelter

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Stray, or feral cats are usually classified as a pest species due to their habits of occupying public places in high numbers, fighting and spraying. The most common complaints include the following:

  • Stray cats occupying public areas
  • Stray cats around facility dumpsters
  • During mating season, foul musk scent
  • Stray cats fighting or mating loudly
  • People concerned about stray cat population
  • Strays posing a threat to pet cat
For these reasons, many people wish to have stray, or feral, cats trapped and removed.


If you need to trap and transport stray cats, read my guide to stray cat trapping.

Click here for a nationwide list of 100's of professional stray cat trappers serving all 50 states.

Have you ever heard of a cat trap? I know you might be sniggling to yourself and thinking we are crazy right now, but in actual fact, it might not be too long before you consider buying a cat trap yourself! If you have a problem with stray cats in your community, the cat trap could be one of the biggest helps at your disposal, and if you are going to spend a small fortune on repellants for fighting and spraying stray cats anyway, you might as well put the money towards something that will actually be doing some good.

Have you ever heard of catch, neuter, release programs? These are very clever programs designed to prevent the birth of more stray kittens into an already overpopulated stray community. Alternatively, you can take a stray cat that you have caught to the shelter. Both of these ideas are one that will make a difference, regardless of whether or not you like to think so.

When it comes to trapping cats, you do need to have some sort of idea of what cat you are trapping. We don’t mean by breed – we mean by nature. There are two types of strays. There is the “normal” stray – the ones that were once housecats that have either gotten lost when they wandered off, abandoned or kicked out by their owners, or run away due to neglect and abuse. These cats are normally rather tame, and can be found new homes, as long as the right steps are taken, for example, taking them to the shelter.

A feral cat is a different kind of cat altogether. This is a cat that has been born into the wild, either from strays making babies together, or feral cats making babies together. This kind of cat is one that will not respond well to humans, and there is a chance that it will not be able to find a new home because of its wild nature. However, this is not to say that it is a problem that cannot be resolved – it can be neutered or spayed in the programs that we discussed above, and this will reduce the amount of new stray babies that are born into communities.

Not only will catching stray cats help to reduce the amount of babies in the community, but it will also help with the spread of disease, help to find more strays new owners, and can also help with the fighting and spraying problem that many people experience with strays, especially feral ones.

Catching a cat is not a difficult task as long as you have the know-how. You will need to start with a trap. You can find these online or in commercial stores, and you will usually find that the traps come with instructions that you must read whether you want to or not, a cover, and a cage divider. Some of the more expensive ones will have more features, but these are the basics.

The bait is simple – normal cat food will normally do the trick, but if you don’t have this to hand, you can always try sardines, tuna, leftover meat or similar. You will want to avoid certain foods, such as chocolate, as this can be toxic to these little critters.

Once you have trapped your new friend, you can then take them to the shelter or to the clinics that take part in the program. You will have done your bit for the community.

Here are some other articles about stray cats:
stray cat removal
catch neuter release of stray cats
how many stray cats in America
common problems with stray cats
what to do if you find a litter of kittens

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