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How to Trap & What to Do With Feral Cats?

Many of us would have seen stray cats meowing around our houses or randomly frolicking around our yards, streets. If you come across such feral /stray cats, the decision to catch them and keep them safe and healthy is a noble deed. It is reasonably necessary to learn how to catch a stray cat the right way. The cats might be lost, abandoned, or leading their lives as stray. So catching them to help them is a tremendous help to both the cat and the community. Here is the complete guide to how to catch feral cats with do’s and don’ts. Let’s get into it.

How to Catch A Stray Cat?

The topmost priority should be to capture the feline in the most humane way possible. So get a live cat traps. Animal shelters and local vets can lend you the live traps if you don’t have one. Live traps are safe and effective.

  • Decide beforehand if you plan to domesticate the cat in the long run or give it up for adoption.
  • If you’re unable to find live traps, try using cat carriers or big boxes. Check with the vet to see if they accept the cat brought in boxes beforehand.
  • Try to win the cat’s trust by starting to feed it a few days before its capture.
  • Feed the cat at the same time every day. So it learns the timings to know when feral cat has to come.
  • Try to feed it at the same location every day too.
  • Opt for the best cat foods & treats which have a better chance of luring them, like catnip, sardines, cooked chicken, anchovies, etc. The smellier the food is, the better your chance becomes to catch them.
  • Once your cat becomes comfortable with the food routine. Try place a live trap or carrier near its food bowl just to get it used to the object.
  • Day by day, move the carrier or trap closer and closer to the food bowl until the food is finally placed inside the trap.
  • On catching the cat, lure the cat into the live trap\carrier with the food bowl.
  • When the cat is inside, gently close the box and cover it with a towel to keep it safe.
  • If you’re not able to take it to the vet immediately, keep it contained in a safe place until you can seek medical help.
  • Work with a local TRNM( Trap-Neuter-Return-Monitor) program if the above mentioned methods do not work for you.

Once you’ve taken the cat to the vet, they will be able to check it for a microchip. If not, they will neuter, spay or administer any medical care.

How to Get Rid of Stray Cats?

Feral cats getting accustomed to your locality can become a problem, as they cause a lot of nuisances in the neighbourhood. They kill birds and other wildlife, use gardens and flower beds as litter boxes, use sheds, yards, and other places in your locality as breeding grounds. They may also attack people on the street or cause problems. It is necessary to figure out a way to get rid of them in these scenarios harmlessly. Here are some of the simple steps to how to catch a stray cat without a trap.

  • Get rid of their primary food sources, as cats tend to locate themselves around food. Close the trash bins around you properly until there’s no space left for cats to dig for food.
  • Avoid feeding your pet on outside yards, and it may attract to the smells, and leftovers if any.
  • If you know where they live, inform local shelters or animal control to get them to rehabilitate in a secure and healthy environment.
  • If you own a female cat, it might attract male cats outside to cause problems. As advised by the vet, spaying your female cats at the proper time can prevent male cats from getting attracted to your pets.
  • Use cat repellents on your property. The repellents can be commercial or natural, like ground mustard, mothballs, cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, citrus peels, etc. Ensure you re-apply these after periods of heavy rain, thunderstorms, and so on. You can explore best cat repellent sprays & deterrents in marke at affordable pricing.
  • Get in touch with your neighbours to assist in solving the problem.
  • Call animal control when the situation seems uncontrollable, as they are better equipped and trained to handle these problems.
  • Support your local cat shelters to help them get better equipped to provide shelter for stray cats
  • Designing your houses and yards in a manner specifically for preventing cats discourages them from entering and causing trouble. A few examples are thorny bushes, sharp mulch, sharp foliage with strong odours, and so on.
  • If the cat seems to be a pet, contact your neighborhood to check if someone is missing a pet. Make sure to lookout for missing cat posters displayed around the locality.

Things Not to Do for Catching Stray Cats

  • Always avoid trying to capture the cats by hand, as it is a highly risky method and might injure the cat and us
  • Avoid trying to catch them using unreliable devices such as pillowcases, blankets, tiny boxes, bags, and so on.
  • When the cats show signs of diseases or illness, do not attempt to catch them. The cats can be potential carriers of diseases that can affect us too.
  • Never use inhumane traps in an attempt to catch them( like bear traps, glue traps, and so on)
  • Avoid the use of toxic contamination or poisons to catch or get rid of them.
  • Before attempting to make a catch of any kind, check the cat for any signs of illness or disease. Cats with diseases may be potential carriers of diseases that might affect us, so if the cat displays illness, call animal control. Do not attempt to catch sick animals.
  • If the cat you’re looking to catch looks well-fed and collared, it might be a lost pet. Inquire around the neighbourhood to check if it could be someone’s missing pet.
  • Never resort to shooting, even with pellet guns or non-lethal guns.
  • Do not let loose aggressive dogs get rid of the cats, as it poses a danger to the cats and causes further trouble.
  • Do not attempt to catch them with sedated food or treats.
  • Never physically harm the cat to catch them.
  • If the cat you’re trying to catch is on the property of someone else, obtain permission from the rightful owner before attempting the capture.
  • Do not leave your live traps or carriers unattended.
  • Decide beforehand where you are going to take the cat.
  • Avoid carrying the live trap/carriers by hand over a long distance, as the constant wobbling might cause the cats harm.
  • Use a safe vehicle to transport the cat safely.


Like other animals and humans, Cats deserve to be treated with utmost care and respect. The furry felines deserve to be handled with care and habilitated in safe and healthy homes. Contributing even a small amount to helping stray cats lead a better and healthier life goes a long way to their lives. We hope this how to trap feral cats helps you to know the proper way to pick up a cat.