Gushing about my new trap. long and very MPSIMS

I trap stray cats and have them fixed. The ones who are adoptable get new homes, the ferals get their ears tipped and then released. IMHO Trap, Test, Neutor and Release is the best way to deal with the feral cat problem. Yes, I am the crazy cat lady on my block.

Enough lecturing from me and please don’t say mean things about what I do.

Anyhow. I also trap other critters at times. My havahart trap was a standard, humane trap that was about 10 years old. They are built to last and I didn’t know that they could be improved.

A month ago, I trapped a raccoon. Usually, I just open the trap (with fingers too close for comfort to the gate), then let the critter run in one direction while I run the other way.

This time, the raccoon managed to get its front leg wedged between the bars somehow. It was horrible, there was frozen blood all over and the poor thing was just laying there blinking at me. I was able to get a wild life rescue group to come and get him. He’s been vetted and had to have leg amputated. He will probably go to the local zoo. He won’t be released.

So…trap went with the raccoon.

I was so tramatized that I thought that my trapping days were over.

When I got home tonight, there was a new havahart trap on the bench. I don’t know which one of my neighbors put it there, so I will suspect all of them :cool:

I honestly didn’t think that a havahart could be improved, but I LOVE this thing. Its much lighter than my last one, which will make it much easier to hold it away from my body. The metal plate under the handle is much bigger and the best thing of all is that this trap has a handle that lets me stand behind the trap and open it. No danger of fingers getting nipped!!!

Thank you, whoever you are for buying me a new trap. I caught that spraying tom and will have his balls cut off in you name :slight_smile:

How do you get all the cats fixed? Do you pay for it yourself, or do you have a vet who will do it cheap or free? We raise foster kittens for a local rescue outfit, and getting a vet to neuter all the cats is probably their biggest hurdle.

OMG! I knew I liked you for a reason. Fantastic!!

Oh, cool thing for your neighbors (and you) to do. Someday I hope to do something like that regularly also. I donate to a group called Alley Cat Rescue, a TNR group. Have you heard of them?

That’s awesome! Keep up the good work. :slight_smile:

Thank you for the kind words :slight_smile:

I’m loving this trap even more. I’m a hero at the vet’s office now because they love the trap too. Tom passed his bloodwork and will be fixed today. He’s pretty wild, so I’ll release him Monday. I could probably release him tomorrow morning, but as long as he doesn’t freak out, I’ll keep feeding him as much gooshy food as he can eat and let him rest up and recover.

needscoffee I’m part of a local rescue group. Our group has 3 vets who will fix our cats and dogs at a very discounted price, but only 1 who will do ferals. The vet who does my wildlings is also the zoo’s vet. He’s a totally awesome man who probably spends as much time helping needy animals as he does with his paying customers. Our community is truely blessed to have him.

I love fostering kittens. I can get my kitten fix and then off they go leaving me with my adult cats who sleep during the night.

**KinkiNipponTourist ** Awwwwww!!! Thank you :smiley:

**Angel of Doubt ** At first, my neighbors were not happy that I was feeding the strays. It wasn’t until they saw that what I was doing actually was helping the problem that they started listening to me. There are still lots of cats running around, but they aren’t fighting/mating or spraying anymore. The annoyance factor has gone way down.

You don’t need to start big to get involved. All you need is a willing vet, a trap and a place to keep a trapped cat for a couple of days. If Alley Cat Rescue is the group I’m thinking about, they will have lots of good advice online. Ferals live such hard lives, anything you do to help could be the first human kindness that cat has ever received.

Thanks** faithfool **I can’t save the world, but today I changed the world for just one cat.

Thank you for what you do. I admire people who do more than talk about solving the feral problem. I do love kitties so…

Thank you, Hanna. I do appreciate your kind words. Its not their fault they are feral. If only more people would have their pets neutored. le sigh.

But, I didn’t come here for praise, I had to gush about my new trap. Shiney and with bells and whistles :smiley:

Its about 8 inches shorter than my last one and is much easier to get into my car. There is still enough room inside that I won’t feel cruel keeping an adult cat in it for a few days. (actually, I do feel like its cruel, but I know that I’m doing A Good Thing)

When I can, I will do something that is pretty evil, though. If time permits, after kitty is drugged, I’ll cuddle him/her. I can just imagine how outraged kitty would be if they knew.

What is your most effective bait?


Hunger was my first answer because I’ve trapped cats using nothing but kibble before.

My thoughtful answer has to be that it depends on the situation. I once hand caught a kitten (well chased it into a corner and threw a towel on it), then put the kitten in a covered carrier with the back of a trap against the door. Mamacat, who had resisted all of my bait up until then, only had one way to get to her kitten and in she went. Once Mamacat was trapped, I covered her trap and butted another trap against it. The rest of the kittens couldn’t wait to get trapped.

I looked at your critter cam. I’ve seen cats around skunks before and they seemed to get along. I’ve also seen how still the cats get if the skunks get upset. Its like a group “Oh shit!” thing.

Missed the edit window. When trapping the kittens, I worried about the gate slamming on the following ones. The spring was so strong that it could have done serious damage. The spring on my new trap is just as fast but doesn’t fall with nearly as much force.

I know, I have no life. I’m gushing about a trap like some people talk about new cars and all. I’m like this irl, too. I cornered the neighbor who I suspect bought the trap and spent 10-15 minutes singing my delight.

Update on Tom and trap. I was able to put Tom in a cage. Tom has more room to move around and I wasn’t scared about opening the trap.

OMG…I love this thing.

Years ago, my former apartment was infested with squirrels. They constantly ran around in the space between the ceiling of the first floor and the floor of the second. I lived on the first floor, so I suffered through the thumping of those damn squirrels - not to mention that the space was audibly stuffed with walnuts. If you pounded your fist on the ceiling, as you do when squirrels wake you at 3AM, you could reliably hear walnuts rolling about.

Anyhow, I googled Havahart, and that’s the same trap the landlord eventually used. I really had to ride that damn landlord to do something. So an exterminator sealed off all possible entrances save one. The one that was left was rigged with a long section of PVC pipe pointing straight down. The squirrels could get out, but not back in. Great, because I really didn’t want them starving and rotting in the ceiling. The landlord furnished the Havahart trap as an additional measure - bastard had the gall to ask me to supply bait.

The problem slowly improved, and then one day I spotted a squirrel in the trap on the roof. I called the landlord. The plan was that he would drive the thing out in the country and release it. He never came, and the squirrel died in the cage. I considered doing it myself, but the only route to the steep roof was a uneven and rickety ladder poised over a concrete slab and two air conditioning units. I was on a string of rotten luck - like losing all my sleep to squirrel infestations - so there was no way I was going to break my neck for the same fucking squirrel/s that cost me months of sleep. Still, I felt bad for the thing. Funny how without the human effort, the Havahart trap is much more cruel than a killing one.

Awesome work you do, flatlined.
Can you make a picture of your new trap and post it? I’d like to show it to my local Dutch CNR group, “Zwerfkat” (RoamingCat).

My province just paid for an ecological research (not yet published) with GPS tagged cats about the local places that spawn more and more cats. Sort of a follow-up to this research.
Biology and Ecology of Feral, Free-Roaming, and Stray Cats (can’t link to it, google it and you’ll find it.)

It turns out that camping sites and farms are the worst. Cats are fed there to reduce mice, and they gather, and breed unchecked. The adjacent wildlife suffers.

My political party andme were going to propose a plan to offer free (subsidized) CatchNeuterRelease programs to these places, and offer them to place the urban feral cats there to replace their mouse hunters. We would sove the unbridled breeding there and have a place for our urban ferals, all at the same time. Unfortunately, we haven’t been elected anymore so our plan will just have delivered the research and not the program. Still, I’m going to send some press releases to some magazines aimed at farms and campings to tell them about this possibility. Communication and all that :slight_smile:

Have you ever heard about cat calming pheromone spray? Apparently it works; judging by the reviews on amazon. The same stuff is sold as collars or room diffusers. Such a product would be invaluable in cat rescue shelters and maybe for you, too.

Keep up the good work!

drastic_quench Your ex-landlord sounds like a real jerk. Poor squirrel :frowning:

What happened with the raccoon was unheard of. Nobody else has ever heard of such a terrible havahart failure. It honestly was the worse thing that has ever happened in my rescue efforts. I’m still happy owning a Havahart. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t the trap, it was the raccoon.

Maastricht I’d sure vote for you! I didn’t think to find a link to the trap before, here it is.

I would have never considered moving Tom into a cage with my old one. That would have required having my arm in the cage while opening the trap. Feral cats are sharp of claw and fang, and are lightning fast. They aren’t aggressive, please don’t ever think that. They are frightened and want to get away. As a semi-professional cat wrangler, its my responsibility to keep them and myself safe. Before I got my pre-exposure Rabies shots, getting bit badly enough to seek medical attention would have resulted in having the critter killed and its brain examined. Now, I can quarentine them, but that would really stress them out. Its best all around to not risk getting bit for any reason.

I didn’t need to click on your link to know that it was for Feliway. I use it a lot in the foster room. I don’t think that it would work very well for trapped ferals. They are too stressed for anything but major drugs to calm them down.

The town of Jerome Arizona used to be a remote mining town. Its morphed into an artist colony and tourist attraction, but its still remote. They had a terrible feral cat problem and as a community chose to deal with it by TTNR. They had a major feral cat round-up and also offered free spay/neutor for the housecats. As I understand, they do another sweep every year. Because they are so remote and because the whole community bought into it, kittens are now imported, not bred. It can work.

I tried to find some link about their ferals, but my google fu is weak today. Anyhow, I wish you the best for your efforts. I’d love to some day learn that an entire country had stopped killing animals for the sin of being homeless.

Hi flatlined! I work at a shelter that does a lot of work with TNR folks. We have a spay/neuter clinic that does low-cost TNR for people, and some come in regularly from the suburbs for our services with vans full of traps! While all traps are good, we actually like the Havahart the least - no criticism or anything negative intended - all traps and trapping is good! But, if you were to consider increasing your trapping, I wonder if you would give a different brand a try in addition to the Havahart? Just in case you would consider trying another one, we’ve found the system from ACES to be invaluable. Their traps are light, powder-coated, and brown or green in color (humaniac) instead of shiny (the “pro” in the first link is silver though). They have the trap-end, but the other end also opens guillotine-style to allow transfer from the trap to a carrier, and a third device, the trap divider, that allows medical personnel to “pin” the cat to one end of the trap or carrier in order to administer the sedation. It’s a great system! If the Havahart can be opened on both ends, then just adding the carrier and trap divider may prove invaluable for your arsenal, as you can transfer the cat to the carrier to take to the vet and you can still use the trap.

To be honest, we all kind of groan a little when we see the traps with the big solid metal door. They are heavier and without the sliding door on the other end are more difficult to work with. If your Havahart has the guillotine door on the other end, then great! I can’t find one in the site, though, and I recall the solid-door traps all having an un-openable other end. We also like the Tomahawk traps. Again, with the guillotine door on the other end. The ACES traps and the Tomahawk traps are the ones our TNR volunteers and employees use, and the shelter also purchases them and loans them out to people for 2 weeks at a time.

I don’t want you to feel bad - all traps are good, and TNR is so valuable! Hopefully that’s obviously my feeling since I’m involved with an organization that’s spent a lot of money to advance the TNR movement in the last few years. But if the opportunity presents itself for you to acquire another trap or additional equipment, please consider trying a different brand. If you have already tried a different one and hated it, please give me your input on it, I would be interested on someone else’s take if maybe they’re less likeable in the field than they are in the clinic.

Good luck in your continued endeavors!


SeaDragonTattoo, Thank you so much for the work you do. I couldn’t do what I do without people like you.

I’ve never used a different brand of trap. I thought that humane traps are all the same, which is one of the reasons I was so amazed with my new one. I looked at the ones in your links, and yes, I can see that I’d get a lot of use out of the guillotine door. Ignorance fought, thank you.

I don’t know that I’ll be buying another trap for a while (these things last forever), but when I do, I’ll definately look for other options. I do feel kind of bad, I’d like to make things easier for my awesome vet and staff. Feral cats aren’t the easiest patients in the world and our wonderful vet only charges $40 for testing, shots and neutoring. He’s got a regular practice, but still lets me just show up with a stinky tomcat and will have the cat finished that day. Did I remember to say that he’s totally awesome?

I think I need to show up with food tomorrow morning just because :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the information and keep up the good work. You are making a difference in the world and its very appreciated.

You, too! I’d like to throw glitter and candy on this thread.

Its my thread and I’ll hijack it if I want to! Runs around scattering glitter all over.

SeaDragonTattoo Do you have any advice you could share? I’m thinking about how to convince…err…corrupt…umm…gather folks like** Angel of Doubt **into the fold?

I’ve found that a lot of people are afraid of hands-on when it comes to ferals. Most of them are afraid to do harm, but as you know, ferals can do just fine in a small cage for a few days and having them TTNR’d is really kind.

I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and its really the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I see some very ugly stuff, but I also meet people who just amaze me. The rescue community is full of people who are caring and kind.

Back to you, SeaDragonTattoo. Did you get the pre-exposure shots for your job? If so, how long does it take before you have to get a booster shot? Its been over 3 years since my last booster and my blood work says my titers are still high. Before this, I had to get a booster every 2 years. Yes, I am paranoid about this, I don’t want critters to die because I failed to protect them.

How is your shelter funded?

How do people find low cost spay/neutor in your neck of the woods? Do they need prove low-incomes? (I’ve learned that people who make tons more than I do will expect me to come and trap their wildlings and never give us a penny. “just make them go away” I make them go away. There isn’t an income requirement here and people still don’t use the cheap options.

Do you feel that I’m wrong for fixing THREE of my neighbor’s cats because they were roaming around intact? It took her a couple of years to notice that her male was missing something and then she came to my house and yelled at me. She’s got another kitten now. A male. He’s on my list.

How do we get a mod to change the thread title to “lets talk about Trap Test Neutor Release and the benefits”?

Oh my gosh, I have to get to bed now, because I’m actually doing some relief work at the S/N Clinic at 8am, and that’s about 6 hours earlier than I’m used to getting to work, so gotta get some shut-eye. Then there’s a fundraising event tomorrow evening, and back to a relief shift 8am Wednesday. Sooo - I’ll get to your questions Wednesday night, after a nap! Sorry to leave you hanging so long, but I want to be thorough in answering. . More details when I have time to look stuff up to be sure to give accurate info, Wednesday night!