How can I trap feral cats humanely?

Becky Robinson, CatChannel expert recommends devising a plan to trap feral cats.

Q: There are a few feral cats living in my barn, and none have been spayed or neutered. I want to humanely trap and bring them to be sterilized, but I need someone to help me. What can I do?

A: The first thing you need to do is get organized. Feed the cats on a regular schedule, and then get an accurate count of how many cats and kittens are living in the barn. Create a spreadsheet to identify all the cats and note distinguishing features for each. My sister takes photos of her ferals to track them.

Once you are organized, visit the Alley Cat Allies website to find a “Feral Friend” in your area. The Feral Friends Network is a database of organizations and individuals experienced with trap-neuter-return that offer their knowledge and experience to help new caregivers. The Feral Friends Network also lists veterinarians and spay/neuter clinics, so you can find one near you.

A Feral Friend can guide you through the important next steps: locating humane traps, identifying low cost spay/neuter services in your area and devising the best plan to get all the cats humanely trapped, spayed or neutered and returned as quickly as possible. This is key because the most important thing you can do for those cats is to stop the breeding. No matter where you live, help is always available by the phone and e-mail.

You can also find all the information you need about safe trapping, trap-neuter-return and caring for feral cats in factsheets, brochures and videos at the Alley Cat Allies website. All of our materials can be downloaded for free. Thanks for helping these cats — they need you. And good luck!

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