Thursday, December 1, 2016

The start of feral trapping. . .

Why are there two live traps in our backyard?

It's a long story. About a year and a half ago, a former neighbor (an alcoholic and drug user) abandoned his three cats when he moved. His girlfriend trapped one but left the other two go.

They dispersed quickly and I honestly thought they had not survived the Wisconsin winter. A couple of months ago, I saw one. . and then the other. I started putting out food. They are not friendly anymore and I could not tell their sex. I wasn't even sure the orange one was the former neighbor's.

Dumbly, I "assumed" they were fixed, but two weeks ago I saw three kittens across the alley from our backyard. Kittens in mid November in Wisconsin = bad news. My heart sank. I fretted.

I knew I had to do something. I called the local shelter, who has a TNR program, and got on the schedule. I ordered a trap from Amazon (left in the photo, much smaller than I'd anticipated, but should work for catching the kittens), and borrowed a larger one from a neighbor.

The traps are wired open with food. Each day I will move the bowls a little farther back in the traps to get them used to walking in the cage. On Saturday I will not feed, then on Sunday afternoon I will set the traps with food and hope for the best. I will monitor the traps, and if I catch a kitty, will bring him/her into our garage and cover with a blanket.

I  have a "week long" appointment next week for the cats, which means I can bring them in any weekday. The kittens will be about 7-8 weeks old and have a chance to be adopted. The adults will be spayed/neutered and returned with an ear tip and a rabies shot.

Please wish me luck. I'm a bundle of emotions. I want to help these cats, but to do that, I need to catch them. I'll post updates next week.

10 comments:

Marg said...

Oh that is so great that you are doing that. Just don't give up. Does the trap shut on it's own once the cat goes back to eat?? I sure hope you get them, especially the You probably can tame the kittens with some patience. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

amyjtoo said...

Yikes, good luck. Thankful our weather has been fairly mild so far.

Eastside Cats said...

OH! I know how you feel; the first time I set up traps, I was a bundle of nerves. I like your process: wiring the cages open, to lure them into a sense of familiarity. I has worked for me, so you are on a good track! Hope you have blankets or towels to through over the traps once the cats are inside; it calms them down during transport. Good luck! You'll do fine. I am the biggest wuss on the planet, and yet I've successfully trapped several feral cats, just so you know.

Random Felines said...

good for you!! the worst part is the anticipation of "did you catch anything". don't hesitate to reach out to us if you have questions - we are happy to help.

Summer at sparklecat.com said...

I'm crossing my paws really, really hard that you capture them all, especially those kittens. There is no way they can face winter in your area, and how sad if they do and become feral the way that their parents have.

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

I am glad you are helping these poor kitties.

Angel and Kirby said...

Good luck. I hope it goes well!

Tails from the Foster Kittens said...

paws crossed

The Rosie Bee said...

So many emotions reading this (your neighbor!! >:( but the fact that you are doing this is so awesome). I'm crossing paws and praying that it goes well. Thank you for being so caring.

Eileen said...

Good luck. I hope that all the cats can be trapped and given a better future than they face today.

I'm certain I'd be a bundle of nerves too. We did trap a cat once in our backyard and turned him over to the SPCA. My son, the cat whisperer, did all the work and he kept Saber (yes, he named him) calm during transport.

Two kitties on the porch couch

Ringo and Lucy both love to sneak out on the porch anytime they can (with sneak meaning that Jim opens the door for them).