Welcome to the world of animal rescue and thank you for choosing the humane solution of trapping, neutering and lifetime maintenance of the abandoned, stray or feral feline(s) in your neighborhood, workplace or local community. Your decision to trap a cat must be synchronized with several aspects of trapping.
Trapping Cat Basics
You will have made an appointment with a veterinarian to have the animal tested for leukemia, neutered, and vaccinated. DO NOT TRAP unless you have a confirmed appointment! (Leukemia positive cats should be euthanized.)You might also request that the cat be checked for ear mites and that a flea treatment, such as Advantage, be applied. You must request that dissolvable stitches be used on females.
You will have informed the veterinarian that you will be bringing in a feral cat (unless you know, for sure, that it is not) and will have given its gender (if known). If you think the cat is pregnant, you will tell the vet. If you are unsuccessful in trapping the cat, you will advise the veterinarian's office that you cannot keep the appointment.
Recovery Arrangements for the Animal
You will have arrangements in place for the animal's recovery. Males should have 1-2 days to recover from surgery before being released. It is possible to recover them in the trap using pee pads and sliding small containers of food and water into the trap. Females should be given 3 to 5 days to recover before being released. Although not ideal, if a female was found to be nursing and you don't know where the kittens are, the females should be released within 24 hours so they can return to their babies.
For females, you will need to have a recovery cage. Borrow or buy one and take it with you to the veterinarian. Ask that the cat be placed in the cage after surgery. Or else take a pet carrier with you and ask that the cat be placed in the carrier after surgery.
Your Commitment to Continue Feeding the Cat
You will have resolved to maintain the cat for its lifetime after releasing it by making sure that it has enough clean food and water every day of its life, if possible. (The cat will be able to survive with being fed and watered 5 out of every 7 days.) You will make arrangements for a substitute feeder when you are on vacation or are unable to feed.