Feral Cat Foundation - Tax ID 68-0411209 - P.O. Box 1173, Alamo, CA 94507 Feral Cat Foundation - Serving Alameda & Contra Costa Counties
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Updated 10NOV21
About Feral Cats


Introduction to Trapping Cats FCF's Trapping Assistance Program Preparing to Trap Trapping Pregnant Cats or Mothers with Young Kittens

General Points

  • If a cat is pregnant, the sooner you can trap her the better. You must alert the veterinarian that you will be bringing in a pregnant female. Some veterinarians will not abort if pregnancy has gone a certain length.
  • If the cat you want to trap is a mother with young kittens, you must trap them all at the same time. The kittens will starve without their mother.
  • Kittens up to 6-8 weeks of age should not be separated from their mother. Kittens can be kept at your home until you get their mother back from the vet.
  • A mother cat needs to be returned to her nursing kittens within 12 hours.
  • A spayed mother cat can still nurse, but should not be spayed until kittens are at least 6 weeks old.
  • It is easier to tame (handle) kittens when they are 6 weeks or younger.

Suggestions for Trapping Kittens and Mother Cats

  • Borrow two traps – one should be a small kitten-size trap.
  • Bring a cat carrier with you when you try to trap.
  • Bring someone to help you with the kittens.
  • Bring a thick towel to grab very young kittens with.

If you catch the mother first, keep the trap covered except for the entry which you will place up against the second kitten-trap. Then you will pull the cover to extend over the kitten trap also – or add a cover if the first one is not long enough to cover both traps. You want the kittens to be able to peer into the trap and see their mother at the far end in her trap.

The kittens will have scattered when they heard the first trap closing and their mother thrashing around initially, but they will return when she quiets down and will go into the trap looking for her and for food.

If you catch a kitten first, you should remove it from the trap into the carrier so that you can re-use the trap to get the other kittens. (If only one kitten, then leave it in the trap and place it against the larger trap, as detailed above, to trap the mother cat next.)

If the kittens are fairly young, 4-5 weeks approximately, you can use the help of the person you brought with you to transfer them into the cat carrier (that's when you need the thick towel).

Following are Steps to Take to Get Older Kittens from the Trap into the Carrier, Also Using the Help of Another Person:

  • Place the front of the empty carrier, with door open, right up against the door of the trap with the kitten(s) in it.
  • Your helper must hold the carrier firmly against the trap.
  • You will slide open the door of the trap and bang against the trap so that the kitten will move out of the trap away from the noise into the carrier.
  • Then, you must be very quick and careful to close the carrier door on the kitten(s).

Once you have the kitten or kittens in the carrier and the door closed, you can set the trap for the mother right up against the carrier and she will go in very quickly to get close to her kittens. The trap will have to be covered, of course.

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