- Prepare the vehicle in which you will transport the cat.
- Before you put the trap in the vehicle, put plastic down with
several layers of newspaper on top to absorb any urine, feces
- Prepare the area where you will keep the cat prior to surgery
and for recovery after.
- On the evening you plan to trap the cat and bring it home,
place two pieces of wood (2 x 4) on top of several layers of
- Placing the trap on the wood elevated above the newspapers
allows the inevitable mess of food, urine, and stool to fall
through the wire and keep the cat a little cleaner.
- In summer, unless yours is an air-conditioned one, a garage
is too hot a place to leave a cat in daytime.
- Late evenings in summer, a garage would be okay for an overnight
- A small, air-conditioned or well-ventilated bathroom or a
well-ventilated shed that is in the shade of a tree would be
suitable to keep a cat in while it recovers from surgery.
- Spraying a garage or shed area ahead of time with a cat-safe
flea spray (Adams or Ovitrol) might be helpful in discouraging
- You should exercise caution and consider the cat a wild animal
– unless you know it to be a recently discarded or stray
- Do not try to pet the cat or get your fingers near it.
- Do not let the cat out of the trap – you will likely
never get it back in again.
When you have trapped the cat and have brought
it to a safe place for the night prior to surgery, if you think
you can raise the door of the trap just enough to put a tiny dish
of water inside, do so, but if you are at all unsure then do not
even attempt this.
You will have left a recovery cage or a cat
carrier with a clean towel in it at the vet's to put the cat in
after surgery. It is awkward to put a cat back in a narrow trap,
although this can be done. If the cat is a male and you plan to
release him within 24 hours, then you might as well keep him in
- If you have recovery cage large enough to accommodate the
necessary food/water dishes and litter pan, as well as a cat
carrier, you might want to put one inside.
- A cat carrier with its door open and tied back onto the wires
inside the cage gives the cat a place to retreat and feel safe.
- When you bring the groggy cat home, you can shake it gently
out of its trap or carrier into the recovery cage.
- It will go right into the carrier that's tied inside the cage
to seek the security of the darkness and small space. (You will
not have covered up the cage until the cat is inside the carrier
so that it will automatically seek the darkness of the pet carrier.)
- A frightened cat will normally retreat into the carrier when
you have to remove and replace litter tray, food and water dishes.
- When it is time to return the cat to where you will be feeding
her, remove the cover from the entire cage and bang on the cage
to get her to go inside the pet carrier if she's not already
hiding in it.
- You will have previously released (from the outside) the carrier
door's attachments to the cage, so that you may quickly close
this door when she enters the carrier.
- You can then take the cat in the carrier to the place of release.
- If you happen to need a return visit to the vet with the cat
before it is ready for release, the cat carrier method is somewhat
easier than handling her in a cage.
- If the recovery cage is not large enough to house an inside
pet carrier as well as the food/water dishes and litter tray,
cover up the cage to make it a dark secure place for the cat
to enter when you bring it home from the veterinarian's.
- When removing litter tray for cleaning or replenishing food
and water dishes, you should fold back the cover so that the
front half of the cage is uncovered.
- The cat will retreat to the back of the cage – under
the covered part – allowing you space and time to quickly
remove the litter tray and food/water dishes.
- When the cat has had enough time to recover from surgery (it's
a tough world out there for feral felines, remember), take the
cage to the place of release and leave the door open for it
to exit in its own time – could take several minutes or
a split second.
- Often they will not eat for 2 or more days even though food
is right there for them.
- Remove the food after an hour if it is untouched and replace
with fresh food after a couple of hours.
- Often the cat will eat at night when all is still and nobody
is around, so put fresh food in the cage before you retire.
- Feral cats don't purr or meow but they will hiss and growl
- Place the cat carrier on top of an inverted litter tray if
your cage is big enough to keep a carrier in. This will keep
the litter and spilled water from going into the carrier.
- If you don't have a large cage, place a clean empty litter
tray in the back of the cage with a towel in it for the cat
to rest in. This will provide a dry bed for the cat in the event
of water spills and it will also keep some of the scattered
- If you have a mother cat with young kittens, put the food
dish for the mother on top of the carrier or else tie a feeding
bowl a couple of inches up on the cage wires so the kittens
don't end up in the food.