|Cat Trapping and Handling Equipment|
|It can be dangerous to handle frightened, aggressive or feral cats, and for a neutering programme to be successful, it is essential to have specialised equipment.
SNIP International recommends a minimum of one trap and two trap-transfer-restrainers (TTRs) right from the start. All the equipment described here is available from MDC Exports Ltd, and the number given to the item is the number in the catalogue that you can download from their web site.
With a combination of trap and TTR, a feral cat may be caught, taken to the veterinary surgery, neutered and returned to its site without ever being handled in the conscious state. The fingers of the trapper, veterinarian and animal nurse will be safe, and the cat will be less stressed.
Feral, shy or aggressive cats may be caught in a trap baited with food. Figure 4 shows the Eeziset Cat Trap: the door shuts when the cat enters and treads on the plate. Figure 5 shows the PF cat trap, which is not so robust but is lighter and easier to carry. They both have slide-up doors at the other end which are used to place the bait, and are opened in the transfer procedure.
The Eeziset cat trap 178-315
The PF cat trap 178-359
The Eezicatch trap has a trap door that opens outwards, and closes quietly. (178-342)
In the USA, there is a similar trap called the Tru-catch 3OLD. This is available from www.animal-traps.com.
These work by the operator pulling a cord to close the door when the cat has entered to eat the bait. Automatic traps may be modified to work manually, by propping the door open with a stick that is pulled away when the cat has entered. This is useful if you are trying to trap a particular cat, or a mother with her kittens.
|Manual traps may be made of wood and wire mesh. An example is the J and K trap 178-319, (photo left) At the other end there is a slide-up door which is opened to place the bait and then for transfer to the trap transfer restrainer (TTR).
The J and K trap may be constructed by any carpenter, using soft pine and marine plywood, and galvanized wire mesh. The slide-up door preferably should be made of transparent polyglass. To download the instructions to make one, click here.
|Keeping traps clean is important. Use plenty of water and detergent, but avoid disinfectants that are toxic to cats.|
|When the cat is in the trap, it should be transferred to a trap transfer restrainer for transport to the veterinary surgery.|
The photo on the left shows a TTR (MDC 236-354).
It is a basket with a slide-up door at one end for transfer of the cat from the trap. The movable internal partition (squeeze panel) at the back is used to restrain the cat for injection. The top lid can be opened when the cat is unconscious.
For details of how to carry out the transfer procedure, just click here.
At the veterinary surgery, the squeeze panel is used. The running bars extend outside to form handles, which are pulled forward gently until the cat is held firmly against the front of the basket, as shown in the photo below of a feral cat being injected in a TTR.
The panel can be held in that position with one hand by pressing the handles together, thus leaving the other hand free to give the injection. The panel is then pushed back to its original position.
When the cat relaxes in deep sedation, it may be safely removed for anaesthesia and surgery. After surgery, the cat should be put back into a basket, either the TTR or a simple carrying basket.
|The Nurses' Best Friend, ( MDC 236-355)
If a cat will come close to you but it is not safe to handle, you may be able to capture it with a dropover basket. This is a cat restrainer with a removable floor. The procedure is to slide the floor out, place the basket over the cat, then slide the floor back in.