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Trapping Guide


Choose a suitable day and time for trapping. The best time for trapping is around the cat’s regular feeding time in the evening. If the cat is not regularly fed by a caretaker, have the resident/property owner put food out for the cat at the same time each evening for a week prior to trapping. It is important that the cat is not fed on the day you are attempting to trap.

Assess the area and consider where it would be best to set the trap. Near the feeding area is a good place to start, but you will need a sheltered spot as a back-up location in case of poor weather.

If possible, notify neighbours that you will be trapping and advise them to keep their pets indoors during this time.


The best food to use as bait in the trap is strong-smelling wet food such as tuna, salmon or sardines.

Please be aware that the trapping process always causes some stress to the cat. In order to minimise this stress, follow these steps:
• Check the trap frequently (at least once every hour).
• The trap must not be left unattended while set for any length of time. If you need
to leave the property, unset the trap until you return.
• Once you have trapped a cat, cover the trap with a blanket or towel.
• The cat must not be left in the trap for more than six hours.


Please note that if you are trapping in an urban area there is a high risk of catching a domestic pet cat. If this occurs, ensure the cat is not injured and release him/her immediately. Trapping must take place on private property. If the property is not occupied by you, ensure you have consent from the owner/resident.

Trap-shy cats

If the cat is difficult to trap, try these techniques:
• Cover the trap with a blanket or towel
• Put cardboard or a cloth down on the floor of the trap
• Swap the trap for a two-door tunnel trap
• Change the type of food used in the trap

If the cat will still not enter the trap, the trap should be placed in the feeding area unset for several days, so it becomes familiar to the cat. The door may be propped open with an object (e.g. a stick or block of wood) and food placed just inside the trap. After a few days the feeder should move the food bowl further to the back of the trap until the cat is  comfortable eating inside it. Once the cat is familiar with the trap, set the trap and reattempt to catch the cat.

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