Using a conventional trap to catch a cat is much less stressful for the cat than using a drop trap. Drop traps should only be used by experienced trappers; if you lose a cat in a drop trap, your chances of ever trapping that cat are greatly reduced. And, a drop trap is time-consuming, as the trapper has to constantly watch the trap. So, we suggest that you go through this list of questions and suggestions and see if you canít trap the cat using a conventional humane trap. Use a drop trap only as a last resort.
Have you withheld food for at least 36 hours?
Are you certain that no one else is feeding the cat? Have you talked with neighbors?
How long have you been trying to trap the cat, and how persistent have you been? It sometimes takes several weeks or months to get a cat trapped.
Have you tried trap de-sensitization where you tie open the trap and place the food in front of the trap initially, and then gradually move the food farther and farther inside of the trap? Once the cat is comfortable eating inside the trap Ė no harm, no foul Ė untie the trap and catch the cat.
Have you tried to trap both with the trap covered and uncovered?
Try traps with double trap doors - both ends open and close when triggered,
Try trapping with Lucite door at the sliding end side of the trap.
Have you tried putting the trap in or near bushes; cats sometimes prefer the protection of foliage and arenít comfortable approaching a trap that is out in the open.
Have you tried lining the trap with newspaper or a towel as well as unlined?
If the cat is trap savvy, you can rig a manual pull by place an empty soda bottle to prop open the trap. Tie a string around the bottle, and sharply pull the string when the cat is fully in the trap. Donít get trigger happy and pull before the cat is solidly in the trap.
What have you tried as bait? Some cats only like kibble. Others prefer cat food, and few can resist canned tuna in oil (Bumble Bee is the best brand for this), KFC original recipe, smoked herring, half-cooked bacon.
Is your bait always fresh?
Have you done a trail of food into the trap, or are you just putting food in the back of the trap?
Are you trailing food down one side of the trap and then placing the jackpot in the corner on the opposite side of the trap? Donít trail the food down the center of the trap, as the cat can reach over the plate and back out of the trap Ė tummy full.
Have you seen the cat near the trap, and noted its reaction Ė if it going part way in and eating and then backing out, the cat is smart; if it is looking only at the back of the trap, you need a better trail from the front of the trap; if the cat is showing no interest, try another bait.
Have you tried dangling food at the rear of the trap, rather than just placing food on the floor of the trap?
Is the trap clean? Has it been bleached and sanitized since it was last used to trap cats? Cats will avoid traps that smell of other cats.