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Anyone have experience with catching a feral cat?

Silke

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I've had a black tomcat on the property for just over a year. He's called "Not my Cat", because he's an entity to himself and doesn't like people. (He likes their food tho...)
This morning I put Squeaky's bowl outside the door -- being lazy -- and noticed "Not my Cat" limping on the other side of the hedge. So I tried to see if I can determine what's wrong. I put an extra bowl in the middle of the parking area, outside the kitchen area, where I'm able to check through the window if he came out. He was clearly hungry, because he was headed to the front door where Squeaky was eating, when I came out with a bowl for him... but he ran into the bushes the second he saw me. (But watching where I'm putting the food)
He appears to have a broken or dislocated lower front leg. He's not using it, and it's at an odd angle.
Catching him... not a chance. He'll have to be trapped, but that comes with it's own challenges. Namely Squeaky. And chickens.
I think he sleeps in the barn, but I'm not sure.
I've contacted the SPA for help, as I don't want him to suffer, but there is not much I can do if I can't get near him.
I told them if they can catch him for me, I'd be more than happy to take him to the vet and have him checked out and treated -- as well as neutered.
No response yet.
He can't be enticed with food, or at least it hasn't worked so far.
I'm also worried that if he gets caught in a trap, that he'll hurt himself even more, trying to get out.
I tried to get a clearer shot with the tele lens, but I've had to do it through the kitchen door, from behind the curtain...
I'd say that front leg is broken. He's hopping on 3 legs.
29-04-2021 - IMG_8787-Export.jpg
 

Bailey21

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Poor guy. Hopefully the SPA will get back to you, I've never trapped a cat so I don't have any advice. Perhaps @Sheldon13 might be able to give insight as she's done a lot of TNRs with the strays in her area.
 

Beckinboots

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Poor Not-my-cat. When we had the interloper in our garden (see my post in Condo Commando's thread about FIV cats) Cats Protection loaned us a trap to catch him. It took several nights of baiting it but it worked in the end. Is there a charity like that in France that could help you?

Good luck!
 

Sheldon13

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@Silke do you have access to a live trap?

SPCA may have one you can borrow.

I suggest mackerel in oil or sardines to attract him. Place a small towel in the bottom of the trap so he doesn’t step on wire or he may not go in. Put a bite of food at the entrance of the trap and a tablespoon at the back so he’ll trip the door. I also recommend you cover the whole thing except the entrance on a large towel or blanket (not too thick-you don’t want to suffocate him). It makes the trap less scary.

Then when you catch him you can take him for vetting. They will HAVE to sedate him if he’s feral. To do literally anything with him.


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Sheldon13

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If he doesn’t seem attracted to fish you can try smelly canned cat food.


Love and Sphynx ~ It’s all you need
 

Silke

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SPA lent me a trap. Tried with cat food last night, but didn't take it. (Poor Squeaky was locked into the foyer of the gite last night, so she doesn't get trapped.) Will pick up some sardines today and try with that. Thanks for the suggestions.
SPA also gave me a "Paddle" of sorts to push him toward a door and trap him there for the vet to sedate.
 

Sheldon13

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Also if he’s in the trap the vet can likely give him a dart injection of sedation, so you should not have to do anything with moving him from one cage to another with paddles.

Another thing I thought of. I had 2 cats escape traps because they were not secure enough. I ended up buying mini carabiners for all 4 corners. I clip the back two ahead of time and the front 2 corners once the cat was inside. No more escapes. You could also use wire twine just be careful where the pointy end points.


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Silke

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It's a proper trap they use for the ferals all the time. I tried on Thursday night, no joy.
Haven't seen him at all yesterday, or today.
Since France is closed for 2 days (May Day & Sunday) earliest I can try again is Sunday night, because I don't want him stuck in a trap for 2 days if I do happen to catch him.
Might end up going to the vet with 2 cats tho, as Pixie is limping a bit, on and off. It doesn't seem to bother her, but it bothers me, seeing it. :)
 

Sheldon13

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Oh definitely plan your trapping so he’s not stuck in there. I do the same.

Why do you think Pixie has a limp?


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Sheldon13

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Hmm. He might be trap-shy. So what you want to try now is sequential movement of the food with the trap doors both propped up and not set at all.

Day 1-2
Prop both doors up and do not set the trap. Put a tablespoon of smelly food right before the entrance.

Day 3-4
Move the food to right inside

Day 5
Move food halfway in

Day 6
Close back door. Food in the front but still inside trap. Do not set trap

Day 7
Back door still closed. Food to middle. Do not set trap.

Day 8-9
Food to back. Do not set trap.

Day 10
Food to back. Set trap.


This is a lengthy version because I don’t know how shy he is. He may very well understand these traps if he has been caught before so you need to ease him into it. Try different canned foods but also try the mackerel. That’s the number one used here. Mackerel in oil. Very smelly. You are only using a tablespoon worth to get him to get used to and go in the trap.

Please let me know how it goes. Do you have a way to know if he eats the food?


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Sheldon13

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I’m glad Pixie is better. Must have just twisted it or something.


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Silke

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No luck, but I haven't seen him, either :/
And now Beaker went missing... out of the chicken pen!
The hens are all there, but Beaker wasn't in the pen when I came to let them out. No holes, nothing. No feathers or anything.
I have NO idea what is going on.
 

Sheldon13

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Oh gosh, I hope you haven’t got a predator hanging around.


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