Follow these simple instructions for trapping community cats for spay/neuter.

Before you begin:

  • Notify your neighbors of your plans to trap. This way they can keep their own animals inside.
  • Establish a designated feeding place and time for at least a week.
  • Practice setting the traps a few times before baiting them. Stick a pencil or a finger through the trap and push on the trigger tray to make sure the trap closes.
  • For your safety, never attempt to touch or pick up a feral cat for any reason.
  • Check the weather forecast. We do not advise trapping in high winds or rain because you’ll have limited success and the cat will be subjected to the elements.
  • Withhold food for 12-24 hours before trapping. The cats will be more likely to enter the traps for the bait if they’re hungry.

When you are ready to set traps:

  • If possible, set more traps than you actually need.
  • Always set traps on a flat surface. It’s best if traps are placed where they will be camouflaged, for example, near a bush.
  • Use tuna or any other strong-scented cat food as bait. Put the bait in the back of the trap, behind the trigger plate. Make a small trail of food leading to the bait.
  • Check the traps frequently from a distance. Once a cat is caught, cover the trap with a towel or sheet to calm the cat and move it to shelter.

Trapping is complete:

  • Check the trapped cats for an ear tip. If you find one, the ear tip indicates the cat has already been sterilized. It’s best to hold that cat until you have trapped all others that you intend to catch. Put food and water in the traps daily until release. If you by chance catch a wild animal, release it immediately in the same location it was trapped.
  • Move trapped cats to a safe, quiet place protected from weather, such as a basement, garage or spare room. Put newspaper under the trap for easy cleanup. You can offer water to the trapped cats but no food 12 hours before surgery.
  • You can bring trapped cats to the SPCA for spay/neuter surgery Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:15am-9:00am. Call the Spay/Neuter hotline at 434-973-5959 ext. 310 if you need reservations for a large colony of cats. We do our best to spay/neuter the cats the same day that you bring them in but at times we may hold them overnight and perform surgery the following day.
  • Transport the cats to the SPCA in a well ventilated area of the vehicle. Never put them in your trunk or expose them to extreme temperatures.