It's hard to say no to a hungry cat on your property.
A can of food will help him for a few hours, but fixing him will change his life!
I'm feeding cats. What next?
1. Routine, routine, routine!
Make sure any cats you are feeding are eating at a regular time and showing up consistently. Remember, you will be trapping a few hours before and during their regular feeding time, so you probably don't want them eating in the middle of the night while you sleep! To adjust their time, slowly slide the time they're fed by 15-30 minutes each day until they are eating at the time most convenient for trapping. If the cats are not coming every day or show up sporadically, IT MEANS THEY HAVE ANOTHER FEEDER. See #3.
2. Food placement is key.
Your trapping will take place in the same location as the feeding. Pick a safe, quiet spot that has low human traffic and that you'll be able to fit traps and easily move to and from.
3. Find any other feeders.
This is the key to trapping success--if your cats have another feeding location, the introduction of a trap on trapping day will simply result in them visiting their "other options." Knocking on your neighbors' doors is the most effective way to find your visitors' other food sources, and on trapping day, you'll be able to tell them to withhold food. They may even help with trapping and expenses! Note: If posting on social media such as NextDoor or Facebook, do NOT give the exact location of the cats. It is for their safety--not everyone loves outdoor cats.
4. Make your plan and use our experience!
Currently, the vet shortage in New Jersey has reached crisis level. Our own rescue does not even have a private vet for the first time in over a decade! Not to worry--clinics like People For Animals offer TNR at reduced costs with walk-in options available, and will even hold the cat overnight post-surgery for a small fee if you do not have a temperature-controlled holding area.
If you've never trapped before, reach out to us and let us show you how to use traps and help you plan your trapping. Read about equipment in our blog and don't be afraid--the Whiskers team has trapped hundreds of cats every year and if you follow our advice, you'll be sure to get everyone. Trapping can be done year round!