Trap snobbery--it's a thing!
We are very particular about the box traps we recommend and for good reason--high quality equipment ensures both smooth trapping and safety for the cats. Having at least a trap or two of your own means that you're always prepared even after your colony is fixed - a newcomer that shows up hungry or an injured cat will need to be trapped right away! Here are the ones we recommend:
The Tru-Catch 30LTD is a great smaller trap. Note that we do not recommend any box traps that are spring-loaded, and prefer gravity traps like this because the door simply falls when triggered, avoiding injuries to kittens or other cats near the entrance when the door is tripped. It is crucial to have a trap with a back door that opens for cleaning, transferring and releasing. Tru-Catch brand traps have a great rubberized coating that stays in place for years if proper care is taken. Clever cats have been known to raise the rings that hold the door down, so we always add zip ties after trapping so no one escapes!
Meet the Beast, as we affectionately call the Tru-Catch 36D gravity trap. This is a wonderful trap because its large size and length are more inviting than a smaller trap in many cases. Often when a cat won't enter the 30LTD, we "bring out the beast!" It also gives the cat some room for recovery and room for a larger bait bowl.
We are not big fans of the Fat Cat variety traps from Tru Catch, though they are popular--they even come in fun colors. But because they are wider but not longer than the smaller trap, there is room for the cat to turn around and run out! Just get a Beast.
We were very excited when the Tomahawk Live Trap GT606 came onto the scene a few years ago! It does not have as nice a powder coating, but has a back door that completely comes off and clips in place, as well as a wonderful design of the front door: once closed, the rings cannot be raised thanks to an extra bar that holds them in place.
Releasing a spayed female from a GT606
These three traps are the types that we lend from our trap bank as available and are must-haves for dedicated individuals looking to fix their entire group of dining felines. They are a small investment but safer for cats, and we sure need them to hold up during not just trapping, but transport, holding, recovery and return!
Yours truly is a born tinkerer and trap nerd, and has rigged up some special traps for situations that call for something different. Injured cats, trap-savvy previously trapped cats, multiple cats, and areas with non-cats constantly setting off traps call for some of these after market modifications! Check them out!
Tomahawk 4'x4' drop trap with remote guillotine door:
GT606 with "RoboTrap" remote switch and camera:
Selective trapping is necessary sometimes! Much easier to let my skunk friend have some bait, get full, and leave, rather than let her trip the trap and get frightened and stink up the place. When the desired target comes by later, the trap is tripped with a remote. These traps are great but not always easy to store and they are sensitive to the elements.
While these traps are advanced and have their purposes, a well-planned trapping and dedicated caretaker can easily trap a whole colony using traditional box traps. Don't give up if you are having trouble getting certain cats--reach out to us and we will figure out what it takes to get everyone trapped!