humane trapping of cats

Humane Trapping of Cats & Kittens

If your cat or kitten escapes or if you want to rescue some strays cats or kittens please read below for instructions on safely and humanely trapping cats. It will do you and your feline friends a world of good!

Humane Rescue & Trapping Tips


Dear Simba - I am the lucky owner of 7 cats that came to me when I moved in three years ago.
I am concerned about one that's been with me for 2 years. He will not let me pet him. Most of them at the beginning were afraid of me but it did not take them long to become lovable…now I can even carry them. All of them except for the really wild one have been spayed or neutered. My concern is that he has become sexually active now, he is getting into fights and I cannot catch him to get him operated! Do you have any answers for people like me that feed and love strays?

Hi, You are a good person for taking care of the cats and considerate for wanting to have the little guy neutered. See the note below for tips on how to humanely trap stray cats. Good luck! Simba




Hi Simba,
My name is Kathryn and I am volunteering at a pumpkin patch in Portland. There are many kittens running around the barn, all of whom are very shy. We found one kitten that died (we believe due to lack of nourishment). We caught one of the smallest ones and found a home for it....However there are still many others that we have been unable to catch....we believe that if we do not rescue them they will die. Do you have any tips on catching them and getting them healthy? Thanks a bunch, anything would be greatly appreciated. - Kathryn

Dear Kathryn,
You are a good person for doing what you are doing for these little guys. Here are some notes for helping you catch them.

First, ideally your local animal care center will be able to lend you a humane trap that you can bait with tuna, sardines or any other smelly food. Humane traps have a door on one end, which is lifted and set with a small catch. The door is connected to a flat trip-plate at the base of the trap. These trip-plates are set at the back of the trap so that the kittens do not get their tails caught when the door shuts. You want to cover the trap with a large towel or blanket to camouflage it lest the metal give you away!

Set a small plate of the smelly food inside and line the trap with newspaper. The door will shut as soon as a paw hits the trip plate.

What you will need:
  • A large towel or blanket to cover the trap after you catch the kittens. Placing the towel over the trap or box will calm the kittens down - expect them to be nervous.

  • Gloves, a long sleeve shirt and jeans or sweat pants. Remember, cute as they are they can and will bite / scratch

  • Tuna or other smelly yummy food for the trap and for keeping them happy while in confinement

Now about grabbing them all at once. My suggestion is for you to take those that you can. Simba

update: Thanks for the advice. We were unable to find a humane trap so we baited a standard cat carrier with tuna instead. It worked like a charm in getting our kittens attention. The day before taking them we set the carrier out near their food dishes so they would get used to it. It seemed to work!

Well done! Simba

Dear Simba
My husband and I live in Abu Dhabi.
kitten care diarrhea treatment for kittensnutritional supplement
We have a small family of stray kittens (3 males 1 female) living with their mother under our house. we are not sure how old the kittens are, though we noticed they appeared about 4 weeks ago so we think they might be 7-8 weeks old. The kittens seem to be growing quite well except for the girl, "Pippen" who is not fast enough at the food dish we put out for them. That said, Pippen is very active stalking and playing with her brothers.

The problem is that there are a lot of cats around so we want to get our guys and gal fixed. The mother still nurses the kittens occasionally, but they are also eating out of the food dishes we put out for them.

Is it too early to have them neutered and spayed? Even if they are old enough we are worried about Pippen since she weighs barely over 1 pound. Would it be best to catch the whole family at once? We cannot see momma cat letting us take her kittens away without complaining. Steve and Jaimie

Dear Steve and Jaime,
How wonderful you are caring for the family! At 7 it is a little early but if your vet says it is ok go and do it. Now for catching them, see the tips above. Good luck and keep me posted! - Simba


update: Thanks for the advice. We were unable to find a humane trap so we baited a standard cat carrier with tuna instead. It worked like a charm in getting our kittens attention. The day before taking them we set the carrier out near their food dishes so they would get used to it. It seemed to work, although we got just Momma and one male. The cats in the carrier were fine. It was the kittens left behind that are distrustful now even though their Momma and brother are back safe and sound.