Dear PetLvr Mailbag …
Okay, a 1-2 year old male feral/stray/whatever cat moved into my back yard. Got attacked by, I think, a raccoon, as the possums left and I have a few kits, one mom, and prolly 2 males right now.
He wont go into a trap, so how can I catch him ( the cat ) so I can get him checked out at the vets ? Several released ferals live in backyard so withholding food is not an option.
–Friend of Ferals
“Won’t go into a trap” is something of a broad category. There’s “won’t go into a trap for dry food but will go in for cooked chicken with gravy,” for example. But, for the sake of this question, I’ll presume that you’ve tried every kind of special tidbit under the sun already, and he absolutely will not enter a trap.
In this case, your best bet is to call Alley Cat Allies (http://www.alleycat.org) and get in touch with a local organization that helps ferals and their caregivers. Alley Cat Allies is a wonderful group; I’ve worked with them on TNR (trap, neuter, release) projects in the past, and they are very caring. They may be able to help you locate a sympathetic animal control officer willing to come over at feral cat feeding time with their catching tools and try to snag your feral kitty on a catch pole or with some really thick gloves. Explaining you’re willing to secure vet care, but just can’t catch the cat, should go a long way. ACOs are usually pet lovers and don’t like taking ferals to shelters very much, because they are normally euthanized immediately, especially if injured.
If there’s no Alley Cat Allies affiliate near you, then the next option is to start calling animal control yourself and trying to find that sympathetic officer who’ll come help. As a last resort, you could try “humane pest control” companies and see if somebody else with experience and the tools of the trade can live-trap the cat.
If you have a pet related question that you would like Jelena Woehr to answer here in our “PetLvr Mailbag” series … send your question to jelena (at) PetLvr (dot) com