Using a drop trap to trap colony cats can be your best bet for a number of different situations. First, trappers often use drop traps to catch the first cat in a large colony. This is because it is possible to catch multiple cats at once, and using them may help to minimize skittishness after other members of the colony see fellow cats being trapped. Second, some cats, no matter how hard and for how long you try to trap them with a regular box trap, they are still just too weary to go inside. Other times, it can be used to selectively trap a specific cat, or a litter of kittens (perhaps along with their mother). In these instances, the drop trap becomes your new best friend.
Drop traps are large mesh boxes that are propped up and manually triggered with a rope or string. The trap should be set up on flat ground, and you should be working in teams of two, because of the trap's large size.. Use a wooden stick or a full bottle of water tied with string to prop up the trap, and leave enough string so that you can hide far enough away while holding onto the end. Place plenty of bait inside the trap in case other cats enter before the target. Bait the trap with plenty of food just in case cats you don’t want to trap wander in before your target. Once the correct cat is in the trap, spring the trap and voila! The elusive cat has now been caught. Just be sure to not spring the trap until the target cat is inside the trap, as if she sees other cats being trapped she will stay far away. Once caught, place a sheet over the trap and transfer the cat into a box trap. This will make it easier to handle and assist for transport.
While drop traps can be relatively costly to buy compared to the standard box trap, as well as rather difficult to handle and transport, they are a valuable resource for trapping hard to catch cats, a specific cat, or a litter of kittens. While they are commercial available, it is also possible for you to make your own DIY version.
The Tomahawk Live Trap offers popular drop traps. They can be viewed here.
If you're interested in building your own, find detailed instructions here.
The benefits of using a drop trap are wide ranging, and can make trapping faster and easier. Happy trapping!
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