CAT Policies and Procedures regarding Trapping and Transporting

For the comfort, welfare, and safety of both cats and trappers, CAT has adopted the following policies:

Cats should not be trapped earlier than late afternoon the day before they are scheduled to be transported to a clinic for TNR or to a veterinarian for medical care.

Traps that are set in a public area should not be left unattended. Traps set in a private yard or barn can be left for short periods of time.

Traps should not be set in the hot sun or in an enclosed area where temperatures may become excessively high.

Specific procedures for trappers:

As soon as a cat enters a trap, cover the trap entirely with a sheet or blanket. Only after the cat has become calm should you raise the corner of the sheet in order to identify the cat.

Keep the cat covered at all times even while it is being transported.

Once the cat is inside the trap, it is recommended that the trap be placed on top of a bed of straw or a long-fibered cloth.

Protect yourself from injury by handling the trap only through the sheet or blanket; don’t put your hand near the bare wire. When lifting the trap, grasp the handle through the sheet or blanket.

If you bring the cat to the clinic in a trap, remember to bring along a carrier as well; after surgery, the cat will be placed in the carrier.

For the comfort of the cat, use a medium-sized rather than small carrier: remember, the cat will be confined in the carrier overnight, and there should be enough room that the cat can turn around.

If a cat is sufficiently tame that you can handle it and thus put it directly into a carrier to be transported to the clinic, tempt the cat to cooperate by putting a small amount of food at the back of the carrier. If the cat is skittish, try putting it into the carrier rear end first, or turn the carrier on end and lower the cat into it, again, rear-end first.

Inspect the carriers ahead of time to make sure that all nuts and bolts are in place and that the door is secure. If the carrier seems a bit flimsy, use bungee cords or duct tape to strengthen the frame and secure the door.

Make sure also that the carrier has been carefully cleaned since it was last used, and line it with a clean towel.

Cats are not to be transported in the trunk of a car or on the back of an open truck (although they may be transported in the back of a truck that has a lid).

The night before surgery, keep the cat in a warm, quiet, dark room. It is essential that the cat not be given food or water.

Post-surgery, allow the cat to recover overnight, again in a warm, quiet, dark room. When the cat regains full consciousness, it should be given a small portion of food and water (please refer to the instruction sheet that will be provided).

Unless a veterinarian has advised that a cat should be confined for a longer period (which may happen, for example, if the cat is running a fever or has been treated for illness or injury), cats should be returned to their colonies as soon as possible the day after surgery.