Part of Ireland's TNR Manual
How to Help Community Cats
- A FRIEND for your safety and peace of mind. CATalyst recommends trapping with at least one other person.
- BAIT, including several large pop-top cans of tuna, mackerel, sardines or other smelly fish that is tempting to the cats, preferably oil packed so that it does not dry out (if you don't bring pop-top cans, be sure to bring a can opener).
- FORKS or spoons (to scoop out the bait).
- SMALL FOOD STORAGE CONTAINER. For storing open cans of tuna still in use, to prevent spillage.
- DRY AND CANNED CAT FOOD and water. To leave after trapping for cats not trapped.
- CARABINERS, cable ties, pipe cleaners or similar to secure the doors of the traps closed.
- BIN BAGS for tuna lids, tins and other waste.
- TRAP & CAGE COVERS that are big enough (i.e. beach size towels, blankets, or sheets - cut to size) to fully cover the top and all four sides of each trap after cats are caught, one cover per trap.
- ANTIBACTERIAL WET WIPES or gel and paper towels for easy clean up of yourself, traps and messes.
- TOOLS such as pliers and some WD-40 for traps that might not work properly (though take care with WD-40 as it has toxic qualities and the smell can put cats off. Make sure any residue is removed once used).
- FIRST-AID KITS. For humans and felines.
- NEWSPAPERS to put under traps to prevent messy leavings. Alternatively to line the bottom of the traps, and tape or clothes pegs to hold it to trap floor, if necessary. Also for lining the housing cages, if used.
- GAUNTLETS or thick gloves to wear for your safety and comfort while carrying cats in traps. One pair per trapper.
- HEAD TORCH and/or flashlight. For safety and visibility at night and in dark areas.
- MOBILE PHONE. For safety. And fast, easy contact in emergencies and when you need a bit of advice.
- CAMERA. For tracking cats and publicising your endeavour.
- VEHICLE PROTECTORS such as tarps, cardboard, large plastic trash bags, a plastic shower curtain or towels. Puppy pads also work well if the cats have 'accidents'.
- BUNGEE CORDS. For holding traps securely in place in your vehicle during transportation.
- LITTER TRAYS, food & water bowls. For your feral felines' use during their stay with you. Chicken feeders (see pic at top right of page) are recommended for use with the hospital cages. They clip to the cage, giving the cat more room and preventing spillage.
- HEAT LAMPS, heat pads and/or water bottles to keep the cats warm post-surgery.
- BEDDING. For the felines' comfort during their stay. Vet bed recommended.
- DISINFECTANT. All equipment and areas used during TNR need to be disinfected with cat-safe disinfectant (eg. Safe4Pets) between projects.
- DRINKING WATER and snacks. For you!
- APPROPRIATE WEATHER-RELATED CLOTHING and practical shoes (or wellies!). Very necessary in Ireland.
... and last, but not least ...
- PATIENCE! Trapping can be time-consuming and, at certain moments, a bit stressful. If you remember to stay calm and follow the plan that you've devised, you will be successful!
- Baby monitors or walkie talkies (to hear traps tripping in out-of-sight locations)
- Binoculars (to see felines and/or traps that are located at a distance)
- Laser pointer (when extra help is needed getting hard-to-trap cats onto the trap plate)