List 1: Supplies for trapping

  1. Borrow, rent or buy a 2 door humane animal trap of appropriate size (our favourite: Trucatch. There are others, such as Tomahawk, Havahart, generic brands from Canadian Tire…) and make sure to order them well ahead of your prospective trapping time; some of them may come from the United States and it might take up to 2 months to receive them, especially in times of Covid restrictions
  2. Buy cut to size sturdy dowels (wooden rods); we found these very helpful to keep the traps open during preparation or even when traps were left open to get animals familiar with it. The dowels go through the mesh of the trap and the open trapdoor can rest on it. Always use a secundary way to secure the trapdoor as well.
  3. Make sure to have at least 2 metal dividers for each trap, so that you can coax the animal to move to the other side of the trap without running the risk of getting injured; having dividers can also be essential when the moment comes to transfer the cat to a crate or a regular pet carrier
  4. Some traps have trays in the bottom that covers the mesh: worth the purchase in case the animal has to spend multiple days in the trap – easy cleaning of scattered debris and more comfortable for the animal
  5. Have bait (tuna in oil, sardines in water) – that has a strong smell and will attract better ; oil prevents the bait from drying out
  6. Get newspaper or anti-slip non skid cloth to line the trap
    • The cloth worked really well for us. It is easy to clean, easy to attach to anything with zip ties if needed and it will let fluids seep through to the layer below (newspaper) without staying wet. Do make sure to put it outside for a week or so, in order to get rid of the human and store smell. It is easy to find: Dollar Store, Canadian Tire, Amazon: anti-slip cloths
    • ‘Our’ cat loves the feel of the anti-grip cloth and slept on it for weeks under our AC unit. It wicked away raindrops quickly, so even after a downpour it was dry enough for her to sleep on
  7. Get at least 2 pieces of tarp cut to size to cover the space underneath the trap in the location where you will hold it while waiting for the vet appointment; and to cover your car, when you transport traps and carriers back home or to a bigger location; have spares cut to size if you do the follow-up with the animal at your house
  8. Have large towels or a big blanket to cover the trap completely. If bought new: do make sure to put it outside for a week or so, in order to get rid of the human and store smell.
  9. Get bite gloves
  10. Do not pick feral cats up by hand, not even young kittens. When they bite, they will bite through and there is a big risk of infection when that happens
  11. Have the following tools handy:
    • pair of good scissors
    • cut-through-everything plyer (perfect for cutting zip ties)
    • picker-upper that keeps you at a safe distance when you have to grab something from the trap or the temporary holding
    • Get a good supply of different kinds of ziptie, cable ties
    • Get some strong but easy to handle clamps (not so tight that it is hard for you to open them). For the smaller clamps we liked the Master Chef clamps we found at Canadian Tire because they have a magnet, which means you can have them sit on your fridge door, and use them in your household after the cat project is over. At Amazon we got Heavy Duty Muslin Spring Clamps, that are perfect for heavy action.
    • Both types of clamps offer extra security, for instance to make sure the doors of your temporary shelter stay closed. Not many cats will be able to open a crate lock, but if, in the early days, they get frustrated by being locked in, they may accidentally open them when frantically rummaging around. Having clamps on the doors will prevent an unanticipated escape…