Successful Trapping by 4T2tc7


									  the ca-r-ma Drop Trap
    Making and Using rESCUE maRiTiMES

   Fredericton chapter presentation
• Why use a drop trap?
• Making a drop trap
  – Basic equipment
  – How to build
• Using a drop trap
  – Advance placement and caregiver instructions
  – On the day
     • Camouflage/hiding
     • Trapping procedure
     • Removing the cats from the trap
• Q&A
” how to enter a drop trap – for cats”
 (as demonstrated by Nicki)
Why use a drop trap?
• Easy to transport and use
• Easy to catch multiple cats in single
  trapping session
  – less time consuming
  – especially important for clinic events
• No “snap” noise; less traumatic
• Excellent for snap-trap-wary cats/sites
Making a drop trap – what you need
• Supplies:
  – Collapse-able black wire dog kennel (large or extra large; single door)
  – 2 Railings – plastic posts for electric fencing (metal and wood make
    too much noise)
  – Small 3/8”” cutting board – acrylic is best, it slides quietly (wood
    swells and is noisy) and preferably black
  – ½ “ softwood dowelling
  – Copper wire – 20 gauge
  – String and handle/stick

• Tools:
  –   Power drill and drill bits
  –   Wire cutters for thick wire
  –   Rotary tool or metal file (for sanding down rough metal edges)
  –   Needle nose and regular pliers with fine wire-cutter feature
Dog Kennel
• ensure it is collapse-able
for easy transport
• use the clip to keep it
closed during transport
Creating trap door
• Using wire cutters, cut space for trap door on the end of
  the cage opposite the manufacturer’s door
   – Determine width and height of space to be cut. Dependent on the
     spacing of the vertical rails on the dog kennel the best width
     between the rails is 16-18 centimeters, height about 25 cm. The
     cutting board (step 13)may need to be cut to size so that it will
     glide easily in railings (railings are wired to the vertical bars of the
     black-wire dog kennel)
       • On large kennel, it is generally vertical bar #8, 9, 10 and 11 counting from left
       • Requires some jigging as cages may be slightly different designs
       • A space wider than 18 centimeters gives trapped cats too much room to push
         against causing the door to pop out
       • Ensure height of space to be cut allows cat to enter freely (about 25 cm.)
   – File cut edges smooth to avoid injuring cat (use rotary tool or
     metal file)
•Use plastic molded posts, made
for stringing electric fencing.
Purchase at farm supply store –
need two
•Cut off spiked portion. Measure
length required for railing based
on height of cage
•Very top piece becomes
“footing” for railings; dispose of
spike end
•Notice the molded sides – it is
up & down these sides that the
cutting board slides to operate as
the trap door
• Some posts have molded nubs
Aligning railings
• Railings are molded
• Cut two pieces of ½” dowel to secure rails to each other,
  one for between the top of the rails and one for use at the
  bottom (not in pictures)
• Drill holes in railing-back, and use brass wire to connect
  railings to dog-crate so that cutting board slides smoothly
  between rails and “foot” is on the bottom rung
   – There are plastic hooks on one side of the railings – try to hook at
     least one or two of them over the horizontal bars of the dog
     kennel. You may have to break the rest of the hooks off so the
     railing fits snugly to the vertical wire of the dog kennel.
•Cutting board
glides up and
down easily in
•Note hooks on
railing are on the
inside (1 or two
over vertical bars of
cage where
File smooth any
cut edges

•Do not leave any rough
edges where wire cutters
have been used – may
injure cats
•“top” of electric-fence
post railing becomes
“foot” (so door won’t fall
out during transport)          1.
•Use plastic or metal wire
to attach posts to vertical
bars of dog cage
•At foot and top of railings
the wooden dowels os cut
and attached to hold rails     2.
parallel to one another
Creating trap door, con’d
• Drill small hole in top of cutting board
  – Tie string to cutting board through hole; drop board
    between railings and ensure smooth gliding (string at
• Run end of string through and over a horizontal
  rung near the top of dog cage (string facing
• Wind extra string on handle or stick
• You now have a drop trap!
•String in this picture is
attached to top of cage with
handle – this is not the string
position you use during
•This trap has not a dowel at
top and bottom of the rails.
The dowels add a bit more
stability to the plastic rails
Using a drop trap - outline
• Advance placement and caregiver
• On the day
  – Camouflage/hiding
  – Trapping procedure
  – Removing the cats from the trap
Advance placement and caregiver
• One to two weeks before trapping, place drop trap and
  transfer cages (towels inside) on site
       • Tie door up with duct tape or twist tie to ensure it is
         in open position
       • Ensure trap is in a position from which you can trap
         so that nothing will look different on trapping day
• Place it at or close to normal feeding spot, ensuring there
  is a camouflage spot within manageable length of string
  (car, nearby room, etc.)
   – Ensure trap door is facing spot where trapper will hide.
     When cats are eating they are facing away from the door.
   – Transfer cages need to be in a manageable spot.
Advance placement and caregiver
instructions, con’d
• Instruct caregiver to feed daily only in the
  trap, just inside manufacturer’s back door
  – Leave water outside trap
• Determine what time of morning (or
  evening) caregiver normally feeds (so you
  can arrange to trap at that time)
  – Encourage mornings
  – Beg caregiver for consistent feeding time in the
    period leading up to trapping
Instruct caregiver to feed in back of cage –
multiple dishes across back if multiple cats
Advance placement and caregiver
instructions, con’d
• Instruct caregiver that last feeding occurs 24 hours before
  trapping event
   – Call day before to emphasize and reaffirm trapping
• Warn neighbours to keep pets in on trapping day, and to
  not leave food out for strays during the 2 week
  acclimatization period (this is so target cats will be forced
  to go in drop trap to eat
• Other
   – Check in with caregiver in interim - preferably in person
     - to ensure instructions are understood and being
   – Place one or two snap-traps (open) on site with
     feeding instructions (optional)
On the day - camouflage
– Seeing trappers and their movements will alarm the cats
– -minimize movement: move quietly: wear “quiet clothes”

• If there is a natural hiding spot, plan to use it
•   - examples: saddle room: behind patio door and curtains

• Any out-of ordinary movement or sound will keep cats
  away – no talking, no whispering!
       • If two trappers, pre-agree on hand-signals and
• If no natural hiding spot, use car with blacked-out
  windows (ask caregiver to park a car in the designated
  trapping spot during acclimatization period, so cats will be
  used to it being there). Staying still and slumped low in
  the car will often work without black out windows.
Camouflage for car ... if necessary
•Trap out of passenger side if
possible (avoid steering wheel)
•Cover any windows where
movement can be seen –front
window and trapper-seat window(s)
at minimum
    •Black poster board
    •Landscape cloth
•Use black screening for sight-line
    • Door still opens.Don’t close it tight
    so you can leave car quietly when
    cats are in the trap
    •String can move unencumbered
Landscape cloth with screen over sight-line
– front of car
Landscape cloth with screen over sight-line
– passenger side
   •Note string under cloth (window is open)
Trap through screen
On the day - camouflage
• Ensure care giver is quiet and acting
  naturally (from cats’ perspective)
  – No guests
  – No kids
  – No talking/peeking/exclaiming
On the day – trapping
• Bait and set any snap-traps on the site
• Ensure covers are sitting on top of drop
  trap (in-place to drape quietly when cats are
• Ensure drop trap is properly closed and
• Have caregiver put choice food in back of
  drop trap (cat is used to seeing caregiver
  do this)
• Ensure care-giver moves out of site
Erecting cat trap on
Sometimes loops on
drop trap cage will
come loose; secure
with twist tie or wire
when trapping
On the day – trapping
• When cats enter trap
  – They will be facing away from the trappers; let
    cats feed and let other cats enter
  – Only begin to drop door when one or more cats
    raise head(s)
  – Drop door SLOWLY and imperceptibly – cats
    should still be feeding
  – Do not leave hiding spot until cats are aware
    door is shut
  – One person
On the day – trapping
• When door is shut, move slowly and quietly
  to drop trap
• Drape covers over drop trap to quiet cat
Ensure drop trap is completely covered while cats calm down. If
they are not quiet the covers are too thin or there are still holes
they can see through. Someone should have a hand on the top
of the door while preparing transfer cages. (Wily cats can lift the
Remove cats from trap one at a time
•Place transfer cage door aligned
with closed trap door of kennel
(note - towel on floor of transfer cage
and cover are missing in this picture)
•Drape transfer cage with cover
to create dark space
•Lift cover from back part of drop
trap to create light – cat will
generally want to go from light to
dark, and will be attracted to
transfer cage
•Have foot or block behind
transfer cage to avoid transfer
cage movement (cats may move
quickly and forcefully)
Removing cat from cage, con’d
• lift transfer cage door, aligned and ready to
  close quickly
• Lift drop trap door by string, keep fingers hidden
• When cat moves in, close drop trap door
  and transfer cage door
• Lock transfer cage
• Move transfer cage, covered, to vehicle
• Resume transferring next cat, or resume
Removing cat from cage,
con’d techniques:
• Tips and
       • Second person recommended for transferring from
         drop trap to transfer cage (trapping companion or
   – Some cats have trouble finding trap door for escape to
     transfer cage and need guidance
   – Sometimes just the feet of someone at the big door
     end will make the cat move
   – Use blunt-end poking sticks (preferably 2) to guide cat
     to door (broom handle, etc.)
• Some cats are looking for escape (ie light),not dark
   – Create light at end of transfer cage (tunnel effect)
   – Remove cover from drop trap
Other tips and techniques
• Lifting covers slowly to peek, have caregiver examine cats
  in transfer cages for gender, pregnancy, illness etc. Label
  cage with this info, and/or make note
• Release any cats not needing trapping
   – Already ear-tipped
   – Neighbourhood pets
• Don’t forget to tend snap-traps if in use; move quietly
• Always close car doors quietly
The end

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