Why Traps Matter

“He was finally allowing me to pet him while he ate and I didn’t want to have to start over building his trust. I’m happy to report the trap worked! Thankfully a couple of days after returning him we are back to our routine and I don’t have to worry about him fathering more neighborhood litters.”
— Jill C., feral cat caregiver

As you likely know, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon practices an approach to feral cat population control called Trap-Neuter-Return, or simply TNR. This system allows cats to be safely trapped, brought in to us for spay/neuter, and then returned to where they are being fed. FCCO runs a highly efficient spay/neuter clinic which is the “N” of TNR. Caregivers, in turn, provide the trapping and return. Because this is no small task, we provide as much assistance and support as we can. The first part, trapping, is often the scariest. Most people have never used a trap and many are uneasy about how much work it may be and are concerned they may break the fragile bond with their cats. We understand.

There are many benefits to using a trap and we strongly encourage every caregiver to use them – even if they can pet or pick up the cat. Here are five reasons:

  1. Safety. Traps reduce the risk of being bitten or scratched if the cat refuses to go in a carrier or tries to escape.

  2. Reduced negative association with the caregiver, as the cat will associate his or her fear with the trap. When a person attempts to put a cat in a carrier, the cat’s fear will be associated with that person and it can have an impact on their delicate bond.

  3. Hygiene. Urine and feces collect in the bottom of a carrier, whereas they can drain or be easily cleaned in a trap.

  4. Recovery. Traps provide better visibility during recovery in our clinic and can also provide the cat more space to move and stretch out while recovering.

  5. Security. Traps are more secure than carriers and decrease the risk of a cat escaping.

Read a full, detailed list of reasons.

To help make trapping successful, our scheduling team trains and guides caregivers along the way. We have trapping instructions and how-to videos on our website and more than 200 traps available in the metro area. We applaud caregivers for their commitment to helping feral and stray cats and preventing future generations from growing up on our streets.

Loved your instructions and videos about trapping as I had low confidence in my trapping skills. Your instructions made success easy.
— Nancy S., feral cat caregiver