Before Trapping

First make surgery reservations.

Do not trap the cats any earlier than a day before your scheduled appointment.

Skip one to two meals before you trap but continue to provide water. Cats will need to be hungry to go into the trap.


Set the trap and use bait that is fragrant such as sardines, mackerel, and tuna - the type soaked in water is preferable to oil.

Do not leave traps unattended, traps need to be checked once every hour.  Trapped cats will be defenseless against predators such as dogs, people, raccoons and skunks (which are rabies carriers and are attracted to the bait in the trap). Leaving cats outside exposed when in traps can result in the cats injuring themselves due to fear or injury from other animals or weather elements. 

After Trapping

Once cats are trapped cover the traps with a sheet or towel. Use ones that you do not mind losing or getting stained. Cats will be frantic once trapped but will calm after a few minutes when covered.

Do not leave cats outside in traps. Once trapped move the cats into a safe location that is temperature-controlled where wildlife and other people/animals cannot harm the cat. Many people use bathrooms, extra rooms, kitchens, air-conditioned/heated garages and sheds. We recommend putting newspaper, towels, tarps, old shower curtain liners under the traps. Be aware of the temperature in your safe location. Garages often can get to extreme temperatures that could harm the cats.


Use twist ties to secure the front and back doors of the trap closed. Many traps can open if they fall to the side.

During transport to the surgery clinic, we recommend putting newspaper, towels, tarps, old shower curtain liners under the traps to protect car seats. Do not put traps in the bed of a truck. Do not transport traps in a trunk that is not open to the inside of the car.

After Surgery


Please read the post-op instructions carefully.

Cats will need to be held in the safe location a minimum of 24-48 hours after surgery. Though we send the cats home fully awake, they will still have drugs in their systems, making them incoherent and impairing judgment. Also the drugs make it hard for the cats to regulate their body temperature so it is important to keep them at room temperature in the safe place for at least 24 hours.

After surgery you can place a can of wet food mixed with water into the trap. Do not put a separate water bowl as the bowl may spill and dissolve the cat's surgical suture, which is water soluble. Feed again in the morning before releasing.


They must be released to the same place they were trapped. Relocation if not done properly is inhumane.

Before releasing check the incision sites by lifting the trap or check for any fresh blood on the newspaper provided for the bottom of the trap. If a re-check is needed you can call to schedule an appointment at CAP for no cost as long as the surgery was performed here. If it is an emergency or one of our vets is not on staff it will be your responsibility to seek out vet care at your own cost.