The use of humane traps is a method frequently used to reunite lost pets with their families. Many cats, especially escaped indoor-only cats, will not approach people (even those they know and love) once they are lost and scared. Skittish dogs may also need to be captured in cage or enclosure traps.
Cats in the Bag: provides instructions on different methods of capturing lost cats including the Kitty Buffet, Simply Sitting, and the House Trap as well as humane traps.
Feral cat rescue groups (those that conduct Trap-Neuter-Return) also provide some useful information on trapping cats.
- Alley Cat Allies: includes step-by-step photo guide to setting a TruCatch and Tomahawk trap.
- Neighborhood Cats
Some cats are particularly difficult to trap, and you may need to resort to using a drop trap or other tricks of the trade. A drop trap is a large box with a pull-stick that must be manually activated, which can involve long hours of monitoring.
- Alley Cat Allies provides tips for successful trapping of trap-shy cats. They also have instructions for building and using a drop trap, and they sell their own collapsible drop trap.
- Animal Care Equipment & Services recently started selling a collapsible drop trap made by Tomahawk.
- If you decide to build your own drop trap, there are numerous different designs available at the Drop Trap Design Bank.
For the best information available on humanely trapping a skittish lost or stray dog, check out the Feral Dog Blog. This blog is hosted by Dr. Mark Johnson, the founder of Global Wildlife Resources, and it includes access to a free training library.
Disclaimer: Initially posted on Missing Pet Partnership’s website (which was developed by MPP Founder Kat Albrecht), the following lost pet recovery advice is part of MAR Network’s 8-week and 10-week Missing Animal Response (MAR) Course and is posted on this site both to help train volunteer and professional lost pet recovery resources and to benefit pet owners needing advice. Feel free to link to this page so that this info may be shared in order to educate pet owners in your community.