Part of Ireland's TNR Manual
How to Help Community Cats
Manual traps can be designed to catch just one cat, or several. They are traps that are set off manually by the trapper, in contrast to the automatic mechanisms of our Recommended Traps. Note, however, that most automatic traps can be set up to be used manually. We'll explain how here. Multi-cat and drop traps are designed to catch more than one cat and are available to buy or DIY. Here, we'll just touch the surface of the information available.
Single-Cat Manual Traps
Information coming soon!
Multi-cat traps come in a variety of sizes and are designed specifically for dealing with feral cat colonies, and in particular for capturing a queen and her kittens. In practice the trap is kept under observation and at the appropriate moment the trap door is closed by means of a line attached to a release mechanism. Bait is usually placed via a lift-up rear door which also provides the means for transferring the cats singly into a Transfer Basket or Hospital Cage.
A specific type of Multi-Cat Trap, a drop trap is a lightweight frame covered with netting - made to catch feral cats and allowing for more than one cat to be trapped at once. It is propped up on one side with a stick, and food is placed in the back. The trapper stands at a distance, holding a string attached to the stick. When the cats are eating, the trapper pulls the string, allowing the trap to drop, capturing the cats inside. The trapper immediately covers the drop trap with a blanket to calm the cat(s). Folding designs are preferable in terms of space saving - these traps can be quite large!
There are many drop trap designs on the intertewbs, with DIY seeming to be the preferred option. Instead of repeating the information here I'm going to pass you on to The Drop Trap Design Bank - check them out to see the variety of designs available.