Catch a Stray Cat?..stray cats are sometimes feral cats and sometimes beginning to be feral cats. One of the best stray cat catching stories was in the UK press recently (23-7-08) and it’ll be the stuff of legend when this page is history. The story concerns Celia Hammond the former famous model and now an equally famous cat catcher and founder or the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT). You can learn all you need to know from her about how to catch a stray cat because Celia and assistants do it all the time and fairly recently they completed a mission to save the feral cats that occupied the London Olympics site. Part of the site was semi-derelict and ideal territory for feral cats of which their were 187 including an elusive cat Celia called Black Jack, a semi-long haired tom cat.
CHAT had caught all but one when they were told they had to stop and make way for the Olympic site builders. She thought she’d never catch the last one, Black Jack. But in her determined style, that made her a top model, she pressed on and got him.
Her struggle to catch him attracted lots of publicity which helped as she got a tip off that he might be in an alley on the western boundary of the Olympic site. She set traps in the area for 3 weeks and monitored them with her assistants day and night. She used microwaved frozen roast chicken as bait and used a string pulley to operate the latch to the trap’s door. It was a very tense moment when she pulled the string and trapped Black Jack (some traps have automatic door closers). He turned out to be pretty friendly after being initially very wild and was probably a domestic cat for some time before becoming feral.
So, that’s how you catch a stray cat – recap:
Here are some pictures of the equipment:
To catch a stray cat – photograph ©GElisbeth-creative commons license
To catch a stray cat-photo ©julie3jax under a creative commons license
Photo of trapped feral cats by and © Feral Indeed! Notice the blankets etc. over the cages which are to help keep the cats calm
Photo ©goldfoot under a creative commons license
photo copyright Feral Indeed! – this shows the instructions given by a clinic on the trapping of feral cats.
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