It’s been estimated there are approximately 2,500 feral cats in the city of Prince Rupert. The SPCA is planning to switch the method of trapping used from humane traps to drop traps.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia SPCA branch manager Amy Stacey has announced she’s working with her staff and TNR volunteer coordinator Ashley Johnson to replace humane traps with drop traps to catch trap smart feral cats.
A regular humane trap is cheaper than drop traps and uses sliding doors. They run around $30 and up (U.S. dollars) while a good drop trap can run well over $100.
The problem TNR advocates face is cats become smart. Not only do they avoid the trap, but there’s also the issue with the spring mechanism not functioning properly. The cat can eat the food and walk right on out without being trapped.
Drop traps have to be watched because someone has to be there to pull the rope once the cat is fully under the trap. The drop trap is a bottomless mesh box that is propped up and the trapper is in charge of when it traps the cat. Entire litters can be successfully trapped at one time.
Making a trap from scratch has become popular using PVC piping and wire (examples can be found online). The door to a drop trap should line up with the door of a standard humane trap to make the transfer from one trap to the other easier for the trapper.
Stacy said a legacy funding application from the BC SPCA for their TNR activities has been applied for but the 2019 grants haven’t been awarded yet. She says they have plans to do some of their own fundraisings.
Stacey and Johnson said the drop traps are more expensive — about double the price of a standard trap, at around $100 or more — and have to be ordered from Ontario or the U.S. because there are no live trap manufacturers in B.C.
Stacey said they apply for legacy funding from the BC SPCA for their TNR activities. She said grants for 2019 have not yet been awarded, however, they also plan to do some fundraising of their own. She stated in an interview with The Northern View
“We are not sure how long it will take to raise the funds, but once we have enough we will move forward with purchasing the trap. In 2018 we successfully completed one large colony of 16 cats, and fixed a total of 64 cats, 39 of which were female.”The Rupert TNR program has fixed 213 cats total. Stacey says they’re seeing a slow reduction in the population of the feral colonies that are fixed. No new cats are trying to join those colonies and nature will take it’s course over the years and the colony will die out.
The cats brought in for TNR are given a 25 percent discount. A female is around $146 and a male is around $90 (2018 figures). The rate went up this year to $168 and $104.
Drop traps will have to be ordered from Ontario or from the United States, as there is no drop trap manufacturer in Prince Rupert.
This article shows a drop trap and how it’s used.