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the ca-r-ma Drop Trap Making and Using

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Presentation on theme: "the ca-r-ma Drop Trap Making and Using"— Presentation transcript:

1 the ca-r-ma Drop Trap Making and Using rESCUE maRiTiMES Fredericton chapter presentation

2 Outline Why use a drop trap? Making a drop trap Using a drop trap Q&A
Basic equipment How to build Using a drop trap Advance placement and caregiver instructions On the day Camouflage/hiding Trapping procedure Removing the cats from the trap Q&A

3 ” how to enter a drop trap – for cats”
(as demonstrated by Nicki)

4 Why use a drop trap? Easy to transport and use
Easy to catch multiple cats in single trapping session less time consuming especially important for clinic events No “snap” noise; less traumatic Excellent for snap-trap-wary cats/sites

5 Making a drop trap – what you need
Supplies: Collapse-able black wire dog kennel (large or extra large; single door) 2 Railings – plastic posts for electric fencing (metal and wood make too much noise) Small 3/8”” cutting board – acrylic is best, it slides quietly (wood swells and is noisy) and preferably black ½ “ softwood dowelling Copper wire – 20 gauge String and handle/stick Tools: Power drill and drill bits Wire cutters for thick wire Rotary tool or metal file (for sanding down rough metal edges) Needle nose and regular pliers with fine wire-cutter feature

6 Dog Kennel use the clip to keep it closed during transport
ensure it is collapse-able for easy transport use the clip to keep it closed during transport

7 Creating trap door Using wire cutters, cut space for trap door on the end of the cage opposite the manufacturer’s door Determine width and height of space to be cut. Dependent on the spacing of the vertical rails on the dog kennel the best width between the rails is centimeters, height about 25 cm. The cutting board (step 13)may need to be cut to size so that it will glide easily in railings (railings are wired to the vertical bars of the black-wire dog kennel) On large kennel, it is generally vertical bar #8, 9, 10 and 11 counting from left side Requires some jigging as cages may be slightly different designs A space wider than 18 centimeters gives trapped cats too much room to push against causing the door to pop out Ensure height of space to be cut allows cat to enter freely (about 25 cm.) File cut edges smooth to avoid injuring cat (use rotary tool or metal file)

8 Railings Use plastic molded posts, made for stringing electric fencing. Purchase at farm supply store – need two Cut off spiked portion. Measure length required for railing based on height of cage Very top piece becomes “footing” for railings; dispose of spike end Notice the molded sides – it is up & down these sides that the cutting board slides to operate as the trap door Some posts have molded nubs

9 Aligning railings Railings are molded
Cut two pieces of ½” dowel to secure rails to each other, one for between the top of the rails and one for use at the bottom (not in pictures) Drill holes in railing-back, and use brass wire to connect railings to dog-crate so that cutting board slides smoothly between rails and “foot” is on the bottom rung There are plastic hooks on one side of the railings – try to hook at least one or two of them over the horizontal bars of the dog kennel. You may have to break the rest of the hooks off so the railing fits snugly to the vertical wire of the dog kennel.

10 Cutting board glides up and down easily in railing
Note hooks on railing are on the inside (1 or two over vertical bars of cage where possible)

11 File smooth any cut edges
Do not leave any rough edges where wire cutters have been used – may injure cats

12 Attaching railings “top” of electric-fence post railing becomes “foot” (so door won’t fall out during transport) Use plastic or metal wire to attach posts to vertical bars of dog cage At foot and top of railings the wooden dowels os cut and attached to hold rails parallel to one another 1. 2.

13 Creating trap door, con’d
Drill small hole in top of cutting board Tie string to cutting board through hole; drop board between railings and ensure smooth gliding (string at top) Run end of string through and over a horizontal rung near the top of dog cage (string facing trapper) Wind extra string on handle or stick You now have a drop trap!

14 Note: String in this picture is attached to top of cage with handle – this is not the string position you use during trapping This trap has not a dowel at top and bottom of the rails. The dowels add a bit more stability to the plastic rails

15 Using a drop trap - outline
Advance placement and caregiver instructions On the day Camouflage/hiding Trapping procedure Removing the cats from the trap

16 Advance placement and caregiver instructions
One to two weeks before trapping, place drop trap and transfer cages (towels inside) on site Tie door up with duct tape or twist tie to ensure it is in open position Ensure trap is in a position from which you can trap so that nothing will look different on trapping day Place it at or close to normal feeding spot, ensuring there is a camouflage spot within manageable length of string (car, nearby room, etc.) Ensure trap door is facing spot where trapper will hide. When cats are eating they are facing away from the door. Transfer cages need to be in a manageable spot.

17 Advance placement and caregiver instructions, con’d
Instruct caregiver to feed daily only in the trap, just inside manufacturer’s back door Leave water outside trap Determine what time of morning (or evening) caregiver normally feeds (so you can arrange to trap at that time) Encourage mornings Beg caregiver for consistent feeding time in the period leading up to trapping

18 Instruct caregiver to feed in back of cage – multiple dishes across back if multiple cats

19 Advance placement and caregiver instructions, con’d
Instruct caregiver that last feeding occurs 24 hours before trapping event Call day before to emphasize and reaffirm trapping time Warn neighbours to keep pets in on trapping day, and to not leave food out for strays during the 2 week acclimatization period (this is so target cats will be forced to go in drop trap to eat Other Check in with caregiver in interim - preferably in person - to ensure instructions are understood and being followed Place one or two snap-traps (open) on site with feeding instructions (optional)

20 On the day - camouflage Seeing trappers and their movements will alarm the cats -minimize movement: move quietly: wear “quiet clothes” If there is a natural hiding spot, plan to use it - examples: saddle room: behind patio door and curtains Any out-of ordinary movement or sound will keep cats away – no talking, no whispering! If two trappers, pre-agree on hand-signals and movements If no natural hiding spot, use car with blacked-out windows (ask caregiver to park a car in the designated trapping spot during acclimatization period, so cats will be used to it being there). Staying still and slumped low in the car will often work without black out windows.

21 Camouflage for car ... if necessary
Trap out of passenger side if possible (avoid steering wheel) Cover any windows where movement can be seen –front window and trapper-seat window(s) at minimum Material Black poster board Landscape cloth Use black screening for sight-line Check: Door still opens.Don’t close it tight so you can leave car quietly when cats are in the trap String can move unencumbered

22 Landscape cloth with screen over sight-line – front of car

23 Landscape cloth with screen over sight-line – passenger side
Note string under cloth (window is open)

24 Trap through screen

25 On the day - camouflage Ensure care giver is quiet and acting naturally (from cats’ perspective) No guests No kids No talking/peeking/exclaiming

26 On the day – trapping procedure
Bait and set any snap-traps on the site Ensure covers are sitting on top of drop trap (in-place to drape quietly when cats are trapped) Ensure drop trap is properly closed and secure Have caregiver put choice food in back of drop trap (cat is used to seeing caregiver do this) Ensure care-giver moves out of site Pull door up and, with string taught, assume hiding position; ensure trappers are out of site Wait for cat(s)

27 Erecting cat trap on site:
Sometimes loops on drop trap cage will come loose; secure with twist tie or wire when trapping

28 On the day – trapping procedure
When cats enter trap They will be facing away from the trappers; let cats feed and let other cats enter Only begin to drop door when one or more cats raise head(s) Drop door SLOWLY and imperceptibly – cats should still be feeding Do not leave hiding spot until cats are aware door is shut One person

29 On the day – trapping procedure
When door is shut, move slowly and quietly to drop trap Drape covers over drop trap to quiet cat

30 Ensure drop trap is completely covered while cats calm down
Ensure drop trap is completely covered while cats calm down. If they are not quiet the covers are too thin or there are still holes they can see through. Someone should have a hand on the top of the door while preparing transfer cages. (Wily cats can lift the door)

31 Remove cats from trap one at a time
Place transfer cage door aligned with closed trap door of kennel (note - towel on floor of transfer cage and cover are missing in this picture) Drape transfer cage with cover to create dark space Lift cover from back part of drop trap to create light – cat will generally want to go from light to dark, and will be attracted to transfer cage Have foot or block behind transfer cage to avoid transfer cage movement (cats may move quickly and forcefully)

32 Removing cat from cage, con’d
lift transfer cage door, aligned and ready to close quickly Lift drop trap door by string, keep fingers hidden When cat moves in, close drop trap door and transfer cage door Lock transfer cage Move transfer cage, covered, to vehicle Resume transferring next cat, or resume trapping

33 Removing cat from cage, con’d
Tips and techniques: Second person recommended for transferring from drop trap to transfer cage (trapping companion or caregiver) Some cats have trouble finding trap door for escape to transfer cage and need guidance Sometimes just the feet of someone at the big door end will make the cat move Use blunt-end poking sticks (preferably 2) to guide cat to door (broom handle, etc.) Some cats are looking for escape (ie light),not dark Create light at end of transfer cage (tunnel effect) Remove cover from drop trap

34 Other tips and techniques
Lifting covers slowly to peek, have caregiver examine cats in transfer cages for gender, pregnancy, illness etc. Label cage with this info, and/or make note Release any cats not needing trapping Already ear-tipped Neighbourhood pets Don’t forget to tend snap-traps if in use; move quietly Always close car doors quietly

35 The end

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