Greetings! Thanks for subscribing to The Kitty Times. One of the things I want to do here is answer your questions. Feel free to ask me anything about cats. If I don't know the answer, I probably know where to find one!
For this issue, I will answer the first question:
I want to catch 4 not tame cats from my yard and take them to a friend's
barn. They have gotten underneath my house and tore up my duct work. I don't
want to kill them, just take them to another place. I don't have a trap. Maybe someone does.
I think that's great that you want to relocate these guys to a more
appropriate area. How old are they? Their ages will help determine how
hard it will be to catch them. Of course, the younger they are, the more naive they
will be, which means there is a better chance of tricking them into something, like a trap.
Older, outside cats that are not companions to humans are very wary and very
smart. In other words, very hard to capture.
My guess would be that a trap is going to be your best bet. Does your
town have an animal control departmentt? Or at least an officer that takes care of
the community's animal calls? The police dept. should have at least one
trap, and hopefully, one that they can either loan out, or that they would be
willing to come set for you. As you catch each one, they might even
take it out to the barn area for you. (Or to a vet to fix first.)
This all depends on how cooperative your local cop shop is. AND your
vet. Ours will fix the wild ones, but I have to warn him first, so he doesn't
just reach into the cage. Good way to get bloody!
Is there a small building or a large box you could set up nearby?
Sometimes you can scare them away from the place you don't want them, and then
they might run into some place that is more attractive to them. Then bam!
Shut the door. Or the flap, or whatever.
That approach is very, very time consuming and very difficult, though,
and I don't recommend it unless you would be greatly entertained by the
week-long effort. Ha. I've done it, but it is rather frustrating, I'm afraid. The trap is
still your best bet.
If they are destroying the ductwork under your home, you might be able
to, at the minimum, get them out of there. Then try to close up the access
points, if possible, so they don't go right back in.
Catching that many is the hard part, as the first one caught will be the
example to the others to be more careful. They are very intelligent in
this way and learn much by watching each other.
If they are going under the house for warmth and protection, you can try
creating a more attractive alternative close by. Set up a large box
with a light bulb inside, old towels (or such) to lie down on, and food and
water. It would take a few days to let them watch it and get the idea that
it's a nice place to go. Once they are out from under your place, you
absolutely must find a way to keep them from going back under. Block off all entry
points. Be sure there are no babies in there, too.
If at all possible, and you are able to trap them one at a time, it
would be a good time to spay or neuter each one, and then release them in the
barn. This would prevent the production of literally dozens of more cats
over the near future. All wild kittens would be nothing more than pests, I'm
afraid, with no future as anyone's pet.
I still think the trap is going to be the only real useful option,
though. Be sure to put something smelly in there if you want to catch a cat!
For more information about trapping, go back to my web site and read the article about catching cats: http://cats.allinfoabout.com/catchacat.html.
Let me know what happens!