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Trapping/Socializing - Can you do it? Of-course you can!

So youíve been feeding a colony for a while - and they keep expanding. Well guess what? They have absolutely no concern if itís Mom, Dad, Sister or Brother theyíre mating with. They are animals and do what comes naturally. The very first thing you must do is manage the colony. This is done by trapping, spaying/neutering, health check and release. You may lose a few to health problems but better a few than the entire colony. You release back to the original colony - and then you supervise them. This is done by keeping a tally on who is there, fresh food and water - just act like your house has expanded. Now lets assume you have a trap smart puddin - one that has been trapped before or just has a high I.Q. There are several little tricks you can use to lure him into the trap. One is to disguise the trap - cover it with bushes and make it look like part of the environment. Just use the smallest bits of food outside the trap to entice him in. Very smelly food works the best. I frequently use tuna packed in oil. Another trick is to clothespin a piece of cooked (not crisp) bacon to the part of the rap he steps on - this way he will claw at it and release the trap. I have heard of people having super good luck with Kentucky Fried Chicken Strips. Donít be afraid to experiment.

Now youíve trapped a darling kitten or adult - he doesnít seem very feral - in fact he will almost allow you to pet him. Do you socialize him or release him? This is entirely up to you but he can be socialized. It will take time and patience on your part but my experience has been that these make the most devoted pets. I have one, who was rescued at two months of age and is generally frightened of everyone except my husband and myself. He is the only one of our cats who gives kisses! So how do you achieve this? First put him in a small room for a few days with a litter box and food. Do not approach him at first. Let him become accustomed to his surroundings. Put a radio in with him and keep it on a talk show station all day and night so he gets used to human voices. Also put a t-shirt that you have been wearing in with him. After a few days sit in the room with him - on the floor. Do not tower over him, this will only frighten him. Do this for a few days and let him realize that your smell is familiar. After he is used to seeing you and hearing you talk, place a treat in your hand and not making eye contact hold it out and let him sniff it - eventually he will take it. Time and patience will give you a loving pet for life. Now you want him to get used to other people? Again - have several of your friends give you shirts they have worn and place them in the room with him. After a few days have a party for him. Invite all these people over and close off all avenues of escape. Make everyone sit on the floor and just visit, talking in low voices. He will have no choice but to observe and notice that no-one is interested in molesting him. Remember - no eye contact. Cats view this as a sign of dominance and we donít want to dominate - just be friends. Once you have gained this kids confidence you can make eye contact. Cats "talk" with their eyes - a slow opening  and closing means utter contentment so do send this message. Thank you for being willing to go through all this for friendship - the best kind!

Tomahawk Live Trap Company P.O. Box 323 Tomahawk WI 54487 Phone: (715) 453-3550 or 1-800-27-A-TRAP Fax: (715) 453-4326

Author: Jeri Dopp

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