Denver Dumb Friends League


If you dedicate yourself to caring for a feline colony, or if you are one of those who when you see a furry person who needs help for the car and goes in search of him to provide the care he needs, surely you have wondered more than once how to catch a scared cat, true?

It's not really easy, but it's not impossible either. Of course, it is important to keep in mind at all times that hurries are not good companions, especially when it comes to getting a feline that feels tense into the cage or in the carrier. Let's see how can we achieve it.

The first thing we have to do is observe the cat, see what behavior it has at that time. We know he's scared, but does he let us get close? If we offer you a treat, are you about to take it? These are things that we have to find out before deciding the way we will take it, for our own safety and also for the hairy itself.

Catching a docile cat

If it is a calm and more or less docile animal, what we will have to do is earn your trust. How do you do that in five minutes? Well, the truth is that you can not so little time 🙂, but we can make you understand in a short period of time that we do not want to hurt you, just help you.

To do this, we will sit with our backs to him, at a distance of about 2-3 meters (the one that he allows us), and we will offer you a treat for cats. If he is hungry, no matter how scared he may be, he may go looking for her, but if we see that he is doubtful, we will throw it so that it falls very close to him. We will do it again several times, throwing it with less and less force so that it falls closer to us.

Now, we will move on to the next step: try to stroke it. For this we will show you the hand so that it simply smells. If you are curious, we can caress your nose first and then your head. In case you are nervous, we will go slower.

Then, we get up, without hurry and without making sudden movements, and we introduce a treat in the carrier. Then, we move away a little (not too much, because we will have to act quickly), and when we enter, we close the door, cover it with a towel and take it where we have to take it.

Catching a "wild" cat

Cat trap cage

When it comes to catching a "wild" cat that needs veterinary attention, the most effective way is placing trap cages like the one we can see in the image above, hidden among herbs, wood or logs. Then, it will only be a matter of walking away and waiting to see if there is luck and the hairy enters. When it does, we will cover the cage with a towel, as this will keep something quiet.

These cages are designed so that the cat, once it enters, cannot leave if the door is not opened. In addition, the veterinarian can safely give you the injections you need.

We hope you found it useful 🙂.

Why did they take me?

While it is true that a destructive neighborhood cat can be very frustrating, do not take it personally. The cat does not act out of resentment or take it for an unknown reason. It behaves naturally, but it does so in inappropriate places. The solution is to make those places undesirable, so that the cat can behave naturally elsewhere.

Unless they are literally starving, cats don't eat birds, but they like to enjoy "the thrill of the chase." Cats have been bird predators for thousands of years, and there is no infallible way to discourage this natural instinct. Luckily, birds have developed survival techniques over the years, and it is very rare that a cat effectively hunts a mature and healthy bird.

Another natural instinct for a cat is to make a bath in an area where it can cover its smell by burying the debris. Therefore, a cat that spends most of its time outdoors appreciates the soft earth previously excavated from its garden or the sandpit of its children as a practical bath.
When a cat takes a nap in the hood or roof of his car or in the center of his flowerbed, he is simply sunbathing in a warm and pleasant place, and does not realize the damage he does. The cat will relate his negative reaction to the place where he takes a nap and, although he may learn to avoid you, he will not avoid the place or the activity.

A stray cat can approach its window or the patio door and challenge its cat or dog through the glass with body language or quarrelsome vocal insults. The best way to free your pet from these types of situations is to keep the outside cat away from the areas where your cat can see it.

Of course, the ideal solution would be for all cat owners to keep them protected inside their homes. Unfortunately, not all cat owners are willing to do this, so you will have to solve the problem without harming the cat, birds, other innocent animals or the garden. Because each situation is different, you will need patience and ingenuity to find the right deterrent through trial and error.


Repellents and devices designed to scare the cat when it is “with hands in the dough” work best to condition it to avoid the area. Never use poisons. Poisoning animals is not only inhuman and illegal, nor is it an effective solution to the problem. With poison it will only get rid of one plague, but it will not discourage the others. He will have no way of knowing or controlling what or who could find and ingest the poisonous substance.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered more than thirty compounds for safe use as repellent for domestic cats. Check with any pet supply store or garden supply providers if they have commercial cat repellents. Most commercial repellents are based on a simple compound of mothballs. The mothballs or crystals put in cheesecloth bags to help protect the soil, work very well to prevent cats from digging in garden areas or in pots.

Remember that the effectiveness of any repellent will decrease with humidity and the passage of time. Whether you prefer mothballs or a sophisticated commercial compound, you will have to reapply the solution after each rain, heavy spray or irrigation. Check with your garden products supplier to be sure that the solution you choose will not harm the plants that grow in that area, especially if you use fertilizers or other additives.

In areas where cats want to dig, decorative pebbles can be an effective deterrent. Avoid those that are very smooth or round, as they are an excellent bed for cats. The rocks or pebbles should be well fixed in the soil or the mulch area so that they cannot move or flip easily. You can also bury fine mesh chicken coop under a light layer of soil or mulch, this can even work to contain some weeds. Pointy pebbles or hard wire will be uncomfortable for its soft legs.

"Surprise" devices

To teach a cat to avoid a specific area, you must make it unattractive. It is best to surprise the cat "with his hands in the dough", but the villain must be the area itself, not you. Simple devices can be used to make the area attractive a trap "catcher" for the cat.

  • Sound and movement: Spread dried beans, macaroni or birdseed on a metal tray, the molds for disposable trays or baking sheets work very well and are economical). Balance several trays along the railings of the fence, the porch or the platform, the projections of the windows or around the edge of any vehicle to which the cat jumps. Birds can continue to pose safely if the trays are balanced, but the weight of a cat on the surface will turn the tray. The cat will be scared by the sound and by the unstable innkeeper who falls.
  • Texture: To prevent a cat from jumping on flat surfaces (railings, vehicles or platforms), cross double-sided adhesive tape to a piece of sturdy plastic. A thick plastic cloth or a vinyl tablecloth works well. Cover the surface with the plastic and fix it with a cord, or at least with a heavy object, to keep it in place. The adhesive tape on the cat's paws bothers him (without causing pain or panic), and the slippery plastic makes noise and does not allow it to rest.
  • Water: This method works particularly well in the areas where birds feed on the ground or in the garden areas that cats use as litter boxes. When the temperature allows, turn on a sprinkler at the usual time when the cat bothers (sunrise or sunset if the cat goes home to hunt). A sprinkler timer set at alternate times will help discourage smart cats that would otherwise simply avoid the area at times of the day when it "rains regularly." As a variant of the “falling tray” method, place shallow plastic covers filled with water at each end of the tray to add a shower to the noise and movement of the falling tray.
  • Obstacles: If your birdhouse or bird feeder is mounted on a pole, stick a galvanized metal cone-shaped shield inverted on the stick to protect the platform.


If these suggested remedies do not work, we recommend that you call our Helpline with behavioral problems. It is possible that the "troubled cat" belongs to someone who allows him to wander, or the cat may not have a real owner. If the cat belongs to a neighbor, the problem is both. It is not always easy to talk diplomatically about neighborhood problems. Remember that the cat is your neighbor's pet, even if it becomes a plague when it is at home. If you place more emphasis on your concern for cat safety than on the problems it causes, you are more likely to get your neighbor's collaboration.

If you can't determine whose cat it is, the problem is all yours. Often, it is impossible to distinguish a bighorn cat from a potentially friendly stray cat, so be safe and don't touch it. If you have already tried without success all the reconditioning tactics mentioned above, you can resort to a human trap.

Human Traps

Only use a human cage trap designed to attract the cat to the cage with food and contain it safely until it can be moved to another location. Most animal control agencies and animal protection associations lend or rent these traps, and some even deliver or pick them up.

If you have reason to believe that the cat has an owner, think twice before catching it, unless you plan to return it to the owner.

To catch a stray cat, prime the trap with canned cat food. Place the trap in an area as protected as possible from inclement weather. While you may hear some alarming sounds when the cat realizes he is trapped, he is only angry, not injured. If the cat is locked up without access to water or shelter from inclement weather or predators, it is important that you remove the trap from the area as soon as possible. Put on gloves to protect yourself from bites and scratches, and place the trap in a protected area until you can take the cat to an animal shelter. Do not release a stray cat. The only thing that will generate are more problems of overpopulation and, inevitably, a painful life and the death of the cat.

2 comments, leave yours

They go 2 times that in a short time I have found two cats, in different places of the population.
Almost certainly they had been abandoned, both were male, and in heat. I was very sorry, because one was going cold, you could tell he was home, he was well taken care of, he approached me meowing, he was affectionate, poor little.
As I am 9, I could not rescue him, so I told a patrol car that I saw in the area.
The other was also in heat, he was under a car because it was raining, he also looked well cared for.
I mentioned this to the protector of El Prat.
The area where they helped me catch the cat I have, was a place where many trucks of a work passed. There are several cats there, which pass from a field to some orchards.
We had brought them food sometime, we felt panic every time one of those trucks passed, until the ground trembled as they passed, I turned my back in case I just ran over some cat, one almost caught a car, passed the wheel to a span of him. I have never understood why some people accelerate when they see a cat.
Some men said there were many, who sometimes gave them food when they entered their patio. I asked them to help me get one for my daughter. They put ham in a fruit box in a trap plan and this cat fell, which I had already seen eating. He has an almost identical brother (he is the one who almost ran over the car), some month ago I still saw him there. The protector is already aware, but it is what happens, cats that are wild, some can be tamed and others not. This one is distrustful, but it is allowed to caress, to brush that it loves, but not to take in arms.
One of his children, the “Balinese” is so, so calm, that we call him the rubber cat, my daughter takes it, puts it on the neck of a scarf and does not flinch. You hug her like this or that and she stays so calm. The funny thing is that in front of strangers almost not even get caught.
In another place there was a mother with 4 kittens, many people visited them to feed them, it was sad to see the little kittens, but they were afraid, and when the people who fed them usually approached them, they hid.
I contacted an ex-protector, I told him that next to the Decathlon of Villanova i la Geltrú, there is a very large pet store, where they have a cage with kittens to adopt. They could have been caught and taken there. I don't know what was done in the end.
What is clear is that giving them food is the best way for them to be your friends and want to come with you. Then you have to take them to the vet for review and everything you need. I put a chip on mine, it stopped being street jera it already has a home, sweet home.
When it rains, I look at her and say, How good are you here huh? And close your eyes nodding.

Yes, it can be quite an odyssey to catch a cat, whether it is a street adult or if it is still a puppy. But in the end, if that cat has to be for you, it will only be a matter of time to let it catch. 🙂