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The Jindabyne Feral Cat Cage Trap
Double-ended, multi-purpose cat trap - can also be used as a possum, rabbit or hare trap
- Australian-made, strong hot dipped galvanized 2.5 mesh, excellent spot welding - a good solid trap that you can use over and over for decades
- Longer than the standard possum trap to catch and hold large feral cats - some feral cats can weigh over 20 kg
- 5 kg metal trap, live capture
- Mesh metal treadle plate trigger mechanism on floor allows for cats, possums or rabbits to be trapped - change the bait type to suit different species
- Double-ended cage trap, trap door at front and removable rear door for cat to exit into larger cage at a vets or rangers pound for disposal
- Carry handle but wear heavy gloves anyway when carrying as trapped feral cats are dangerous and will want to kill you - if scratched by a feral cat with putrefying meat under its claws, you are likely going to hospital
- It is good trapping practice to check your traps at least once a day and avoid leaving trapped animals in cages for longer than a day
- Throw an old towel or blanket over the cage with the trapped cat inside to reduce stress on the animal
How to use your Jindabyne Feral Cat Trap
Decide what you are going to do with the trapped feral cat before you start trapping.
- Keep human scent off the trap as much as possible by wearing clean gloves when handling it. Or give the trap a light spray of eycalyptus oil to mask human scent.
- Place the trap on level ground where the cat is most likely to be.
- Cats can be lured into the trap by a food scent by dripping a trail of oily cat food or from a tin of sardines in a line that leads into the entrance of the trap.
- Bait the trap with fresh raw meat or a small tin of cat food with a few puncture holes in the top. Roadkill rabbit is a useful cat bait.
- Tie the bait in the far end of the trap on the floor and behind the treadle plate so that the food cannot be snatched easily and pressure will be put on the treadle which releases the trap door behind the animal.
- The locking bar releases and drops over the trap door with the cat trapped inside.
- The other bait method is to mix a small tin of wet cat food with some dried cat food. Smear some of this food over the treadle plate on the floor. Place the rest of the food on a small paper plate. Dig a shallow hole in the ground and place the plate of cat food in the hole. Place the back end of the trap over this food and press the trap down so that some of the mushy food is pushed up through the mesh floor at the back of the trap.
- Anchor the trap to the ground with a tent peg in each corner so that the wind does not shake the trap and scare the animal off. Trap movement can deter a wild animal from entering a trap. Anchoring is also so that the trapped cat cannot easily move the trap to access the bait underneath, nor can they roll the trap upside down when caught which may drop the bar which releases the door and the trapped cat walks free.
- If you want to use this trap to catch other animals of a similar size such as a possum, wash the scent of previous predator cats out first.
Feral cats are now common throughout most environments across Australia, including offshore islands. Only up in the Kimberley area are there areas left free of feral cats. Otherwise they are thriving everywhere across Australia, desert, tropics and temperate climates, coastal and inland.
Predation by feral cats is thought to have contributed to the extinction of small to medium-sized ground-dwelling mammals and ground-nesting birds in Australia’s arid zone. 19 species of endangered mammals are under threat from feral cats. Domestic cats that are allowed to roam at night are the same hunters and killers of wildlife. It is their nature to hunt and kill. A cat can do a standing leap of around six feet to snatch a bird from the air.
Invasive pest animals are a billion dollar annual problem in Australia with damage to biodiversity and the environment in addition to reduced agricultural productivity. Feral pigs, wild rabbits, foxes and feral cats are estimated to account for 83% of losses and agricultural productivity.
In 2004 it was estimated that there were approximately 21 million feral and domestic cats in Australia. It is expected the number would be much higher today. They are here to stay and can only be managed in your local area.
Feral cats are true killers and each instictively hunts and eats six or seven small native animals and birds a day, plus possums, geckos and other defenceless wildlife, often at night. Multiply that by 21 million to get the daily total of native animals lost to feral cats every day, at least 70 million lost daily according to Professor Tim Flannery. This native animal loss is not sustainable.
Some hunters report forests with plenty of feral cats and no native birds any more. Feral cats thrive on native species leading to extinction of birds and other native animals such as small mammals. Cats are one of the major causes of extinction and threatened species of Australian native animals.
Australia has the highest native species extinction rate on the planet, largely due to feral cats and foxes which are true feral killing machines, combined with the loss of native habitat. Landholders who trap rogue cats on their property note the return of native birds such as the blue wren after the cats are gone.
Irresponsible and oblivious people still release unwanted cats and kittens on the edge of forests. The first thing these released cats do is hunt.
Each generation of feral cat breeds up larger than the one before. Many feral cats are enormous, two or three times the size of the domestic cat and are aggressive and dangerous animals when trapped.
Authorities who handle disposal of feral cats will not accept live cats unless they are in double-ended cages for occupational health and safety regulations. The back door of the cat trap is placed against a larger cage and lifted so that the feral animal moves from your trap into the larger holding cage where they are all humanely and quickly put to sleep, usually by gassing.
What to do with a trapped feral cat
Shooting the cat with a .22 while still in the trap if in an area where shooting is allowed is a quick, humane death for a feral animal and safer for you. Watch out for ricochets.
If you choose not to dispose of the trapped feral cat yourself, contact your local Council Ranger, Vet or the RSPCA before you start trapping to decide what to do with the cat on the day that you trap it.