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Recovery Tips & Tricks

After you trap your cat, and get it neutered you will need to keep the cats for a minimum of 24 hours fro males, and 3 days for females in order for the cat to properly recover from surgery before being returned top their outdoor home. If the cat is lactating, and you don not have the kittens, she should be spayed as soon as possible, and released when she is alert and has eaten- late that night, or very early in the morning. In addition to the information in our Trapping & Care Guide, here are some tips on alternate methods to make that recovery time easier for both you and the cat.

Please resist the temptation to release the cat in a room, even a very small room, or garage for it’s recovery period. A feral cat will literally “climb the walls”, doing everything it can to find a way out, and in the process can rip open it’s sutures (this is primarily a problem for females, or males that needed invasive surgery for crypt orchid -testicles that have not properly “dropped”). If this happens, the cat will need to be taken to the emergency room to have it’s surgery site re-sterilized and sutured.

Here are three methods for recovering a cat in the trap. These methods can also be use for both recovering the cat after surgery or while waiting until it can have surgery.

It is critical that the cat be returned to it’s home territory after it’s surgery and recovery period. Always make sure to keep the trap in an enclosed space, where if the cat manages to get out of the trap during cleaning it cannot escape.

If your trap has a sliding door at one end, use this end as much as possible when changing food and newspaper. It is much less likely for the cat to be able to escape through that door.

Method #1 – Newspaper outside trap:

Method #2 – Newspaper inside trap:

Method #3Use a Recovery Cage:

A recovery cage is an extra cage that is used to extend the that extend the trap- you can make one from a rabbit hutch, or even connect 2 traps that have back transfer doors together to make a larger recovery area. See our special equipment page on recovery cages for more information.

For this method you will need a larger floor space, or table for the cage and trap, and your trap must have a rear transfer door.

When it is time to clean the trap you simply have to cover the part you want the cat to go into whether it be the trap end or the recovery cage end, and un-cover the part you want to work on. So when cleaning the litter, make sure the trap is covered, and uncover the recovery cage. The cat will usually go where it is dark and protected. When you want to return the cat, simply:

Links to other resources:

Neighborhood Cats the feral cat experts