There are special cases when the best way to catch the cat is by using a net but it takes special techniques and equipment to do this, and get the cat into a trap without losing, or hurting, the cat. Generally you will not be able to catch a cat outside in the open: you must either be able to approach the cat close enough to get it in the net (this usually means the cat is very sick, hurt, or somewhat friendly), or be able to corner it. This is a great technique if the cat is contained in a room like a garage, shed or inside someone’s house.
There are many different shapes and sizes of nets. Once you catch the cat in the net you will need to (quickly) put the net opening flush with the ground, or some flat surface, to contain the cat. Immediately cover the cat with a thick towel so that it calms down and doesn’t struggle in the net. If the net is very long, you can sometimes twist the net around the rim of the net opening, so that there is no chance of the cat escaping.
The nets that are large enough to catch an adult cat in will have an opening that is much larger than the opening of a trap. In order to “funnel” the cat into a trap opening one of our long time trappers developed a tool she calls a “Transfer Board”. The transfer board can be made out of card board, or if you will be using it a lot you may consider making one out of Plexiglas- or some other more durable material.
The transfer board is a 2′ X 2′ sheet of cardboard or Plexiglas, with an opening the size of your trap cut into the bottom.
To transfer the cat from the net into the trap, one person holds the board up against the opening of the trap, and is responsible for inserting the back transfer door when the cat is inside, while another person hold the net rim up against the transfer board, and helps guide the cat into the trap (wear gloves and protect your hands further with the towel cover). It is best if you can wedge the back of the trap against a wall to make sure it does not move during the transfer process.
The transfer board can also be a useful tool for transferring cats from larger traps into smaller traps. We use it when trapping with large dog or bob cat sized traps, to transfer the cats into a smaller size for transport and surgery.
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