First call the Feral Cat Coalition (FCC) for reservations and traps. It’s normal to be nervous but the volunteers at the FCC are very friendly. When you pick up your traps ask as many questions as you want until you know how to use the trap. Next, if you’re not already feeding the cats on a regular schedule, start now as this will make them easier to catch.
The Friday before the clinic, tell your neighbors that you are going to trap Saturday and ask them to keep their cats indoors so you don’t accidentally trap them. You want to withhold food for 24 hrs before you trap so the cats are hungry.
Trap during your normal feeding time the Saturday before the clinic. To set up the trap, line it with newspaper up to the trip plate. If it’s windy outside, you’ll want to use clips to hold the newspaper down until just before the trip plate. Now make a trail of food (canned food or jack mackerel is best) up to the trip plate just a little drop of food every few inches and a small glob of about a teaspoon on the trip plate. Beyond the trip plate use a separate piece of paper and put about one tablespoon of food. Do this with each trap. If the trap has a rear door, make sure it’s latched closed so the cats can’t escape.
Place the traps near your feeding location and cover each trap with a towel to help keep the cats calm once they’re caught. Be sure you can tell if the door is open or closed from a distance. Now move away from the trap and wait. Glance at the trap every 30 minutes or so to see if you’ve got anything. Once you’ve caught your cats you can feed the rest of the colony. Remember, under no circumstances should you open the trap, especially outdoors! Cats are extremely hard to re-trap so be sure they are TNR’d before they’re released.
Move your trapped kitties to a sheltered area such as a garage, backyard or bathroom. Make sure neighbors don’t have easy access to the traps. Well meaning but ignorant neighbors may hear the cats meowing and set them free. If you put the traps inside your house, be sure to line the floor with plastic and something absorbent.
When you transport the cats to the clinic make sure you’ve lined the floor of your car with plastic and absorbent pads. Now check in at the clinic and when you get the cat back, follow the after care instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Good luck!