Pre-baiting feral cats

We’ve left it later than ideal, since the outdoor feral cats are about the age when they could start breeding, but better late than never. We’ve set up an appointment with the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon to get them neutered (and other health checks/treatments), and borrowed 5 traps from them to facilitate that.

So we are now getting them used to eating from the traps for the next few days. This is called “pre-baiting”, where the back door of the traps is removed, and food placed inside, so they become comfortable with going in to eat. Then next week we’ll replace the door and activate the triggered door to actually catch them. With this pre-bating process, and a lot of luck, we’ll hopefully be able to catch all five at once.

I’ve placed the traps next to their usual feeding station (which is disabled for now). They’re under a tarp to keep them dry, weighed down by a folding table:

I’m using paper plates for feeding dishes in each; here they are near the front of the trap, but I’ll move them to the back in subsequent feedings:

This morning when I fed the cats, all five happily ate (partway) in the traps:

Again, I’ll put the food dishes at the back in subsequent feedings, so they go all the way in.

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