The best way to do curb the community cat population is to take action yourself. Here is a quick how-to on trapping community cats in your area.
Step 1: Have a plan
You don't want to start trapping until you know when your clinic day and time is. It would be terrible to trap a cat and find out that the clinic isn't accepting appointments for two months. Also have a plan for kittens you may find, do you have friends and family willing to take them? Or a rescue on standby?
Step 2: Feeding Stations
If you haven't already, establish a feeding station and get your kitties on a feeding schedule that works for you. Typically this is as the sun comes up and as the sun goes down. This makes sure that your kitties will be around when you want to start trapping.
Step 3: Prepare your trap(s)
Line the bottom of your trap with newspaper, pee pad, cardboard, or anything else you may have. Cats tend to go a little crazy once trapped once the door shuts and can hurt their paws on the trigger plate. Next, put food as far back in the trap as you can, it must be beyond the trigger plate or the process won't work. Adding just a tiny little taste to the beginning of the trap to start luring them in is a good trick for the fearful ones and scattering some treats up to the food works, too. Now cover the trap with a towel or sheet. Cats are attracted to boxes and this makes them feel a bit more secure. If you have a back opening trap, make sure it is closed tight.
Step 3: Set your trap(s)
Set your traps and place them near your feeding station. Along a building or up close to something usually is best rather than just out in the open. Cats tend to sneak along edges of things.
Step 4: Waiting
This may be the hardest part for some people. That's ok. Head back to the house or your car and grab a snack. You can watch from a window of your house or car. We understand that watching a trap 24/7 with a busy lifestyle is not always doable, but check back often. Close traps before bed and reset in the morning.
Tips and Tricks
😺 Do NOT leave cats in extreme weather.
😺 Do not let them sit on concrete while in the trap.
😺 First thing in the morning and as the sun goes down will be your best time to trap.
😺 Removing food 24 hours before trapping will make them hungrier and encourage them to go in the trap.
😺 If you live in or around York County, PA, the York SPCA will accept one cat per a person per a day with no appointment. Their drop off time is 8-8:30AM Monday-Thursday and pick up is the same time the very next day.
😺 Here is a How-To on opening your trap if you have never done so before. Please note that this is how MOST traps will look with slight variations: