Quickly Learn How to Catch a Feral Cat: 4 Easy Steps

how to catch a feral cat
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Want to know how to catch a feral cat? We’ve got the answer. Want to know why anyone would want to get a feral cat into a carrier? We’ve got that covered too. Carry on reading to find out what the differences between stray and feral cats are, and how to assist both. And of course, how to get them into a carrier.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to get a feral cat into a carrier
  • What the difference is between a feral cat and a stray cat
  • Why feral cats are potentially a problem
  • What you can do to help

4 Easy Steps To Get A Feral Cat Into A Carrier

CAUTION: this process can be dangerous!! You can seriously injure both yourself and the animal in this process if you are not careful. Please consult a professional if you are unsure about any of the following steps.

Getting a stray into a carrier will be a lot easier than trying to get a feral cat in one, but it can be done. You’ll need:

  • A cat carrier
  • A blanket
  • A towel
  • To be calm and confident
  1. With the blanket in two hands, calmly approach the cat from behind. As quickly as you can, place the blanket over its head, making sure their entire head and body are covered. 
  2. Keeping your wits about you, firmly place your hands over the towel and the cat’s shoulders. As you scoop up the cat, make sure the blanket is folded underneath it.
  3. As soon as you can, place the cat in the carrier with the blanket. Trust us, he’ll find his own way out of it.
  4. Grab the towel and cover the carrier to help keep the cat calm.

This video will also help

The best cat carriers are the ones that open at the top, and we suggest a hard-sided one for this purpose. A soft carrier might not stand up to the scratching and clawing of a feral cat suddenly finding himself contained. 

If you know the cat hasn’t eaten for a few days, you could lure it into the carrier with some food. As soon as he’s in, cover him with a towel. 

Often, if a feral female has kittens, you can place them in the carrier. She’ll follow them straight in.

Another option is to set a trap. Attach string to the carrier door, and close it as soon as the cat’s inside the carrier. Make sure you get to it as quickly as possible to securely shut it.

What Is The Difference Between a Feral Cat and a Stray Cat

Stray and feral cats look no different from one another, in fact, they don’t look any different to your pet cat. But they’re all different in terms of how they interact with people. Being able to tell the stray or pet cats from a feral cat is the first step in knowing what needs to be done when you come into contact with them.

Stray Cats

Strays, like pet cats, have been socialized to be around people, but through various circumstances, have found themselves without a home. A stray cat will make eye contact, and even in some cases, display human-friendly body language. They also tend to be on their own and will stay in areas where people are. 

If you find a cat wandering the streets, and you’re able to catch it, start with a visit to the vet. If it has been microchipped, there’s a good chance you will be able to locate its owner. Otherwise, post a message on your community Facebook page, or create a flyer to distribute in your area.

The critical thing to remember is that strays, with your help, patience, and a lot of love, can become a pet again. 

Feral Cats

There’s a great quote from the famous Mario Andretti, which is “everything comes to those who wait… except a (feral) cat.” Apologies for the slight adaptation, but even a lost pet or stray cat will warm to a human and look for attention and affection in some form. Feral cats won’t. 

Feral cats have never had contact with people, or their interactions with humans have diminished. There’s very little chance of rehoming an adult feral cat. However, kittens can be socialized and adopted, as long as it’s done at an early age. 

A significant distinction between feral cats and strays is how and where they live. Feral cats live in colonies and in areas away from people. They will, however, find a home near shelter and food, like abandoned buildings, barns, and alleyways.

Why Feral Cats Are A Problem

For the most part, feral cats can fend for themselves and their offsprings. Often communities adopt these cats, making sure they have adequate food and water, and sometimes stepping in if a cat has been injured.

The problem is that a lot of feral cats aren’t spayed or neutered. According to stats, between 30 and 40 million feral cats are living in the US. Given that a female cat can start reproducing at 16 weeks, and have two to three litters a year, if not managed, this overpopulation can lead to all sorts of problems. 

What Is The Solution?

Unfortunately, the solution isn’t a simple one. Some people think these cat communities are a nuisance and are capable of spreading disease, while others are more than happy taking care of them with the occasional meal.

While the debate rages on, there is something you (and your neighborhood) can do to help.


The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method is a popular one amongst feral cat organizations, and for a good reason. This procedure includes:

  • Trapping feral cats in a humane way
  • Neutering or spaying them
  • Vaccinating them
  • Removing the tip of one ear surgically
  • Returning them to their colony

If the idea of catching a cat in a carrier is too overwhelming, you can contact one of the many brilliant organizations that work with feral or community cats daily. They will assist with the TNR procedure and also give advice on how best to look after your local alley cat gang.

Better yet, why not volunteer? You can become an advocate for TNR, and help educate your community. 

Some other articles you might be interested in! I review the top kitten foods and reveal the best brands.

Carmen Scott
Carmen Scott
I’m the “Mom” behind The Cat Mom. I adopted my two kitties back in 2014 and since they’re the heart and soul of our home so we decided to share our experiences and tips with everyone who share the same love for their furry friends as us.

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