How to catch a kitty?
June 19, 2016 9:58 PM   Subscribe

I need your help catching this kitty and potentially finding a new home for it!

Found a kitty under the front bumper of a car today at my apt complex parking lot. It's been hanging around my apt complex since at least Friday morning, I heard it meowing from my window but it was hiding in a different location and when I went to check on it a few hours later it was gone and I assumed the mama cat came and got it. It looks to be about 4-6 weeks old since its eyes are still blue, but I have little experience with cats, yet alone kittens. The only cat stuff I know is from watching Jackson Galaxy on Animal Planet.

It's been almost constantly meowing since this afternoon when I first found it under the bumper. It seems like the mama cat isn't around or not responding at all to the kitten's meowing. I lured it out from the cars this evening by enticing a can of wet food and it ate about half the can. It's currently not under the car bumper anymore but it's still hanging around the parking lot, taking shelter under and or near the cars. It seems pretty skittish, it'll bolt in the other direction if I move towards it, but if I stay still it'll come relatively close to me.

I want to catch this kitten and turn it in to a shelter or the local humane society (kitten is currently located in Nashville, TN), or somewhere that's not the parking lot but I'm not exactly sure where I can take this kitten. Unfortunately if I catch it, I can't keep it for long because the apt complex does not allow its residents to keep pets.

Please help me help this kitten MeFi!
posted by QueenHawkeye to Pets & Animals (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: via this resource:

The Cat Shoppe in Berry Hill, Nashville:

The Cat Shoppe has cat and kitten traps available to loan for free with a $50 deposit refundable upon return. Call (615) 297-7877 to confirm availablity.

I'd guess they'd have to know local people that take in rescues. And they can give you tips like: use a kitten-safe trap, prop it with a water bottle, cover it with a blanket so it seems like a lair, etc. Feed it purpose-made kitten milk from a pet store, and not generic cow milk.

A more local to you pet store or vet may also have resources like humane traps and highly trained rescue-humans.

This resource says Chasing down feral kittens and grabbing them is always a bad idea, even when successful. The stress and anxiety for the kittens can take weeks for them to overcome. I imagine their instinct must convince the kittens that the person chasing them is set upon eating them. When that same person tries to pet them, and hold them, and nurture them, I’ll take that bet as to how receptive they will be. So don't do that unless you have to.

Other tips

This video of Mother cat saying 'come here' to kittens may help. You can play it on your phone or use a purpose-made app, iirc.
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:08 PM on June 19, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Tennessee Cat Rescue Group Directory
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:26 PM on June 19, 2016

Best answer: You want a humane trap--havahart or similar. A local animal shelter may loan you one, or you can usually buy them at places like Ace Hardware. Consider one for a "large squirrel" because a kitten may not weigh enough to trip a trap for an adult cat. Bait the trap with tuna or stinky wet catfood, put a towel over it, and leave it where you have been feeding the kitten. Wait far enough away that you will not scare the kitten but can still see the trap. (I don't like leaving traps unattended; if you have to do this please check on the trap often. If you have to leave the trap be aware you might catch a possum or raccoon or another cat or god knows what.) Hopefully the kitten will be hungry enough to go right in the trap.

Once you have trapped the kitten socialize it in a small enclosed area such as a bathroom. It may be less skittish once you have gotten it inside. If not, small kittens can usually be tamed in just a couple of days. Start by feeding the kitten and just staying in the room while it eats. The next time you feed it, wrap it in a towel and feed it turkey baby food with your fingers. Once it's ok with that, socialize it as much as you can--hold the kitten while watching tv or reading or playing on your computer.

It can be very hard to find a shelter for a kitten in the summer--it's kitten season. Do you have any friends or family who can help?
posted by Violet Hour at 12:22 AM on June 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Trapping tips
posted by Violet Hour at 12:24 AM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here you go... works like a charm. This was using a Havahart trap.
posted by HuronBob at 3:27 AM on June 20, 2016

Best answer: i have caught many ferals using a Havahart live trap and canned mackeral which is possibly the stinkiest most delicous canned fish kitties like. Depending on where you are you may catch other critters that will need to be released then wash the trap well and reset it.
posted by RichardHenryYarbo at 8:45 AM on June 20, 2016

Response by poster: I've got good news! I just got a message that the kitten was caught in the parking lot this morning. I left some fliers up yesterday letting residents know that there was a kitten hanging around the cars and I guess someone else managed to catch it before we did! They're going to be taking it to Nashville Humane, so hopefully kitty will find a good home soon. :)

I will still keep an eye out just in case I was mistaken and there's actually more than one kitty hanging about the parking lot...
posted by QueenHawkeye at 9:24 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yay! Glad the kitten is safe.

As for naming him/her, I have a friend who rescued a kitten from a parking lot and the cat's name is Carlene. (Car-lene, geddit?)
posted by vickyverky at 9:32 AM on June 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

Carlotta would be better.
posted by biffa at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2016

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