A trapper's best friend!
A drop trap is an essential tool for the TNR trapper. Compared to a normal box trap, cats are not as wary of going in and so don't need to be as hungry. It can be used for selectively trapping a particular cat, catching several cats at once or general colony trapping. Watch it in action as we try for a pregnant cat.
The Neighborhood Cats Drop Trap
Neighborhood Cats teamed up with Tomahawk Live Trap to design the first mass-manufactured drop trap, making this kind of trap easily available and affordable. It's all metal so it's easy to clean, folds up flat in a suitcase style and has an optional remote control. A sliding door on the side allows for transfer into a box trap with a rear door, transfer cage or feral cat den. To purchase one, go to Tomahawk Live Trap and order Model DT-1. If you're going to transfer into a box trap or transfer cage with dimensions less than 10"W x 12"H, also order an adaptor to reduce the size of the opening of the drop trap's side door.
For step-by-step instructions on how to set up and use the Neighborhood Cats Drop Trap, read our guide. Many of the instructions apply to make-it-yourself drop traps as well. One word of caution worth emphasizing - don't use a drop trap for the very first time on that cat you've been after the last five years. Practice once or twice on cats you've already fixed, from dropping the trap to transferring into a box trap. If you need a volunteer, try your pet cat in exchange for a tasty treat. After you've gone through the process and made any first-time mistakes, you'll be ready for prime time!
Build Your Own
If you're handy and know basic woodworking skills, you can build your own drop trap. Laura Burns, one of the pioneers of using drop traps for TNR, has provided instructions on how to construct a non-foldable drop trap out of wood and netting, For other designs, including traps made out of PVC pipes, visit the Drop Trap Design Bank where you'll also find video of a drop trap in action. Making a drop trap that collapses and folds flat is more complicated and requires more construction know-how. Also keep in mind that it can be difficult to disinfect a home-made trap.