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Ways To Catch A Stray Cat

Updated on February 20, 2015

Sometimes stray cats are afraid of humans and it may be hard to lure the cat to you or into a cat carrier. I have caught both stray and feral cats using some of the following ways. If you are looking to take a stray cat into your home or into a cat carrier to take it to the vet or a shelter, then here are a few suggestions you may want to use to help capture the cat.


Try using cat food as a lure for a stray cat. If you are trying to get the stray cat into a cat carrier or box, then place a can or bowl of wet cat food inside of the carrier so that the cat will have to go inside of the carrier to eat it. You will want to close the door and lock it once you see that the cat is fully inside the carrier.

If the cat is not interested in the wet food, try putting a trail of dry food or cat treats leading up to the cat carrier. Place more cat treats inside of the carrier as well so that the cat will have to go into the carrier to get them. If you do not have any cat food on hand, you may want to cut up pieces of chicken or any other kind of food that may attract a cat.

Trap Cage

Sometimes a stray cat may get startled when it sees a person coming towards the carrier and it may jump out of the carrier before you have a chance to lock it. In this case, you may want to see if your local animal shelter has a trap cage available for rent. A trap cage will automatically shut the door behind the cat when the cat goes into the cage. This way, the cat will not see you coming towards the carrier door and it will be hard for the cat to escape.


Another way to lure a stray cat is by using a cat toy or a long string. Using a cat toy with a string already attached to it is a good way to get the cat interested in playing. You can first start out by playing with the cat until it gets more comfortable with you. Then you can drag the string or toy into the cat carrier to see if it will step inside to get the toy. If you are luring the cat into your house, drag the string or toy into your home and see if the cat will follow.

Cat Calls

Sometimes coaxing a cat stray with gentle words or cat calling sounds can help the cat become more comfortable with you. If the cat is allowing you to come close, you may want to throw a towel over the cat and quickly pick it up. Once you have picked up the cat, you can place it into a cat carrier or into your home. Be careful when handling stray or feral cats as they may became scared and scratch or bite you. You may want to use thick gloves and wear long sleeves to prevent yourself from getting scratched.

Animal Shelter Assistance

If none of these methods work for you or if you are afraid to handle the cat on your own, you may want to call your local animal shelter or rescue to see if someone can come out and trap the cat for you. An animal shelter will have more experience in luring and capturing stray animals.


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