Feral Cat trapping with Timms

Any good bait suggestions for the best way to catch a feral cat using a Timms trap?

Hi there, for what it’s worth I have caught quite a few cats with a Timms trap. Before I start I increase the hole of the aperture, taking around 10mm off both sides. Cat’s are reluctant to put there head into things too tight.
I have used a variety of baits (in order of effectiveness), mackerel (as used for fish bait) works and stays on well and stores and keeps pretty well. Liver also works well, doesn’t stay on quite so well, I sometimes use a piece of pork chop to stop it sliding down the rod. I have also used the mustelid and cat lure sold by one of the bait companies. Fresh goat or possum also works.
However from my observation I catch a number of young ones quite quickly but I find the older ones are more cunning and from my camera are quite trap shy/cunning. They require a different technique.
Cheers, Pat

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I’ve found fresh chicken nibbles to be effective. We don’t have many cats but this is what’s caught them. Tried lamb kidneys, smoked fish, Erayz, meat fat, and rabbit with no success. I use a little bit of felt underlay to hold the slippery bait on the rod. Apparently bait in a plastic bag works with softer baits. Haven’t enlarged the hole, so amazed that the cats have stuck their head inside.

Chicken nibbles or chicken nuggets? Are they cooked

Bread is a good bait for cats. Sadly I found this out some years ago on the farm when I changed from apple to bread for possums in my Timms trap and caught the family cat.

Hi Pat, my Dad always said you catch the young and dumb first, then the old and cunning… thought he was talking about people at the time! I’ve got footage as well of older cats ignoring traps, problem is they teach their young to do the same. I’ve taken a bold step and unset the traps and leave food inside, I’ll let you know if it works … or not. Throwing a few cat biscuits around the traps help, specially during summer, as the flies won’t worry the biscuits. Ginger Tom cat roll (made by Butch) is also handy. Its a little bit more expensive, but smells nice - even cats like a change. I did try catnip, but it works better in a live cage as they like to roll in it. Happy hunting, Jen.

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Use a Steve Allan trap (SA2) on a ramp.

Fresh chicken nibbles. Tried cooked chicken nuggets with no luck.

Plain or BBQ uncooked

Plain, not flavoured

I caught this 5kg one. The bait was strong cheddar.

Sardines in a small plastic bag with small holes works well.
There is plenty of odour to attract cats.
This bait does go bad quite quickly.

We have had good success with salami and or chorizo .
Seems to keep it’s odour and sits on the pin nicely

Pieces of tough, fairly-lean meat, like chuck steak, work well. As the meat ages, it gets a jerky-like shell, which is very effective, because cats have to give the meat a good pull to eat it, triggering the trap. Because the meat is lean, it lasts better than fatty options, and doesn’t smell as bad when it goes off, which makes replacing the bait a far nicer task.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m going to see how beef jerky works as a long-lasting bait (using my drill to create guide-holes for skewering).

The most important thing that I’ve learned from years of trial and error, is that you’re wasting your time if you use a bait that cats, or other pests, can nibble away at. Finding a perfectly-clean trap skewer is very frustrating!

Good luck!

Only just seen this post so maybe a bit late. Talking to a professional cat trapper he suggested as a lure to use domestic cat poo in a spray bottle of water. Cats are very territorial so will check out the smells of any other cat. Obviously if you can get Tom cat scent gland secretion even better.

A 5-6cm chunk of fresh rabbit or hare meat works well for cats.

How on earth did you manage to use cheddar as Timms bait?! I’m dying to know.