Best Humane Cat Traps

Trapping with a humane cage trap is one of the most effective methods for catching an escaped indoor-only cat or displaced (lost away from home) outdoor-access cat.  However, it is very important to select the right cat trap and set it up, bait it, and monitor it properly.  The wrong trap may injure your cat or allow them to escape, and once they have had a bad experience with a trap, they may be much more difficult to trap again.  


Below are a few of the best designed cat traps as well as some more affordable traps that still work well.  I've also added more information on traps to avoid and why.

Important tips on selecting a humane cat trap

  • Most important: make sure that the trap you select is big enough!  Your cat’s entire body should fit inside the trap before they step on the trip plate (i.e. the trigger that closes the door).  If the trap is too small, the trap door may close on your cat’s back end and allow them to escape.  In general, cats are also more comfortable entering traps with larger entrances.
  • Pick a cat trap made of quality materials.  It may be tempting to buy a cheap trap, but these are more likely to bend or break.  Cats can squeeze out of very small spaces and raccoons can bend cheap metal in attempts to escape.  Expect to pay $50-$150 for a decent trap.  I do not recommend some of the really cheap traps on Amazon.com or those often sold at discount hardware stores like Tractor Supply or Harbor Freight Tools.
  • Not a necessity, but a sliding rear release door makes baiting the trap and releasing wildlife so much easier.  However, I generally do not recommend a trap with two trap doors (e.g. some Havahart traps).

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Tru Catch Cat Traps

Tru Catch has several of the best all around cat traps.  Their unique design includes a quiet gravity door, an extra-large trip plate, and a variable trigger. I prefer models 30FCD and 36D.  These traps have a larger (12" x 14") entrance that cats usually enter more readily.  


All models include a large trip plate, which increases capture rates.  Typical small trip plates may allow the cat to eat the bait and not set off the trap.  The variable trigger mechanism can be set for either light or heavy cats.  However, I have found that cats under 10 lbs may not reliably set off the 36D.  


The sliding rear door makes adding bait easy and allows easy release of wildlife.  Wildlife can also be released using the front door using the automatic door release mechanism; if you roll the trap upside down with your foot, the front door will automatically open.  (This method is not recommended for releasing skunks!)

Pros


  • Cats are more likely to enter the larger entrance of 36D and 30FCD (12”x14” compared to 9”x11” for typical cat trap).
  • Extra-long 36D (36”) trap ensures that your entire cat is inside the trap before they step on the trip plate.  This results in fewer escapes.
  • Door shuts quietly, so cats don’t often realize they are being trapped until it is too late to escape.
  • Includes “tail gap” so it won’t pinch cat’s tail when it shuts.
  • Extra-large trip plate prevents cats from stepping over the trip plate to get at bait.  Results in more captures.
  • Easy to add bait using rear door.
  • Easy to release wildlife using rear door or automatic door release.
  • Made of high-quality materials and built to last.

Cons


  • Generally not available in stores. Often requires online ordering.
  • Front door can open accidentally if trap is rolled upside down.  This can be prevented by proper securing of trap using a cable lock.
  • Trigger setting mechanism can be slippery (trap will set off too easily) and may need some (easy) modification to work correctly.
  • Sliding rear door does not have a latch and can accidentally open.  However, this issue can be resolved with a clip or carabiner.
  • 36D is a heavier trap at 15.7 lbs.
  • 36D may not trigger for small cats (under 10 lbs).

Where to Buy Tru Catch Cat Traps

Tru Catch traps are available on TruCatch.com as well as some wildlife control stores like ACES and Wildlife Control Supplies. Unfortunately, Tru Catch traps are sometimes sold out or on back order due to their high demand so you may need to shop around. My favorites are the 36D Classic Deluxe and the 30FCD Fat Cat, which is similar to the 36D but only 30" long.

Tru Catch traps are sometimes available on Amazon.com. The 30LTD is good for small cats since it has a small entrance at only 9" x 11". The Tuffy 24 is a kitten trap and doesn't have a rear release door.

Tru Catch 30FCD Fat Cat Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release...
Tru Catch 30LTD Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release for Cats,...
Tru Catch 30FCD Fat Cat Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release...
Tru Catch 30LTD Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release for Cats,...
Gravity Style Door
Gravity Style Door
Sliding Rear Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 14"H x 12"W
30"L x 9"W x 11"H
$149.99
$114.99
Tru Catch 30FCD Fat Cat Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release...
Tru Catch 30FCD Fat Cat Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release...
Gravity Style Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 14"H x 12"W
$149.99
Tru Catch 30LTD Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release for Cats,...
Tru Catch 30LTD Humane Live Animal Trap - Easy & Safe Catch & Release for Cats,...
Gravity Style Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 9"W x 11"H
$114.99

Last update on 2024-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tomahawk Cat Traps

Tomahawk has partnered with several Trap-Neuter-Return feral cat groups to design humane traps that maximize capture of cats.  The primary feature that sets these traps apart from similar humane traps is the large trip plate.  With the smaller, more traditional, trip plates, a trap savvy cat can easily step over the trip plate, eat all the bait, and then exit the trap without getting caught.


Tomahawk offers traps in multiple sizes including some with gravity doors, which are quieter.  In general, cats are more likely to enter traps with larger entrances.  Likewise, longer traps decrease the chance of escape since the cat has to be farther inside before the trap is triggered.  These latter features are most important with larger cats over 12 lbs.

Pros


  • Door locks when closed preventing escape.
  • Easy-to-set trigger mechanism.
  • Cats are more likely to enter the larger entrance on some models.
  • Has models available in extra-long (36”).  This ensures that the entire cat is inside the trap before they step on the trip plate.  This results in fewer escapes.
  • Large trip plate reduces the chance that the cat will step over the trip plate to get at bait.  Results in more captures.
  • Easy to add bait using rear door.
  • Easy to release wildlife using rear door.
  • Made of high-quality materials and built to last.
  • Now offers some models with quiet gravity doors.
  • Lighter traps than Tru Catch.

Cons


  • Generally not available in stores.  Often requires online ordering.
  • May have long shipping times.
  • Trip plate is smaller than Tru Catch traps and some cats may manage to get the bait without setting off the trap.
  • Spring-loaded trap door on some models shuts loudly and may scare the trapped cat and any cats nearby.

Where to Buy Tomahawk Cat Traps

Tomahawk traps are available on their website: Livetrap.com as well as some wildlife control stores like ACES and Wildlife Control Supplies. I would recommend either GT608 or 608NC, especially for larger cats over 12 lbs.  You can also find some models available on Amazon.com.

Tomahawk Model GT606 - Neighborhood Cats Gravity Trap with Non-Spring Loaded...
TOMAHAWK MODEL GT608 GRAVITY TRAP with EASY RELEASE DOOR
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 606NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 608NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Tomahawk Model GT606 - Neighborhood Cats Gravity Trap with Non-Spring Loaded...
TOMAHAWK MODEL GT608 GRAVITY TRAP with EASY RELEASE DOOR
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 606NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 608NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Gravity Style Door
Gravity Style Door
Spring-loaded Door
Spring-loaded Door
Sliding Rear Door
Sliding Rear Door
Sliding Rear Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 9"W x 11"H
36"L x 12"W x 12"H
30"L x 10"W x 12"H
36"L x 10"W x 12"H
$135.00
$150.00
$110.00
Price not available
Tomahawk Model GT606 - Neighborhood Cats Gravity Trap with Non-Spring Loaded...
Tomahawk Model GT606 - Neighborhood Cats Gravity Trap with Non-Spring Loaded...
Gravity Style Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 9"W x 11"H
$135.00
TOMAHAWK MODEL GT608 GRAVITY TRAP with EASY RELEASE DOOR
TOMAHAWK MODEL GT608 GRAVITY TRAP with EASY RELEASE DOOR
Gravity Style Door
Sliding Rear Door
36"L x 12"W x 12"H
$150.00
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 606NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 606NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Spring-loaded Door
Sliding Rear Door
30"L x 10"W x 12"H
$110.00
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 608NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Tomahawk Live Trap - Model 608NC - Tomahawk TNR Series Neighborhood Cats Trap -...
Spring-loaded Door
Sliding Rear Door
36"L x 10"W x 12"H
Price not available

Last update on 2024-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If You Need a Trap Soon ...

The best cat traps are often only available online and may take a week or more to arrive.  If you are in a hurry and can't find one of the best traps, these cat traps may be your best option. You could also try renting or borrowing a trap from a local shelter, rescue group or even a friend, but make sure that it isn't too small!

Safeguard Traps

Safeguard makes some good quality wildlife traps.  The only reason they aren't included along with the best traps is because they don't have any specifically designed for cats with a large trip plate or gravity door.  You can find a list of some retailers here, and they are sometimes available at local feed and grain or small hardware stores.  

Havahart Traps

If you need to locate a trap quickly, Havahart is one of the most popular brands available at many large hardware stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot.  These are decent quality traps and many cats have been successfully caught with them.  I recommend their large one-door traps such as the 1079 Model.  

Havahart Cat Trap

Pros


  • Spring-loaded door shuts quickly and locks to prevent escape.
  • Easy-to-set trigger mechanism.
  • Made of high-quality materials.
  • Easy to find and purchase from many hardware stores.
  • Generally costs less than Tru Catch or Tomahawk traps.

Cons


  • Small trip plate may allow some cats to get the bait without setting off the trap.
  • No sliding rear door, so it is more difficult to put bait in the back of the trap.
  • More difficult to release wildlife.  Requires releasing lock and opening front door.
  • Trap door shuts loudly and may scare the trapped cat and any cats nearby.

Where to Buy a Havahart Trap

Havahart traps are often available at hardware stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.  They are also often available on Amazon.com.  If you don't get the 1079 model I would recommend one that is rated for raccoons or at least 32L x 10W x 12H.  


The Easy Set Havahart Trap is another option, but I have seen more cats escape from this model.  The door doesn't always fully close, especially if it catches on bedding placed in the trap.  It is also more difficult to cover or camouflage since the trigger mechanism is on the top.  I've seen many people cover the trap with a towel and inadvertently prevent the trap from closing.   


In general, I do not recommend the 2-door style Havahart traps.   Cats can often enter these traps and eat the food without triggering the trap.  The distance between the trip-plate and trap door is also very short.  This increases the chances of the cat being injured or escaping.

Trapping on a Budget

I would not recommend most traps under $50.  However, I own several Humane Way folding cat traps, which have caught many lost cats.  They are on the smaller side (32L x 10W x 12H) so I prefer them for cats under 12 lbs.  They are not as durable as the other traps mentioned, and about half of my traps no longer work properly after 10+ years of use.  I've never had a cat escape these traps, but sometimes they eat the food without triggering the trap.  The traps I own are similar to this one on Amazon.com, but mine have a rear release door.

Humane Way Folding 32 Inch Live Humane Animal Trap - Safe Traps for All Animals...
Humane Way Folding 32 Inch Live Humane Animal Trap - Safe Traps for All Animals...
Gravity Style Door
No Sliding Rear Door
32"L x 10"H x 12"W
Amazon Prime
$39.99
Humane Way Folding 32 Inch Live Humane Animal Trap - Safe Traps for All Animals...
Humane Way Folding 32 Inch Live Humane Animal Trap - Safe Traps for All Animals...
Gravity Style Door
No Sliding Rear Door
32"L x 10"H x 12"W
Amazon Prime
$39.99

Last update on 2024-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Traps to Avoid

Be very careful when buying cheaper traps such as the many off-brand humane traps on Amazon.com or the cheaper traps at stores like Harbor Freight Tools or Tractor Supply Company.  These traps are often made of cheap materials that will bend and allow a cat to escape.  Cats can squeeze through some incredibly small spaces if they are sufficiently motivated.  

This video shows a feral cat escaping from a low quality trap.  It took the cat only 3 minutes to escape.  I had a similar experience with a trap from Harbor Freight.  If buying an off-brand trap, check for gaps and flexibility before purchasing.

Some people use dog traps for catching a lost cat.  These can work as long as the trip plate doesn't require much weight.  However, if there is a gap next to the door, a cat may escape.  I had a cat escape from a Humane Way folding dog trap, so be careful.

When it comes to Havahart traps, I'm not a huge fan of the1-Door Easy Set model.  I have seen more cats escape from these because the door doesn't always fully close.  If you use an Easy Set trap, be sure to test the trap after setting it up.  Make sure that the door closes and locks.

I also don't recommend the 2-door style Havahart traps.   Cats can often enter these traps and eat the food without triggering the trap.  The distance between the trip-plate and trap door is also very short.  This increases the chances of the cat being injured or escaping.

3 thoughts on “Best Humane Cat Traps”

  1. Pingback: Top Compilation 10 safe traps for cats most viewed » Review hay nh?t

  2. Regarding a trip plate being too small so that a cat could step over it, eat the bait, and leave without being trapped: I use masking tape to tape a piece of cardboard onto the trip plate to extend its length. It definitely makes a difference.

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