Instructables
Picture of Remote Control Cage Trap
This Instructable will show you how to make a cage trap that can be remotely activated. This is ideal for people who practice trap-neuter-release (TNR) to control feral cat populations.

Feral cat colonies are groups of wild, undomesticated cats. Some feral cats and their colonies are a nuisance to restaurants or other businesses. For this reason, some colonies are killed or trapped and euthanized. This is inhumane. TNR is a humane and effective way to control feral cat populations while allowing the cats to live out their lives.

However it can be difficult to efficiently trap every cat in a colony for spaying and neutering - sometimes the process takes months. One of the obstacles is trapping unwanted cats or other animals, which is not uncommon. A traditional plate-trigger cage trap offers no control over which animals are trapped. To overcome this, introduce the R/C Cage Trap, which allows the user to activate the trap only when the right cat enters:

 
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Step 1: Materials and first step

To make the R/C Cage Trap, you'll need:

A cage trap with plate-trigger
R/C car with steering
Stiff wire
Cable ties
Common household tools
Dremel or drill (optional)

Garage sales are a great way to find a cheap R/C car. I searched for two weeks and didn't find one, so I bought one at Target that was on sale, and it came with a 10% discount for having absolutely useless drive wheels. I sometimes see cage traps at yard sales as well.

The first step is to carefully take apart the R/C car and extract the circuitry and the servo motor that controls the steering. My car was cheap and, after undoing a few screws, I was able to take everything apart by hand. A Dremel could be invaluable for this step. Be sure to maintain the integrity of the circuits and the steering mechanism. Save everything else for other awesome projects :)
Those parts are from a New Bright vehicle. They are cheap and modular which makes them great for project parts!
jbrown472 years ago
I don't get it. regular trip plates work great (atleast for the wild boar cages I'm familiar with) . Whats the advantage of having it RC'd? If you just did it to do, thats cool. I think i'd much rather have a normal trip mechanism if i were trying to trap something though.
WYE_Lance (author)  jbrown472 years ago
Yes, plate triggers work just fine if you're not concerned about what walks into the trap. For people who practice trap-neuter-release, they may want to capture a specific cat, not just the first one that walks into the trap.

Or perhaps you want to trap a whole litter of kittens. In this case, an RC trap allows you to wait while all of the kitten file into the trap before closing the door. The RC trap has a very specific application.
I understand now. Great job then!
Wazzupdoc2 years ago
TNR is a beauiful, feel-good excersize. Unfortunately, the now-sterile cats still eat the song birds in the neighborhood. This is why I adopted and keep my 2 sterile cats indoors. They'd love to get out, but my bird population is doing pretty well, in spite of the neighbor's free-roamers. My chickens are a little less stressed as well, which means more eggy-goodness for the family and the neighbors.
csherrit2 years ago
this is great - we were just watching last night a coon go into our trap and thought , why not remote control this thing instead of waiting for the sneak to trip it ? And to boot we are also in need of catching a couple ferals to do just that.. TNR. What timing , I guess I'll have to do the mod.