TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return) is a movement to help Community Cats live safer and healthier lives within their home areas. Community Cats are living outside and can be found in almost every neighborhood around the world. We use the Tomahawk 36" trap to catch Community Cats in our Bensonhurst Brooklyn Neighborhood and we use trap covers to keep the cats calm and safe during their wait to see a vet and throughout their recovery time. It is possible to use towels or bedsheets as makeshift trap covers, but they often fall off or drag on the ground and are easily soiled. The flaps on these covers are helpful for checking in on the cat and for cleaning. If you don't know what TNVR is we have some great resources on our website www.catsgreatandsmall.com. Join the movement, change a life!
Cute trap covers are not only fun to look at they are a great way to make the pictures you take while trapping more interesting. Thick quilter’s cotton is best as synthetics tend to hold onto bad smells that happen when you are trapping; we find our fabric at yard sales and Craigslist. This pattern can easily be adjusted if you have a different brand or type of trap. Keep in mind the handles of your trap will most likely not be centered along the length of the body of your trap. It is important to prewash the fabric before cutting anything out. Be sure to always wash your traps and trap covers between cats, no exceptions!
You will need a yard and a half of 44” wide fabric for each trap cover. When you plan out how to cut the pieces you should consider which way you want the pattern of the fabric to lay on your trap. This version of the instructions has you cut out the fabric so the body of the trap runs the width of the fabric, the 35” part of the Body will be either the front or back of the trap. You will cut out one 35”x37” Body, two 14”x11.5” Flaps, and one 11.5x6” Key.
If you have a different brand of trap you will need to measure the hight of the side of the trap and add that the width measurement of the body of the trap, add at least an inch and a half, two is better to be safe. This will give you the measurement we have as 35". You can continue by measuring the remaining parts of your trap (length of trap body, and adding about two inches to your final pattern specs. The handle/key space will also need to be evaluated based on how your handles operate. It is best to give more space for the handles, but you don't want the cat to see your hands when you hold the handle so you will need to be careful with your measurements and even use a paper sample of the hole you want to cut to make sure it slides over the handles without catching, but doesn't leave a big gap that will expose your fingers to the possible fear of your temporary charge.
Either serge the edges of the body roll and sew them with a 1/4" seam or roll the edges with a 1/4 hem. I recommend rolling the edges rather than serging as the threads of a serged edge could get caught easily upon the metal of the trap. Hem three sides of each flap leaving one 11.5” side unhemmed on each flap.
Wrong sides together fold the Body in half width, 35”, wise and mark the middle on both edges. Right sides together fold the flap in half width, 11.5”, wise and mark the center on the unhemmed edge.
Match the center of the Flap to the center of the body right sides together and sew using a 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat on the other side.
Using a sheet of paper as a pattern for your Key. Cut the paper to the same size as your Key, 11.5”x6”. Fold the paper in half width, 6”, wise. Measure in from center fold 1 1/8 inch on both sides. Make a line 1 5/8 inch from each mark and connect the lines to form a rectangle. Cut the rectangle out to form your key hole.
Lay the pattern over the wrong side of your Key and trace the rectangle onto the wrong side of your Key using chalk or fabric marker. Mark the center of the Key along the 11.5” side from end to end. Serge the edges of your Key.
Measure 13” in along the center of the Body and draw a 12” line to denote the center. Right sides together match the center mark of your key to the 13” mark making sure the both center marks on your Key match up with the center line on the Body. Sew along the pen line you drew earlier making sure to sew across the corners with two stiches.
Cut out the center of the rectangle leaving about 1/4” of fabric around the edges. Carefully clip to the corners making sure not to cut the stiches.
Fold the edges under to the other side of the fabric. Press and sew 1/4” seam allowance around handle area of Key and then around the serged edge of fabric.
Step 11: Finished!
Now you are finished and ready to trap some kitties while making adorable pictures that will add to your website/blog/social media presence and branding as you save the world one kitty at a time!