Cat Trap Use

Cat Trap Use


The following is provided by the Alberta SPCA as a public service

It is not intended to be all-inclusive, but to act as a general guideline


Trapping, handling, and disposal must be humane and in compliance with the Animal Protection Act and the Criminal Code.

Any Traps must be live trap type. The use of leg hold traps for domestic animals is an offence under the Criminal Code.

Traps must be set only on property owned, leased, or rented by the user or with the permission of the person owning, leasing, or renting the property.

Wildlife must be released in compliance with the Wildlife Act (contact Fish and Wildlife for details).

Upon trapping a cat, the welfare of that cat becomes the legal responsibility of the person setting the trap until the cat is either released or turned over to a pound or its owner.

Traps should only be set in location where they will be protected from weather (sun, rain, hail) and other potential hazards. Traps should not be set in extreme weather (example: winter, when thunderstorms are expected, when temperatures are expected to be high, etc).

Traps should be monitored at least twice daily – more often in inclement weather.

If a cat is trapped, only 3 legal options exist for disposal of trapped cats. These options are:

  1. The cat may be released in the hope the experience deters the cat;
  2. The cat may be returned to owner, if known; or
  3. The cat may be turned into the local pound.


Cats are not to be relocated (example, moved to farms or across town, abandoned in the country, or destroyed) Abandoning animals is an offence under the Criminal Code and the Animal Protection Act of Alberta. Killing other people’s cats is prohibited under the Criminal Code.

 If the town provided the trap to the public, a system of reporting and picking up cats should be in place. The town should provide information on proper use of the tap to the user.