I Got Caught in a Sticky Fly Trap. Here's How Missus Got Me Out.
I'm not a fly! I swear!!!
We started our RV journey at Lake Mead in Nevada. The idea was to hunker down for a month to get the hang of the travel trailer. After all, we had never even spent a night in one of these things before we left Atlanta and took off across the country.
A couple in a motorhome had also just started their RV journey at Lake Mead and were as clueless as we were. About a week into their RV journey, news got around camp that their poor Maine Coon had gotten caught in a fly trap. Years later, we still joke about it.
And then, it happened to me! A strong wind had blown the sticky fly trap off from where the missus had hung it. I went by it as I hopped up to the window, and chaos ensued. Here's what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.
1. Calm Your Cat
Trying to catch a panicking cat is a bad idea. In that moment of panic, the claws and teeth might come out. We don't know you separately from this sticky trap thing chasing us around the RV. We run; it follows. You come running; you must be part of the problem! So, the best thing you can do is give us some time to make peace with our situation and get calm.
2. Get Some Tools
While I was busy running around the RV like a wild animal, missus went hunting for tools. What you need will depend on the type of fur your kitty has, but here are some things you should consider:
Scissors: If your kitty has long hair that gets matted easily, pulling the sticky trap off might not be the best solution. Instead, you might need to separate by cutting.
De-shedding comb: If your cat has shorter, straighter fur and you pulled the sticky trap off, you will still have some substance left behind. Cats clean ourselves by licking, so you really need to get rid of this before we get started. The comb can help.
Damp paper towel or washcloth: Sometimes, dampening the sticky area can help you wipe it clean from the fur. However, that depends on the kind of fur your kitty has.
Oil: We didn't use this option, but we've read that it can help you remove the sticky trap and the leftover substance from the fur. Some people have also used peanut butter! Consider trying this if your kitty's fur is too easily matted for a de-shedding comb to do the job.
Gloves: You don't want the sticky trap leaving more goo on your hand that you'll then transfer back to us. Use gloves and toss them once you've removed the trap.
3. Catch the Kitty
I was terrified, so I hid in the nook beside the bed. If I didn't move, I didn't feel the sticky trap tugging at me, so that must mean I had outsmarted it. Missus got me in the scruff and pulled me out of there, much to my disappointment. As soon as she got me out, sticky stuff pulled at my fur again.
4. Secure the Kitty
Cornering a terrified cat offers no guarantee that we'll stay put. So, you'll need to find a solution. This won't be too hard if you have a second pair of hands. The other person can hold your cat in the scruff. If you're doing this alone, you'll need to get creative and might risk a few scratches. The missus used a mix of holding me between her ankles and holding me in the scruff to keep me still.
5. Gently Remove the Trap
Take a second look at the above tools and how to use them. Then, very gently start the process of removing the sticky trap. Your cat will be more than happy once the cursed thing is all gone, but there's no convincing us of that during the process. The feeling of it ripping free from our fur and the snipping sound of the scissors might make an already terrified cat even more panicky.
6. Remove the Sticky Substance
We are over the moon once the trap is gone, but that's not the end of the road. Sticky traps usually have no pesticides, but it's still not a substance we should be licking. I have silky, medium-length fur that does not get matted. So, missus was able to use the de-shedding comb to get all the sticky stuff out of my fur.
7. Do a Body Check
You'd be surprised where that sticky trap can wrap itself, so check again for residue. The missus thought she had gotten me all cleaned up, only to discover a sticky spot on my tummy. The next thing I knew, I was on my back while she scraped away more goo. Lucky for her, I actually like being brushed. I hope your kitty does too!
Thanks for reading The Adventure Cat Newsletter! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Getting caught in the sticky fly trap is an awful experience. It's best to use them outside or not at all. But, sometimes, a fly infestation at camp makes using them indoors a necessary sacrifice. In that case, hang them on the wall and out of reach. Just be sure to check them regularly, especially after a windy day!