A long-handle net with a rigid hoop can be used to capture a cat, or it can be used to secure a cat who has been captured by other means, such as by hand or catch-pole. In the latter case, it is equivalent to the rope bag rescue method.

While other rescuers more capable than I have frequently used a net to capture a cat in a tree with great success, I have had very little success in doing so and am not qualified to instruct anyone on their proper use. In my limited experience, a cat gets terrified when he sees a net coming toward him, and the net gets snagged on every little twig and stub. I do not know the proper technique for getting a standing or resting cat into a net successfully. Instead, my attempts are more likely to cause him to fall. It is easier for me to envision using a net for a cat clinging vertically to a stem, but the only time I have ever attempted to do that, the cat became terrified of the approaching net and jumped out of the tree.

The only situation in which I have had some success with the net is by holding it directly below a cat that has slipped and is hanging by his front paws. It’s the perfect tool for that situation, but it’s hard to predict when that situation will arise, and you don’t have much time to get the net ready before the cat falls or recovers.

When I use a catch-pole on a cat that is at the extreme end of a long limb, I have unintentionally caused a few cats to slip and hang by their front paws when I attempted to work the noose around them. Since the risk of falling was higher at those times, I started bringing the net in the tree with me whenever I used the catch-pole, but I have not since had an occasion to use it.

If you do have an occasion to use it on a cat hanging by his front paws, then you need to get the net in position under him quickly. Raise the net around him as high as possible so that you can use the hoop of the net to push or pull his front paws free. He will then grab the hoop of the net, but you may be able to shake the net back and forth to loosen his grip until he falls to the bottom of the net. As soon as he does so, spin the handle of the net at least 90 degrees to close the opening and prevent him from jumping out. Be prepared to be surprised at how heavy the cat feels when his weight is fully transferred into the net. The farther away from you he is, the heavier he will feel, so it's best to begin pulling him toward you as soon as possible to lessen the load on your arms.

My biggest complaint about nets in cat rescue it that the netting is so perfectly suited for catching a cat's claws. When you are trying to get a cat to the bottom of the net, you can be sure he will be grabbing successfully at the netting unless you can control his legs to keep them out of the way. For this reason, I decided to make a net out of solid ripstop nylon fabric. Instead of a net, it becomes more of a bag with a rigid hoop opening. Cats can still grab the fabric, but it isn't nearly as easy to do so, and it truly does ease the chore of getting a cat all the way into the net. Another very welcome advantage is that it is much lighter in weight, and that makes it easier on your muscles when trying for a long time to capture those difficult and elusive cats at long range.

I offer the net rescue video below, not to serve as a model of exemplary net technique which it most certainly isn't, but because it is the only net rescue I have done. In fact, this was only the ninth rescue of any type that I had ever done and my first time to use the net. I did not know what I was doing. I was simply very lucky that I was able to capture the cat, and that happened only because I unintentionally pushed him partly off the limb where he could easily be scooped into the net.

Rescue Methods:  Rope Bag   >>>