If there are shelves in the room, remove anything that she could knock over. For at least the first few days, use organic potting soil as litter—the feral cat will be much familiar with this than regular kitty litter. Light the room with a nightlight, rather than turning on the overhead light. The darkness will help the feral cat feel more secure in her new environment.
The feral cat will need at least a few hours to allow her to settle in. Place a pet carrier in the room with the trap. It will probably be easier to transport the feral cat in the carrier, rather than the trap. Leave the carrier door open and place some blankets and treats in the carrier to make it more comfortable for her. Place a towel over the trap and carrier to create another safe hiding place. Don’t be surprised if the feral cat bolts if you try to get near her. Setting a humane live animal trap will be the only safe way for you to catch her and bring her into your home.
A live animal humane trap is designed such that the door will close behind the feral cat when she steps on a panel at the bottom of the trap. To entice her into the trap, place some tasty morsels of the food at the back of the trap. She may be frightened at the sound of the door closing when she steps on the panel. However, she will not be injured. Live human traps are available online. Consider contacting your local animal shelter or animal control to inquire about borrowing a trap. Feed the feral cat outdoors.
Taming a feral cat should be done inside your home. However, the feral cat’s fear of human interaction presents a problem with bringing her into your home. Feed her at the same time each day. Spend time with the feral cat without handling her. After the feral cat has had some time to settle in, begin to interact with her to start getting her accustomed to human interaction. To prevent scratches and bites, wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and shoes when you enter the room. You may also want to have a piece of cardboard that you can hold up in case she lunges at you.
Plan to spend time with her at about the same time every day—having a routine will help her settle into your home. Knock before you open the door, and enter slowly. Do not stare or make eye contact with the feral cat—she could perceive this as aggression. Instead, avert your eyes and lower your head. As she becomes more comfortable with you, sit with her for about an hour each in the mornings and evenings. Other than talking to her, you can read a book or work quietly on your laptop.
Attempts at handling her would likely result in you getting bitten, scratched, and hissed at. Play with the feral cat. Playing with the feral cat will help her continue to get more comfortable with you before you handle her. Purchase some lightweight cat toys from your local pet store and let her play with those while you are in the room with her. Do not let her play with the tease toy alone. She could swallow the string, which could lead to intestinal obstruction that would require extensive veterinary care. Handling a feral cat can be fraught with danger—she may quickly put up her defenses and attack you out of fear.
Observing her body language will let you know if she is comfortable with moving to the next level of human interaction. Body language that indicates she is not ready include lunging at you and growling at you with her ears laid flat against her head. She may also hiss at you if she does not want you to handle her. If she seems relatively calm when you around her, that is a good clue that she may be ready to be handled. Acclimate the feral cat to your hand. Still wary of more human interaction, the feral cat will need time to adjust to your hand. To begin, place your hand flat on the floor, palm side down. Let her come to you, and allow her to bump into your leg, arm, or hand. Resist the temptation to pet her.