To make a long story short, my husband befriended a feral cat 6 years ago. After months of feeding her, she brought to feeding area her 4 kittens. He was able to capture 2 at 6 weeks old and bring them into our home. They are now fully domesticated. The other 2 kittens weren't captured until they were over 9 weeks old and too late to domesticate. All kittens were neutered. We built a very large and elaborate enclosure for the 2 feral kittens, now cats, in our back yard. One has warmed up to me. An enclosure is being built at our new home an hour and a half away. Our vet suggested calming medication to make capturing them within enclosure easier, but these have to be administer in their food and we'd have no way of knowing how much food each of them has eaten. Vet also suggested putting a carrier in enclosure for them to get used to. Problem is the dimensions of a large enough carrier is too big to remove from the enclosure. We feel our only option is to attach a cage or crate to opening of enclosure and to shoo the cats into it the day of the move. So I'm just looking for ideas to best remove cats with as little stress as possible, and as little injury to me!
"Shooing the cats into the carriers" won't work. Imagine you were a cat and one day there's this new, unfamiliar box at the edge of your enclosure. And then humans come in and start chasing you around... Would you go into the unfamiliar box that has no exit to run from the humans? I certainly wouldn't!
Instead you should try the same methods zoos use to get animals into carriers.
Start by putting the carrier(s) in the same place you want to put them at the day of moving the cats. It needs to stay there securely for the next days to weeks. Then put some very special treat in the carrier like your cat's favorite food. Let them approach the carrier in their own time and get used to it. Put special food in the carrier every day.
Once you notice them going into the carrier, you can start "announcing" when you put food in there. The idea is to get the cats moving into the carrier voluntarily whenever you call them. That way (if everything works perfectly well) on the day of the move they'll go into the carrier and you don't have to stress them by chasing them around.