I have also caught 12 feral cats and spay/neutered them (not including the over 50 kittens in the colony which I rehomed) with live traps.
Years ago, I became friends with my farmer neighbours and convinced them to let me try and deal with their cat overpopulation problem. They were doing it the by massive cull every two years. By drowning. YES. It's either that or shooting them around here.
The trap is quick and dirty, traumatic for sure, but it works. And it's true about cats freaking out in the trap, it's hard to hang on to it when the are flailing around in there. It's pretty upsetting for the humans too. Always move slowly, gently talking quietly to the cat the whole time. Cover the trap with a blanket. Like all wild animals, if they can't see, it will calm them down enough to keep them from hurting themselves. (BTW this works really well with wild birds).
Between the very irritated poor farmers that didn't understand wasting good $$$ on fixing cats to the very clever raccoons, it wasn't easy!
Those raccoons would manage to carefully pull out the food from the side without even setting off the trap!
I had an arrangement with the vet that he would work on them immediately when I brought them in. After the first time he pulled the cat out of the trap and had his arms ripped to shreds, he began using these leather gloves up to the shoulders for such purposes. Never underestimate a cornered animal that thinks it's fighting for it's life. He would return the cat to the trap while still sedated, and back to the farm they went to live out their days in peace.
This I can guarantee, as I became friends with the farmers and helped them take care of their animals (which included re-homing a cow & a pony to better lives and personally taking on the daily care of the 33 year old Morgan Stallion they refused to part with…but that's another story…).
In the end, some of those cats eventually became the farms house cats, and the rest lived in the barn. There is no longer a cat over population problem, and they agreed not to get any more farm animals.
Animal abuse in poverty stricken rural areas…it's unbelievable. And there are ZERO resources. I was in for a big shock coming from the city to the country, with my big city ideas about rescue. The reality is much more complicated. Even for a vegan like me.
Anyways, that's my live trap story!