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How do I introduce my feral boy to an enclosure?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
One of my feral babies is losing his home, an old, unused garage which is going to be demolished. He was likely born there, and has been living in it for about 10 years.

I'm going to relocate him to my backyard, where I'm building an enclosure for him (using the Purr-fect Fence system). He'll have his little house (with a heated bed now!), and we're going to make it as pleasant as possible for him with rocks to climb and trees to scratch.

My question is about introducing him to his new home. Should I just let him loose inside the enclosure, or do I let him become accustomed to it for a day or two from inside a large cage? I'd cover the cage partially during the day and fully at night so he'd feel a little safer. It's getting chilly here at night (low 40's, sometimes high 30's), and I wouldn't be able to put the heated bed in the cage. I know he's acclimated to the weather, and he didn't have a heated bed in the garage (no electricity there). Either way he'll be scared. What's the best way to get him used to his new home?
post #2 of 5
I don't have any expert advice for you, sorry, but I am so glad you will still be able to provide for him. What a lucky cat!! Does he let you pick him up?
He will LOVE his new heated bed and I hope he loves living in your backyard. That way you will always be able to keep an eye on him. Good luck!
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words, KRZ!

Tabby won't let me pick him up, but he *loves* tummy rubs! Whenever I come to feed him, he flops down and rolls over, waiting for his massage!

I hope he will love, or at least like, his new home. It will be a major change for him. That's why I'm trying to make the transition to the enclosure as stress-free as possible.

Thanks again!
post #4 of 5
If there is ANY chance of escape, I'd keep him in a large crate for a few days to a week. Make sure you give him food at the same times every day. That way when you let him out, he'll know he can come back for his regular source of food.

If you're sure he can't escape, I'd release him into the area - make sure he's already got food and water that'll be good for at least 24 hours. He'll freak out and try to find ways out of there - but at some point he'll give up, settle down, explore the new territory and do what he feels he needs to do to make it "his." Best to leave him alone for at least a full day to do this.

What a wonderful thing you're doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Laurie, thanks so much for the good advice!!!

Now, if only I could trap the little rascal. Unfortunately, he knows what I'm up to. I'm worried because I don't know exactly when the garage will be demolished - it could be any day now. I need to get him out of there ASAP, but he's not cooperating.
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