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What is the best way to relocate ferals?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
DBF and I are in the process of purchasing a home of our own. We really think that the kitties will like having an acre to run and play on. How do we go about moving them? I can't very well leave them as we love them, there's also the issue that for the babies, we are all they know. They depend on us for their food just as we depend on them to endlessly entertain us.

Any help you can provide will be appreciated.

Thanks,
Cindy
post #2 of 7
I don't know how many cats you're talking about, but the best way to move ferals or outside cats is to do it with cages. They should be kept in cages at the new property for 2 - 3 weeks, with enough room for a litter box, a place to sleep, and food and water. You can leave free feeding food in there for them, but giving them at least one wet meal each day at the time you plan to feed them when you release them really helps.

This gives them enough time to realize that THIS is where they get food, so once you release them, they'll stick around (usually). They'll at least show up at feeding time.

Are they all spayed and neutered? This will not only reduce procreation (needs no explanation), it reduces "wanderlust." If they're not spayed or neutered, I'd find a clinic near where you are now and have them done just before you move so they can recuperate in the cages - or have it done just after you move, same reason.

As you'll be moving, and putting out food for the cats that move with you, I'd also have a plan for having new kitties that turn up trapped and sterilized.

You can search for low-cost spay/neuter clinics/shelters here: http://www.pets911.com or you can search http://www.petfinder.com to see what rescues are where you're moving - some provide free or low cost spays/neuters.

The other thing to consider is a large outdoor enclosure for them. Some people who have worked with ferals for a long time just got too sad from seeing them show up sick, poisoned, injured, or just never show up again. Here's an example of someone's enclosure that is connected to the house: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...door+enclosure

Here's more ideas: http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-enclosures.htm

I'd post links to Hissy's enclosure for her ferals, but the pictures are not still in the thread.

Purrfect Fence: http://www.purrfectfence.com/

Other enclosure ideas: http://www.just4cats.com/

Obviously with an enclosure, you wouldn't need the cages to ensure they know the new property is home.

Laurie
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the information! Yes, they are spayed/neutered. I am able to pet/hold all but 2 of them. They both come to their names when called. They all have their spots at our house and they typically don't wander too far (they go visit the other ferals next door).

I think that they will be alright eventually. They don't like cages (we just trapped 4 and took them to be spayed/neutered). We will have to trap them and will build them a large comfy enclosure. There are no trees on the property yet, so I don't want to leave them out in the elements.

Thanks again, for the information
post #4 of 7
Good luck! When are you moving?

And yeah - feral cats do NOT like to be caged!

The most important thing for outdoor only cats, when moving, is to have some place to be confined - however you do it - for at least two weeks and to feed them something they REALLY like at a regular time. That gives them time to adjust, and the regular feeding time will bring them back when you release them to explore.

Of course - many are finding that outdoor only cats, even older ferals, are quite happy in a large enclosure full time. It sure saves you the heartache of loving kitties that could otherwise be exposed to who-knows-what dangers.

It'd be great if you keep us posted on what you do and how it works - it'll be here then for others in the same situation to find when searching.

Laurie
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Good luck! When are you moving?

And yeah - feral cats do NOT like to be caged!

The most important thing for outdoor only cats, when moving, is to have some place to be confined - however you do it - for at least two weeks and to feed them something they REALLY like at a regular time. That gives them time to adjust, and the regular feeding time will bring them back when you release them to explore.

Of course - many are finding that outdoor only cats, even older ferals, are quite happy in a large enclosure full time. It sure saves you the heartache of loving kitties that could otherwise be exposed to who-knows-what dangers.

It'd be great if you keep us posted on what you do and how it works - it'll be here then for others in the same situation to find when searching.

Laurie
That is pretty bad, I'm sorry. It is not wise or humane to keep any cat, much less a feral, in a cage full time for the rest of their lives. I'm discouraged to hear how many people consider cats as just "things" that they can do anything they want to with, having no respect for the poor cat. I am 100% sure that no cat would be happy living that way. As much heartache as you may have to experience in the event of a missing kitty ect, at least they had a good, happy, complete life, and that's all anyone wants, right? Please keep us updated!
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
That is pretty bad, I'm sorry. It is not wise or humane to keep any cat, much less a feral, in a cage full time for the rest of their lives. I'm discouraged to hear how many people consider cats as just "things" that they can do anything they want to with, having no respect for the poor cat. I am 100% sure that no cat would be happy living that way. As much heartache as you may have to experience in the event of a missing kitty ect, at least they had a good, happy, complete life, and that's all anyone wants, right? Please keep us updated!
I don't see mention of keeping cats caged their entire lives?

The humane society here adopts out cats as farm cats - ferals/semi-ferals/pets. All are spayed/neutered & UTD on shots (no point in letting unaltered cats go, making the population problems worse!). A requirement is that the cats are contained (in a crate/kennel/building/etc) for at least 5-7 days so they can adjust to where "home" is - we always suggest 2-3 weeks, but many cannot confine them that long. The key often is the food- generally speaking, they always come back to eat - so if you have fresh food & water - they know where to come.

I had one kitty I brought home bolt when I let her loose after 2 weeks - she didn't seem to grasp where food/water was - so I left out Meow Mix wet food & that little light came on over her head! She hasn't missed a meal since, little fatty.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat-tastrophe View Post
That is pretty bad, I'm sorry. It is not wise or humane to keep any cat, much less a feral, in a cage full time for the rest of their lives. I'm discouraged to hear how many people consider cats as just "things" that they can do anything they want to with, having no respect for the poor cat. I am 100% sure that no cat would be happy living that way. As much heartache as you may have to experience in the event of a missing kitty ect, at least they had a good, happy, complete life, and that's all anyone wants, right? Please keep us updated!
I certainly didn't suggest that the cats be kept in a cage the rest of their lives.

I fail to understand how you interpret any of what I posted as "considering cats as just "things" that they can do anything they want to with, having no respect for the poor cat." Chadsgirl is moving, and wanted to know how to help their outdoor kitties adjust to the new territory. Without being confined in SOMETHING - a garage, a barn, a room in a house, a crate - something - for a week or two (2 to 3 is recommended) and getting a routine set, cats just "dropped" into a new territory will seek food, water, and shelter, and they do not automatically know they can get it where they are. It is RESPONSIBLE to help them adjust to being in a new territory.

As to outdoor enclosures or fenced in yards, I'm not sure I see the problem there either. Too many people with feral colonies have seen too much heartache, and have proven that outdoor feral cats are perfectly happy living in a (large) enclosed area. If they have been neutered, they don't have much in the way of "wanderlust" and because they are not chasing females in heat, do not need as large a territory. Experiences of a number of people on these boards (and other feral colony caretakers) have proven this to be true.

Personally, I find your attitude of "As much heartache as you may have to experience in the event of a missing kitty ect, at least they had a good, happy, complete life, and that's all anyone wants, right?" a totally callous, and, quite frankly, irresponsible statement/outlook. Our very first rescue was a stray that we left outdoors for the first few months we got to know her and worked with her - we were totally new to cats. Once she was a part of our lives, any night she didn't show up was total heartache. How do you know they haven't died some horrible, painful death if they just never come back? Death by poisoning, by Bartonella, by salmonella poisoning, by giardia, by being ripped apart by a coyote, by being drowned by a neighbor who doesn't like cats - by a list that is just to long to list - are all HORRIBLE deaths. How can you be OK with just having a cat "go missing?"

I definitely do not see cats as just "things I can do anything I want with." I think it is very important to be responsible for their complete care, and commitment to their health and well being is, for me, for life.

A truly older feral cat should not be contained in an enclosure perhaps. But I think maybe you are projecting opinions based on human emotions and expectations, not experience?

TCS is here to help people share experiences, and yes, opinions. However I find your condemning attitude uninformed, callous, and irresponsible. Rather than just judge or condemn the ideas presented, perhaps you should continue to participate with a bit more of an open mind, realizing that much of what is recommended here is based on experience, not just opinion - and perhaps, situations you may not yet have had to face?

Laurie
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