Feral Cat Relocation

Blog author: 
Kay Rolfes

A feral cat is a cat who has not been socialized with humans.

At Thundering Paws, we often assist in caring for feral cat colonies, helping with trapping, spaying/neutering, and management of the colonies. Generally, a feral cat is returned to the colony after recovering from the surgery. But once in a while, that is not possible.

A piece of property near us was sold, and the new owner would not allow the ferals living there to stay. We had heard about a new managed feral colony being built, so took in all five cats from this property to hold them until the new colony was ready. Unfortunately, the new feral colony was delayed because of weather and other problems getting it fenced in securely, and the cats waited and waited in their cages.

Finally, a perfect opportunity came up for three of them. Kings Bridge Farms, an equestrian facility, was in need of barn cats. Feral cats make perfect barn cats. They don't require a lot of human attention, just food and water every day, and a sheltered place to sleep. In return, they keep the barn free of rodents without the use of poisons or traps.

Relocating the cats is not as easy as just popping them in a carrier and dropping them off at their new home, however. They need to learn that the new location is their home, which takes a bit of time. It's a major operation to get them set up to become acclimated properly. In this case it meant setting up the cats in their familiar cages.

After a few days of getting used to the sights and sounds of their new home, the cats will be released and free to roam the barn.

Our wonderful volunteers Gini and Gary have a special fondness for these ferals. Gini is especially calm and fearless in dealing with these sometimes spitting, hissing, slashing creatures. Gini and Gary spent a day transporting and setting up Chip, Sugar, and Sandy at their new location, and it would not have been possible without their help.

Feral cat relocation
Anne and Gini setting up ferals at their new home

Gini said the most difficult thing about the move was knowing that the cats would be stressed out at first because of the relocation. But the best part is knowing that "they will be free to scavenge and run around. They will no longer be confined to cages, which is such a blessing!!! They will be back in touch with Mother Earth and the sights and sounds of the world they are so much a part of."

Thank you Gini and Gary, for helping these cats safely to their luxurious new home. And thanks to Holly and Steve from Kings Bridge Farms for providing a great forever home to these displaced ferals.

To find out more about feral cats and how you can help them, a good starting point is http://www.shadowcats.net/. Shadow Cats is an Austin area organization dedicated to helping ferals and other cats in need of rescue. Click the "educate" link for articles about feral cats and what you can do to help.

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