When there are no other options, cats need to be moved to a new situation (see guidelines below). If at all possible, however, the trap neuter return (TNR) of the cats back to their familiar surroundings is the goal. Doing relocations is very important and not all cats will do well in all situations.
- If there are already cats in the area, it is important to consider those resident cats as you do not want new ones chasing them off, or having your new cats chased off.
- A potential relocation site should be assessed before any cats are ever considered. Match the cats to the sites as best you can. Tame cats might work best in a garage or shed near the home, or in a barn where they will get some attention from people (tame cats that go to barns are usually biters or sprayers, or have an issue that makes them “unadoptable”). When relocation is to a barn where people just want rodent hunters, but will not give the cats attention other than to feed them, true ferals will do best.
- A safe, escape-proof and stress-free acclimation area needs to be set up. A tiny wire cage sitting on a shelf is NOT acceptable. In order for the cats to stay when released, they need to feel safe, know that this is where the food is, and have a long enough time in confinement to know the area a little. The confinement time, however, should not be so long that the cats are going to bolt when let loose and not come back.
- New owners MUST agree to provide food and water for the cats. The cats that are expected to live off mice alone will eventually move on to look for better food sources as rodents learn to hide. These cats could starve if left with no food.
Pasado’s and the CCC’s Relocation Projects
The Pasado’s Animal Sanctuary has so many farm animals that they need rodent control due to all the necessary grain and hay. They agreed to help CCC members who needed barn homes for cats.
The CCC was involved with a cooperative feeding station where the property was sold and all the trees, brush, and current houses were being bulldozed to make way for 82 homes to be built on seven acres. The bonded group of cats had to be moved. They went to an old chicken shed where the surrounding property was very similar to their home territory. Chris arranged the whole trapping/vet check/relocation with Stephanie of Pasado’s (Stephanie is the “cat lead” and does a fantastic job!).
Cheri had a tame boy who is a terrible biter, unpredictable, and needed an outdoor home. Jan had a semi-tame girl who was the same. They went to one half of an enclosure that sits outside of a barn, the other half has three cats who came as singles and needed a spot (one from Mary, from a site where he was threatened with poison; one from Chris, from the big site where the bonded group was being trapped [young female likely dumped, but is not tame]; and one from Cheri, trapped alongside the freeway, with no good place to return [he is not tame, but not really feral]).
These five cats all have had some human interaction and were used to living outside and surviving as they were able. They will have access to these pens after release, but also have access to several barns. Mixing the tame with the less tame helps the less tame acclimate better. Putting singles together side by side gives them plenty of space to get used to each other with little stress.
Pasado’s has a warehouse where feed is stored and it recently took three cats from Karen and will be taking two more from Janis. The key to adding cats to any situation is making sure the cats will do well with each other, and with the type of territory they are moving to. Janis’s cats are semi-ferals who have lived inside, but never adapted to living with humans. They love other cats, and are ideal candidates for a warehouse situation.
Pasado’s also took two cats who came from the Everett Animal Shelter. The CCC is working to help the EAS avoid euthanasia of unadoptable cats, and has arranged to help place some in barns as we are able. Pasado’s has helped a lot of cats and a lot of CCC members. These cats will have a good chance at a good life.