Safe Relocation of Feral Cats
Feral cats develop a strong bond with their environment as well as with each other. The relocation of a feral cat colony is strongly advised against as it stressful, time-consuming, and difficult. Cats moved to a new location cannot just be released and left there. They will attempt to return to their home and likely become lost. Unless the cats’ lives are in danger, or their environment is being destroyed, the optimal place for them to be is where they currently live.
If a relocation is absolutely the only option left for a colony of cats, Trap Neuter Return of Lehigh Valley can help. Contact us here.
When looking for a location to move a feral cat colony to, it is recommended that the climate be similar to what they have now. The area should also be large enough to take all of the cats. They are tightly bonded with one another and keeping them together will help ease their transition. Barns, homes with spacious yards, and forested areas make good homes for feral cats.
The cats will have to be confined their new environment in a large pre-installed cage and kept there for 2-to-4 weeks in order to convince them to stay. A caretaker must be available to feed, shelter, and care for them. They will be completely reliant on their new caregiver during this time, and for feedings after their release.
Once a location is chosen and a dedicated caretaker found, trap the cats and immediately transport them to the new location. Once confined in the large cage, they will take some time to settle down and realize that they are not going to be harmed. After the 2-to-4 week time period, they will have acclimated to their environment and can be released. Scheduled feedings should continue as well as vet care and diligent TNR of any newcomers.
After the old colony location has been cleared, it is imperative to remove all trace of food, food sources, and shelter to avoid attracting a new colony of ferals. Keep in mind, however, with the environment undefended, new fertile cats are very likely to take over and breed. It is recommended to TNR any new cats immediately.