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Rehoming a Feral Cat? Possible?

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  • Rehoming a Feral Cat? Possible?

    Here's the situation: Someone my husband knows recently sold his home. For the past several years, this man has been feeding a feral cat. I don't know how it works, if he sees the cat regularly or what. But now that he's moved, he has to go by his former house daily to feed the cat because he feels responsible for it (he/she, I don't know). My husband asked if we should/could take it. I agreed, but only after it saw a vet for spaying/neutering/rabies/etc. My husband let him know, and the man was thrilled and relieved. Trapping this cat is his next mission, and he's working with someone he knows at a local shelter to get this done.

    We had a feral cat we'd see occasionally on our property, but we haven't see him for a while, and our mouse/vole population has increased, so I think he's no longer with us. So I wouldn't mind having another feral cat around. I have 2 indoor housecats and a dog. We live in the woods on about 14 acres. Now, how on earth do I go about getting this poor thing accustomed to our property/us?? Have I just given this cat a death sentence??

  • #2

    I have successfully introduced (and kept) 2 feral cats in my barn. But you need to enclose them for a couple weeks before turning them loose.


    Maybe Alley Cat Allies has some advice....


    • #3
      Limitless, my experience has been that - as Farmette notes - you must keep the kitty confined in a crate or a room for at least a couple of weeks so they learn that's where they get fed.

      Good on you for helping the kitty out. I'm sure he will reward you by tidying up your rodent population!


      • #4
        Yes! Rehoming a feral cat is quite rewarding. I adopted a feral from someone who posted on CoTH. As previously noted the cat should be confined in a crate for a couple of weeks. They are so terrified, but it is a good time to begin bonding.

        When mine was released from the crate, I didn't immediately notice that she had chosen another outbuilding to call home. (Two other cats in the main barn likely asked her to find other digs.)

        I fed her premium food and spent lots of time talking to her. Today, she greets me when I leave the house (if not with the dogs) and knows the routine when the dogs go back in. She loves to be petted and I can pick her up and love on her. She is quite a character and brings much joy to my life.

        So I would say yes, take on the feral cat, spend a bit of time making friends and you may be pleasantly surprised.


        • #5
          Yes, we have re-homed several from the colony we take care of. Actually have two that could easily go inside any time. I really don't think it fair however to re-home a feral / outside cat to another outside environment. Most of our colony is socialized, can be picked up and petted. Litter training is not as big a deal as one thinks the cats come to it naturally.
          Last edited by 7HL; Jun. 6, 2011, 11:36 AM.
          The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.


          • #6
            A friend of mine recently got three cats from a program that specifically targets feral cats as barn cats. They brought them in three big crates and they lived in the barn, in the crates for several weeks, and then she released them, they stuck around and are quite friendly though shy.