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Old 12-03-2013, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
77 posts, read 89,967 times
Reputation: 212

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I have a feral cat in my back yard (born there!) who I've been feeding since 2006. We want to move next Spring and I'm trying to go over my options. I don't know what to do. He is neutered and 7 years old, completely feral and does not come near us.

So far I've come up with several EXTREMELY UNAPPEALING options:

A. Try to persuade a neighbor to continue feeding him. This seems unlikely because my next door neighbor is elderly, the other neighbors have a small child and never even go in their backyard. I would even pay the person to do it but I don't know who!!!

B. Try to move the cat. Again, this would be stressful for everyone and there's no guarantee he wouldn't just run outside and die in a strange environment once we get there. Has anyone done this? Would a cat be able to get used to a new territory altogether?

C. Put the cat to sleep. Sounds cold but I'd rather have him die than lose everything familiar to him-- our feeding routine, my talking to him in the morning, etc. Would a shelter or vet do this, or is it unethical? Is it illegal?

D. Abandon the cat. There is a slim chance he'll survive since I don't think his Mom taught him how to hunt. I've only ever seen him eat our food.

Is there another option I am missing? Has anyone ever done this? I have until March or so to figure it out. Please help with experiences or suggestions.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,050 posts, read 1,763,717 times
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If you search this forum, there was a similar thread where someone was moving and had been feeding ferals. You might dig around for that thread.

I would add another possible option: reach out to local rescue groups. Perhaps someone lives nearby and may be willing to feed this cat. Or they may manage a nearby feral colony and can stop by with food.

I don't know your neighborhood, but are the two neighbors you mentioned the only ones you have. Have you approached the neighbors with a child to check for sure?

If I absolutely could not find someone or a group to feed him, IMO I'd just let him fend for himself. I could never euthanize a healthy animal, nor does it seem wise to move him, given his age and feral state.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:17 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 1,897,075 times
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He'll be fine.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Here
2,581 posts, read 5,473,759 times
Reputation: 2568
What I would do, and this is just me, is trap him and take him with me and feed him in the new location. After knowing an animal that long, I couldn't just let him be if I knew he didn't know how to take care of himself. (Although I think a lot of cats can be naturally good hunters/scavengers if they need to be)

Easy way to trap him, just get a big tub or crate, put his food in there, and use a rope to drop it over him or close the opening or whathaveyou. I don't think this would be stressful for me. Pretty easy actually because I can be creative.
He's definitely going to eat so that part of the trap is a given. Just a matter of you making the trap.

I think the part about him moving to a new territory might be stressful but I'm sure he can get used to it. If some of the things he's used to are at the new location, he might feel better. Obviously bring the same food and bowl. Do you leave a blanket or little hut for him outside? Is there a particular flower that you see him going near? Odd question, but where does he poop/pee currently? Is there anything else he likes to hide behind or rub up against that you can bring with you?
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
77 posts, read 89,967 times
Reputation: 212
Hi Rene S, yes I looked at threads about ferals but could not find a similar discussion. Maybe I skimmed too fast, dunno. Will look again.

The two neighbors I mentioned are the only neighbors I know. Our neighborhood is not all that friendly, people keep to themselves. I like the idea of finding a rescue group or feral cat advocates of some kind. Good idea.

The reason I mentioned euthanization is because it seems less cruel than simply letting him starve to death without the hunting skills he needs to survive. It's not my first choice, believe me. I feel fairly certain he cannot hunt because his mom ran off when he was about 4 months old. After getting the kittens and mom trapped/fixed/released, the mom was so traumatized she never came back.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:40 PM
Status: "Now it won't stop raining!" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: "Arlen" Texas
2,318 posts, read 1,444,356 times
Reputation: 8993
Can you trap him and take him with you?
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 11,326,380 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleonidas View Post
He'll be fine.
You can't know this. He's used to being fed and not fending for himself. He will wait in vain for someone to fill his food and water bowls...
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:51 PM
 
Location: San Diego
32,799 posts, read 30,034,103 times
Reputation: 17687
Start to wean it down to zero food by then. Cats are natural hunters. When they are hungry they will hunt. I'd be more concerned about a water source.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
274 posts, read 430,294 times
Reputation: 271
If you take him to a new area he is probably going to try to get back to his home territory as soon as you put him outside. Cats have been known to travel long distances to get back where they consider to be their home. If you do take him with you he will probably need to be kept indoors. He should eventually accept your touch and then may be allowed to go back outside but that could take a year or more.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: The Cascade Foothills
10,953 posts, read 8,349,448 times
Reputation: 6447
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1AngryTaxPayer View Post
Start to wean it down to zero food by then. Cats are natural hunters. When they are hungry they will hunt. I'd be more concerned about a water source.
I can't imagine doing this to an animal that had been dependent on me for seven years.

To the OP - is there any possibility you can trap him and take him with you? Obviously, if he has been neutered, he's been trapped and handled somewhat before now. Will you have a garage or some other secure outbuilding you could keep him in for awhile (I disagree that it would take a year to acclimate him - maybe a month or so)? Let him know that garage/building is his "home base," where the food and shelter is, and I think he will be fine.

Please don't abandon him like some have suggested (I know you said you wouldn't.....).
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