I have been involved in relocating a feral cat colony. This describes what happened. I was invited to a closed meeting of a cat rescue group; very unusual since I only hung on the outskirt of the group and wasn’t a member.
The topic of discussion was moving a feral cat colony to a safer place. The colony, in question, was behind a pizza parlor and registered, because the owner signed paperwork to allow TNR there.
It came under new ownership, and the new owner wanted the cats gone. It was urgent. I think I was invited because I own 3 traps and have some skill in trapping ferals.
Believe me when I say that I wasn’t prepared for this task. The coordinators of this effort were the colony caretaker and a rescue member. They explained that the move had to be in one clean sweep, and that trapped cats had to be held until the move could be done at one time.
There were 2 vans plus our own vehicles. I think there were 9 of us all together. We trapped, for 2 days straight, taking turns at rest periods. I don’t have the ability to sleep at will for 2 hours, so I was exhausted.
We managed to get all of the cats (I hope), even with tackling. I had 3 trapped cats in my home waiting for the move for about 24 hours. I, ofcourse, put food and water into the traps; but, elimination was a problem. I had already laid down a sheet of plastic, covered with an old comforter, but it was a mess still. Oh, well..
The next day, we all met at the new area. So smart are these people. Feeders and water bowls were out when we got there; an easy transition after all.
I see and talk with the new caretaker every couple of months. I know that she “lost” 2 cats immediately after the move and I checked the old place several times to see if they had shown back up there. They’ve never showed up, but the remainder have made a good adjustment.
She’s a wonderful caretaker, and I’m sure she is the reason the cats settled in so well.
Photo (modified) on Flickr