Moving A Feral Cat Colony From Danger

Relocating a feral cat colony

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

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Moving A Feral Cat Colony From Danger — 9 Comments

  1. I loved reading this Dee, thank you for sharing it with us.
    What a huge undertaking that job was and what good team work getting all the cats to a safe new place. How very mean of that new owner of the property to want then gone, but I suppose it was good that at least he didn’t just arrange to have them killed.
    It must have been horrible for you having to keep them in traps, they must have been terrified, poor little souls!
    I hope the two lost ones found somewhere safe to live too.
    It makes me sad that most feral cats never know home comforts or how to love and trust a person.
    If only they knew how much we cat lovers care about them!

  2. Dee, it’s good to hear that you and the cats made it through that ordeal. That must be a darn good feeling to know that they wanted you to help with such an undertaking. I cannot imagine. Bless you! <3

    You said "new" colony caretaker? Did they have to relocate quite a distance? You mentioned that maybe nine of you were involved altogether–how many cats besides the two MIA?

      • Wow Dee your stories are amazing – you put me to shame with all your experience and hard work for cats. It must have been a very worrying and stressful experience for all.

        Poor cats in the US – they really have such a bloody hard time. Thanks to people like you Dee there is hope for them. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. What a harrowing story. It takes tremendous dedication to pull something like that off. There has to be a keen and common sense of intention among the rescuers in order to succeed, no doubt. I am actually delighted to know that the colony recovered and moved to the new location. There must be a real sense of a group between the cats. Very interesting.

    You never cease to amaze, Dee.

  4. Oh what hard work and I bet there was a terrible emotional as well as physical strain as well with having to trap and keep the terrified cats for a day and transport them to their new safe place, well done to you Dee I admire the way you have quietly done the things you do and just now and again we find out more about what an amazing person you really are. How sad that those two cats fled, I hope they found somewhere safe to live. This shows just how much can be accomplished by kind, willing people getting together and making a hell of a difference where it’s needed.

  5. What a super lady you are to help these poor cats . Relocating ferals is never easy for the humans doing it and the cats being trapped and moved! And your kindness and patience shine thru just by what you wrote…”oh,well…” THAT dear lady is pure compassion! And due to you and the kind souls who helped the ferals are in a happy and safe place!!! KUDOS!!!! Several years ago I had a feral colony of 27,so I know doing things for them isn’t always easy!! God love and Bless you!!!!

  6. I don’t deserve any credit at all. I was just leg work and a follower. I did what I was told. It was all new to me.
    I was so amazed at how well planned out it was in less than one week. The new location is about one mile from the old one and is perfect, deep in a small clearing in the woods.
    When I get a chance, I want to talk to the group president about how feasible it may be to combine colonies. I’d like to move my smallest and less safe colony to that location. Colonies are tight, and I doubt that a group of newcomers would be tolerated. But, I want to ask anyway.

    • Yes, you do Dee. It was beyond legwork. And several days of it. I’m sure you learned a lot from the process. I will be curious to hear if you find out the colonies can be combined. A couple of days hard work to move them might take away nights after night of worry.

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