Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Moving and Feral Cats

A dear friend of mine calls herself the "Crazy Cat Lady" but she is not crazy, (well maybe a little kooky but definitely not crazy!)   She has an immense love of cats and a desire to help all cats, which is how she started caring for a feral cat colony by providing them with food on a daily basis. She has done this for quite some time and today she contacted me with an enormous dilemma, she is moving and wanted to know how she should move the feral cats and what type of shelter she should provide for them with the  fast-approaching, frigid, Mid-West Winter scratching at the door.

Cats are very territorial and "place/situation oriented" and moving can be quite traumatic. They are creatures of habit and if she chooses to move them herself there are very strict guidelines/procedures that should be followed: she can either buy a trap (cage) or borrow one from a local animal shelter. The dangerous part of trapping the cats yourself is among other things, the danger of accidentally trapping someone's beloved pet kitty, along with, in addition to, or instead of the kitty colony.
There are certain types of cages that should be used, there should be a towel on the bottom of the cage, mackerel or tuna used as "bait" and a blanket at the ready to cover the cage with once the cats are trapped.

As for shelter for feral cats in the winter? An old dog house with straw on the floor should work just fine (one with a pet door would be ideal to keep the elements out, the straw traps warmth and will be less cold for the cat. Also a shed or unused section of woodpile or under a deck, (straw could be placed there as well)

In my opinion this is too much for an inexperienced individual to undertake and they should seek the advice of a professional. This led me to search for exactly who could help her and I think I found the answer!
There  is a Feral cat rescue group called "Alley Cat Allies" which can address all of her concerns. They can connect her with someone in their "feral friends network" in her area. The website is www.alleycat.org.

I applaud my friend for the good she has done and continues to do, I applaud her for not just abandoning the cats and for being responsible by attempting to make provisions for them when she moves. There are too many people who take on the responsibility of feeding feral cats and when they are done they are done without giving another thought about the cats and what will happen to them.

I hope she contacts "Alley Cat Allies", I am sure they can offer her the advice and assistance that she needs. "Happy Trails" my dear friend, I am looking forward to hearing about what happened, I am hopeful you will have a happy tale  (tail) to share!


  1. I never new there was any such thing as a "feral" cat until this summer. We had one in our garage that had taken up residence; and I am ashamed to say, it was not an inviting situation. I did call a professional service to help. They claimed that they did not find a cat. They charged me $110.00 and months later we found a dead cat in the garage. Not a happy ending for all concerned. I wish I had called you instead...but who knew! MD

  2. Ohhhhhhhhhh that is sooooooooooo sad!!!!!!!!!!!! I am sure you felt awful....that is so heartbreaking!!