One of the hardest decisions to make when working with community cats is to relocate them. Luckily for us, we don’t ever have to make that decision. Our role is to provide homes for displaced cats who have luckily found one of the organizations we work with, such as FACE or the Morgan County Humane Society.
So what are some of the reasons that community cats are relocated? In our personal experience, we’ve rehomed cats for the following reasons:
- The caretaker of the cats had to enter hospice care, and the owner of the property where the cats lived wanted the cats moved.
- The cats were trapped for sterilization, but it wasn’t safe for them to return to their home because of threats of animal cruelty.
- When the cat was trapped for sterilization, the vet found a birth defect, and the cat wasn’t physically able to return to his home.
- The cats were previously kept in a rabbit hutch and seized by animal control. They were unsocialized and needed a new outdoor environment to call home.
- The cat was pulled from animal control, and either entered the shelter as a stray or owner surrender. The cat either wasn’t thriving or wasn’t getting along with others in the community cat room and needed a change of scenery.
Today, we brought home three cats from a trailer park who are very bonded and were abandoned. There are two males and a female.
We have set up the relocation kennels in our garage, right next to each other. This two-week period is a best practice for acclimating the cats to their new home. It gives the new cats a chance to learn that we feed them and care for them. It also gives our current outside cats time to get to know the new cats before we release them.
Honestly, this process isn’t my favorite. The cats often aren’t thrilled to be contained in the kennels. They can get messy with the food, water, and litter box in the small space, which adds to the workload of caring for our guys. And then when the two weeks is over, there’s no guarantee that when you open the door, the cat you’ve gotten attached to over the last two weeks isn’t going to bolt and never be seen again. (That happened on our first relocation.) It is a necessary step in the relocation process and is the best shot at a good outcome.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll document the acclimation of Clark, Ima Jean, and the soon-to-be named white cat.