Tips for moving/adjusting semi-feral barn kitties to new home (across road) and new life

Due to events beyond my control, I have had to move 4 barn kitties off family farm (all neutered) across the road to mine. The two friendly girls I have scooped up and they are living in my garage with a catio attached for outside bird watching. They seem to be doing fine… I was told it takes two weeks to have them re-bond with new place but I cannot afford to have to go scoop them up again if they move back across the road. So they will stay put for now.

I have to catch semi-feral mom and grand-mom (the older ladies) and borrowed a drop trap from the local TNR as they are smart girls. I have extended my catio for a total of 12-15 feet and was going to put mom/grandmom in one part (with cat houses) separated by wire partition until the family felt comfortable being re-united. (One of the younger girls can be bossy, but they all co-existed on one farm–in overlapping zones, but they are paired up.). Once they are re-united they will have a 20x20 foot garage and 6 x 15 catio. I am concerned that it go well for the older ladies but I am also feeling like it is time for them to come in from the wild so to speak. Grand mom has dropped weight and looked like had a tom encounter. I just think living out where wondering toms, foxes and raccoons are a daily thing is not good for them especially at their age. (Frankly I cant remember how old they are as it has been that long…)

Any suggestions for making the transition to kitty “assisted living” kinder and gentler and less stressful for the older ladies is appreciated. Unfortunately I have a shed row type barn so I cannot just locked them in a big barn for a while-plus it is too hot to close things up…

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I think what you have planned is fine. Yeah, the initial stress may be a lot but in the end it be over with quickly and they will be on their way to happier lives. They might run back to their original home periodically or even return forever but I think they will come back if they know what side their bread is buttered on. Good luck catching them! and thank you for caring about them.

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I love how much you care for these kitties :heart::heart::heart:

Your plan is perfect. Give them lots of hiding spots and they’ll do great. Can’t wait for pictures & updates!

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before letting them out it’s best to gather (from their litter boxes) their pees spots and scat and put a small amount at each corner of their barn and around their new property … this helps them to identify that this is their new home as well as tells other cats traveling around that this property is taken !

^ this works with any relocated cat but very necessary with ferals ….

Good Luck ~ they are lucky to have you helping them !

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Thanks so much for the tips and encouragement. I have been feeding the two older girls in the propped open drop trap-just need to steel my nerves to finally set it for them, I am going to wait a few more days I think to fortify myself and make sure they are totally relaxed as they eat .Fingers crossed!

You’ve got this - please know they will hide for awhile a first - just maintain your/ their schedule meaning … same time feeding / same time everything … same noises … use your voice to calm them - they will hear you even if you don’t see them for a few days …don’t leave food out at night = that would set them up for predators …you will have to expect sporadic sightings for awhile …. they will be in ‘survival mode’

I think I need to re-read your plan … I tht they were all relocated and you were going to eventually let the older ferals loose on your property.

I did have one feral, not my oldest but perhaps 6 who could not adapt to inside life / she was spayed and eventually released but had safe places and lived with us for years. All the others …adapted beautifully to being “derals” = domesticated ferals .

Bless you for helping them ~ it’s a tough tough stressful time for the person helping ferals ~ not an easy assignment on one’s nerves or heart ~

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That sounds great! One word of caution…hookworms. See if you can deworm them all before they contaminate your soil. We did that with the feral female we caught. You have to assume ferals are loaded with parasites. Hookworm is especially nasty and can be transmitted to humans by walking barefoot on soil where cats have pooped. Deworming for hookworms requires two dose several weeks apart.

I really want to see pictures of your catio! And the kitties, of course (cat tax for all cat posts).

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