Relocating feral and outdoor cats is not as easy as physically placing them in their new outdoor home. Cats are very territorial, and if you simply place them in a new location, they will try to find their way back to where they came from, often times killing themselves in the process.
Fortunately, feral and outdoor cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easy and in a short amount of time.
- Place the cat in a large cage or kennel within the building they will be calling home. Give the cat a small towel lined carrier with the door held open with a small bungee cord, food and water, and a litter box. Clay litter is better than clumping in this environment, as clumping litter can get wet or in the water bowl, making a sticky mess that is more difficult to clean up. See diagram of rehoming cage set up here: rehoming cage set up
- Clean the litter box and give fresh food and water daily. This can easily be done by closing the cat inside the carrier (the one you have bungeed open) to keep the cat safe while you are tending to its needs.
- After 2-3 weeks, you can open the cage door. Food and water should be kept both inside and outside of the cage. Once the cats leave, they may never want to go back into the cage.
- After two more weeks, the cats should be comfortable in their new home and the cage and supplies can be taken away.
- Caring for your barn cat is as easy as providing fresh food and water daily. Some barn cat caregivers keep litter pans inside their barns, but often are rarely used. Never rely on outdoor cats to sustain themselves on rodents alone, they need a nutrient rich diet to sustain a healthy life.
If you are interested in having your own working barn cat, we often have some available.
Rehoming Your Outdoor or Barn Cat
If you find yourself with a cat needing to be rehomed to an outbuilding or barn because it is feral and not suitable to living indoors with people, this is how you can go about finding a barn home for the cat. We suggest advertising at Farm Supply Stores, Grain Suppliers, Craigs List and Social Media.
Carol’s Ferals does not ask for a fee to rehome a barn cat, but the adoptive party must sign a contract.
Until you can find an adequate situation for the cat, please keep it in a cage (at least 3′ deep) with a smaller towel lined carrier inside with food/water and a litter box. Use clay or pellet litter vs clumping to avoid spilled water turning litter into mud. If cat is fractious (attacks) or very frightened, please turn the carrier toward the back of the cage.