Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
I didn't chime in on this thread sooner because frankly I have no idea what I would do, but I can't help thinking about this. If you are very attached to the cat and he to you I would certainly keep him indoors in the new house then gradually let him out. Perhaps let him out on a harness the first few times (I've never had strickly outdoor cats). My only experience was the stray that we took in when we lived in Sicily. I brought her home, closed all the doors, set her up with a can of tuna and a litter box and went back to work. I kept her inside that night (clearly unhappy), but first thing the next morning she took off when the door was opened. I thought I'd lost her forever, but she was at the door when I got home from work. She turned in to a WONDERFUL cat that always looked at me as her savior and I adored Annie for 12 years until she died of old age.
If your cat is semi-feral or indifferent as to who feeds him, perhaps you can convince a kindly neighbor to continue caring for him (maybe offer to buy food for 6 mos or so), so he does not need to leave his familiar surroundings. It is a lot to ask of a neighbor, but better than seeing the cat starve. (Of course I don't have a solution if neighbor stops feeding him after 6 months). I think cats just really want their family, and not necessarily their "place". I guess I'm saying that what you do depends on your personal relationship with this cat.
Cat owners' prayer: "Lord help me be the person my cat thinks I am"