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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Straying stray cat

I'm not sure if this technically falls under 'feral cats' or if it should go in the 'behavior' area, but either way I hope I can get some help.

I have been taking care of a colony of cats that were born outside. After getting them fixed and vaccinated I was able to socialize two of them and decided to move them over to my neighborhood so they could have more room to romp and play since I have a big backyard and shed for them to sleep in.

I moved them and let them out last night, and they didn't seem distressed. They were pretty curious and played around the backyard for hours. They lounged under the bushes, sat by the pond, and just mulled about. I went outside around midnight (6 hours after I released them) and the male had ran off! Normally he comes running when I call, but only his sister showed up. I walked all around the neighborhood trying to find him but no luck.

I am curious: why did he suddenly run? I would think if he was going to disappear he would have done it as soon as I released him instead of hanging around his new home for a few hours. Also, why did his sister stay if he ran off?

I'm really upset and been awake all night. How do I find this little guy? I know he was born in the wild and lived outside, and this is a very quiet, pet friendly neighborhood away from busy streets but still I am so scared for him. Should I take his sister back to her old home or leave her here just in case she tempts him into coming back?

Last edited by Wonderlandless; 05-11-2011 at 08:23 AM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 08:29 AM
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It's difficult to relocate feral cats. No matter how nice the new area is, they often try to return to their old one.

Confining cats to one room of your house or a secure shed or garage for at least two weeks is the usual procedure.

How far did you move them?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 08:34 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I read that after the fact. I feel so terrible, the thought I probably caused the little guy harm because he wants to go home while I was trying to help protect him...

I moved him 9 miles. I moved him because where his colony was there was a not very nice guy who lived on that street and it was a street between two very busy roads. Is it possible he is trying to go home? Why did his sister stay? Should I take her home too?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 09:42 AM
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No; at least one stayed and her brother might still turn up.
Spend time with her and give her some canned food - cats love it - to increase the chances of her staying put.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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I will buy some canned food for her. She was spooked by a dog being walked earlier, so she's gone into hiding. I have definitely been loving on her and playing with her, and there is plenty of food out.

Anything I can do until then? I still haven't been to bed, I'm so worried. At the old place he didn't stray further than a few houses away. I hope he's just hiding in some bushes. Is it too soon to put up fliers?
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 09:50 AM
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What you have going for you is that he was a tamed feral, so you're right, he could just be lying low for now. A true feral would just take off if released in a strange place.

Still, he had very little time to get his bearings and apply his scent to the area. He could be right in the neighborhood but just lost.

Yes, I would get the fliers out right away, before he strays any further.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Any way I can coerce him to come back if he is lost?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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A bit of an update: My roommate said she saw the cat stalking/chasing something in the yard last night right before he disappeared, so the signs are pointing to he just ran too far and can't find his way back. His sister is still here and happy.

Fliers are going up tomorrow and I alerted many neighbors to his disappearance. The plus of this street is its very quiet, the negative is there are too many bushes for him to hide!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Good news! He was spotted last night sitting on our fence! Will buy tuna tonight to lure him home.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-13-2011, 09:55 PM
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That is great news.
So glad he's still around.
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