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This is a stressful and unfortunate dilemma I'm in and I just wanted to get some feedback. I have two cats, one 8 and the other one 6. They are a mother/daughter pair. Ive been with the mother since she was 1, and the daughter has been with me since being born. Unfortunately I have to part with them as I am moving and I can't bring them with me. I've been trying to find a good home for them but haven't been able to. I've posted ads on Craigslist and other sites but it seems it's hard to give away older cats. I'm trying to keep them together and only offering them as a pair also so it's been hard finding them a new home. I don't want to put them in a shelter, and risk having them euthanized. Also I can't bear imagining them in a cage for the rest of their lives. My father has some property in upstate ny about 3 hrs away from where I live. So my plan is to build them a decent sized/insulated cathouse upstate and have them live there in the wild. The property is in the mountains In the woods with a small field surrounded my woodland. My father goes up there once a month or so. I'm plannIng on visiting as much as possible. I plan on getting a food dispenser and water dispenser that will keep them fed for at least two months at a time Just in case no one goes up there for an extended period of time.
I work in construction so there wouldn't be an issue building the cathouse. So this is my plan. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

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1. Why can't you bring them with you?
2. Is there a no kill rescue or other option? Since it's kitten season right now I know this is a stretch, but it's worth a shot.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but I think dumping house pets in the wild is going to have the same result as bringing them to a kill shelter - the only difference being that you can feel less guilty and they can be scared and hungry before they die.
 

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I think that wild animals are going to eat their food that you have provided and depending on the wildlife, possibly your cats.

You're talking about taking cats with no prior knowledge of survival and dumping them in wild. I think you are sentencing them to a much worse death than any euthanasia they might (or might not) get at a shelter.
 

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Thanks for the response. Long story but I have to move into a house where a person is deathly allergic to cats. The no kill shelter option is a last resort only because I can't bear the thought of them in a cage the rest of their lives. Between me and my father somebody will visit them at least once a month. There is already a fully functional cabin up there. I'm planning on building the cathouse right next to the cabin.
 

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I'm sorry, but I think you are sentencing them to a terrible death as opposed to living in a cage.

Dead of winter in upstate NY without a heat source in that cat house is a death warrant, imo.
 

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A no-kill shelter doesn't mean they will be in a cage for the rest of their life. It means that they will have food, shelter, and care while waiting for a permanent home. Your cats are probably not going to survive long without someone to lookout for them. And they probably won't stay at the cabin...especially if there isn't someone there taking care of them all the time. You will probably never see them again.

Cats are not wild animals. They are domesticated animals.

There has to be somewhere else you could live besides with someone who is deathly allergic to cats
 

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Cats can survive in the wild, but there is much danger. Do try to find a no kill shelter. If they're out in the wild there's a posibility one will get predated and the other not. Any chance that offering an incentive would get a result in finding a home. I mean offering to buy their food and pay any vet charges at least for a while.

You have my sympathy in a very difficult situation.

When it comes down to it, I'd give them a chance at life. They are going to be lonely, though. How do you propose to secure their food supply?
 

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Hey Jim appreciate the understanding. I plan on building an insulated cathouse and providing them with a heating blanket for the cold winter months. I'm planning on having a full size door for me to get in and out of and installing a small door not easily accessible. Perhaps up a steep ramp or ladder.
 

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Like others said, you are basically sentencing them to abandonment and death by sending them to a hut in the wild. They are used to human contact. They aren't used to fending for themselves in the wild.

A no kill shelter is your best best. Look for the local Humane Society and find a good one. They will try and place the pair together and won't keep them locked up all the time. When we adopted out cats they were part of a litter. The staff were very eager to get us to adopt the pair because they were used to being together. You may be surprised at who finds your kitties to love. Even if they get separated it is a better fate being with loving humans than a wild predator.

If you go with an outdoor shelter you'll either find they simply disappear or turn feral and hiss/growl at you if you come near for a visit. They will feel you are another aggressor either because they forgot you or feel you abandoned them. I've had a cat that I turned outdoors after being born a housecat. He lived in my garage for a time then disappeared. When he returned he was a hissing/growling/vicious beast. Worst mistake of my life.
 

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Hey Jim appreciate the understanding. I plan on building an insulated cathouse and providing them with a heating blanket for the cold winter months. I'm planning on having a full size door for me to get in and out of and installing a small door not easily accessible. Perhaps up a steep ramp or ladder.
Won't keep out racoons who will eat their food AND hurt them.

Yes, lots of cats live in the wild. Those are cats that were born in the wild and were raised to be cautious and there are more of those that die than live. It's a world of difference to turn out a housecat and let it suddenly fend for itself. It all sounds very romantic to return them to the wild where they can be free, the reality is a lot different.

It seems you've already made up your mind to go ahead with this no matter what opinions you are given. I'm sorry (and angry) for the cats who are going to suffer because of your decision.

Best of luck.
 

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Why do you think your cats will even stay at the cabin? After you abandon them they are going to be terrified and alone in a frightening and alien environment. It's highly possible they'll try to find their way home to you and die in the attempt. How are they supposed to know you will eventually come back?

IF they stay put, how are you going to insure other animals don't eat their food? It's nice that you plan to leave extra, but that food will attract all kinds of other animals - coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, birds, mice, possibly even bears or cougars! Wild animals could finish their entire food supply in a day. Once that food runs out your cats either starve to death, try to go searching for food and get lost (and then starve to death), or they will be eaten by hungry animals.

If one of your cats is injured how will you ever know in time to get her medical attention? It could take them days to die, and they would be in pain the entire time.

There are so many horrible things that could happen to them out there in the woods. They could die due to injury, infection, cold, starvation... These cats have been cared for by you for their entire lives and they will have NO IDEA how to survive in such a harsh environment alone. They won't know to run from coyotes, or how dangerous raccoons are. If you actually choose to abandon them make sure you say goodbye, because I would be shocked if they survived a full month alone out there.

I'm sure you must care enough about you cats that you won't actually sentence them to die this way. There has to be another solution. A no kill shelter would be IDEAL for them compared to this alternative. If you love them, you will be willing to let them go to keep them safe. Or maybe a friend or family member who would be willing to house them for a while (you should offer to pay for their food and upkeep). You say you're moving in with someone who is 'deathly' allergic to cats - will you have your own room? If you could keep your cats confined to one room you would keep their hair/dander confined to one area and hopefully the allergic person would then not be affected. Using the money you were going to spend on building their shelter, offer to buy an air purifier to set up outside your door, to further ensure no allergens leave your room.

There HAS to be some better option available to you, and you have to care about your cats enough to find a solution that will keep them safe. I really wish your cats luck...
 

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I didn't make up my mind yet. I made up a plan and came onthe forum to get some feedback on it. It's not like I was just dumping them out in the wild. That wasn't my plan. They would have had shelter, provided food and human interaction( just not as often as they do now). I do appreciate ALL the opinions. Even though I was made out to be a terrible sinner. I am leaning towards changing my mind. I would've appreciated a little more constructive comments though as far as practical applications are concerned. For example: buy this kind of food dispenser or use this for a heating solution. Nonetheless I will continue my search for a new home for my furry feline friends.
 

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If this is your only option, then just take them to the vet and have them put to sleep. The end result will be the same and it will save them a lot of terror and pain. Of course you would actually have to face what you're doing rather than just leave them to their fate.

By the way...what you're planning is more than likely illegal in NY and you could face fines and possible prison sentencing if you were caught.
 

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I appreciate the fact that you came here to ask for opinions, even though the response probably isn't what you wanted to hear. It is hard to be in a situation where giving up your pets is your only option.

Please, please, please do not put house cats into the wild and expect them to survive. You have fed them and protected them - and they have no idea how to do themselves and no one to teach them.
You may be able to find a shelter or a rescue group to take them in. Offer to pay for the food for 6 months as an enticement.
And yes, euthanasia is better then turning them into the wild.
 

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*edited to add note* I was honestly trying to to sound as mean as this comes off...try to read this with a 'teaching' tone rather than a sarcastic one. It wasn't meant meanly.

Cats can survive in the wild, but there is much danger. Do try to find a no kill shelter. If they're out in the wild there's a posibility one will get predated and the other not. Any chance that offering an incentive would get a result in finding a home. I mean offering to buy their food and pay any vet charges at least for a while.

You have my sympathy in a very difficult situation.

When it comes down to it, I'd give them a chance at life. They are going to be lonely, though. How do you propose to secure their food supply?
This is NOT always true. For example: how would you, OP, do if I took you up to the middle of no where, gave you some food and said "Ok...you'll be alright out here...enjoy it. You're still alive right?"

Probably not well. People are used to the things we have...like running water, fast food, electricity, ect. Yeah you'd probably be ok...but you also might get eaten by a bear or a pack of wolves....And you're not the size of a cat so you have fewer predators.

Hey Jim appreciate the understanding. I plan on building an insulated cathouse and providing them with a heating blanket for the cold winter months. I'm planning on having a full size door for me to get in and out of and installing a small door not easily accessible. Perhaps up a steep ramp or ladder.
Are your cats currently indoor cats? Are either/both of them declawed? If either (or both) of these things are true then you're basically just driving a long way to dump them in the wild where they will probably get eaten or run over.

Even if they are currently allowed outside sometimes that's a far cry from essentially fending for themselves and having to watch out for predators they aren't used to.

I honestly can't condone this idea. It just isn't fair to your cats. IMO (and clearly the majority of opionions on this board) you should go for the no-kill shelter. At least there it's possible that they might find a home someday...rather than being eaten. So yeah, I think 'life in a cage' (which is by no means a certainty) is better than dumping them in the woods...even if you do give them a fancy little house and some food.
 

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So my plan is to build them a decent sized/insulated cathouse upstate and have them live there in the wild. The property is in the mountains In the woods with a small field surrounded my woodland. My father goes up there once a month or so. I'm plannIng on visiting as much as possible. I plan on getting a food dispenser and water dispenser that will keep them fed for at least two months at a time Just in case no one goes up there for an extended period of time.
I work in construction so there wouldn't be an issue building the cathouse. So this is my plan. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated. Thanks!
I didn't make up my mind yet. I made up a plan and came onthe forum to get some feedback on it. It's not like I was just dumping them out in the wild. That wasn't my plan. They would have had shelter, provided food and human interaction( just not as often as they do now). I do appreciate ALL the opinions. Even though I was made out to be a terrible sinner. I am leaning towards changing my mind. I would've appreciated a little more constructive comments though as far as practical applications are concerned. For example: buy this kind of food dispenser or use this for a heating solution. Nonetheless I will continue my search for a new home for my furry feline friends.QUOTE]

If you were planning on going up there, building the house and leaving enough food to last 2 months, you basically were just dumping them. Expecting them to magically acclimate to a gigantic change in everything they've ever known is just not fair to your cats.

You should really surrender them to a no-kill shelter. Barring that (and this is horrible to even consider) you should go and WATCH them being euthanized. Don't just drop them off, that's a cop-out.

A third option you might not have considered...Is there a spare room (even a small one) in the house you are moving into? An extra bathroom would work as a temporary housing for your cats until you could find another home or a bettr situation. That might be a way to buy yourself some time to figure things out.

When are you moving? If we know how urgent this is we might be able to offer some other constructive solutions.
 

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Wild animals chew thru most things. In the city i see garbage cans with holes chewed in them from squirrels. They also chew into my containers if I put bird food outside rather than bring it into the porch. Had racoons chew thru my tent one night with us inside.

Ya got Bears in upstate NY? Owls? Falcons? Eagles? I'm sure a cat stew on their menu would be like steak on ours.

So they will have this ice house to go in and out of? with food inside? Hmmmm...and they will have maps to find their way back 'home' if they wander off to far or get chased by whatever and find themselves on the other side of what? And no way to figure out how to make it back home....hmmm owls will find them.

Sorry, I think a shelter might be the best option...How about running an ad stating you will Pay someone if they give your pets A HOME?.......DON'T KNOW WHAT FIGURE THAT WOULD BE but figuring gas...time spent, materials to build the cat house, one could come up with some kind of dollar amount. Get dad involved and stipulate something in his will if some kind souls (s) will go with your offer.
 

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I really hope you don't decide to do this. There are more odds against your cats than for them. I could think of more reasons why not to than I have fingers on both hands.

Also, even if they by some unlikely chance made it, house cats are used to frequent contact, affection, interactions, etc. Some cats go into deep depressions when left alone long periods, especially in an unfamiliar place; some stop eating and drinking, etc. With that much change, lack of contact, and in that place in the wild, there are more chances of them not making it: stress/depression, lost food, wild animals breaking in and killing them, them breaking out and being killed, them getting a medical problem that no-one would be able to notice and them dying. That doesn't even scratch the surface.

I know you are most likely thinking of doing this for them, but I honestly don't think it'd be a good option, let alone the best. I mean no harm - I'm just trying to help you think about this matter clearly. Surely there are no-kill shelters, foster homes, or something ...

Plus, you said you didn't like the idea of them staying in a cage at a shelter? I imagine that them staying in a cage around people with regular feeding and treatment while waiting for someone to adopt them would be better than shutting them up alone in the woods.
 

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Pet cats abandoned to a feral existence lead a short, miserable and painful life before they die, and that is just the physical side of their experience. It is hard to measure the psychological pain they feel about abandonment by their human. You say you will provide food. But that food will attract other predators that will be glad to kill and eat your tame cats in a heartbeat. *****, foxes, coyotes and feral dogs will kill them in a minute and eat them.

You say you cannot take them with you because of allergies. Why not take them with you and build that cat hut outside where you will be living? If needed, do fence them into an area and visit them daily, giving them love and affection and food as you do now. They would not always have to be locked in that cage, once they get used to the area and the new living arrangements. Once you get established in the new job and the area, then you could get your own place and have your cats again in your own apartment or home.

There are always options. ALWAYS. Your option to turn them into feral cats is, in my opinion, the worse option from their point of view. Please do not do this. They could just as well live outside your new home and be a lot safer and happy than at this wild land in NY you are talking about.
 

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Take them to the Humane Society or ASPCA.

I adopted my two as a pair from my local HS. I was not looking for kittens and wanted a pair. So there are people out there who are willing to adopt more than one.
 
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