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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all :)

Maybe some of you remember my roof ferals (it is all in this post, from trap construction to the "kitten surprise" http://www.catforum.com/forum/56-feral-cats/140876-catching-two-ferals-top-roof-please-advice.html. It has been almost a year. I still feed them and all...and some other ferals have joined.

It seems to me they can't spend another winter there. There is no shelter (they refuse to use the dog house I put on the roof for them) and some people around the office are starting to get upset about "the cats". I fear for them. I have been trying to find a place to relocate them. I finally met a woman who lives outside Santiago in a country house. She says she is willing to take them 'cause she needs good mousers. We have just started talking about it, so I don't have much info about the place.

My question is the obvious: I bet it will be a terrible tragedy for these cats to be relocated. I can imagine how scary this will be for them. And then, will they adapt in a new place? Even if it is a nice place with plants and trees and fresh air (anything is better than that nasty roof), will they be ok there? Will they run in fear when they are released, and never come back?

Any ideas or recommendations, I will be so grateful. I have never done anything like this before.
 

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i am glad to here that they are doing well. i remember the difficulty you had with catching them so it is especially nice that they have done well.


being that your situation is quite foreign (pun intended) to me i really can not comment on whether relocating them is better than leaving them be.

here is some useful info in regards to relocating them Safe Relocation of Feral Cats - Alley Cat Allies


good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
THank you Whaler!

I read your link...I am afraid the biggest problem is this

Upon arrival at the new location, the cats must be confined in pre-installed large cages for three to four weeks. Confinement allows the cats to adjust to the environment in safety and to accept it as their new home. If set free upon arrival, all cats will attempt to return to their former home and will likely become lost.
...this is clearly not a possibility with the woman who wants to take them. I told her it was best for the cats to be confined for a day or two, and she said she has no place to confine them, and that she would have to release them right away.

In fact, I don't think anyone would be happy to have 2 feral cats confined for 4 weeks...unless it was someone like...me who would do whatever it takes for these feral kitties to be happy...
 

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I may be facing a similar problem. I have been "advised" not to feed cats outside traps being set by the Animal Control personnel. I am working with Alley Cat Allies (their headquarters is 30 minute from where I live, in Washington, DC) to try to difuse the situation.
Why are the people afraid of the cats? How social are the cats? Any chance they could meet /see the cats to know that the cats are more afriad of people than vice versa? Can you get a specific reason why they don't like the cats? In my case, one person really hated having paw prints on his car. Sometimes out of sight = out of mind; so I feed the cats behind the dumpster so as few people as possible see me feeding the cats. Ten cats are in my colony; I've TNRd around 30 since November 2010. Good luck, I know it's stressful.
 

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I can't speak really for your particular part of the world or this woman's home. I can share that when I was in high school we gave one of our barn cats to a friend who needed a mouser. The intent was to keep her inside at first so she could acclimate, but as we got out of the car she escaped and ran into the woods. Poor thing must have been so frightened by the car ride and finding herself in unfamiliar terrirtory. But my friend started leaving food out and she came around. I wouldn't call her feral though, as she was fully socialized and was actually born in our barn. Not sure this helps you, but thought I'd share it.
 

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Lenkolas, I know you want to do the right thing for your ferals, but I honestly think that if they can possibly stay where they are, in a place where they have developed a skill set to survive, it would be best for them.

If they aren't social, they will run from their relocation and try to return to where they came from, even if they don't know how to get there. I have kept ferals in an 8x8x8 cage for a month, and they still disappeared as soon as I released them. Older cats are particularly hard to retain in a colony. I've had better luck with cats aged 6 months to a year and a half. Overall, my success rate is only about 35-40 percent.
 

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Addendum: short version of long story: a cat a friend and I had been socializing for almost nine months and was ready to go to his new home freaked out when being put into a cat carrier; he escaped behind the eaves, then from the house. Two weeks later he showed up at the colony from where he was originally trapped, two miles away. Cats have long memories when it suits them.
(This had a happy ending; he was re-trapped, much more mellow this time around, and is now settled into his Forever Home.)
If you truly believe that death is the other possibility, then, yeah, the cats should probably have to be moved. Tough decision, I know.
 

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Speaking from several experiences of relocating you will loose half or more of them if you relocate them. Weve been forced to do that and did the 4 weeks in a pen, feeding them, and still lost some of them each time.

If you just relocate them by not using a cage for 3-4 weeks then you more than likely will loose all of them. So if this woman isnt will to do it with the pen then that isnt the place for the cats to be.

How threadening is the demand of removing them at your office? Have you tried to point out they keep rodents from the building? Relocating should always be the absolute last resort. I hope you find a solution.
 

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I wouldn't relocate unless absolutely necessary. It will cause more problems than it will solve for the kitties. What are the problems that people are having with the cats in their current location? Do people have specific complaints? Knowing what your fighting will help figure out alternative solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi all!
Thank you so much to each one of you for your advice. I'm sorry I didn't answer before.

I see your point about relocating only if it is absolutely necessary. Right now the problem with my ferals -mom cat and brother cat- is that many other cats have arrived probably because there's food available. So the people from offices nearby have started complaining about the cats because they are too many (I've counted 5 besides my ferals, 7 in total. And they fight a lot). But I've seen food and water in other offices, so there are people willing to feed them. I'm not alone. Or maybe it is guilt, if they were the ones who brought the cats there...

Anyway, I was almost convinced not to relocate mom and bro, when the woman sent me an email asking if the cats would be ok with the dogs she has in the country. That, besides the "I have no confined space to keep them" convinced me that there was no way this relocation would work. They will stay where they are. I'll start thinking about a new shelter for next winter.

Now I'm considering TNR the other cats. But I don't know for how long I can continue doing that. More cats keep coming (I believe people from other offices bring them and release them there -this place is some sort of an office complex) and at one point someone is going to get upset and start poisoning or something terrible like that. The problem, as usual, is people. They want to get rid of their cats and just throw them there, as long as the crazy cat lady keeps on feeding them they'll be ok. But then they are the first ones to complain about "all these homeless cats". :-(
 

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But for the country you are in, your situation sounds like mine, near Washington, DC. But I'm in a condominium complex, surrounded by apartments, with a high rate of evications/foreclosures. People move out and leave their cats behind. And there are lots of dumpsters for garbage, no end of food.
Are you familiar with the "vacuum effect": this happens when you remove a cat(s) only to have another cat(s) join the colony. Room for one more mouth.
I would start by TNRing all the cats you possibly can; that will at least cut down on the number of kittens. And you're right: if even one person feeds the cats, cats will keep on coming. Have you thought of trying to organize the people you think are feeding the cats? You need to limit/keep constant the amount of food you put out; if not enough food, the cats who want to join the colony will get hissed out (or worse) by the established members because of scarcity (relatively speaking) of food.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, I guess TNR the rest is the best thing to do now.

I have thought of organizing people and I have talked about it with the guys from our office, but some of them fear that if we start organizing things, we will become the "official" people in charge of the cats, and consequently the ones to blame for any cat-related issue. So they don't want to do it. They just want to continue quietly TNRing and feeding the cats.

Santiago (capital of Chile, my country) is a big city with 7 million inhabitants. You can imagine there are thousands of stray cats, and local authorities dedicate their efforts to trap and euthanize if they are not microchiped or wearing a collar. Besides that, nothing else is done. And there are heartless people -as all over the world- who have no problem abandoning their pets or newborn kittens. I don't know what you mean exactly when you say "...for the country you are in" (no offense taken) but I guess our situation as a country regarding stray cats is pretty much the same as any other place... the problem is, of course, there are few shelters and no cat sanctuaries or something like that. So abandoned cats are usually on their own.

Thank you all!
 

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What I meant by "but for the country you are in": only that this problem seems universal, people in all countries dump their cats.
I'm going to Greece on vacation in early October, and have made preliminary arrangements to help TNR some cats in Santorini and feed some feral cats in Athens.
For now, TNR is the way to go.....
Thanks for hanging in there.
 

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That's a tough one. It's the reason I don't feed ferals. I know I'd end up with too many. A lady at the park started feeding them and went from two to seventeen in no time flat. The one girl I do feed I feed because since getting the girls she'll sometimes be enticed to come close enough for me to monitor feeding. Is there any where you can lure them to eat so that food isn't left out attracting other cats? It won't stop others from feeding them, but that way when someone goes after YOUR babies, you can say - Nope, they eat in (fill in the blank) they are MY cats and aren't causing the problem.

ETA: I remember from your video of of one of your TNR's that you have a little enclosed patio. Is it possible to feed them there?
 
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