Feel Bad Rehoming Stray in Yard

lesliel76

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Hi group I guess I'm just looking for a little support.

I live in Brooklyn NY and have a cat thats in my yard that used to lived in a store but now lives outside. I started feeding him because I was told he was lost and I trapped him and brought him back to the store, but the next day he was outside again. They tell me at the store he wants to stay outside which is true as he's very happy out there.

I've been feeding him now bc he knows where the food is, but never intended to keep him. I already have 4 cats in a 1 bedroom apartment. Of course it's irresponsible of the store to just let him go I wish they would of set up a feeding him and a shelter for him, but thats besides the point. He kind of just became mine and I'm attached already even though he's not super friendly or even lets me touch him.

I found a home for him 2 hours away in the country on a farm with a women who heads an animal organization. I havnt seen it yet but seems like a great fit as he can be outside there is 10 acres ro roam and a barn for shelter, along with other cat friends if he wants.

I set up the trap and hes eating out of it...will be pulling the trigger on Wednesday. He has a vet check up that day then he will spend one night in my basement in the trap. Which I hate doing and feel so bad and have anxiety over this. Then I drive him to his new home the next day....more anxiety!

Being semi feral he needs to hang out for 2 weeks or so in a confined area so he knows its his new home. She has a room in the barn she does this. Feeling more guilt about this. Like he will be so unhappy.

I'm starting to rethink this and if I'm making the right choice aboit all I am going to put him through and beating myself up for not keeping him.

Just looking for a little support that I'm doing right by him even thought he's is going to hate me and feel betrayed.
 

fionasmom

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Forget the fact that you ever wrote paragraphs 5 - 7. It can be extremely anxiety provoking to trap a cat and do all the follow up no matter what the circumstances. I have been doing it for years and still get anxious about it. I believe that you are doing the right thing for this cat and have done a lot of extra footwork in order to assure him a better life. To me, it sounds as if he lives in a place that might not be that safe and that his life on the farm will be a huge improvement.

I have never had to relocate a cat in that kind of circumstance despite having had to clear out a colony which was in danger. Keep him covered when he is in the trap as it will make him more relaxed. I have had to leave ferals in traps overnight in certain circumstances and with the more wild ones I know that my vet puts them back in the trap after they are fixed and they stay there until I get them.

I am sure that others will have more advice/ opinions. You have tried very hard to help this cat.
 
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lesliel76

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Thank you Fionasmom

This helps me to hear your support. I guess I need to just talk it through and hear that encouragement to follow it through.

I came to the conclusion today that its like I fostered him and he's now going to his better home. Its stressful because I'm making all the decisions by myself but my end goal is to make sure he has a good and happy life so how could what Im doing be wrong. This is what I keep telling myself anyways! Lol

These things are hard you get emotionally attached and yes trapping is stressful. There's so many elements at play I worry about so much I definitely have anxiety around it. Will be happy when that part is done.
 

Joan M

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I think you're doing the best thing for him even though he may not understand it. Living outside in Brooklyn is not a cat-friendly life and a farm is. There is a caring woman there who will give him what he needs in a way which will not take away his outside freedom, which he seems to want. It sure sounds like the best situation for him. Not many cats in Brooklyn will ever get a chance like this. And you already have multiple cats, and it would be risky for everyone to bring a semi-feral into the mix. I understand you may feel you're being mean because you can't explain it to him, and you may have a rough night with him in the trap, but you are doing the best thing for him.

When I brought in a neighborhood feral, she spent weeks just sleeping in a hidden place in my basement, coming out at night when I was not around. I thought I had done something wrong by bringing her in, but I finally realized it was the first time she didn't have to be on high alert at all times, and she was crashing. She needed that sleep. On her own time, she came out. When he is put into a room, that is probably how he will feel too. He will get to know the room quickly and then feel safe and comfortable in it, like he was in the store. Then he will be ready to come out and discover his new world.

I think you are doing the right thing. And he is one lucky ex-store cat to have someone like you who cares.
 

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Rescuing always makes us worry. The thing is, it is a rescue. It sounds like you are maxed out in your apartment but found him a great place. Weigh it out. Is he better living where he is and at risk or where he can have a guardian and safe haven for life? Maybe it would make you feel better if you visit the farm or get assurance that you can come and check on him later. Ask the lady if that’s okay. Get it in writing if you need to. Do whatever it takes to put your mind at ease that he is going to be happy later. Anxiety plays tricks on our emotions and we hesitate to let go when we have bonded. We always need to do what is best for the kitty. You care so much! Can you imagine him being able to chase butterflies or cuddle a friend kitty one day? A warm barn of hay in the winter? Try to focus on the life he could have later. You will give him a longer and better quality of life if he isn’t trying to survive outside. Feeding him helps but home for life is better. Thank you for being there for him! I wish everyone would make the effort to do what you are doing. We could make sure no kitty was alone if everyone took part. :heartshape:
 
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lesliel76

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Thank you both Joan M and Jcatbird.

I will be rereading these post the next few days to give me strength. Its silly but I need it right now.

Everything you said is true and I need to just remember that.

I am for sure going to ask if she can give me an update or 2 in the following weeks. I know she is busy because she is the head of the organization but I had planned on asking anyways.

I told myself too that if I bring him there and I am not comfortable with the place that I would find another home for him. I googled mapped it and looked at the address on home selling sites lol so I was able to see the house and barn that way.....it looked pretty good.

Ok I am just going to keep going. I think the lead up is worse than me actually doing it. One step at a time is what im telling myself.

Thanks for the support this group is amazing.
 
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lesliel76

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Also I am maxed out with my cats and keep telling myself I have to matter in the equation too.

I have one cat that almost died a couple months back that I'm still giving meds to 2 times a day. Plus 2 senior cats that need meds 2 times a day. Its kind of a lot. Not to mention the cleaning upkeep that you need to so for a small space.
 

Joan M

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You're not being at all silly, you are being very concerned and caring. And you are right, You need to matter in the equation too, along with your current cats. You're doing great.
 

35 year catdad

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I used Natures Miracle calming spray when I moved and sprayed the cage and towel that I draped over cage and it WORKED.
Then I sprayed the new place well for the first night but Martin cried real loud all night.anyway.....hes a cry baby with a scary past it seems. I rescued him ate age 6 from a high kill shelter.
Found it at Chewys on sale for gosh 3 dollars a bottle. It smells nice to me too! Its non sedating and smells like flower extracts.
I gave some to a friend who does TNR for her communtiy cats when she traps them for spay/neutering.
Just the fact that you posted here shows your a great catmom!
 
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lesliel76

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I used Natures Miracle calming spray when I moved and sprayed the cage and towel that I draped over cage and it WORKED.
Then I sprayed the new place well for the first night but Martin cried real loud all night.anyway.....hes a cry baby with a scary past it seems. I rescued him ate age 6 from a high kill shelter.
Found it at Chewys on sale for gosh 3 dollars a bottle. It smells nice to me too! Its non sedating and smells like flower extracts.
I gave some to a friend who does TNR for her communtiy cats when she traps them for spay/neutering.
Just the fact that you posted here shows your a great catmom!
You read my mind! I was thinking yesterday that I would get one of those plug in Feliway diffusers with cat pheromones for when he is in the basement and then leave it with him when I drop him off. Those work wonders. Going to see what they got for sprays too at the store. Im putting together a goodie bag to leave with him. I have a bag of litter, can food, going to pick up a tub of catnip, I have a soft pad for him to lay on both in the trap and then a bigger soft pad to leave with him. Going to get him some toys I already know he likes...like those big banana cat nip things. Anything to make him more comfy and help his transition.
 

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I have trapped and relocated a lot of cats, in fact just moved last week with a feral to my new place. I get sick to my stomach and get anxiety over EVERY one of them. You are not alone. Just keep telling yourself he is going to a better place. My feral is in a 10x20 pen for a few weeks and I feel so sorry for him, even though I know he would have starved if I would have left him and have no place to go in the winter. Bless you.
 
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lesliel76

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I have trapped and relocated a lot of cats, in fact just moved last week with a feral to my new place. I get sick to my stomach and get anxiety over EVERY one of them. You are not alone. Just keep telling yourself he is going to a better place. My feral is in a 10x20 pen for a few weeks and I feel so sorry for him, even though I know he would have starved if I would have left him and have no place to go in the winter. Bless you.
Thank you it helps to know this is a normal anxiety. My stomach is totally not good. The anticipation way worse than actually doing it I think.
 
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lesliel76

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Ok you guys are going to get updates because it makes me feel better lol. He was trapped this morning no problem. He's not happy of course.

Won't eat or drink not even a treat and is just kind of in the back of the trap has not moved since. I dont blame him. I have a calming plug in by him and I got thay comfort spray too so thats all I can do for now.

We go to the vet in about an hour. Hope they don't give me any crazy news.

So far so good! I know I will look back on this a few days from now and wonder why the hell i freaked out but I guess sometimes you just feel what you feel!
 
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lesliel76

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Yeah I got some bummer news at the vet he has FIV...but I called the lady and she said she very familiar with it and is ok with it. So I was happy to hear! Its good hes going to someone who knows cats.

His mouth wasnt great shape but they said could be due to FIV. He got a steriod shot and antibiotics shot along with flea treatment (I suspected fleas) and his vaccines.

I'm feeling much better about my decision he needed medical care and would have probably declined if I never did anything. They said he was pretty friendly while out of the cage which makes me want to let him out but I dont want to sacrifice not being able to get him again.

He won't eat yet but hes been through a lot today so I'm letting him chill and leaving alone.

Just have one more step tomorrow! Thanks again for listening and letting me vent. I dont like to burden my friends and family with my crazy cat stuff. Plus their response would probably be to just not help and I cant do that!
 

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He is very lucky that you intervened for him as all of this would have become much worse as time passed. Let him rest....this has been a hugely exhausting day for him with a lot being done that might affect his appetite. Tomorrow he goes to his new home?
 

moxiewild

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I just wanted to say, you might seriously consider talking to the woman about keeping him confined for at least 3 weeks.

I’ve relocated a lot of ferals and colonies, and I consider 3 weeks to be really pushing the confinement period - I would never even consider a two week confinement unless the cat was already well socialized. The two times I did only three weeks, I lost almost half the colony, and I will never forgive myself for it.

I generally recommend 4 weeks minimum. The longer it is, the less likely he is to run away upon release.

I find longer confinement’s to be particularly necessary when there is a drastic change in environment (Brooklyn and a farm couldn’t be more different!) and when the caretaker at the new location will also be completely new and unfamiliar to the cat(s). There’s just more “convincing” that needs to be done, usually.

Try to push for 3-4 weeks. A little longer if she’s willing.

Otherwise, I whole heartedly agree with everything that’s been said. There is only so much we can do in these situations, and it sounds like you’ve already saved his life more than once now! It definitely sucks trapping and keeping them confined, but you just have to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing, and why it’s in kitty’s best interest.

Good luck!
 

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It sounds like it's going really well. Based on how long it took my cat to acclimate to a totally new environment, I think Moxiewild's advice of keeping him confined longer is good. Of course, ultimately that's not up to you, but maybe the new caretaker will be open to that idea. So glad you helped him with some medical issues, too.
 
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