Moving away from young feral

erin8159

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Hi there :)
I’ve been living in Hawaii for almost a year at the same house. There are tons of cat colonies in Hawaii, and they’re very well taken care of. I noticed a cat in my backyard (I live on 4 acres with lots of woods that back up to a cliff over the ocean - very isolated). I put out food and the cat started coming by. One day, I noticed the cat with a smaller cat. Both were very skittish, but we started sitting outside during feeding to encourage them to feel comfortable. The little one (not sure how old) started to get comfortable. Within a matter of weeks, she has become attached at the hip. She shows up for hours on end. She cuddles me. She even comes into the house when the doors are open and has a favorite spot. She’s our adopted feral cat.
However..
We have to move in one month. we didn’t know that this was the case when we started getting close to the cat (our landlord wants to rent the house out for the summer). Every day she gets closer to us. I spoke with a neighbor who agreed to continue feeding her, but I don’t know that he means it. Aside from hoping she continues to get cared for, I’m just really sad. I feel like she’s going to feel abandoned. She went from a feral cat to a semi house cat. She gets fed and cuddles and has toys and one day we’ll disappear and there’s no knowing if the next tenants will be cat people and love her like we do. Can we take her with us? Is that even more cruel? I don’t know what to do, but I am pretty torn up about it :(.
 

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di and bob

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I would just make sure she is taken care of and that should help. Periodically bring the neighbor a small gift and cat food. Talk to the new people or leave a note, that may help. If you buy a place, then you could maybe trap her and bring her, though it takes many months for them to get used to a new place and they must be confined during that time. I feel for you, but knowing for SURE she is being fed may help. If you can live trap her and keep her inside, that may help, but be aware it takes a long time and much patience, and would she be happy inside? The problem being feral though, and outside, is that there are many dangers for cats, much more outside. So you have to make a decision and stick with it, I feel for you, and bless you for thinking of her......
 

Norachan

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Take her with you. Find a new place that allows pets, get her spayed and vaccinated and take her with you.

All of mine started out as feral cats and now they're indoor-enclosure only cats. One of them has moved house with me three times over the past 12 years and she started off as a feral kitten that was living in a park and couldn't be touched at all.

We can give you plenty of tips on getting her used to being a house cat and moving her safely if you decide to do that.
 

di and bob

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Hi agree, if at all possible
Look how far she has come. She will be so scared and untouchable at first, but she already loves you. We will help.
I know from experience, the not knowing is the worst....
 

fionasmom

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A Canadian friend of mine vacationed in Hawaii on a plantation type resort that had a very large managed cat colony. One little female with a bad eye started to come in for breakfast, then hang out with them for the entire day, sleeping on their bed. They asked the colony manager if they could take the cat back to Canada, went to the Canadian embassy to get all the paperwork in order, and brought her back to Winnipeg. She made a very quick adjustment to having a real home and is an indoor only pet.

I have only ever adopted ferals and strays and all have adjusted. I think that you really need to consider taking her. She will feel abandoned if you leave her and I am always suspicious of those who offer to feed. Not that they are bad people, but many people believe that cats eat when cats eat and if they find a mouse, or are used for that purpose, that is sufficient food. I am currently feeding a TNRed feral at nearby apartment who someone "agreed to feed." Their idea of food turned out to be left over human food put out for the cat.
 

rubysmama

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Hello and welcome to TCS. :wave2: Just wanted to post with another vote to take her with you. She's pawsitively adorable, and clearly a wannabe indoor cat. All she needs is for you to make it official, and it seems you're almost there, since you posted "She’s our adopted feral cat". And because she comes in the house, and cuddles with you, you don't even have to worry about trapping her. Just get a cat carrier for the move, and you're all set.

Once you move to your new place, even if you plan to let her be indoor/outdoor, you will have to keep her inside for a period of time (weeks) so that she learns this is her new home, and doesn't try to return to her original home.

Here's a TCS article on The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside – TheCatSite Articles that might be helpful.
 

Furballsmom

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...and one more person who would dearly love to see you take this little sweetheart.

As mentioned, there are tons of things we can help with, including how to fly with a cat et al.

Can we take her with us? Is that even more cruel?
yes.

and no it's not cruel - cats are extremely resilient, and the most vitally important piece of the old vs new equation is you. She will adapt :heartshape:
 

KTpillar

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I currently have a cat in my house who has been outside for years. In just 3 weeks she is eating treats from my hand. Your little one sounds more than able to live the indoor life and move with you. Are you able to take the larger cat with you also?
 
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erin8159

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Wow, thank you all so much for your responses ❤. I appreciate it so much! Some other things that worry me about taking her with us...
She is a wild cat with 4 acres of land in Hawaii. It’s not cruel to remove her from that environment? She’s at our house every night but not sure how she spends her time during the day.
She is sometimes with the original, very skittish and larger cat - is it possible that cat is her parent? Is that traumatic or harmful to either of them to separate?

thank you ❤❤❤
 

Norachan

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Cats don't range over such a large area. Particularly once they've been spayed/neutered. Even if she had access to that much space she would probably choose a few favourite spots that she thought of as safe and stick to them.

If she seems very unhappy indoors you could harness train her or build her a catio, but she's probably going to be content indoors with a nice window seat to watch the world go by from.

The larger cat could be her parent. Are cats in your area TNR'd? Even if the older cat is too feral for you to consider bringing with you it would make a huge difference to his/her life if you could get this cat fixed and vaccinated too.

I have a 12 year old female and her 10 year old daughter with me. They were very close until the kitten got to about a year old, but these days they just ignore each other. You get closer relationships between siblings, but not always between parents and kittens.

It would be wonderful if you could give both cats a home, but if that's impossible please don't think you have to leave the friendlier one behind because of her relationship with the older cat. I think she'd be much better off with you, all things considered.
 

Mr. Meow

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I agree. Younger cats tend to adjust better as they're still learning what's good, what's bad, where will I get food and water etc. If they're doing that learning in a safe, loving home where they don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, they start to use that time to just be a cat.
If you're still worried about taking her from a wide open space and having her in a house, I'll second both the harness training and the catio. If one or both of those options aren't viable, you can still do many things to stimulate her both mentally and physically. Access to high spaces and "secret" hiding spots, food puzzles, clicker training, use a real piece of a tree as a scratching post or even something as simple as putting outside dirt/leaves/grass/straw in a box or baby pool and let her roll and jump around in it so she still gets all of the smells from the outdoors on her.
2 of my 5 were feral and now they want no part of going outside *cough spoiled cough*
 
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erin8159

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UPDATE.. so we had decided this little girl was coming home with us. The way we went out and got her crate, she disappeared 🥺. We haven’t seen her for three nights and I’m heartbroken. We leave the island in 9 days..

anyone know why a semi-feral cat would take off and not return? Besides assuming the worst.. 😥

any tips on getting her back or stories of returned ferals would be greatly appreciated! Hoping for a miracle ❤
 

Norachan

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Has she been spayed? The most obvious reason for her to take off is that it's spring and it's mating season.
Have any new cats been seen in the area? Sometimes larger, more dominant cats can scare the residents away.

Feral cats do take off and then return, sometimes weeks later.
 
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erin8159

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Has she been spayed? The most obvious reason for her to take off is that it's spring and it's mating season.
Have any new cats been seen in the area? Sometimes larger, more dominant cats can scare the residents away.

Feral cats do take off and then return, sometimes weeks later.
She was not spayed 🥺 we had just made the appointments to get all that taken care of
 

Norachan

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You mentioned in your other thread that a few new cats have been around. I guess she's in heat and that has attracted new males to the area. Cat heat cycles last for a couple of days, so she'll probably come back once she's mated.

It would be a good idea to go ahead and get her spayed as soon as you can, even if she has mated.
 
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erin8159

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You mentioned in your other thread that a few new cats have been around. I guess she's in heat and that has attracted new males to the area. Cat heat cycles last for a couple of days, so she'll probably come back once she's mated.

It would be a good idea to go ahead and get her spayed as soon as you can, even if she has mated.
i definitely will! she got away just as we decided to make it all official. i'm just hoping she comes back before we have to move, but happy to hear people thinking it's likely just that she found herself a mate and isn't in any real danger ❤
 
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