Moving Feral Cats

maryanncatlady

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I have two feral cats trapped in my house. They've been inside for a couple of years now, ever since a family of bobcats moved into a vacant lot two lots down the street. We are planning to move away in two years. I know a lot can happen in that time, but I want to figure out now what to do/how to go about moving them so that I am prepared. I can pet the cats, but I can't get them in a cat carrier. How do I move them? (We also have two domesticated cats in our home. All four cats are male.)
 
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maryanncatlady

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I have two feral cats trapped in my house. They've been inside for a couple of years now, ever since a family of bobcats moved into a vacant lot two lots down the street. We are planning to move away in two years. I know a lot can happen in that time, but I want to figure out now what to do/how to go about moving them so that I am prepared. I can pet the cats, but I can't get them in a cat carrier. How do I move them? (We also have two domesticated cats in our home. All four cats are male.)
I should add that both are neutered and have their shots. We have a traveling vet who comes to our house with a big net when it's shot time. Prior to keeping them inside year round, we used to trap them inside for the winter. The vet came every spring before we let them outside again.
 

shadowsrescue

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I would ask the vet for some gabapentin. It makes the cat kind of loopy. I have used it to get feral cats that now live inside my house to the vet. It often takes 2 doses ( one the night before and one the next morning). I have then been able to scoop the cat up and put directly into the carrier.

Another option is to get a larger carrier. I use dog kennels that are at least 26"x26". They are longer and taller. You can start by taking the door off and then begin feeding the cats in the carrier. Once they are eating in their comfortably, you can attach the door. Just be sure if you are feeding them in the carrier, that they get used to you being close by. I used a large mesh carrier one time. It was like a large box. I would feed my feral in the carrier and sit next to him as he ate. When it was vet day, I put a small amount of food in the back of the carrier. I then used a sturdy chair cushion to block the exit and then zipped it up.

Here is the mesh carrier I used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047QDRYE/?tag=thecatsite


I also used this one for a smaller cat https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008AGV63G/?tag=thecatsite

This one was great as well IRIS Deluxe Travel Dog & Cat Kennel, Navy, Medium - Chewy.com

I moved 3 feral cats and 3 inside only cats 3 years ago. The feral cats had been living outside in shelters for a number of years. 2 months before I moved I was able to get them inside and into a room before moving. They now all live inside. Vet visits are impossible without gabapentin and large carriers.
 
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maryanncatlady

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I
I would ask the vet for some gabapentin. It makes the cat kind of loopy. I have used it to get feral cats that now live inside my house to the vet. It often takes 2 doses ( one the night before and one the next morning). I have then been able to scoop the cat up and put directly into the carrier.

Another option is to get a larger carrier. I use dog kennels that are at least 26"x26". They are longer and taller. You can start by taking the door off and then begin feeding the cats in the carrier. Once they are eating in their comfortably, you can attach the door. Just be sure if you are feeding them in the carrier, that they get used to you being close by. I used a large mesh carrier one time. It was like a large box. I would feed my feral in the carrier and sit next to him as he ate. When it was vet day, I put a small amount of food in the back of the carrier. I then used a sturdy chair cushion to block the exit and then zipped it up.

Here is the mesh carrier I used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0047QDRYE/?tag=thecatsite


I also used this one for a smaller cat https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008AGV63G/?tag=thecatsite

This one was great as well IRIS Deluxe Travel Dog & Cat Kennel, Navy, Medium - Chewy.com

I moved 3 feral cats and 3 inside only cats 3 years ago. The feral cats had been living outside in shelters for a number of years. 2 months before I moved I was able to get them inside and into a room before moving. They now all live inside. Vet visits are impossible without gabapentin and large carriers.
Thanks for your suggestions.

I’ve tried sedating one of them for a vet visit before. The vet gave me a pill to use before she visited. I’m not sure if it was gabapentin. I put it in a pill pocket as directed, but the cat ate everything except the pill. The same happened when I tried it in food.

I’ve thought about asking the vet if she can tranquilize them by injection after catching them in her net, but then the problem will be catching the second cat when he sees/hears what happened to the first.

Hence the reason I’m asking my question 2 years early.

I’ll look into your carrier suggestions. With two years to get them eating in one, I might be able to succeed.
Thank you!
 

shadowsrescue

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If you can get them into an empty room it makes it much easier. I had to drug 3 of them to get them to my new house. Ask the vet for 100mg gabapentin capsules. Don't open the capsule. I wrap mine in cheese or plain cooked chicken. I offer a few pieces of the chicken or cheese first and then slip in the one with the capsule. For my boys it takes 2 100 mg ( one at night and one the next morning).

It's great to prepare so far in advance. I knew we were going to move about a year ahead of time. Once we found the house, I had so much to do to get them ready. I first had to get them inside my house and upstairs to an empty bedroom. Then I had a mobile vet come and give them vaccines and tests for FIV and FELV. They had already been neutered. Then I had to move them to my new house. It would not have been possible without the gabapentin.

Another thought is to use a mobile vet. Have the cats in an empty room and ask a mobile vet to come and lightly sedate them for the move. I was shocked that the mobile vet did not charge as much as I thought. Just be sure they are ok working with semi feral cats.
 

fionasmom

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I have two indoor ferals. One is 16 and one is 9, although I am not moving currently but do understand where you are coming from. My cats like deli meats and will usually take a pill that way, sort of a little pill package. Failing that, use anything that might encourage them to take the pill. Whatever it is will not be their regular food, so it is not going to hurt them unless it contains ingredients specifically bad for cats. .
 
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