Rehoming Outdoor Ex-Feral

mxw1214

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Hi, I’ve posted a few times about my adventures the past year with a feral mom, her 4 kittens, TNR, and providing for them. After TNR, mom and 2 kittens stopped coming around. During the winter storms I brought 1 kitten inside to live, and the final kitten who did not go into the TNR trap, would still eat outside but did not let me touch him.
Finally in March we became friends. I took him to the vet and got him fixed, microchipped and vaccinated. Now he and his sister who is still living inside with me are about 9 months old. He loves to be around me, but he does not get along with his sister anymore and my older pet cat doesn’t like either of the kittens. He wasn’t properly socialized so I don’t think he trusts any people besides me. But since the other two cats I already have inside don’t get along with him or each other, I really can’t keep him inside - it’s too much. So he comes inside for periods of time and then goes back outside.
My friend said she will adopt him, and I was happy that I wouldn’t have to worry about him outside anymore. But I took him to my moms house while she was out of town to try to get him used to new surroundings, and it did not go well at all. He was very scared and climbed into the recliner and wouldn’t come out for 12 hours - and even after then I had to pull him out.
My question is whether he will adapt OK to moving in with my friend who is a stranger in a new home, and she lives in an apartment with no outdoor access. am supposed to take him to her (in another state) next weekend. I thought I would keep him inside all the time to get him used to that, but he cries a lot to go back out during the day. I am nervous he is going to struggle to adjust. But he is the sweetest cat I’ve met and so if he does adjust he will be an awesome family member for her and her partner. Will he be ok? Anything I should do to prepare him for the journey and/or changes that are coming?
 

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tyleete

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Handsome little fella. My only suggestion would be that if you do give him to your friend, that she not let him out. Especially for a while, or she will probably never see him again. A new place, and not knowing anybody there? He will probably try to escape and either get lost trying to find his way home to you, or get hurt but whatever's out there. And just because there's no outside access, doesn't mean he can't get outside.
I've never met a cat that didn't acclimate to the cozy indoor life, and that includes ferals. Each will be different at their own pace, but in my years of taking them in, they easily adjust.
And they will always go to hide right away in a new surrounding. If you're determined to give him to your friend, male sure you bring things with your scent on it to leave. Blankets, a favorite stuffed toy, etc. It might make it a little easier on him.
I've got and mother & daughter in my home that forgot each other in their short things apart and now can't stand each other. They live on opposite ends of the house now.😅
 

Xena44

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Hi, I’ve posted a few times about my adventures the past year with a feral mom, her 4 kittens, TNR, and providing for them. After TNR, mom and 2 kittens stopped coming around. During the winter storms I brought 1 kitten inside to live, and the final kitten who did not go into the TNR trap, would still eat outside but did not let me touch him.
Finally in March we became friends. I took him to the vet and got him fixed, microchipped and vaccinated. Now he and his sister who is still living inside with me are about 9 months old. He loves to be around me, but he does not get along with his sister anymore and my older pet cat doesn’t like either of the kittens. He wasn’t properly socialized so I don’t think he trusts any people besides me. But since the other two cats I already have inside don’t get along with him or each other, I really can’t keep him inside - it’s too much. So he comes inside for periods of time and then goes back outside.
My friend said she will adopt him, and I was happy that I wouldn’t have to worry about him outside anymore. But I took him to my moms house while she was out of town to try to get him used to new surroundings, and it did not go well at all. He was very scared and climbed into the recliner and wouldn’t come out for 12 hours - and even after then I had to pull him out.
My question is whether he will adapt OK to moving in with my friend who is a stranger in a new home, and she lives in an apartment with no outdoor access. am supposed to take him to her (in another state) next weekend. I thought I would keep him inside all the time to get him used to that, but he cries a lot to go back out during the day. I am nervous he is going to struggle to adjust. But he is the sweetest cat I’ve met and so if he does adjust he will be an awesome family member for her and her partner. Will he be ok? Anything I should do to prepare him for the journey and/or changes that are coming?
Tough one. Ferals can be tough little nuts. He did adjust to you. Hopefully that means he can adjust to someone else,even if it takes time. Bless your big kitty-hearted friend for saying she’d take him. My advice for transporting him to a new State and home would be to talk to his vet about tranquilization. Zylkene, feliway plug-ins and spray for the ride, rescue remedy for trauma. See if Jackson Galaxy has any ideas. He will definitely hide in his new home for a bit. give your friend tips on how to coax him out and make him feel more relaxed. What worked for you and him. Also, tell her to be super aware of open doors. being afraid in his new surroundings, he may bolt. Give her some items that smell like you. Line his carrier with one of your well worn, unwashed tshirts or sweatshirts. I would even give some of his used litter. familiar Smells will help him.
 
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mxw1214

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Handsome little fella. My only suggestion would be that if you do give him to your friend, that she not let him out. Especially for a while, or she will probably never see him again. A new place, and not knowing anybody there? He will probably try to escape and either get lost trying to find his way home to you, or get hurt but whatever's out there. And just because there's no outside access, doesn't mean he can't get outside.
I've never met a cat that didn't acclimate to the cozy indoor life, and that includes ferals. Each will be different at their own pace, but in my years of taking them in, they easily adjust.
And they will always go to hide right away in a new surrounding. If you're determined to give him to your friend, male sure you bring things with your scent on it to leave. Blankets, a favorite stuffed toy, etc. It might make it a little easier on him.
I've got and mother & daughter in my home that forgot each other in their short things apart and now can't stand each other. They live on opposite ends of the house now.😅
Great idea about the scent. I wish I could keep him - I just don’t know how to make it work with the other cats, and she is offering to give him a good home so I figured it’s probably better than him risking being outside, right? I will tell her not to let him out and warn her about hiding. He’s really good at hiding! Thank you.
 
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mxw1214

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Tough one. Ferals can be tough little nuts. He did adjust to you. Hopefully that means he can adjust to someone else,even if it takes time. Bless your big kitty-hearted friend for saying she’d take him. My advice for transporting him to a new State and home would be to talk to his vet about tranquilization. Zylkene, feliway plug-ins and spray for the ride, rescue remedy for trauma. See if Jackson Galaxy has any ideas. He will definitely hide in his new home for a bit. give your friend tips on how to coax him out and make him feel more relaxed. What worked for you and him. Also, tell her to be super aware of open doors. being afraid in his new surroundings, he may bolt. Give her some items that smell like you. Line his carrier with one of your well worn, unwashed tshirts or sweatshirts. I would even give some of his used litter. familiar Smells will help him.
Great suggestion on the tranquilizer. I will share all those tips with my friend. I’m just a little nervous because she has never owned a cat before and wanted a dog, but can’t have one in her apartment with no yard, so she decided to get a cat and I was thinking of rehoming him so it seemed serendipitous. I told her that if she has regrets to give him back to me instead of feeling stuck or giving him to the shelter or something.
 

Xena44

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Great suggestion on the tranquilizer. I will share all those tips with my friend. I’m just a little nervous because she has never owned a cat before and wanted a dog, but can’t have one in her apartment with no yard, so she decided to get a cat and I was thinking of rehoming him so it seemed serendipitous. I told her that if she has regrets to give him back to me instead of feeling stuck or giving him to the shelter or something.
Great that you’re willing to take him back. Hopefully this little guy will make her a kitty convert!
 

fionasmom

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How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
Introducing Cats To Cats – TheCatSite Articles

You may have read these, but your friend might find them useful. It is really good that you are willing to take him back. Since your friend does not exactly want a cat but is willing to give it a try, she has to be brought up to speed on a lot of cat care subjects. Very important that she mind the door, not let him out, expect that he is going to be scared and hide at first, and realize that this is a project that will take time. I always worry when cats are the "let's try it" pet but I have only ever dealt with ferals and strays and I have to say that everyone has adjusted completely to an indoor life. Right now, all six of my cats (the indoor only pets) are former ferals.
 
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mxw1214

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How To Prevent Your Cat From Darting Out The Door – TheCatSite Articles
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction – TheCatSite Articles
How To Get A Cat To Come Out Of Hiding? – TheCatSite Articles
10 Must-know Tips For Happy Living With A Shy Cat – TheCatSite Articles
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles
Introducing Cats To Cats – TheCatSite Articles

You may have read these, but your friend might find them useful. It is really good that you are willing to take him back. Since your friend does not exactly want a cat but is willing to give it a try, she has to be brought up to speed on a lot of cat care subjects. Very important that she mind the door, not let him out, expect that he is going to be scared and hide at first, and realize that this is a project that will take time. I always worry when cats are the "let's try it" pet but I have only ever dealt with ferals and strays and I have to say that everyone has adjusted completely to an indoor life. Right now, all six of my cats (the indoor only pets) are former ferals.
Thank you! I think at this point I am also trying to decide if he’s ready to go to a new home. For additional information, he spends a lot of time inside with me. He likes sleeping next to me and doesn’t mind me handling him. That’s why I was so surprised that he seemed so scared when I brought him to a new place...I also tried to introduce him to my neighbor outside but he ran off and wouldn’t let me near him when she was there.
I thought I would see if my sister comes over tomorrow, if he will let her pet him after some time. If not, I could either try to keep him longer and socialize him more with my sister or let my friend know it could take multiple weeks (or months?) before he will trust them. It took 6 months for him to trust me as a feral kitten.
Have you rehomed any of the ferals you took indoors? Have there been any problems if so?
 

Xena44

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I’m not at all surprised he would be pretty scared in a new place. Also not that he is scared of other people either. It takes a lot of trust for a feral to let in a person. And trust on 1 person doesn’t mean that that trust extends to others or new surroundings. I had a feral that bonded only to me. It took quite a while to gain her trust. She came up at night to visit me. Then stayed down stairs during the day. She was a love.
 

fionasmom

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I never rehome anyone as I am what is known as a "foster failure." Only an Akita years ago but it was because that breed is very often animal adverse and it was not going to work with my dogs and cats. However, I have taken in strays that were dumped occasionally and they all adjusted. The worst of it was most wanted back out for a while. They did not seem to understand that I might not be there the next time to drive the coyote off. Having said that, many many cats of all different personalities are not exactly anxious and willing to meet new people or go new places. I also have cats who are bonded only to me. I think you are trying to make some very careful decision for this boy which is good.
 
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mxw1214

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Thank you all! I’m going to let my friend know that there is a chance he will be tough to adjust, but that if she’s up to put in the work then that’s great but if not, that’s ok too. I think he will be ok eventually if she is open to working on him.
 
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