Should we take the Stray/Feral Cat when we move

geminigirl

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I have seen a few that ask this question but I am still a little worried on what to do. We have been taking care of 5-6 feral/stray cats for little over a year. 4 of them won't let us touch them or get too close but they are always there twice a day for food, water and treats. There is 1 that comes and goes and he lets us pet him and even comes in doors to prowl around (we think he belongs to another family even though we have named him Smokey) and then there is Bandit, the sweetest little girl and she is always there and lets us pet her and love on her (as long as you don't try to pick her up. She loves to be brushed and comes when you call her. We are moving this weekend and I really don't want to leave her behind but she doesn't like being indoors. When Texas had its winter storm a few weeks ago I refused to leave her outside. The first time she hid for almost 2 days and then once we found her she would pace around but did eventually find a bed that she liked and I guess felt safe. We have 2 indoor cats (not thrilled with bringing a new member in but they aren't mean to her) and then we have a 7 month old lab that Bandit doesn't like since he is big and playful. I worry about leaving her behind when we move since there aren't other neighbors that feed them consistently. But I also don't want to stress her out and make her miserable. We aren't moving far just about 15 min away. Any suggestions on if we should take her with us and if so how to acclimate her to our new home? I don't mid her being an indoor/outdoor kitty if needed or should I just leave her and pray for the best? We have taken her to the vet, she did really well traveling in the cat carrier and at the vet. She is up to date on all shots and we have a flea collar on her and I have been giving her heartworm pills monthly. She was already fixed (she had to marking on her ear) and the vet verified. I am super worried and have been stressing for a few weeks on what to do. Any help is greatly appreciated!!
 

daftcat75

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If she's relying on you for food, you should take her. If you take her, you should keep her indoors. If you let her out, it's going to be disorienting and she may try to get back to her old neighborhood. Especially if you aren't the only one currently feeding her. Cats are adjustable. Short-term stress will work itself out when the long-term benefits of finally having a furever home sit in with her. There are articles in the Articles section on how to introduce new cats to a home.
 
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geminigirl

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ok thank you, that makes me feel a little better. my plan was always to take her and then I just started second guessing myself thinking if she was outside she would try to find her way back and get hit by a car or something. we aren't moving far but we aren't close enough for her to find her way back. I will check out the articles for further help! :cheerleader:
 

shadowsrescue

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Please don't leave her behind. She will need an acclimation period at your new home. If you let her out right away she will only leave and try to return to her former territory. She will need to be kept inside for at least 3 weeks. Have a spare room for her where she can be safe. Outside is a very rough life for cats. Too many predators as well as humans and cars. She depends on you for food, shelter and companionship. It would be quite cruel to leave her behind.
 
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geminigirl

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Thank you for the responses! I will take her with us and yes, we have my daughters room (she isn't with us every day) or a guest room that we can put her in until we can get her more acclimated. we will need to get her used to the litter box and she will have a comfy bed to sleep on while she gets used to our new home! :whitecat::hearthrob:
 

shadowsrescue

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Yea!!! One quick tip. If you put her in a bedroom, try to keep the bed flat on the floor. She will most likely go under and it's so hard to get them out. This is only temporary until she adjusts.

Another alternative is to build her an outdoor catio. Someplace where she can get outside for fresh air, but it safe and cannot roam. If you google catio you will find lots of ideas.

Most cats will adjust to a litter box fairly easily. If she does have an accident, just sop of the urine and bury a section of the paper towel in the litter. The same for poo. Cats are attracted to their own scent.

We are here to help!
 

Ebsyn

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Thank you for the responses! I will take her with us and yes, we have my daughters room (she isn't with us every day) or a guest room that we can put her in until we can get her more acclimated. we will need to get her used to the litter box and she will have a comfy bed to sleep on while she gets used to our new home! :whitecat::hearthrob:
Make sure you pick up Litter Attractant when litter box training her. I swear it's worked with every feral cat that I've brought indoors. Also, just be prepared for her to be pissed and know she is probably going to go after your window blinds.

Source: Have feral cat inside now. Totally broke my plastic blinds.
 

fionasmom

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I am glad that you have decided to take her. You only had her inside for a short time in order to protect her and you might find that with a little more time she will adapt easily to being a house pet.
 
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geminigirl

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Make sure you pick up Litter Attractant when litter box training her. I swear it's worked with every feral cat that I've brought indoors. Also, just be prepared for her to be pissed and know she is probably going to go after your window blinds.

Source: Have feral cat inside now. Totally broke my plastic blinds.
Thank you! i will look for the attractant. i will just lift all the blinds in that room for now and see how she does. Our only other option would be to leave her in the garage and i don't like that idea as much. i just know we will have to be patient.
 

Talien

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In addition to either making sure the bed is flat on the floor or completely blocking off access to underneath it, keep a carrier in the room for her to hide in, preferably with a blanket or pillow in it. That will let her associate a carrier with a safe place and will make future vet trips so much easier on both of you. The downside (if you can call it a downside) is you'll need to leave it out all the time for her to have access to.
 

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Thank you! i will look for the attractant. i will just lift all the blinds in that room for now and see how she does. Our only other option would be to leave her in the garage and i don't like that idea as much. i just know we will have to be patient.
Hello G geminigirl and family, and welcome to TCS! Thank you for making the best decision! With other posters' suggestions and your wish to keep her, she's almost sure to become a beloved family member very quickly. Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist and host of Animal Planet's "MY CAT FROM HELL" as well as many YouTube videos, author and co-author of several books on cats and living with cats, and social media star, has a lot of great suggestions, many of which other posters have already listed.
If there are any "accidents" I recommend Nature's Miracle--JUST FOR CATS enzymatic cleaner, available at Petco.com and many other online and physical businesses. We've used it for years and it really works. It's safe for everyone, too. And I always leave my miniblinds about 8" up so that cats can see out of windows without having to fight with the blinds. No damage at all to any of the many minis here!
IMG_1966 (5).JPG

Elvis is enjoying "reading the paper" on his window seat. You can get these at Petco and most "pet" supply stores. We have two, and they get a lot of use.
Keep us informed, won't you? *And we LOVE pix here!*
 

neely

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Absolutely nothing to add to all the great advice from our members except that I'm also thrilled you will be taking Bandit with you. :cheerleader:

Here are some of the Articles that were referred to about helping a kitty adapt to a new home and a few others:
9 Tips That Will Help Your Kitten Adapt To A New Apartment – TheCatSite Articles
The Five Golden Rules To Bringing An Outdoor Cat Inside – TheCatSite Articles
How To Train Kittens To Use The Litter Box – TheCatSite Articles
How To Make Your Home Bigger (at Least For Your Cats) – TheCatSite Articles

Best of luck once you're moved in and settled, please post with updates as well as pics. :camera:
 
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geminigirl

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Thank you everyone for all the great advice and suggestions! we have been so busy with work and moving I wasn't able to post yesterday but I will keep everyone updated on her progress and journey! she really is a sweet little girl.
 

tarasgirl06

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Thank you everyone for all the great advice and suggestions! we have been so busy with work and moving I wasn't able to post yesterday but I will keep everyone updated on her progress and journey! she really is a sweet little girl.
Good luck, bless the work, and thank you! We all look forward to your UPdates.
 

Ebsyn

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Thank you everyone for all the great advice and suggestions! we have been so busy with work and moving I wasn't able to post yesterday but I will keep everyone updated on her progress and journey! she really is a sweet little girl.
Some days will be better than others. Just remember to give each other space + grace. All their actions are rooted in fear and will slowly get better over time.

The two girls posted up in my guest bedroom have been very difficult some days. I just take a breather and we try again. The progress have been very slow. But, just this morning the younger one allowed me to hold her without freaking out. Mom is finally swatting me without her claws. Sometimes, it's just the little things.

Good luck! I can't wait to see the updates.
 
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geminigirl

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Update: Day 3 of Bandit coming with us! She is acclimating very well, she finally used the litter box for the first time today. She stays close but is starting to warm up and even wanders the house when the puppy is outside. So happy I took her with us!
FE981BE9-E81C-431A-9C8A-707FAA785FA7.jpeg
 
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