How To: Find New Homes for Outdoor Cats When You Move

I'm Punkin.  I'm good-looking AND talented!

I'm Punkin.  I'm good-looking AND talented!

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Hello Readers,

Note: there is an update on how Punkin's doing with his move, scroll down to the bottom of this post for more!

Around here, we've started a list of several new four-letter swear words, worthy of a contribution to our family Swear Jar.  

Are you ready for this?  

1. Move  

2. Pack  

3. Load  

Yes, it is summer and this is when the military moves us (again, for the 12th time...)

We're simultaneously dealing with a small crisis over what to do with our sweet outdoor kitty. We've been working on this issue for months and only just realized it was turning into a mini-crisis and that we needed to figure out something, STAT.  With restrictive Homeowner's Association rules at our next base, we're unable to keep taking care of him in the great outdoors. Boo, hiss. 

If you're finding yourself in the same boat, I have the website(s) for you!  

Check out BARNCATS Incorporated and their sister blog, BarnCatsLewisville.  Now this blog, which is run by a gal named Peg, is one of the funniest blogs I've run across in a long time. If you're at all involved in animal rescue, you will absolutely get Peg's rants ("I hate people!") Both sites have a lot of good information on how to find your outdoor kitty a good new home if you cannot take him/her with you when you move. There's also a comprehensive state-by-state listing of barn cat programs near you!  I was glad we found this site because I had no idea it took 2-4 weeks of confinement in a dog crate in a secure environment, like a barn, to get kitties acclimated to their new surroundings...otherwise they'll get scared and run away. I think this website saved our sweet boy's life, I would have done it all wrong due to lack of know-how!

At the time of this writing, no less than THREE of the cats who dine in style in my kitchen are the victims (most likely) of moves, when their people had to relocate and decided that it was OK to leave their poor cats behind in the neighborhood to fend for themselves..."Oh, they'll catch mice," I can imagine them saying.

No, they won't.  They will starve, get run over by a car, or get trapped by an uncaring neighbor and hauled off to the pound to be summarily executed. If they're super-lucky, a caring neighbor (*ahem*) will feed them and adopt them, or find a loving home for them elsewhere.

If you're moving and having a cat crisis like ours, know that you're in my prayers and that I am right there wringing my hands alongside you. There WILL be a wonderful new home for your cat, and there are TONS of great resources and friendly, helpful people to help you out in a pinch.  

Good luck & thanks for reading,

Sarah

UPDATED 7/31/2016:

We tried to place Punkin with a barn cat program, but unfortunately they forgot to mention that the barn he was destined for already had other cats on the property.  Big oops!  He's a fighter when it comes to other cats, not a lover. Luckily my parents live out in the country so we decided to give that a go.  We kept Punkin in a big dog crate (shown below) in the shade for about 3 weeks, with a plastic tarp over just the top portion of the crate to give him some protection from the rain while still allowing for air flow, and a litter box.  He didn't really show much interest in venturing out for about the first 2 weeks, and was kind of jumpy. By week 3 he was asking to come out though, and he's done fantastic! Other than a catfight and an episode of getting into some kind of stinging nettle that made his little eyes swell shut for 24 hours, he is doing great. Today he just caught his first rabbit which shows he's back to normal. 

~S.E.

My husband engineered the shelf for Punkin using the metal crate divider that came with this 30-inch-long dog crate...it works horizontally as well as vertically, as you can see!  Then he put down cardboard and an old car floor mat for comfort.  We gave Punkin this disposable litter box to use.  

My husband engineered the shelf for Punkin using the metal crate divider that came with this 30-inch-long dog crate...it works horizontally as well as vertically, as you can see!  Then he put down cardboard and an old car floor mat for comfort.  We gave Punkin this disposable litter box to use.