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How To Acclimate A Feral Cat To A New Home

Have You Found A Stray Cat Or Litter Of Kittens Here Are Some Resources That May Help

How to move a feral cat to a new house

Stray and Feral Kittens are an Epidemic: Between the months of March and September, every shelter in the region will be overrun with kittens, both orphaned litters and those with a mother. Many of these litters are either strays or ferals. Neither one has a legal owner however, the difference between a stray cat or a feral cat is that a stray cat is accustomed to people and a feral cat has lived in the wild and has been self-sufficient with little to no contact with people. For more information on caring for neonatal kittens,

Stray cats can often be socialized and then adopted. Feral cats generally cannot be easily socialized and adopted. However, kittens under four-months old can often be socialized and adopted even if born to feral cats.

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Use Technology To Your Advantage

A very simple method of making the cat feel safe is by using your cellphone. You can play a video of meowing cats, and place your phone in the carrier. This will make cats feel secure and less lonely.

If the cat is a mother, she may think her kittens are calling for her, so she would quickly enter the carrier.

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Spay Or Neuter Please

Speaking of adoption and shelters, please make sure your new cat or kitten is spayed or neutered to avoid contributing to the cat overpopulation problem with an unexpected litter.

Spaying or neutering also has significant health and behavioral benefits, such as preventing certain types of cancer and eliminating behaviors associated with mating, like yowling or trying to escape from the safety of your house when in heat.

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Determine If There Is A Mother Cat

Dont kitten nap! Resist your instinct to scoop up abandoned kittens right away. Even though they are adorable and helpless! It may seem counter-intuitive, but the best thing to do for the kittens is not to move them.

Keep an eye on them and see if a mother cat comes for them. Mom cats move their kittens often and she may be in the midst of moving them and on her way back to these seemingly abandoned kittens. Or she may be out looking for food. It is not unusual for a mom to leave her kittens for several hours looking for food. Stand at least 30 feet or more away from the kittens for a few hours to see if mom will return.

If you move the kittens, she wont be able to find them and continue to care for them.

If there is a mother cat, is she nursing and caring for the kittens? Its best to leave them with mom until theyre weaned.

Kittens begin to nibble at wet food at 4 weeks of age and are fully capable of eating on their own at 6 weeks. . Ideally mother and kittens should be provide with a shelter in a safe environment: a garage, outdoor cat house, or bathroom if the person is able to bring them indoors, until the kittens can eat on their own.

If you see no visible health problems , go ahead and leave food out for the mom and continue to monitor her as she cares for her kittens until they are eating solid food and are 5-6 weeks old.

For help determining the age of the kittens you are looking at, check out

Can Feral Kittens And Cats Be Tamed

How to Acclimate a Cat to a New Home

Feral kittens can usually be tamed if they are rescued young enough AND they are socialized properly. Feral kittens should begin their socialization as young as possible . When rescuing feral kittens outdoors, its ideal to rescue them at 4-5 weeks of age. At this age, they can usually be taught quickly how to eat on their own and socialize fairly quickly . In general, the younger the kittens are when first socialized, the better the chances are that they will not be fearful of people and will transfer their trust to multiple people. These kittens typically become wonderful, loving pets.

Feral kittens should be placed in adoptive homes soon after socialization, if possible, because some feral kittens, especially those captured at an older age, tend to bond with one person. Kittens who are rescued at over 6 weeks of age who have had little or no physical or social contact with humans may not be completely domesticated, although some younger ones may be fully socialized with patience. Sometimes older feral kittens or young feral adults who have become tame and loving with one person can revert to a wild state when placed in a new home. It can take months for these kittens and cats to bond with the new caretaker.

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On Moving And Relocating Outdoor And Feral Cats: A Quick And Dirty How

For some reason, my email inbox gets more play on the issue of moving outdoor and feral cats than just about anything else .

People perhaps view me as someone who would actually know more about moving and relocating felines than the average Joe. And thats probably true. However, Id be willing to bet that more than a handful of Dolittlers regular readers are far more attuned to this topic than Ill ever be.

Yet as someone whos had cause to move ferals around when their habitats were being destroyed , Ill provide you my two pennies in this post. Here goes

The one thing you can rely on is that cats will generally stay around their new location as long as theres food to be had and there isnt any more competition for it than there was before.

That goes for moving the tamer variety outdoor kitty, too. While it may be stressful to move cats from one outdoor environment to another, and though some attrition may well take place , the majority of cats will comply with your human interventions.

Nonetheless, here are a few helpful suggestions to those of you considering a move and electing to move your outdoor adoptees along with you.

1-Consider: Are these cats truly feral or the sweet outdoor types who happened to adopt your porch as their territory?

2-Outdoor kitties who can be picked up and lugged around but whom youve been unable to bring inside for whatever domestic reasonare the ideal candidates for relocation when moving to a new home. But consider:

Say more…

Adopting A Stray Cat Into Your Home

If you are set on adopting this stray cat into your home, and you know they do not belong to someone, then you can begin the transition process. But, before you transition the outdoor stray cat into a domesticated pet, it is essential that you earn the cats trust, bring them for a vet for a checkup and have all the necessary cat supplies ready.

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Home Sweet Home: How To Bring An Outside Cat Indoors

You may think that cats have to go outside to be happy. But cats would disagree with you

Actually, close to two-thirds of owned cats live indoors either exclusively or for a majority of the time. Cats can live a happy and healthy life indoors with their families.

Allowing your cats to roam outdoors can significantly shorten their lives. Potentially deadly dangersparasites, catching diseases from other cats, being hit by cars, stolen by strangers, attacked by predators, or just plain getting lostare constant threats to an outdoor cat. And cats themselves can be deadly to local wildlife.

So how do you keep kitty both safe and happy inside? Follow our suggestions:

Choosing A Veterinarian For Your Cat

How to acclimate barn cats

Youll need to find a veterinarian preferably before you bring your cat home. This way, youll know who to contact if your furry friend gets sick or hurt unexpectedly. Remember: even indoor-only cats can get injured. Plus, your cat will need regular check-ups, annual dental cleanings, vaccines, and other routine preventive care.

Need help finding a vet? Use our Vet Finder to search for one in your area.

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Help Your Cat Get Used To A Carrier

Tamed outdoor cats can get used to a carrier with some patience. Put your carrier outside with a few treats or your cat’s favorite blanket or toy. Over time, outdoor scents will overcome the carrier’s strange, new scents and your cat won’t find it so scary. He might even start taking naps in the carrier.

Remember to use a carrier that attaches to a seatbelt in your car so your kitty will stay safe while you’re driving to your new home. A Travel Safety Carrier or Mod Capsule are both great options.

If your cat is a little too wild to get into a carrier, you might look into using a safe trap designed especially for cats. Leave food inside the trap to tempt your kitty the trap automatically closes once he’s safely inside.3

Remember: when you’re traveling in the car to your new destination, keep the music low and talk soothingly to your cat. And don’t let him out of the carrier when you’re on the road.

How To Help A Semi

The creatures we befriend arent always the easiest to love. Many of the cats who need us the most havent had loving and supportive histories. Many may have been abused, neglected, or abandoned before coming into our lives. Semi-feral means a cat has been socialized to some extent but remains largely untrusting and skittish. Welcoming a semi-feral cat into your home and family will require extra work and patience. Here are 8 tips to make the transition easier on both of you.


#1 Respect BoundariesOne of the best ways to build trust in a semi-feral cat is to respect her boundaries. By paying attention to her reactions to your attention you can show her that you understand and care about how she feels. Itll be easier for her to relax once she believes you will go at her pace and respect her cues.

#2 Create safe spaceBeing contained in an unfamiliar home can be very stressful for a skittish cat. You can help her feel more comfortable by starting her off in a contained safe space that gives her easy access to all of her essential needs . Keeping her in a small room initially will help her become quickly familiar and comfortable with her immediate environment while she takes in all of the sounds and smells of your home.



#5 PlayCats love to play, and most cant resist the allure of a laser pointer or wiggly wand toy. Playing with a semi-feral cat is a great way to help her associate you with happiness and fun.

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What Will You Provide

  • A warm, secure, dry barn or building in which the cats can live out their lives
  • The commitment and ability to keep the cats confined to a crate or exercise pen with a wire top for four to five weeks to acclimate them to their new environment before release
  • A clean litter box that is scooped and/or cleaned daily while confined
  • A constant supply of dry food and fresh water. While confined and for a short while after release, you will provide a small amount of canned food daily. What cat can resist that?
  • Monitoring and providing for the safety and well-being of the cats as their caretakers
  • Spending time daily making verbal contact with the cats so that they become familiar with you

Let The Cat Make The First Move

How to Acclimate Your Cat to a New Home

Ignoring an animal that you are trying to socialize may seem like silly advice, but according to Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, snubbing a semi-feral kitty will pique its curiosity and force it to make the first move.

Cats are animals that seek pleasure and attention. If they are used to people, then they want that attention.

Becky Robinson

Waiting for the cat to reach out to you, then providing a positive interaction, will show it you can be trusted.

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How To Earn The Trust Of A Stray Cat

This article was co-authored by Molly DeVoss. Molly DeVoss is a Certified Feline Training and Behavior Specialist , a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant , a Fear Free Certified Trainer , and the Founder of Cat Behavior Solutions. Molly specializes in using positive reinforcement to modify and prevent unwanted behaviors in cats and reduce cat shelter surrender. Molly has sat on the Dallas Animal Advisory committee since 2013 and was voted one of the Top 12 Extraordinary Cat Behaviorists of 2020 by She is certified by both the Animal Behavior Institute and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also the host of the weekly podcast Cat Talk Radio.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 24 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 410,964 times.

Earning the trust of a stray cat can be a difficult but rewarding process. If you see a stray in your neighborhood that you feel compelled to take in, you must first learn to engage with him in a way that is non-threatening. Know the facts about cat behavior, and what to do and not to do when interacting with strays.

Easy Steps For Bringing A Stray Cat Home

by BEN B | Mar 13, 2017 | Adoption |

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Thinking about bringing home a stray cat? Before you do, make sure you follow a few steps to keep everyone safe in your home! When a stray cat comes around a home, many people will feed him and try to make him comfortable. What starts out as a humanitarian effort often becomes a desire to adopt the wayward kitty. I recently came across a question about how to bring a stray cat into the home, so I thought it was the perfect topic to talk about today.

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Keep Your Cat Inside At First

Once you reach your new home, don’t just release your cat into the wild. Your kitty will be nervous and scared with all the new smells, sights, and sounds. Keep your cat indoors for at least a few days, with frequent meals so he can quickly establish some happy memories at your new home.

A great place to keep your cat for this time is the garage. The Outdoor Kitty House is an excellent way to transition your cat to the outside. It comes in heated and unheated versions so you can choose the best option for your climate. When you’re ready to move your cat outside, move the house outside too. This gives your cat some consistency in his new environment. Other places you may want to keep your cat include the laundry room, an enclosed patio, or a bathroom. Just make sure the room is safe and it won’t get too hot or too cold.

Phase 5 Integration Complete

How To Introduce A Cat To Its New Home
  • You may notice some occasional hissing, swatting and grouchy behaviour over the next few months . This is normal. Cats are hierarchical by nature and must establish and affirm the pecking order within your household. Plus, much like humans, all cats have the occasional off day.

Please note: The 5 phases detailed above offer only approximate timelines. Some integrations may proceed faster or slower and integration is dependent on the personalities of the cats involved. Remember, you know your cat best. Use common sense and patience when integrating a new cat or cats.

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Important Information: How To Acclimate A Barn Cat To A New Home

  • The important thing in the acclimation process is to keep the kitty confined in a safe area for a few weeks so they can learn that is their new home/territory. This will also give them time to get used to you as a caregiver and provider of food. A small room in the barn/shop is a great place to introduce the kitty. This will offer some additional privacy and security for the kitty and provide additional safety as you begin the acclimation process. Ideally, you should have a large cage, kennel or enclosure set up for the cat within the room, building or in the sheltered area they will be calling home. Along with food, water, and a litter box, include a carrier lined with blankets or towels as a bed and secure “hiding place” within the cage. Leave the carrier door attached, but prop it open with a bungee chord so you can easily close the carrier door when needed. Using a natural based litter or regular clay litter works best for both clean up and it won’t create as much mess in the cage if the cat spills the water or throws litter out of the box.
  • After two more weeks, the cats should be comfortable in their new home and the cage can be removed if preferred.
  • IMPORTANT: Continue to provide fresh food and water daily. Even outdoor/barn cats cannot sustain themselves on hunting rodents alone. They need a nutrient rich diet to live a healthy life. You can also provide litter boxes within the building/barn they will call home, though some cats may prefer to eliminate outside.

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