Re-homing Barn Cats
Relocating feral and outdoor cats is not as easy as physically placing them in their new outdoor home. Cats are very territorial, and if you simply place them in a new location, they will try to find their way back to where they came from, often times killing themselves in the process. Fortunately, feral and outdoor cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easy and in a short amount of time.
1. Place the cat in a large cage or kennel within the building they will be calling home. A room or any enclosed area will work for acclimating, just be sure the cat cannot roam freely until it establishes this space as its new territory. Give the cat a small towel lined carrier with the door held open (a small bungee cord works well for this), food and water, and a litter box. Clay litter is better than clumping in this environment, as clumping litter can get wet or in the water bowl, making a sticky mess that is more difficult to clean up. See diagram of re-homing cage on the back
2. Clean the litter box and give fresh food and water daily. This can easily be done by closing the cat inside the carrier (the one you have bungeed open) to keep the cat safe while you are tending to its needs.
3. After 2-3 weeks, you can open the cage door. Food and water should be kept both inside and outside of the cage. Once the cats leave, they may never want to go back into the cage.
4. After two more weeks, the cats should be comfortable in their new home and the cage and supplies can be taken away. (The cat has now established its new territory and will likely stay)
5. Caring for your barn cat is as easy as providing fresh food and water daily. Some barn cat caregivers keep litter pans inside their barns, but often are rarely used. Never rely on outdoor cats to sustain themselves on rodents alone, they need a nutrient rich diet to sustain a healthy life.
Setting up a re-homing cage
There will be times when it’s necessary to set up a re-homing cage for cats that you are recovering from intense surgeries, holding moms with kittens till weaned or relocating feral cats to barns when absolutely necessary.
On the back is a diagram of how to set up a re-homing cage for a cat, pair of cats or moms with dependent kittens. Please note; this is only to be used as a temporary situation. Cats should not be confined to cages for any longer than absolutely necessary.
Please contact the Salina Animal Shelter at 785-826-6535 for any further questions.
View the diagram of how to set up a re-homing cage for a cat, pair of cats or moms with dependent kittens by selecting the PDF file below. Please note, this is only to be used as a temporary situation. Cats should not be confined to cages for any longer than absolutely necessary.