Semi Feral Cats I've Adopted

Hi and thank you.

I started feeding a female feral cat. She had 4 babies. She disappeared when they were about 8 weeks old and I've been feeding these babies and trying to tame them now for 9 months. I can pet 2 of them, and I invite them inside my home and they visit for a few hours or overnight on cold nights. But they won't let me pick them up or hold them.

Now we have moved a few streets away, and they refuse to stay at my new home. 2 of them walked to the new home with me a couple of times, but they walked back to the old home a few hours later, after eating. The other 2 walked halfway but turned back.

So my husband built a 42 by 42 inch cage and we put food in it and closed the door when they were in eating and brought them to the new home. They were mad as heck and all ran back to the old home when he opened the cage door.

I have been walking to the old home 2 times a day for 2 months to feed them and visit with them but I sure would like them with me in my new home. Plus my legs are getting tired!

Is there any hope?



Hi, Kimberle,

It is very difficult to know with certainly how things will progress over time if you continue the method you are using now. As long as you go to the old house to feed them, I don't think they will come to your new home.

Research has shown that given the choice of moving to a new home with the same owner or staying in the old home with a new owner, cats would prefer the old home and new owner. They are creatures of habit and definitely prefer familiar places.

I feel that the most effective way for you to integrate them into your new space would be to trap them again and take them to the new house, but then you must keep them inside for some time.

I don't know how long that time would be, but the longer the better. Perhaps you have one room they could occupy in your new home for awhile. Perhaps your husband is handy enough to build an outdoor enclosure for them that connects to a room with a pet door that allows them to go in and out.

Over time, they should come to know where their new home is and where they are getting fed. Maybe you'll even like the new setup and keep them in an indoor/outdoor enclosure setting.

At any rate, as long you continue to feed them at the old place, they are likely to stay there.

Good luck,
Dr. Neely

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