Guidelines for Safe Relocation of Feral Cats

The first choice should always be to leave feral cats where they are. This is the territory they are familiar with; they already know all the good hunting and hiding places. They feel safe there. Some may have lived there many years - their entire life, in fact. Relocation should only be considered if the cats are in danger. Relocation is not always 100% successful, and is a difficult project to embark upon. Forgotten Felines provides these guidelines for people wishing to relocate their feral cats with the best possible outcome - the cats are safe, and they choose to stay at their new home for the rest of their lives.

If the cats have become a nuisance on the property where they reside, it is preferable to solve the problems they are creating, rather than remove them. Ask us for information regarding deterrence of undesirable behavior. For example, if the complaints are regarding fighting, yowling, spraying, and/or litters of kittens, it must be understood that this behavior stems from unaltered cats mating. TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) helps solve these issues. Altered cats are much more likely to peacefully coexist, and no more kittens means the colony is under control. Contact Forgotten Felines for information on our low-cost spay/neuter clinics: (707) 576-7999.

If, for the safety of the cats, relocation is the only option, follow these guidelines for the best possible outcome. Without following these specific steps, cats may not stay where they are relocated.

NOTE: Relocation involves the cat or cats staying in an enclosure on the new property for one month! They must have this time for transitioning to the new property. Cats cannot be simply released in their new location - they will be terrified, and most likely run away.

If an entire colony needs relocating, the best case scenario is to find a place where they can all go together. If this is not a possibility, then placing the cats in two's and three's is less traumatic than being placed alone.


When kittens under the age of eight weeks are present, the ideal solution is to trap and socialize the kittens, and find homes for them. This lessens the number of cats in the colony, reduces the amount of food to be purchased, and reduces the impact of the colony on the neighborhood. The other advantage, of course, is these kittens get a better life. If you have weaned kittens 5-8 weeks of age in your colony, detailed instructions are available from Forgotten Felines regarding trapping and socializing feral kittens. We have lots of good tips and tricks to share! Keep in mind that, past the age of eight weeks, taming feral kittens can be a very difficult and long-term project, so getting these kittens in your possession ASAP is the key. Be aware that kittens will not tame down sufficiently if left to run free outside - they may become friendly to you, but will not be candidates for adoption.

If socializing is not an option, and kittens will continue to live in the colony, please do not TNR until kittens are three months old or older. This will enable the veterinarian to administer a rabies vaccine at time of surgery. If kittens are to be relocated, it is imperative that they go in pairs, with sibling(s) or mom.

Read Next Finding the Right Relocation Spot

Feral Relocation Topics

  1. The Right Spot
  2. Screening
  3. Preparation
  4. Trapping for Relocation
  5. Follow Up

All Feral Cat Pages

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  1. What is a feral cat?
  2. Spay/Neuter Clinic for feral cats
  3. How to care for a colony
  4. Being a Colony Caretaker (YouTube video)
  5. How to trap humanely
  6. Humane Trap Sources
  7. How to relocate feral cats
  8. The Right Spot
  9. Screening
  10. Preparation
  11. Trapping for Relocation
  12. Follow Up
  13. How to tame feral cats
  14. Total Ferals
  15. Semi Ferals
  16. Reverted Ferals
  17. Foster Kittens
  18. Colony Caretaker's Thoughts
  19. Cats vs. Birds Controversy