Helping feral cats when person feeding them moves


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Helping feral cats when person feeding them moves

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

I have five inside cats, and feed three stray cats in my yard, which has woods behind it. I have been feeding these cats for five months. There have been others in the past that I have trapped, had neutered/spayed, and rehomed.

The problem is, my family and I are moving to another town, and I am worried about these cats. I do not want to leave them, but I can’t bring them with me as we are moving to a condo community. One cat appears feral, but the other two are cats that have been left on our block. One lets me pet him and has a tipped ear. I cannot touch the other two, even though one rolls on the ground and shows me his or her belly. I would appreciate any suggestions. 

— Kathy M., Sayville, New York

Dear Kathy,

How kind of you to take care of these community cats. I am glad to hear you get them fixed and find homes for the ones who are friendly. You are certainly doing your part to help animals.

There are two things I would do. First, it’s always best to leave feral cats where they are, so call the local feral cat group and let them know you are moving to see if they have any volunteers in your area that can help feed these cats. Second, ask around your neighborhood to see if there is someone who might be willing to feed these cats after you move.

If you can’t find anyone to take care of them, then these cats will have to find another food source, which may make them a nuisance in neighborhood trash cans. But if a neighbor agrees to feed them, then these cats will hardly be noticed in the neighborhood. Use this argument as your “selling point” for convincing someone to help.

Sometimes, the people moving into a new home are willing to take over this care too, if you ask them.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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