We will not place cats who are best suited to be house pets as barn cats and we won't place kittens under age 4 months as barn cats, unless they are feral/semi-feral without hope of becoming socialized (this may be waived on a case by case basis). A minimum of TWO cats must be placed at the same location at the same time. We will determine if the cats can peacefully co-exist prior to placement.
_______ I will provide the following: · 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 up to three weeks to acclimate them to their new environment before release · A clean litter box that is scooped and/or cleaned at least three times a week 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 · The willingness to trap and vaccinate the cats once every three years and provide licensed veterinary care in the event of a severe injury or illness · Spending time daily making verbal contact with the cats so that they become familiar with you
_______ I agree to abide by the following requirements as stated below: Barn Cats need to be placed where other cats live and/or in pairs. Alley Cat Allies recommends that at least two cats always be moved together. They should be cats who have formed a bond or at least get along with each other. The move will be less traumatic and adjustment to their new home easier if they have the security of one or more trusted companions.
Barn cats have to be confined for the first 2-3 weeks. Cats need to be confined initially in their new home for at least two to three weeks in order to familiarize the cats with their new environment, so that they will remain on the premises. Even though there are instances of cats remaining when they have escaped upon arrival, this is rare and most cats will take off, never to be seen again. Other than being dangerous for the cat, this can be traumatic for the caregiver who has usually put a lot of time, energy, money, and care into the cat.
Some people see confinement as cruel, but a short confinement period is a very necessary part of the relocation project. Not confining the cats and having them run off could mean a far worse fate for the cats. You should know that during the first day or two, the cats may struggle to find a way out. Most cats settle down in the crate after a day or two when they realize that no harm will befall them.
How the cat(s) are confined: The adopter should be equipped with an extra-large dog crate or with a large exercise pen covered with mesh wire (we may be able to provide these supplies). We will also provide a small, plastic crate that will be placed inside and to the back of the larger enclosure. A cardboard box can also be used for the cat to hide in, in the larger crate. Items will be returned at the end of the three week confinement period. The cats will be provided with: a litter box, which needs to be scooped or cleaned at least a couple times a week; dry food and fresh water at all times; and a portion of canned food every day. It is recommended that a portion of the cage/crate be covered with a sheet. This will allow the cats to feel more protected and hidden.
In winter, the small crate should be bedded with thick towels or straw. Additionally, the caregiver may wish to place bales of straw around the enclosure to help maintain warmth for the confined cats. During winter, the caretaker must be sure to give fresh water throughout the day as the cat’s water becomes frozen. There are various devices available to keep water from freezing. We can provide sites where these can be purchased. In summer, proper ventilation is vital to prevent overheating. Cats can and do become overheated.
What happens after the confinement period? It’s best to close all doors and windows in the barn, open the crate door in the evening, then leave. The cats will want to explore their new surroundings all night, as they are nocturnal. By morning they will have found good hiding places, although they may prefer the security of their crate. You can ease the transition by continuing to place their food and water in the crate for a few days with the door open. You will need to continue providing daily food and water after the crate is removed. Cats are territorial creatures. They will usually maintain a home base once their scent has been established, a continuous food source is provided and they feel safe.