"Will Work For Food...Barn Cats:
Project Purr is often aware of feral cats that need homes and, conversely, homes that want feral cats! Project Purr will only trap to remove and relocate feral cats as a last resort, because a feral cat’s territory is the cat’s home, and where the cat has learned to survive. Most conflicts involving feral cats location can be resolved through education, and addressing specific concerns.
However, in situations where the territory no longer provides a safe environment for the feral cats, we seek new homes. And conversely, when environmentally endangered cats are not available, we will rescue feral cats from euthanasia at the shelter to fulfill requests for feral working cats, thereby saving their lives.
Feral cats are not pets, in the normal sense of the word... and they are the “forgotten” cats in our society. “Barn cats” is the term often used by people seeking to adopt feral cats. These independent cats are beautiful and healthy, but are not used to being touched. They pay their way by taking care of your rodent problems in exchange for food and shelter....and they require a lifelong commitment when YOU give them a second chance to have a happy life!
The cats are tested, altered, vaccinated, wormed and deflead, and eartipped for easy visual identification, prior to placement. Generally, we prefer to adopt them out in groups of three or more. Cats are social animals and enjoy the company of other cats. At the very least, they need another cat to watch their back and snuggle with. If a cat comes in with another cat from the same site/or the same litter, we ALWAYS try to put them out for relocation together. Siblings/companions offer comfort as well as being survival buddies, and companions will help cats stick in their new location. Feral cats can often have a long, good life in such situations -- and they make great mousers.
We seek a garden/barn/garage/shed or outbuildings for these cats. What kind of backyard shed or barn makes a good home? The barn or shed needs to have plenty of hiding spots for the cats. Rafters are a good place to go if the cats find themselves chased by another animal. Under bales of hay, on top of a shed, or below a deck, also create good safety zones for the cats. Outdoor areas that are not too heavily manicured, with bushes, tall weeds or grasses, also help to provide cover. In buildings or shelters, two doors are best, with one as an entrance and the other for escape, to avoid being cornered and trapped inside by predators.
A barn can usually be closed up. Some barns are more like sheds or carports, with one or two open sides, and do not usually provide enough cover for the kitties. Sheds that are closed up with a cat door installed can be a very safe environment. However, each situation is unique, and we can help assess your environment, to insure that it will provide safety for the cats, and give them the best possible chance of staying in their new home.
If your situation is suitable, the relocation commences. Feral cats are brought to your property in a large covered hutch, with blankets, food, water, a litter box, and a nesting/hiding area within the hutch. The hutch is secured in an area with cover from the weather, where the cats can acclimate, become familiar, and imprint with the sights, sounds and smells of their new home territory. We try to place the hutch in such a way as to give them a good view of the surrounding area, and where you will also have easy access to care for them. During the imprinting weeks you feed the cats, observe them, clean their litter box, and relate to them. They bond with you as their caretaker, and many people often experience a growing attachment to them. After the approximately three week period of imprinting, they will be released from the hutch.
At the time of release, the new caregiver sets up the permanent feeding station, at night closes up the barn (if possible), and clips both hutch doors open. Cats are nocturnal. They will have all night to explore the barn and find their “special” hiding place. The next morning proceed with business as usual in the barn.
The first few days after release are a crucial transition period. Cover the area with lots of wet and dry food, and continue to do the special call you have used during their acclimation period to let them know it is their daily feeding time. “Come and get it!”
After that, your responsibility will be to provide daily food and water, protection from the elements, and lifelong care. Why do you need to feed them, if you want them to hunt rodents? Rodents alone are not a balanced diet and keeping the cats healthy allows them to do a better job of eliminating your pesty gophers, mice and rats from hay, grain and food storage areas.
You'll enjoy watching the cats, learning their habits, and communicating with them. It can be tremendously satisfying to know you have saved their lives by giving them their much-needed home. Many people appreciate the cats themselves as well as the work the cats do--keeping rodents away from electrical wires, motor homes, hay, and many other things. There is nothing else quite like having a daily relationship with these semi-wild beings.
Studies show that cats prefer to hunt rodents over birds, and are far more successful at catching them. Project Purr believes in providing tips and setting up situations so that, as much as possible, the lives of birds and cats do not come into conflict.
If you own, or manage, property and have permission for long-term placement of animals on the property, please call us! 423-MEOW. We will assist you through the relocation with guidance and support to help the cats settle into their new forever loving home.
Project Purr does not charge for feral cats, but donations help cover the cost of their veterinary care. Your tax-deductible donation to Project Purr helps fund our feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and relocation spay/neuter programs!
Ferals Are Our Friends!