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 Feral cat sanctuary in PA


I was wondering if anyone knew of any kind of cat sanctuary for feral cats. The cat has lived in doors for several years (and by indoors I mean under the bed) after being feral for the first 6 months of its life. The cat has made little to no progress on calming down around humans and its quality of life seems to be less than desirable for this poor animal. We would like euthanasia to be an absolute LAST resort and need some help locating a place where she can be healthy, well cared for and most importantly happy.

If anyone has ANY helpful information or ideas it would be greatly appreciated


02/20/09  07:55pm


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  Message To: Oldmischief   In reference to Message Id: 1956433

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

You can never set a feral cat loose in your house and expect him/her to ever become tame. In fact, it is extremely terrifying for a feral cat to simply be put into a huge house with nothing familiar to him.

If you are interested in actually taming the cat, you MUST confine his space. I work with a rescue in WA state that does a LOT of feral work, and the only way to tame a feral is to start it out in a large dog crate. If the cat is running and you are chasing him every time you touch him, he will never become tame. If he can’t get away from you and you are his only source of social interaction, taming becomes much easier. You set him up in a large kennel with food, water, litter box, bed, toys, etc. and spend as much time with him (cleaning, petting, brushing, etc.) as you can. Take it slowly and quietly and don’t try to take him out or pick him up until he is ready. He might hiss and try to scratch for the first few days or even weeks, but this is normal and no reason to give up.

If you had started when he was just six months old, you could have turned him around much faster. Now that he is older, it will take longer (sometimes even a year). Once he is friendly in the kennel, you can move to a small bathroom. If he is social in there, you can slowly (very very slowly) start to give him more and more space until he is integrated into the house without being fearful.

He may always be shy around strangers and sometimes even you, but you can give him a sense of security and happiness by doing this.

Here are some helpful links:

This is a rescue in PA that places ferals:

This biggest thing to remember is that it is NOT cruel to confine the cat. He is doing it himself already by never leaving underneath the bed. The cat wants a sense of security, and just like wild cats and feral cats, will seek a "den" to feel secure in.

Most feral cats that are placed do not go to "feral sanctuaries" but to individual adopters who have barns/farms where the cats are fed and provided with shelter, and control the rodent population in return. He should not be placed as a single cat as cats are extremely social and outdoors must live with others, but to tame he must be alone, at least initially.

Is he neutered? Vaccinated? Tested for FIV/Leukemia? If not, these need to be done ASAP!! You will have a very hard time taming an unaltered cat.

Good luck.

02/21/09  01:54pm


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  Message To: Dragongirl6   In reference to Message Id: 1956754

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

First off, you are making a lot of assumptions! no one said anything about large homes and nothing being done to help tame the cat. yes the cat was spayed, vacc. and tested when it was first captured. Like even YOUR link said not all cats be tamed. Initially the cat was improving enough to be in a room and not be under the bed and was introduced to a second cat but as time passed, she seemed to revert back to her past in spite of her progress.

as far as the other stuff goes, I am merely looking for a better alternative for the cat since, despite all efforts, this one is not working out.

thanks for you input though

02/21/09  05:08pm


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  Message To: Oldmischief   In reference to Message Id: 1956834

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

I wasn’t making any assumptions, just trying to help.

Did you check out the second link? That sounds like a great rescue that could place him into a barn home. You can also post an ad on craigslist looking for a barn home, just make sure there are other cats in the home and they are all altered, vaccinated, etc. And make sure there is adequate shelter/bedding.

When placing a cat into a barn home, he/she must be confined for at least 3 weeks before being let out or else he won’t have any sense of where he is or where he is fed, etc. and will disappear. Just a tip.

Good luck!

02/21/09  06:07pm


Rae rae
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  Message To: Dragongirl6   In reference to Message Id: 1956873

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

this is the only issue i have with the whole barn thing; i know it said that the organization will spay/neuter and vaccinate them. but what happens when the cats vaccinations need to be updated. is someone out there catching all these cats for their yearly vaccs? is someone using flea prevention on them? heartworm prevention? doing proper fecals and worming? the only reason i’m asking is because here we have the spca doing the spay/neuter/vacc and release programs. however nobody keeps the cats up to date on vaccs. then what happens two years later when some of them catch leuk? then they spread it and the cats begin suffering and spreading disease. i know i’m a big worry wart, lol. i know that doing that is better than nothing. but what you have to think of what is best for the animal. i know everyone means well, and i wouldn’t want to euthanize them either. i guess i’m just trying to throw everything out there. me myself i don’t like the barn idea because it would just be throwing the cat out there to fend for itself in a sense (not with food but with the other cats and other animals that might roam up). call me paranoid but i would much rather the cat be in a crate in my house than in the wilderness, lol!

02/22/09  08:47pm


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  Message To: Rae rae   In reference to Message Id: 1957475

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

Any TNR group you contact will tell you that feral cats have much better immune systems than pet cats and that one round of vaccines goes a long way for ferals. Sure, it would be great if every feral cat could be trapped and vaccinated every year or two, but it’s just so impractical.

The ONLY way to prevent more feral cats from breeding is to do TNR. Do you have a better solution in mind? Rescues and shelters don’t have the time and space to spend a year or two taming and adopting out every single feral cat that comes through. Imagine all the perfectly adoptable animals that would be euthanized in the mean time.

If people keep their pets indoors, tested for leuk, and up to date on vaccines, leukemia isn’t an issue. The biggest issues with outdoor cats are upper respiratory diseases, and a single vaccine, like I said, goes a long way for ferals.

As long as the owners of the cats keep an eye on the situation, feed the cats every day, and make sure ALL of them have at some point been altered, tested, and vaccinated, it’s highly unlikely for leukemia to spread as feral colonies are territorial and rarely allow newcomers anywhere near their areas.


call me paranoid but i would much rather the cat be in a crate in my house than in the wilderness, lol!

Do you have space to keep thousands upon thousands of feral cats in crates at your house? Obviously, it would be ideal if every feral could be tamed and adopted, but at this point TNR is the ONLY realistic solution to this massive problem. If people would spay/neuter their pets and not dump them outside or let them out in the first place, feral cats wouldn’t exist. The only alternative to TNR is euthanasia or simply doing nothing.

I know some fabulous barn homes for cats. We just adopted out three of our ferals to a barn situation where they have an insulated shelter with lots of bedding, are fed and monitored every day, and have plenty of space to roam and do what they do best: hunt rodents. They are extremely happy and healthy kitties that we had for several years and have lots of vaccines in them.

I understand that vaccines are important, but TNR comes first.

02/22/09  09:42pm


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  Message To: Oldmischief   In reference to Message Id: 1956433

 Feral cat sanctuary in PA

i am saddened by the date on here.........i wish i’d have seen it sooner.
hopefully, the kitty was socialized before you got him.
i currently have feral kittens in my care that need homes desperatly. they all play, they will come when called, and 2 out of the 4 i have gotten to sit on my lap to be petted.
their mother, who won’t come near me other than to eat, knew it was safe enough to bring her kittens to me when she had them. she watches me play with them, pet them and pick them up, but she still wont let me pet her.

a feral cat brought into a home should be in a home without children chasing him wanting to play. they can adapt nicely, but it takes patience. you need to call him softly while sitting or lying to his level. just talk calmly to him, and it can definately be mastered.

i actually brought one in to live with my other 2 kitties, he was sick when i met him, so after keeping him confined till he got better, and while trying to find him a home, i realized he had so the introductions began.

i am concerned about the mother of the kittens, as i have not been able to trap her and get her spayed. i agree however to have the kittens spayed or neutered as well as their first shots before sending them to a new home. i have fairly strict guidelines so that when they are placed, i am fairly certain they will have a forever home. if for any reason the adoptee can’t keep the cat, i take it back and start all over again.

i hope you will consider taking in another under the right circumstances.


10/14/10  11:48am

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