By Danielle Bays, Community Cats Program Manager
A Relo-Cat is a cat who needs to be relocated to a new outdoor home. More often than we'd like, we have cats who, for whatever reason, can't return to their outdoor home. We may pick up a free-roaming cat from an area that is not well suited for them or may be even downright dangerous. Sometimes, a community cat may come into the Washington Humane Society (WHS) in a circuitous way and have no "return address."
That is Ale's story. He was left in a crate in front of a DC animal shelter one night and was then brought to WHS. Ale is ear-tipped *, meaning he was once part of a colony somewhere, but we have no idea where.
Cats like Ale aren't socialized with people, so they are not traditionally adoptable. That just means we need to be non-traditional in our approach to finding them homes. Once, the only option for cats like these were barn homes in the country, and we'd refer to them as “barn cats.” But since we are often non-traditional at WHS, we also look for places where we can safely relocate these cats within the District. Thus they are no longer just “barn cats,” but Relo-Cats (you have to be clever with cats or they will stop paying attention to you).
New Relo-Cat sites come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The basic requirements are for the new home to desire to have outdoor cats and to commit to providing them with food and shelter - maybe a business, campus, school, or church garden.
A church garden? Why yes! WHS is currently in the process of relocating Ale and fellow Relo-Cat Dutchess to a church garden here in the District. The entire process will take more than a month, as preparations need to be made, and the cats need to acclimate to their new home before they are fully released.
Relocation is a lengthy and labor-intensive process we will only undertake for cats like Ale who have no other options. Right now, Ale and Dutchess are getting to know one another, and we want to be sure that they get along well before they move into their on-site relocation pen or “Howdy cage.” We'll give you an up-close look and explain the “Howdy cage” in our next Relo-Cat blog.
meantime, check out our new Relo-Cat
webpage, and let us know if you'd like to help or adopt Relo-Cats by
The National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center offers safe, affordable, high-volume sterilizations in the DC Metro Area. Spay or neuter your pet to help us reduce the number of unwanted animals entering our adoption centers. Visit http://washhumane.org/spayneuter.
* An ear-tip is a widely accepted way of identifying an already spayed or neutered free-roaming cat in order to prevent an unnecessary second trapping and surgery.
Please SUBSCRIBE to our blog by going to http://washhumane.typepad.com/ and entering your email (top right) to receive our latest stories, tips, and more!