In the past eight days, Alley Cats and Angels has placed 12 cats in barn homes. These are cats that were feral, semi-feral, or extremely shy and anti-social. One horse farm took 4 cats and four other farms each took in 2 barn cats. And we have a relocation of 3 cats lined up for a horse farm next weekend (April 18).
In the past, we had to blindly email farms and beg them to take cats and could go months without finding a farm home. But now people that have adopted barn cats in the past from Alley Cats and Angels are referring other farms to us. As of today -- only 3.5 months into the year, we have already placed half the number of cats in barn homes as we did in all of 2008. This a landmark for us -- but most importantly, it is a great accomplishment for the cats; this means those cats needing barn homes will not have to live in cages for a long while we find them a home.
Alley Cats and Angels has also partnered with several other local rescue groups to help feral, semi-feral, and extremely shy/anti-social cats in the rescue group's programs. We have been successful in finding barn homes for those cats.
Just as we do with our adoption program, we work hard to match the right barn cats to the right barn. For example, a very high activity level farm/barn would most likely not be a match for hard core feral cats, but would typically work for friendly cats with litterbox issues or cats that like people but are shy. Each situation is different and we evaluate each farm and set of barn cats carefully to ensure the right match.
Relocating is not as simple as taking cats and releasing them in the barn. Alley Cats and Angels has a protocol for relocation that must be followed. The cats must be confined in their new environment where they can acclimate to their new surroundings by sight, sound, and smell. Alley Cats and Angels loans each farm cages (with all the other items needed) to be placed in a secure environment for a period of 2-4 weeks. During the confinement, there is litter box duty and farmers need to talk to the cats to bond with them. We even provide the farm with litter needed during the acclimation period. Once the cats are released from their cages, farms must agree to provide food, water, and shelter for the cats. We do follow-up calls to see how the relocation is going and to answer questions if there are any.
Since we founded in early 2008, we have placed over 90 spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear cropped cats in horse farms, llama farms, and other rural situations. We have placed cats in locations including (but not limited to) Bahama, Chapel Hill, Henderson, Hillsborough, Lumberton, Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Selma, Warrenton, Youngsville, and Zebulon.