At any given time, we house in our shelter a number of friendly and unfriendly outdoor cats that have been brought to us by individuals across Washington county. These “community” cats are not considered adoptable in the traditional sense, but they do need caretakers who will give the cats the best odds of relocating successfully.
You must have a barn or outbuilding on your property that provides shelter for the cat from harsh weather and predators. If you don’t currently have a suitable shelter, you can find options to assemble, build from scratch or purchase outdoor shelters from alleycat.org/sheltergallery.
Community cats must be fed on a regular schedule every day. When there are reliable food and water sources, cats are less likely to wander or leave. It’s also helpful to establish a specific area where food and water will be made available; be sure it’s away from foot traffic or loud noises, if possible.
It takes about three weeks for a community cat to acclimate to its new environment. During this adjustment period, we ask that adopters confine the cat in an enclosed barn, garage or cage (outdoors) so they can settle in and accept its new food source. If not initially confined, a community cat is likely to run to seek out its prior food source. Some community cats are friendly; others are not. Either way, we ask that the adopting caretaker take the time to talk to their cat and spend time with it so they have the potential to bond.