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My Pet World: How to help a pet with the loss of another pet

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Cathy,

We are moving from Bridgehampton, N.Y., to Wisconsin and want to take our three feral cats who now live in our barn. They have been neutered and vaccinated ever since they appeared on our doorstep two years ago. They show up promptly at night for dinner but are extremely wary of people. They will come close but resist contact. We have a large secure shed to contain them temporarily after we move but other than capturing them and driving them out there, I am at a loss as to how to make this as easy as possible for them, and us. Our local animal shelter was not very useful, so I am hoping you will be able to recommend a cat transition expert who can help. -- Nancy, Bridgehampton, NY

Dear Nancy,

Relocating feral cats can be challenging, and because it's not often done, there is not a lot of information on it. I don't know of a cat transition expert for feral cats, but I can offer you some suggestions.

Recognize this may be somewhat stressful for all of you. If they don't allow you to touch them, you may find it difficult to get them into cat carriers for the trip. A few weeks before, start feeding them in the cat carriers so they get used to them.


While your vet may prescribe a sedative that you can crush in their food for the drive, the routine at the hotel room may be challenging. Use a feline pheromone spray in the car and the hotel room to calm them. Also, make sure the cats can't escape under the bed or behind a dresser before letting them out in the room.

Let me know how they do afterward.


(Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.)




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