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My Pet World: After a breakup, is sharing custody of a pet a good idea?

By Cathy M. Rosenthal, Tribune Content Agency on

If someone has been taking care of feral cats, however, and knows these cats will not have a caretaker when they themselves move, and if they are willing to go to the extraordinary lengths of taking them with them, then I want to provide some suggestions on how they can do it to reduce the stress for everyone.

Feral cats are formally domesticated cats that someone abandoned on the street or are the result of their offspring. As a result, feral cats are not like wild animals who can survive on their own but are dependent on humans for their survival. Nancy bought property and plans to only use the shed as a transitional space until they settle into their new environment.

Here are a few other letters from people who tried relocating feral cats and were successful:

Dear Cathy,

I saw the letter from Nancy, Bridgehampton, N.Y., who was looking for ways to move her feral cats with her. It's not really that hard. I have moved feral cats with me when I moved. You can feed them in large dog crates, and then close the crate while they're eating. If they're really skittish, the best thing is to trap them in a Have-a-Heart trap, and then move them into a large dog crate with a litter box. -- Christine, Tucson, AZ

Dear Cathy,


Please advise Nancy from Bridgehampton to not let the cats out of crates in the hotel or car. Alley Cat Allies ( has loads of valuable information on feral cats. Please recommend it. -- Toby, Holbrook, NY

Dear Cathy,

It's refreshing to learn of people who care (for cats) rather than abandon them. They sell those small outdoor style cages to allow cats to the outside world. Maybe they could find one to accommodate the kitties, place a kitty pan in it, and make sure it's structurally sound so they could move it to the room in one piece without having to release cats. -- Gail, Huntington Station, NY


(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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