is it illegal to trap and relocate cats

In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to trap and relocate wild animals without proper permits or authorization from the appropriate authorities. If you wish to trap stray cats, you may need to obtain a trapping permit from your local wildlife agency or animal control department.

Relocating a Feral Cat in Danger

If a feral cat poses a risk to your health or safety, you might be able to relocate it. Before acting, though, you should be aware of the following:

is it illegal to trap and relocate cats

Sometimes, when a run-down building or garage is demolished, cats lose their place to live. This is not a reason to relocate cats. Because they are highly resourceful, cats will look for other places to stay. Instead of concentrating on relocating cats, speak with your neighbors and inquire about setting up shelters in their yards. The safest and best course of action is to return feral cats to the location where they were found. Cats consider this area to be their home turf, regardless of how dilapidated or unsuitable it may seem to us. Here, they are familiar with the terrain, have marked out areas for hiding and shelter, and have established a territorial claim. The best course of action for a feral cat colony that loses its feeder is to take the time to speak with nearby residents and locate a replacement. Sometimes a community can work together to help the cats. It is possible for someone to offer to feed, for someone else to pay for the food, and for someone else to provide shelter on their land. See Community Appeal Letters.

Instead of going to a sanctuary, if every effort has been made, we advise moving the cats to a private family’s yard or horse barn with a small number of spayed/neutered cats. Remember that caring for a small number of cats is much simpler for one family than it is for the owner of a sanctuary to attempt to care for hundreds of them. Relocation is a difficult procedure that should only be carried out by knowledgeable volunteers or employees for animal welfare in accordance with best practices.

Although there are risks involved, such as poor acclimatization, coyote and loose dog predation, getting lost in cornfields or vast rural areas, and the incapacity or lack of awareness on the part of their guardians to make the effort to trap sick or injured cats, barns can be suitable places for feral cats to live and thrive. Stay rates, or the percentage of cats that are placed and remain there, are at their best when they are at a percentage of 2070%. Rural towns are not known for their ability to consistently check dead animals for microchips and notify owners when many run off and are discovered at neighboring barns, but many disappear. Relocating a barn is a last resort that should be carried out in accordance with best practice guidelines that call for appropriate acclimation and sufficient counseling from the caregivers.

It is never appropriate to bring a feral cat inside your home because you believe it is safer there than where you found it. When a feral cat is brought inside, it will hide, frequently refuse to eat, urinate and defecate inappropriately, try to escape, and develop depression and physical and mental stress. If a cat is constantly hiding because they don’t feel comfortable around people, they won’t play or exercise. When feral cats are brought indoors, people frequently realize their error and become anxious because they have no idea how to get the cat back outdoors. It is necessary to trap and release feral cats back outside because they won’t just walk out of an open front door when they’re hiding in closets or under beds.

It is not possible to just “drop off” cats in a strange, foreign place that is not their home, no matter how “nice” or “safe” it appears. Cats released in an unfamiliar environment not only violate the law (misdemeanor animal dumping), but they will also become anxious and unsure of where to look for food or shelter. They frequently attempt to find their way home, which leads them down a perilous, meandering path through crowded streets, run-away dogs, unfriendly people, and potentially hostile responses from other cats.

Relocating Feral Cats: Legal or Illegal?

While it is generally illegal to relocate feral cats, it is not always illegal to do so if the cats’ lives are in danger. The drawbacks of relocating feral cats are the cause of this. Due to their territorial nature, feral cats might view the move as an invasion. They might fight with other animals in their new home as a result of this.

Feral cats can introduce serious diseases like rabies, toxoplasmosis1, and bartonellosis to their new environment if they are not vaccinated. They can destroy entire colonies when they are moved, leaving young kittens defenseless in the process.

It can also be cruel to relocate a feral cat if it hasn’t received the proper socialization and training. When it comes to feral cats, humane euthanasia might be the only practical option in some cases.


Can you trap and relocate stray cats?

Therefore, relocating feral cats should be considered only as a last resort, usually when the cats are in immediate danger. In most cases, it’s best to return community cats (after they’ve been spayed/neutered and vaccinated) to the location from which they were trapped.

What happens if I relocate a cat?

Relocation: A Last Resort Community cats bond to their outdoor homes and, if relocated, may try to find their way back. In some cases, cats have died in the process. Keep this firmly in mind before deciding that a cat’s life will be better somewhere else.

What can I do if my neighbors cat keeps coming in my yard?

If politely talking with your neighbor fails to solve the problem or feral cats are being a nui- sance, contact your local animal control office and ask for their advice and assistance. If the animal control office is not helpful, contact your local elected city or county officials and ask for their help.