Not every cat thrives indoors. The Wild at Heart adoption program is designed for cats that need to be outside to live happy, healthy lives.
Cats in the program are mostly feral (wild), but on occasion, we have friendly cats that just don’t want to or are not suitable to live indoors. For example, they may not like using a litter box.
Wild at Heart matches special outdoor cats with adopters who have a barn, shed, warehouse, or other secure structure to offer as a safe home. The cats are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, and adopted at no charge.
You’ll Need to Provide
- A secure, dry barn or building with easy access to the outdoors.
- The commitment to keep the cats confined to an enclosed room or x-pen with a wire top for 2-3 weeks so they can acclimate to their new environment before being released.
- The acclimation period is a very important step in helping the cats learn that this is their new home. They learn that their new home is safe, and there is food and water. This method is very successful and cannot be skipped – if it is, cats tend to run away before they learn about the great home you’re offering.
- Sometimes new cats choose not to stay no matter how wonderful you make their new home. Don’t worry: the cat will likely find an alternative barn next door or down the street to call their own. We hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does we will do everything we can to help you and your new cats.
- A clean litter box that is scooped and/or cleaned daily while confined.
- A daily supply of cat food and fresh water.
- While confined and for a short while after release, we recommended a small amount of canned cat food be provided daily. Canned food is very pleasurable to cats and will help them associate good things with their new environment.
- Following release, the cat(s) will need dry cat food and fresh water daily.
- Monitoring and providing for the safety and well-being of the cats.
- Willingness to trap the cats and provide veterinary care in the event of a severe injury or illness.
How many should you adopt at a time?
San Diego Humane Society and other professionals recommend the adoption of 2 – 5 Wild at Heart cats at one time. Cats are more likely to stay at their new home if they have the company and companionship of other cats. Being housed together or near each other during the acclimation period allows the cats to get used to the other cats. Once released the cats will likely look out for each other and alert one another when any danger is present.
For more information about community cats, visit Alley Cat Allies.