There is a lot of turnover of people in our neighborhood in Arizona. Unfortunately, often times cats are abandoned to fend for themselves when a family moves. One such cat has adopted us. We have been feeding her for over a year. She is very friendly and although she will come into our house, she prefers to live outside. She sleeps on an outdoor chaise that is on our patio every night but sometimes is gone for hours at a time. She also has several friends(?) that she allows to eat her food but do not sleep here.
Now the difficult part; we are going to move about 10 miles away. We would like to take her with us as we are worried that she might starve without us - and, we just plain like her. But we are fearful of doing her any harm. Might she attempt to find her way back here and get hit by a car? Do we have the right to interfere in her life in this way? We would allow her her freedom with the same living conditions she has become used to. Your advise would be appreciated. Thanks!
There is a big difference between a feral cat and a stray cat. A stray cat once had domesticated life and this is often why they will seek out another home as your cat has done.
the fact that she prefers outside is just her preference. I have cats that prefer inside and other outside. The fact that she is finding shelter and food and no doubt medical help if she needed it from you means that in affect you have adopted her and she now sees you as her home.
To leave her behind would indeed be terrible. A stray cats life can be dangerous and often shorter.
My advice is yes to take her with you and treat her like any other domesticated pet and follow the usual rules. I.e make sure she is neutered and vaccinated and to go through the normal procedure for making the move easier on the cat by keeping her inside for a few weeks so that she gets used to her new home.
I have a we page on my site which has more information about moving with a cat which you may find useful. www.our-happy-cat.com/moving-with-cat.html
I would also suggest that you have her micro chipped in case she does become lost at some point.
Hope this information helps and I wish you all a happy move together.
Kate Tilmouth Author of a new Ebook "Cats For Beginners" A Cat owners Guide to taking care of a cat.