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New home required

Discussion in 'Cat Rescue and Adoption' started by Phil-C, Jan 4, 2019.


  1. Phil-C

    Phil-C PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,

    It’s with great regret that I’m writing this this post. We’ve had our cat Jimmy for nearly 13 years and on the whole he’s a lovely cat but he occasionally bites.

    Since our daughter was born he has been on amitriptyline (low cost antidepressants - £3 a month) and his behaviour has been mainly very calm. Unfortunately, a series of stressful events have occurred recently and this has culminated in him biting our 21 month old daughter this week. Based on this we have made the sad decision to try to rehome him with complete honesty about the situation. We DO NOT want to give up on him and have him put down which we know is one of our options. We just couldn’t do that to our boy.

    Jimmy really needs a calm house with access to the outdoors, definitely without children or dogs. He has previously lived with another cat and this hasn’t caused any issues. Jimmy is neutered, he has a six monthly health check for his meds but he isn’t vaccinated. Obviously, this is something we will arrange.

    We are happy to contribute a donation to his future care.

    We are located in the Manchester area so wouldn’t want to rehome home to far a field.

    Thanks
    Phil
     
  2. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Why not just keep the kid and cat separated. Give your senior cat adequate elevated spaces to be away from your daughter and teach your child to leave the cat alone.
     
    Lurcherlad, Eilidh, chillminx and 3 others like this.
  3. Phil-C

    Phil-C PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for that advice. We have already been doing this but at times we’re unable to keep the two of them separate. Also, it’s very difficult for a toddler to understand that they need to leave the cat alone.

    Phil
     
  4. Ceiling Kitty

    Ceiling Kitty Hides away from much through humour...

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    Have you sought help from a behaviourist? That would absolutely be my first port of call. It's a shame for a cat of this age to lose his home, though he is obviously unhappy there now.

    I assume you've contacted the national and local rehoming charities as well? The vast, vast majority of users here already have cats of their own so finding a new home here will be difficult.
     
  5. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Slave

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    It is unlikely that you will find someone here able to take on your Jimmy; we all have cats of our own and lots of us have cats that would not welcome a stranger into their midst.

    As @Ceiling Kitty has said you'll probably be better approaching one of the rehoming charities. I volunteer with the Cats Protection league and, for one reason or another, we often have 'golden oldies' to rehome. They do always find a home - but even if they didn't they would be rehomed on a long term basis with one of our foster carers. (Cats Protection will never euthanise a healthy cat, no matter what their age or how difficult they might prove to rehome).
     
  6. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    Just to reaffirm what @Bertie'sMum is saying, really. I would have a dozen cats, but our Holly hates all other cats, and wouldn't appreciate a stranger. A re-homing charity would probably be your best place to contact, and hopefully he'll find a home.
     
  7. Jcatbird

    Jcatbird PetForums Member

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    I am so sorry you are having difficulties. May I make a suggestion? I think you are selling your child short about understanding. She will probably grasp , very quickly, to be gentle with kitty and grow to cherish him. I hate to see her miss out on such a great experience. She may be at that ,” In between “ stage where she can’t yet control her excitement or any upsets but it won’t be much longer before she can. Please give her and Jimmy the chance to get to love each other. In just a bit it will be a great advantage to her to have Jimmy. She can learn so much from him. Children learn love, tenderness, patience and joy from being around them. A child tends to strive to do more to get the attention and good reactions from loved ones, including cats. My own daughter was raised arroind rescues and she was a special needs child. There were challenges at times but in the end I was most grateful for the kitties. She did much more than she probably would have without them. When she was sick they stayed beside her. When she was sad they seemed to know and would lay next to her. She adored them. They also adored her. It turned out that she had a way with them.
    For now,could you just confine Jimmy to an area of your home that you daughter can not access? It really is just a matter of a relatively short time before she can be taught to be tender, quiet and gentle with Jimmy. If you had a new baby you would teach her the exact same things so there would be no accidents. I know Jimmy has claws and teeth but she can learn that a stove is hot and a door slammed can pinch fingers. She can learn about Jimmy too. Give your daughter that gift. She and Jimmy deserve a chance when your daughter is ready. I wish you all the best.
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @Phil-C

    I agree with the good advice of @Jcatbird.

    It would be a very sad thing for Jimmy to have to lose his home at the age of 13. On top of that he will have a history of biting (from what you have said he bites you sometimes, not just your daughter) and this history, along with his senior years, will go against him in terms of him finding another home easily.

    If you are lucky enough to find a place in a Rescue for him, it is very possible he may remain there for the rest of his life. In the Rescue I help to run we do have a number oldies who can't be rehomed for various reasons, and they are permanent residents. But it's worth pointing out the oldies will live the rest of their lives in pens. The pens are larger than the pens for the temporary residents, but they are still pens, with all the limitations this implies on natural cat behaviour.

    Advertising your cat for rehoming on somewhere like Gumtree and being honest about the reason for rehoming him is IMO, fairly unlikely to bring the kind of response you would want. If you advertise him for example as "free to a good home" you risk someone taking him with evil intent (e.g. to use him for bait for training fighting dogs).

    We are a forum of cat lovers, but as others have said we all have our own cats. In some cases we have multi-cat households and are not in a position to take on any more cats.

    I think it would be a good idea to try and identify what are Jimmy's triggers for suddenly biting. This applies to him biting your daughter as well as you. As you say he only bites "occasionally" and I don't think it is a random thing. It is likely to be happening at times when he feels particularly upset, frustrated or stressed. There will no doubt be specific signs and certain circumstances that make it fairly predictable he might bite. These signs are something that can be learnt, and an appropriate preventative response applied by you, and can even be taught to your daughter as she grows up.

    As you say Jimmy's behaviour has shown more evidence of stress since your daughter was born, which is why you took the step of having him put on antidepressants. Evidently something is upsetting his equilibrium quite a lot since your daughter arrived.

    So I am in agreement with Ceiling Kitty's suggestion that you might consider bringing in a cat behaviourist who will come to your home and observe Jimmy and how he interacts with you. The behaviourist will be able to give you advice, based on what she sees, of how best to manage Jimmy to avoid him ever getting to the point where he bites you.

    If you have pet insurance for Jimmy he will be covered for a referral to a behaviourist providing your vet makes the referral. You can choose your own behaviourist though. You may only need one visit and a couple of follow ups by phone or email.

    Here are some reputable and effective organisations to consider:

    http://www.vickyhalls.net/ (Vicky Halls has written a number of best sellers on cat behaviour. They can be purchased on Amazon). She also runs a very successful practice.

    https://capbt.org/findabehaviourist.php

    https://www.apbc.org.uk/

    http://www.abtcouncil.org.uk/clinical-animal-behaviourists.html
     
    #8 chillminx, Jan 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  9. Puddy2shoes

    Puddy2shoes PetForums Member

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    Hi Phil-C, your poor cat sounds utterly miserable, his peaceful world has been turned upside down since the arrival of your daughter it seems by what you say and he will have observed that much of your attention, naturally, is now being directed towards your daughter,, and the fact he’s been on anti-depressants since she was born is very sad indeed.....did he occasionally bite before the baby arrived or has it developed since then...when you refer to a series of recent stressful events resulting in him biting her I’m guessing that she grabs his fur, pulls on his tail, chases him and the like, very difficult for a cat to deal with who’s already suffering with emotional trauma and depression, also, apart from all of this, some cats just do not like the loud shrill crying/screaming of small children or the inevitable boisterousness that ensues.....a very difficult situation for you...and Jimmy....but right now jimmy needs some peace and somewhere he can escape to, Jcatbird’s suggestion of a room that your daughter cannot access is a good one but if you didn’t want to confine Jimmy in there, you could always fit a cat flap in the door so he can go in there at his own choosing as it’s possible that if he doesn’t take well to being locked in just one room, it may exacerbate his depression if not able to access other areas of the house or the outside world which you’ve mentioned he needs, all the best to you, whatever you decide, you sound like a caring owner who wants to do the right thing for Jimmy....
     
    #9 Puddy2shoes, Jan 6, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
    Jackie C, Clairabella, lorilu and 2 others like this.
  10. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Some high positions for the cat and baby gates on some doors will allow the cat the opportunity to avoid your daughter.
     
    Clairabella, lorilu and chillminx like this.
  11. Jackie C

    Jackie C Cat slave

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    I was bitten and scratched by cats when I was a kid, and it was always my fault. If I complained to my mum about one of the cats scratching me, the first thing she would ask, was, "What did you do to her?", and I didn't really get any sympathy. My mum was right.
    Bites can be nasty if they break the skin due the bacteria in the cats mouth. But if the bite is just a warning nip, I would regard it as pretty harmless.
    Cats enriched my childhood, despite them biting or scratching me, because it was my fault.

    My concern is for Jimmy, and I understand that is your concern too. Have you tried any of the suggestions posted? I would serious consider the advice before trying to re-home him.
     
    Gallifreyangirl likes this.
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