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Not sure what to do about two cats

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by gerbilmummy, Sep 10, 2013.


  1. gerbilmummy

    gerbilmummy PetForums Senior

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    I'm not ready to go into details too much right now, I'll just say enough to make sense. (I hope)

    A member of my family has died, leaving behind two cats. One of the cats is OK with me and will stay in the same room, but she hates being picked up, the other disappears and won't come home until her owner is the only one about.
    So problem one is how to get them both inside and keep them there. However neither are happy to use a litter tray and will hold it in until either they have an accident or they are let out. (big problem)

    The other problem is neither of them have ever gone to the vets and had their vaccinations, so as well as the obvious one of they are not 'safe' to be around other cats (and other animals?) they have never, apart from the time they were bought home from the breeder, been in a cat carrier.

    Thirdly, unless I hand them in to a re-homing place (which I'm not happy to do as in my book a pet is for life and at least I know what these two are like) the place I live in is rented and as far as dogs and cats are concerned you have to get permission first, so I'm not sure what to do with these two in the mean time, if I get the permission that is.

    Fourthly I'm concerned about my gerbils, these two cats are big hunters and my gerbils live in the main room, I'm also concerned in case these cats could be carrying something which could make my gerbils sick.

    Please all suggestions are greatly received.
     
  2. Spirited

    Spirited Banned

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    Cant another family member help out by taking them?
    If thtas not the case I cant see anything wrong with a re-homing place. They could find someone that has plenty of room to roam and be far happier than being in the situation you mentioned. :)
     
  3. HoneyFern

    HoneyFern PetForums VIP

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    You could borrow a cat trap for them and talk to your vet to see how happy they would be to check the cats over and vaccinate for you. Are they neutered? You could get it done while they're at the vets anyway. It is a lot to do all at once but in the long run it'd be best. Some vets will loan out cat traps or you could borrow from a rescue.

    You would have to go back to basics and get them litter trained because there's obviously no way you could let them out straight away. Maybe keep them confined to a small room, like a bathroom. They should use the trays eventually and in a bathroom you can clean up any messes easily.

    The cats could be shy/wary of you because they don't know you that well. With time and patience you could reach an understanding with them. The best way is to not try too hard, sit on the floor with a book or magazine, practically ignoring them. After a while start talking and playing with a stringy toy.

    As long as your gerbils are in a secure cage they should be fine but you might want to keep the door to where they are shut when you're not home for peace of mind.
     
  4. gerbilmummy

    gerbilmummy PetForums Senior

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    The only other family she has has 3 cats already, they won't take on her two. Also once they are used to being here they will have plenty of room to roam, also where I live it'll be safer for them to roam then were they currently are as I live in the country side and were they are at the moment, there is a main road right in front of the house.
    The cats are the same with everyone, run away if anyone is in the house besides whom they know.
     
  5. gerbilmummy

    gerbilmummy PetForums Senior

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    Thank you very much, that is really helpful.
     
  6. Grace_Lily

    Grace_Lily PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear about your family member. Is it possible for you to leave a door or window open, stand well away out of sight then sneak up behind the cat once it has gone in and trap it? I've had to do it this myself when looking after someone else's cats which were pretty much feral. An alternative would be to install a cat flap which only allows entry to the house, but runs the risk of the noise of installation scaring the cats further. As a last resort you may have to try a humane trap that rescue centres use.

    WRT the litter tray, when my cats were allowed outdoors they wouldn't use litter trays. Now they are house cats they do, so I think it was just a case of them preferring outdoors and choosing that option while they could. Your cats may settle into acceptance of the litter trays once outdoors is totally off limits.

    For putting reluctant cats into carriers I really recommend the cat cargo cabrio. It has front and top openings which is really handy. If you have time I would leave the carriers in the home with a blanket inside to allow them to see the carriers as a cosy bed. If you need to get the cats out asap then you can try loading them into the carrier by either the top or front (the top will probably be easier). If you already have carriers and don't want to change them then tip the carrier on it's end so instead of pushing the cat in you are lowering them in from above. Hope that makes sense?

    My cats have lived alongside hamsters, to begin with there was some excitement but the novelty soon wore off. They would watch the hamsters but rarely bothered them once they were used to them. As far as I know there are no diseases that can be passed from cats to gerbils but please check with a vet and keep the cats isolated from the gerbils for a week or two if there's any doubt.

    Well done for taking them on :) It's a refreshing change.
     
  7. gerbilmummy

    gerbilmummy PetForums Senior

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    Thank you very much, more great advice and help :)
    Your explanation re the cat carriers did make sense :) However I can't pick these two up as they hate being handled so I'll have to hope they go in voluntarily.

    I reckon I will be coming to the cat section on here a lot, I'll need a lot of help with these two, I know a little about cats but I've never dealt with anything like these two. I think it would be safe to say these two are shy of humans all round but for some reason hate men more (luckily I'm female).
     
  8. we love bsh's

    we love bsh's PetForums VIP

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    Not sure if its already been said but what about an outdoor cat enclosure so they can go out but not roam?
     
  9. Waterlily

    Waterlily Amused

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    An enclosure would be a good idea then they can go out there if they insist on refusing to use the trays, or confining them to one room till they get used to the toilets, a bit like kittens, going back and relearning.
     
  10. gerbilmummy

    gerbilmummy PetForums Senior

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    The problem I have is they are still at 'their' house so I need to get them indoors so I can move them, then once they are with me, I need to keep them in to start with obviously, so my concern there is that they won't use a litter tray, once they have been kept in long enough to know that this is their new home I am more then happy to let them roam. I understand an enclosure might be a good thing while they are getting used to being here, however the landlord would certainly not allow that.

    I'll just have to confine them to an area of my home until they are litter trained I think.
     
  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Pets are for life but it's their lives or their owners, not necessarily other people (sorry about your loss). They may be better off in another home, perhaps one with a more elderly owner like the one they had, no other pets or landlord issues. The Cinnamon Trust matches up bereaved pets with older owners who have lost their pet, or your local rescue could help.

    I had a similar situation when a cat-owning friend died, and all her remaining relatives lived miles away. Her next-door neighbours continued feeding him until a rescue space became available; then I went to catch him. I watched him go in through the cat flap then blocked it from the outside so he couldn't go back out through it, then went into the house and eventually cornered him in a cupboard in the cellar. I got him into a carrier, but it had taken so long the vet (who had to vaccinate him before the rescue would take him) had shut for the weekend, so rather than have to catch him again, I took him home with me for the weekend and kept him a large dog crate overnight with a litter tray and bed in. By the end of the weekend he was sharing the sofa with me and my dog. I thought of keeping him - I know it's what Joan would have preferred - but it wouldn't have worked and when Monday came round, I got him vaccinated and took him to the rescue. He went to a nice home within a couple of weeks.
     
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