Who gets to keep him?

(14 Posts)
vodkaandcaviar Mon 17-Sep-12 00:59:48

My boyfriend and I have the most beautiful Maine Coon cat called Teddy. He's such a lovely boy. We're going through some relationship issues right now and I feel as though I need to leave the relationship. We've had Teddy for almost 18 months. I'm not planning on leaving immediately, it will be a few months before I've made up my mind completely and can afford to move out but I can't help but struggle to decide who should keep our darling boy.

My boyfriend and Ted have always been closer - if I've ever tried to scold Teddy for being a scamp (because he really can be...especially at 6am!) my boyfriend shouts at me. I know that my boyfriend can take care of the cat and since it's me leaving the relationship I feel as though I should let Teddy stay with him. Ted and I have plenty of time on our own together and I don't feel as though he 'loves' me any less than my boyfriend. Gaaaaah.

I have a good relationship with his breeder; we email frequently. I know if it came to it she'd have him back in a heartbeat but it would destroy me to do that.

Obviously when we got Teddy we didn't expect our relationship to stop working. No one does, do they?

Apologies for the ramble but basically what I want to know is if you have any advice on how to decide who keeps pets when a relationship ends?

cozietoesie Mon 17-Sep-12 07:45:05

Who does the most for him? Not talking about cuddles and kisses - but about eg cleaning the tray, wiping up the sick, grooming regularly even if you're not in the mood, remembering to give breakfast when you've had a party the night before.......

That should be the person he goes with.

cozietoesie Mon 17-Sep-12 07:51:43

PS - this is 'the Litter Tray' and not 'Relationships' or 'AIBU' but I can't help feeling that you should post one of there. If you're thinking already about the future of your boy then you should probably get out now. I'll leave it at that.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 17-Sep-12 08:25:43

There isn't a straight forward answer and I have known pet owner ship cases got to court to decide. We even have one patient on our books who is subject to a shared custody order - yes this is an animal.

tabulahrasa Mon 17-Sep-12 08:40:50

If you're basing it just on the cat - is the cat particularly attached to one of you over the other? (one of mine would be devastated if I left her, the other only cares about where the food is kept) if not is one of you staying in the current house?

If it's yes to either of them and you'd both look after him I'd go with who he prefers or who is staying in that order, but only if he is really attached to the person, otherwise house trumps it.

Having said that, if me and DP split - he'd not get any of my pets, they're mine and he works too much.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 17-Sep-12 11:06:05

Tricky one, I know dh would miss our cat if we split but I remember his worming and flea treatments and his booster jabs so I'd want to keep him or he'd forget to do it.

If they are closer and he can be trusted to remember to do all the boring stuff then leave him in his own enviroment.

If you havent discussed it though you may be surprised and your dp may want you to take the cat so he doesnt have the responsibility and can lead a single mans lifestyle.

vodkaandcaviar Mon 17-Sep-12 11:15:25

Sorry, I realise this is probably more a relationship issue but when I mentioned the cat in those sections he was brushed off as 'a red herring' so I wanted to see what pet owners thought and whether anyone had been in a similar situation.

With regard to actual care of Teddy it is pretty much split down the middle. My boyfriend usually deals with the litter tray because he usually takes the bins out anyway. I don't have a problem doing it if I have to but I guess it's sort of become his 'job'. I'm the one who gets up and feeds him immediately in the mornings if I'm up first - he'd pester me constantly if I didn't. Sometimes my boyfriend forgets but Teddy's usually on hand to remind him pretty quickly. My boyfriend is usually the one who gets concerned if he thinks there's something wrong with Teddy (which there hasn't been) but I'm a bit more laid back in that respect and I know if something does seem strange that I can contact our breeder and ask her about it.

In my head I think that he's closer to my boyfriend because he's the one who gives him lots of attention but when I think about it, I give Ted lots of attention too - I just don't force myself on him if I know he's not interested. He comes to both of us and I don't think he really has a preference.

I imagine that I will be the one leaving the flat which is one of the biggest reasons why I think my boyfriend will end up keeping him. I'd love to be able to see him still, though, but I don't think that'd be possible and it breaks my heart just thinking about it.

tabulahrasa Mon 17-Sep-12 13:03:39

I only meant a preference if he was particularly attached to one of you - it doesn't sound like he is...

The cat would probably be less stressed by staying put, but they do get over house moves.

I don't really see how a share could work, not with a cat. Though maybe you could work something out so that the other one looks takes him when you'd normally get a cat sitter or would put him in a cattery?

It is a hard one, but at least your cat had two people wanting to look after him and thinking about what's best for him - I don't know if that makes you feel any better though.

Paiviaso Mon 17-Sep-12 14:53:19

When I got my cats from the breeder, I made it clear they were my cats, even though I live with DP, he had to agree to the cats, and he came to the breeder's with me, etc.

I paid for them. I email the breeder. I have their papers. I pay for their insurance and vet bills. If we split up, DP would have little claim to my babies. Obviously I hope we will never split up smile and DP loves the cats very much, but I most certainly DID think about the future when bringing these cats home.

Did you jointly purchase Teddy? Who pays for his care? If he truly is a jointly owned cat, and he would be happy with either of you, then the best thing for Teddy would probably be to stay in his current home. How strongly is your boyfriend against you taking him though?

vodkaandcaviar Mon 17-Sep-12 15:08:01

We purchased him together but the contract I signed with the breeder is in my name and I'm the one who deals with his vet's appointments etc. Those things aren't difficult to change, though.

I agree that he'd be best left in his current home - we moved a few months ago and the poor guy found it pretty stressful. He's a house cat so our home is is world, essentially.

We're not definitely splitting up - I'm just leaning towards wanting to right now. Financially I'm not in a position to leave so I'm just giving myself some time. My boyfriend would be devastated to lose us both...

Obviously when we got him we were happy and didn't expect these problems to occur. I feel absolutely terrible.

Sorry to be so practical but where will you go when you leave? If you'll have to rent, leave Teddy with your ex, as it'll be much easier to get a nicer and cheaper rental place without the cat. I know it sounds heartless, but focus on you for now, and it's a bonus if the cat can come with you.

vodkaandcaviar Mon 17-Sep-12 15:29:29

I'll have to rent, yes.

WakeyCakey Mon 24-Jun-13 09:35:57

DP and I have no plan on splitting up, we have only had our moggy kitten for 5 weeks but we agreed that if anything were to happen then I won't be leaving her!
She is definately my baby, she likes him but she loves me and acts like I am her mummy.

In this case I would say that Teddy should stay with your DP, as he's the one that seems closer to him

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 24-Jun-13 12:49:41

Zombie thread.

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