Thinking of rehoming my cat..

(13 Posts)
AbbyCat Fri 18-Jan-13 11:06:36

I love my cat. He's a 7 year old Abyssinian with loads of character and is very loving. He particularly adores me and DS and will constantly follow either one of us around and settle himself so he can keep an eye on us.

But I keep wondering if our current situation is unfair on him...

DS is 22m and rough with the cat. He hits and tries to kick and pulls his tail. I have tried telling him repeatedly not to, I confiscate his toys when he does so, I have even smacked him once because I got so frustrated with it. But he still does it and it seems to be a game for him- he will do it and laugh and look at me while doing it, so it seems to be intentional. The damn cat won't even run away when DS is doing this and I am worried that one day he will snap and bite / scratch DS. I have a 3mo DD too and try my best not to leave them unattended, but in the split second that it takes me to walk into the living room after DS has has his lunch, DS will have already honed in on the cat and done something to him. We have stair gates etc and the cat always has an escape route and somewhere to hide away from DS (behind the chairs), but DS is getting more boisterous and tries to reach the cat even when he is hiding from DS.

The other issue is that our personal circumstances are up in the air at the moment. We are both exploring work options abroad and there is a high chance we will leave the country by the end of the year (probably to go to asia or the states). Moving the cat will be a considerable expense (around £1500) and will be very stressful for him (it's over 10 hours flight for the places we're considering and he'll have to fly cargo, so with the check in / check out / processing time with the cargo so likely he will be in a crate for 20h). With us exploring these job options, we'll have to travel abroad a fair bit and I'm planning to go for 3m in about a months time. I could (and probably will) leave the cat with DH but they just tolerate each other and neither like the other very much (DH is not a cat person at all and only puts up with it as he doesnt have a choice)

As much as I love my cat, I keep wondering if he'd be better off in another home... One without a toddler harrassing him, and one where the owners are settled and he wouldn't have to face huge disruption and a very long flight...

I know it's my decision and at the moment I really can't imagine parting with him... but I have to do what's best for him too..... Please tell me your opinions...

Sorry it's such a long post!

BettyandDon Fri 18-Jan-13 11:18:27

Our cat also contends with a toddler although only loud not rough and a newborn. He is miserable and I am thinking of rehoming too. Your cat may adapt and your toddler should grow out of it, but also your cat may become very unhappy and start bad behaviours like toilet ing in the house - this is what ours is now doinghmm.

Our vet has recommended a 'safe' place for the cat - this is essential, but our place is too small for it. I think if you can't provide or guarantee that then its not fair on the cat. I have to lock ours in our bedroom for now and just let him out when he meows. It's not good but we are hoping he will adapt before we have to rehome. We try to give him attention in the evenings too.

We are thinking of asking friends and family first is that an option for you?

I don't know about rehoming via RSPCA or similar. I am worried about them putting down animals tbh so it's a last option for us. Although we are often at breaking point with him!

AbbyCat Fri 18-Jan-13 11:24:51

We don't have family here and the two friends who would consider having him have very difficult personal circumstances as well- they are both single, and one is considering returning home to Australia, and the other is in a tiny flat share!

The cat does have the run of the top floor (where his litter box is), but he hates being alone and will choose to be wherever the rest of the family is, and sets himself up to abuse from DS.

I hadn't even considered the possibility they may put him down- he is so lovely. The thought of him even being in a pen at a cattery breaks my heart. If I do rehome, it would be through the Abby rescue centre or just asking around. I'd like to know he's going to a nice home...

It's heartbreaking! I'm sure DS will grow out of it, and if not for the possible change in personal circumstances, I would choose to wait it out.

But I wonder if putting him through a couple of years with DS plus the stress of moving abroad is just unfair on him

cozietoesie Fri 18-Jan-13 11:45:33

Well according to the Aby rescue site... 'There are usually about a dozen Abys needing new homes every year, and many times this number of people (my emphasis) offering homes to Welfare cases.'

So those are good odds for a new home. In my view, you can make your choice on the cat's best interests without worrying about him being put to sleep or being in a cattery.

BettyandDon Fri 18-Jan-13 11:48:31

Do you think he minds your toddler that much ? Surely if he did he would scratch or avoid ? Just a thought...

AbbyCat Fri 18-Jan-13 12:05:18

He tends to be submissive with ds- with his body low. But he is not at ease- I can see his ears are pulled back and his tail swishes. I think he tolerates DS but am afraid one day he will snap and bite back or scratch. He certainly isn't happy with it.

juneau Fri 18-Jan-13 14:03:03

He sounds gorgeous. Where are you OP? I'll have him!

AbbyCat Fri 18-Jan-13 14:26:39

I'm in Middlesex juneau. He is lovely. When he's in the mood he'll practically climb on your head for a cuddle, but when he isn't he'll just look at you disdainfully. He's also very good at coming when you click your fingers, and plays fetch! He's only ever been an indoor cat though. And although we used to have another cat when he was muh younger, he's been an only cat for several years now, so I'm not sure he's get on with another.
Have just spoken to the aby cat rescue and she seemed to think he was too old to cope with the stress of flying around the world... She suggested rehoming so he woulnt have to put up with toddlers for the next few years... sad

juneau Fri 18-Jan-13 14:30:07

I'm in Herts, so not a million miles away. I have a toddler too, but by Sept we'll be living in a house that's big enough for him to have his own space if he needed it and by then my toddler will be 2.4 and his brother was much better with cats by then. I'm serious - I would take him. I'd love a cat and he could be an 'only' because I don't have any others.

AbbyCat Fri 18-Jan-13 15:06:15

Wow. Will pm you in a while. Ds just up from nap

TheSilveryTinsellyPussycat Fri 18-Jan-13 23:13:34

Is the power of MN working its magic?

FWIW I have clear memories of repeatedly pulling our cat's tail when I was a toddler, and of being repeatedly scratched, but in a warning kind of a way? It didn't stop me continuing to pull her tail blush and she would just run away eventually. When I was a bit older I may also have dressed her up in doll's clothes Funnily enough she wasn't a very tolerant cat on the whole - perhaps she made an exception for the annoying human kitten.

AbbyCat Sat 19-Jan-13 06:42:36

juneau have been thinking about it... And I can't bear to part with him at the moment...
I will try to give him as much space from DS as I can and will chat with my vet next week. If he agrees that its too much stress for the cat to fly such a long flight, I'll pm you our details!

juneau Sat 19-Jan-13 07:44:37

That's okay Abby - it's a huge decision. And I'm not in a position to take him until Sept really, so that gives you plenty of time to think about it and explore all your options. Your DS will probably get better with him too, given a bit of time. Of course, if you move overseas that will be another issue, but I am interested if you decide re-homing would be best for him (and I grew up with cats - even though I don't have any at the moment).

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