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Stray cat, RSPCA, bit worried of outcome

(86 Posts)
thingymibob Mon 16-Sep-13 22:40:20

We found a stray limping cat in our garden. First saw it on Saturday, limping badly and then again this evening, not putting weight on it's back leg. Put a little food down, thinking if we can keep it in the garden until tomorrow and phone someone. Turns out it's a really sweet animal, skin and bones but really friendly and was sitting on my DD's lap within 20 mins, after wolfing down all the food. I didn't want to leave it in the garden overnight so called the local out of hours vets.

They said they would see him, gave him a painkiller, checked for chip (there isn't one) checked for temperature and apart from being skinny and with a sore leg, he seemed fine. They suggested we took him to RSPCA, (Harmsworth) which we did and they took him in.

Am now worried he will be PTS sad I left my details and said we would consider rehoming him but then wondered if they thought we had just dropped a family pet off for free treatment

Our dilema is we already have a female moggy who is now around 14 years old. We had another cat who was pts 3 years ago, we got them at the same time from RSPCA but the second one got cancer. Would our existing cat live happily with a young male cat? And how do you introduce them? Our cat was hissing through the window at the stray, which is how we noticed him, not sure she would be that accommodating. We already have two dogs and they exist in the same home but the cat keeps well away from them

That's if the RSPCA would consider us rehoming him. He was young and intact with no chip and riddled with fleas - so things would need doing/sorting

I have a number to call tomorrow to see how he is. IF we do want to rehome, would we be liable for the treatment he is given at RSPCA??? Or should we offer to pay so we can bring him home, if we could work out how to get our girl used to him??

Lots of questions, but not sure how it would work and I am always hearing such bad things about the RSPCA

issey6cats Mon 16-Sep-13 23:18:30

being as your cat was indoors and stray was outdoors she would hiss at him, my cats get on with each other but will scrap with neighbours cats, the rescue i work for reccomends a younger male cat if the resident cat is female, i dont know how the rspca will deal with this but i should imagine if the cat you have found has a chance of a home that they would co operate with you, right fleaing him wont cost them that much quick spray, neutering him they will have a discounted rate for that, his leg im not a vet so cant comment on that, when she was alive my ginger girl was deffo cock of the roost here and the other cats learnt not to go too near to her so they lived thier lives as satelites of whiskey and she was happy cos she got to be boss

thecatneuterer Tue 17-Sep-13 00:29:42

The RSPCA do seem to be quite gung ho about euthanasing cats (other people say not, but that does seem to be the case in London at least) so I would get on to them first thing if you don't want that to happen.

I don't know what they would do about charges, but I imagine they would believe that he's not your cat. When you work in rescue you just get a nose for this sort of thing - rather like the Police - so I wouldn't worry about that. And I'm sure they'd be happy for you to have him.

It's very rare for a couple of cats not to reach some sort of accommodation with each other eventually, but there may be a few scraps and lots of hitting and spitting first.

I find the best way to introduce them is with a large wire dog kennel (you can buy them from Pets at Home for example). I put the new cat in there with a litter tray and some sort of bed to hide in (such as an igloo bed or just towels in a cardboard box with a hole cut in the front) for two or three weeks. Both cats then have a chance to meet each other and get used to each other without either feeling too threatened.

Or you could keep the new cat in a spare room for a couple of weeks and swap their bedding around so they get used to each other's smell. That's not as effective as the dog kennel though. Whatever you do I'm sure they'll eventually be fine together and they might even end up as friends.

thingymibob Tue 17-Sep-13 10:35:42

Getting a crate isn't a problem, both dogs are crate trained.

Do you just leave the new cat in the crate all the time or does he get to come out for cuddles if other cat is outside or shut in bedroom? I'm thinking he would need to rest a fair bit depending on how badly injured he is or if they decide to neuter him before rehoming or leave it for us to arrange

RSPCA have called to say he will be sedated and x-rayed today and have bloods taken etc. They seemed quite enthusiastic that we are willing to rehome, so hopefully won't be too quick to euthanise depending on his injury and health

Am getting way too attached already

cozietoesie Tue 17-Sep-13 11:40:35

You're getting appropriately attached, I think. smile Good news that the RSPCA phoned you - he's likely been noted in their books as going somewhere now so he should be fine.

I'll leave you in thecatneuterer's hands on crate training with multiple cats - she's the expert there.


thecatneuterer Tue 17-Sep-13 12:33:03

That's great news. They won't put him to sleep if you are willing to have him. If he's being sedated he will almost certainly be castrated at the same time as it only takes a few minutes and it's the sedation that's the difficult thing.

As for the crate - no of course let him out to walk around and for cuddles and stuff when the other cat isn't there. The crate is just for when they're both together.

thecatneuterer Tue 17-Sep-13 23:37:39

Any update thingy?

thingymibob Wed 18-Sep-13 12:10:40

Yes, he has a broken leg. And will spend 4 weeks at Harmsworth in a cast and will then need 3 weeks cage rest. Other than that he is a healthy cat

The lady I spoke to basically said it's too soon to tell about rehoming and it's all up the rehoming side of RSCPA - I can't put my name on him or anything but she said to keep calling for updates and the director will see that as a good thing

So, will keep calling and try to get them to see he needs to live with us smile

thingymibob Wed 18-Sep-13 12:55:06

I phoned the main RSPCA helpline for rehoming and the man I spoke to said - once the cat has recovered, it's their policy to release the cat back to near where it was found - REALLY??? That's unbelieveable. He said to phone cat's protection - I guess to find another cat to rehome??

But, I don't want to rehome a cat, I want to take in this particular cat

Will keep contacting Harmsworth but I've got a feeling they aren't going to make it easy, hope I am proved wrong

Did wonder about offering to take him and look after him while he recovers - anyone know if that would be possible? Even if I pay for his treatment? Has that ever worked?

cozietoesie Wed 18-Sep-13 12:59:51

I'd ignore the main helpline - from what other posters have said, RSPCA branches are very individual in their approach to all matters feline so he probably had a 'one approach suits all' script to follow.

Keep on talking to Harmsworth.

thecatneuterer Wed 18-Sep-13 13:02:18

That is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! Anyway wasn't the cat found in your garden? The RSPCA really are a bunch of wankers.

Phone again. Speak to someone else. Make a fuss. If still no luck then pm me and I'll make a fuss via Celia Hammonds for you.

mignonette Wed 18-Sep-13 13:03:49

This is why I will not support the RSPCA- ridiculous. I help local cat charities.

thecatneuterer Wed 18-Sep-13 13:14:33

And there is no reason you shouldn't take over his care completely. You could get a cage to keep him in (which you were going to do anyway). Just take him somewhere to have his cast taken off and that's that.

thingymibob Wed 18-Sep-13 13:59:59

So what would be my best plan of action? Shall I wait until Friday and phone them again - which is what they said I should do

Or do I phone back today and say can I take over his care now? Selfishly, I don't want to pay out a huge amount of money but could prob find £200 straight away and pay to get crate on top etc. Am not rolling in savings though

I am really scared they will give him away to another centre/person now or in 4 weeks, or let him go somewhere - hospital said they might send him somewhere else to be rehomed and they might be able to let me know where but couldn't promise anything

Surely, it's better for the animal to recuperate in a home setting instead of cattery/hospital. I thought they would be biting my hand off to take him tbh

thecatneuterer Wed 18-Sep-13 14:05:11

Phone back now. I can't see why it would be that expensive. They aren't likely to make you pay for what they have already done and you would only have to pay to get the cast removed, which can't be a big job.

Definitely make a big fuss, tell them how silly they are being, that it is less of a strain on their resources if you take over his care and that, in effect, they would be releasing him back to where he came from as he came from your garden!

Make sure you speak to someone with some sort of authority or who at least isn't just speaking from a script. Don't be afraid to make a fuss!

thingymibob Mon 23-Sep-13 11:30:29

Still being given the runaround - when I phone and spoke to a man, he was helpful and agreed it would be better for the cat to recover in a home setting. But when I phoned back, it was a lady who is not being helpful and quite arsey - on Friday she actually said 'well, you would need a home check!' I told her I knew that, which is why I wanted to get the ball rolling. She then said that legally, they can't do anything for 7 days so call back when 7 days up - which is today

Phoned today and was told his cast will need changing on wednesday and the vets like them to have one cast change before going elsewhere and to phone back on weds. There is no other number to call to get through to someone senior

Still don't understand why they are making it so difficult - they have spent the money on finding and treating the fracture and have said they expect him to have a cast for 4 weeks and then will need cage rest for a further 3 weeks - so surely it would be better for all concerned that he comes here to recover and frees up a hospital bed????

Could Celia Hammonds help me?

issey6cats Mon 23-Sep-13 11:50:40

the lady who said seven days on the legal side is right, as he came in as a stray legally they have to hold him for seven days for a potential owner to come forward to claim him even though you know in this case that isnt going to happen they are so bloody red tape at rspca

thingymibob Mon 23-Sep-13 12:07:25

I understand the 7 day thing and agree that they should wait incase someone comes forward. What I don't understand is why not start the ball rolling with a homecheck or at least stop saying different things each time I phone. He is a young intact male - so obviously hasn't been rehomed previously, he has no chip and had been walking around on broken back leg for at least 3 days - if anyone comes forward, surely they wouldn't let him go home with them?

At the moment, I just keep getting told to call back - lady today said - you've been calling every day?? - there was a definite tone of sarcasm - really don't like the woman

If they said - here speak to soandso to arrange home visit/speak about getting everything sorted - I would understand that. It's the phone back tomorrow that's peeing me off and the lack of wanting to find a good place for him to recover - especially as the main RSPCA person said they let strays go once recovered

thecatneuterer Mon 23-Sep-13 12:08:52

Well it's only two days till Wednesday. If they're still giving you the runaround then please pm me and I'll see if I can get Celia to speak to her contacts. However on Wednesday I'm going to be out from 8.30am till around 2am the next morning, so don't expect an answer till Thursday.

issey6cats Tue 24-Sep-13 13:43:05

until his seven days are up legally the rspca cannot do anyhting about rehoming him including home checks,

we sometimes have strays at the center i work at and no matter how georgous and how many people may fall in love with one of the strays they are not allowed into the pen to meet the cat all we can do is if they really want a particular one is register an interest in the cat and if the owners have not come forward by the end of seven days if not chipped is then get the person back to the center to let them meet the cat and then if they like him/her go through the process of adoption,

i know its frustating for you but if his owner turned up on day 7 and rspca had rehomed him the owner could in theory sue them, he may have been a stray for longer than 3 days and broken his leg after going missing from his original home

for instance my BSH went missing and it took me nine days of posters searching etc to find out he had been run over and killed on the day he went missing, if he had been found by someone and handed in to rspca i would have been gutted to find he had been rehomed, wouldnt have actually happened cos he was chipped but if not chipped could have happened

thingymibob Tue 24-Sep-13 22:27:56

We took him in last monday, so 7 days will probably be today. I will call again tomorrow (weds) and see if they are still fobbing me off or not.

I do understand about the 7 days thing, it was the woman's tone that keeps annoying me, the man I have spoken to twice was very reasonable - he was the one to say keep ringing for updates - the woman seemed annoyed that I was ringing. I feel like no one is passing our interest in rehoming on - especially to the people I need to speak to.

Am also really scared by what the main RSPCA said, that they dump the cat once healed - scared he will be pts when there is a home here where he could have a nice life. Would even be happy if they actually said they had another home for him, just don't want him dumped or pts

So fingers crossed for tomorrow that I will get further into the process

ZebraOwl Tue 24-Sep-13 23:25:26

Am really quite dismayed at how unhelpful-obstructive they're being. I do understand the logic of the 7-day rule but you'd think they'd be ecstatic at the prospect of someone being willing to take on a stray like this, especially as he'll need lots of care & attention because of his leg injury!

Really hope that you're able to sort things out so Poorly Stray Cat is able to take his place as part of the thingymibob family as soon as is possible.

TheOneWithTheNicestSmile Tue 24-Sep-13 23:30:55

I hope you get him after all this, OP smile

but you did make me smile

better for all concerned that he comes here to recover and frees up a hospital bed

(visions of a row of beds with cats in pyjamas propped up on pillows with cups of tea grin)

thecatneuterer Fri 27-Sep-13 02:50:28

Any update thingymibob? I'm still happy to try to use our RSPCA contacts if necessary ...

thingymibob Fri 27-Sep-13 19:17:28

I finally got through today - no one was picking up the phone weds/thurs.

According to the woman I spoke to today, we are down for a homecheck to be organised. Though, other than saying quickly I bought him in, I didn't say who I was - so maybe someone else is down for the homecheck :/ Hoping that she just recognised me as the one who has phoned almost daily. She said if I haven't heard by weds next week, give them a ring back. But wouldn't give me a number to speak to homecheck people direct - they will call me

Cat is doing fine. He has had his first cast change and is well.

So, I guess I just continue the waiting game and hope they are homechecking us and not other people.

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