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Stray cat, maybe? What to do?

(51 Posts)
ToffeeWhirl Wed 25-Sep-13 14:00:31

My DS1 has recently 'adopted' a local cat. He insists it is a stray cat and is underweight, so he has started to feed it regularly. Obviously, the cat is gobbling up the food, but he would, wouldn't he? He has a lot of fleas - DS1 said he could see them jumping about sad - but when I saw the cat, he didn't look thin and his coat was shiny. He doesn't have a collar though.

DS1 now thinks we should take him to a nearby animal shelter to find him a proper home. Obviously, he would love to take him into our own home, but I'm allergic to most moggies and daren't take the risk.

How on earth do we find out if he is actually a stray cat? I don't want to inadvertently take someone's cat. I'm inclined to leave well alone, but let DS1 continue to feed him and pet him. (DS1 is missing our own cat, which died in June).

cozietoesie Wed 25-Sep-13 14:06:16

Well apart from anything, your 6 months isn't nearly up yet.

He could just be a Six Dinner Sid if he's not thin and his coat is shiny. Have you asked around about him or put a paper collar on him with a message asking the owner to contact you?

I'm guessing all this is down to DS1. How is he doing?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 25-Sep-13 14:38:16

Hi cozie.

Well apart from anything, your 6 months isn't nearly up yet. grin

Paper collar is a great idea. I haven't started asking around yet - don't know where to start, really, but I will do.

Yes, this is all down to DS1. He is a soft touch with cats. I suspect the cat saw him coming.

DS1 is doing really, really well. We can't quite believe it. He has gone from strength to strength over the summer and has transformed from the boy who was scared to go out to one who is at the skatepark every day. He even wants to go back to his old school.

I know he still misses ToffeeKitten very much though.

thecatneuterer Wed 25-Sep-13 14:44:42

Is this cat definitely male? Is it neutered? If it's covered in fleas then it obviously doesn't have a caring owner and probably not an owner at all. I would suggest taking it to a vet to see if it's chipped. And if it's a female I would also ask the vet to shave a patch on it's side to look for a spay scar and, if it's not spayed, get it done - owner or not.

Then if not chipped a paper collar (which your vet should be able to give you) would be the best way to be sure)

ToffeeWhirl Wed 25-Sep-13 15:05:23

Ah, have just discovered that the RSPCA do downloadable paper collars. Brilliant.

Thanks for the advice, thecat.

peachmint Wed 25-Sep-13 15:13:32

Start by finding out if it's chipped.

cozietoesie Wed 25-Sep-13 16:01:39

So pleased that DS1 is doing well. smile But I guess he's not the only one who misses Toffee Kitten, eh?

ToffeeWhirl Wed 25-Sep-13 22:23:56

Nope, he isn't.

Even my mum (by her own admission, never an animal lover) misses him. She said he was a lovely cat. And he was.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 02:55:29

You already have All The Good Advice but I wanted to say I'm very glad to hear your DS1's doing so well.

ToffeeKitten was a special wee kitty, am not surprised you're all missing him still.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 07:46:24

Hi, Zebra. You are up too late! Hope you managed to get some sleep in the end. Thanks for your kind words about DS1. We are continually amazed and impressed by him at the moment. It seems too good to be true.

DS1 found the cat hiding under a car yesterday evening and gave him a bowl of cat food. The cat is not going to starve now DS has spotted him, that's for sure.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 08:37:27

I have Lurgy (thank you so much immune system of Fail) so was kept awake by coughing. Having fed the cats am going to see if maybe I can sleep for a bit before hospital this afternoon.

It is fantastic abut your DS1 - I know with kids with anxiety/OCD The Right Help can mean an incredible transformation in a [relatively] short space of time. Not to say there mightn't be hiccups, but hopefully the general trend has now changed for good smile

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 09:35:58

Yes, it really is an incredible transformation in DS1. Am worried that he will fall back into old habits once he's off the meds, but that's when the CBT strategies should come into their own. Anyway, that is all a long way off and we are all enjoying the relative normality of life at the moment.

Hope you get some sleep now, Zebra, and that your lurgy dissipates asap.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 10:22:06

Am sure transitioning off meds will be done carefully to ensure things stay well-controlled, with dose being titrated back up if necessary. It must be hard to adjust to things being better, though - I very much hope you have the rest of always to get used to it though!

Sadly my brain is leaping about going "awake! so awake! wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee hyperalertness!" so no more sleep for me. Ho-hum. Dratted illusion of energy that comes with high-dose prednisolone...

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 10:44:34

Yes, the therapist says he'll stay on the meds for six months after recovery before lowering the dose gradually, so it will be a long process.

Hope your brain switches off so you can catch up on sleep. In the meantime, your cats will enjoy your wide-awakeness smile.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 11:32:39

Sounds as though they've a comprehensive long-term treatment plan in place, which is excellent. Am so pleased your DS1 is finally getting effective treatment!

As I type, blond!cat is climbing all over me whilst black!cat is curled up in his bed n the landing, mewing at me from time to time to check what I'm up to. They have very much enjoyed me being stuck at home in bed: we've spent lots of time all squirled up in/on my bed together - their idea of heaven smile

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 20:08:42

The cat has a name and an owner. Ds1 asked around. She appears to belong to a family that I had dealings with once when I found their toddler playing on the pavement outside. The father just shrugged when I brought the child back home, so they clearly have the same neglectful laid-back attitude to their cat sad.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 20:09:29

Zebra - lucky you, curled up in bed with your cats. Hope you are finally getting some sleep now.

cozietoesie Thu 26-Sep-13 20:14:47

Oh Dear. sad Watch out for DS1 - he'll maybe get pretty angry with the situation.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 21:10:46

Yes, I'll have a chat with him about it at bedtime, cozie. I'll point out how resourceful the cat is being at finding food. I wish we could do something about the fleas though. It's cruel to leave a cat with fleas, isn't it? sad

Actually, I was chatting with a neighbour this afternoon and the cat ran into our house. I don't know if he has worked out that DS1 lives there, or if he was just trying his luck because it was an open door and there might be food inside. He shot out as soon as I came in.

cozietoesie Thu 26-Sep-13 21:27:08

Could you maybe 'find some flea treatment left over from TK' and ask if they would like you to use it on him ?

It's a real difficult one because no-one has money coming out of their ears and these people should be looking after him themselves. (But I take your point about the kiddie playing on the pavement and their seeming lack of concern there.) I'm just thinking about what will happen in your house if the cat starts coming in to see DS1/get food and you get lots of eggs dropping everywhere. Sorry for the TMI.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 21:29:57

I am v lucky to have such snuggly felines to keep me company when I am extra-broken: blond!cat has squiggled in between me & the laptop; & black!cat is hugging one of my feet with a paw on the other. It is honestly blissful. V good of them to forgive me for leaving them to do some of a ballet class & go to an exceptionally frustrating hospital appointment. (How very dare I not just be grateful I'm not already wheelchair bound! Why am I not just grateful things aren't worse instead of wanting them to improve!? Next I'll be saying I want to not have my internal organs play at silly buggers. So entitled...) They were watching for my arrival & started doing a happydance on the windowsills of the sitting room as I dragged the bins into the passage at the side of the house. The pinstripe-suited gentleman with silver hair & an air of distinction either didn't realise I was there or will totally dance as if nobody's watching because as I came back up to close the gates he was copying their moves & grinning at them delightedly. Little bit awkward...

Returning to our sheep (or, um, the Cat That Wants To Come In From The Cold, at least)... Oh dear. To say the very least. It is somehow almost worst that the cat has useless owners rather than being a stray. How's DS1 doing with the news? Is there an animal welfare charity locally you could contact? (I understand if you feel that could cause problems for you though. The guy from whom I got my cats was too afraid of Mummycat's owners to take her to be spayed sad so I fear there are several more half-siblings of my cats running about the place by now...) Ditto child services, really.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 21:34:42

Oh bother, x-posted.

I guess the problem is that if the cat has fleas its house will quite possibly have an infestation too, so even if you did treat the cat there'd be a risk of reinfection from the home environment? A friend of mine spent a lng time waging war against constant flea reinfestations suffered by a neighbour's neglected cat that wanted to move in with her... Ech.

ToffeeWhirl Thu 26-Sep-13 21:51:41

I suspect the owners wouldn't be very responsive if I said that, cozie. And no, I really don't want fleas here. DH had a flea bite from a cat once and it became infected and took months to get better.

I take your point about the cat getting reinfected at home, even if we did sneakily treat her though, Zebra.

DS1 is spending a long time petting the cat every evening. Is he likely to get fleas on him just from that?

Zebra Owl - I love that image you paint of the silver-haired gentleman copying your cats' dance moves grin.

cozietoesie Thu 26-Sep-13 21:56:42

He could. And while they wouldn't likely live long in the house, he could certainly introduce eggs - which last a long time.

Awful situation for you.

ZebraOwl Thu 26-Sep-13 21:57:31

It was absolutely hilarious, he was just bopping away as though he & the cats were having a Silent Disco dance-off or something. I think he was genuinely disappointed when he realised the dance was not for him...

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