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Help! Stray cat dilemma

(60 Posts)
starsmurf Fri 20-May-16 17:24:07

I moved into a new flat last year. It's a nice flat and my neighbours are lovely. I have a cat, so it's wonderful to have a big communal garden. The neighbours either side of me have cats so there's no problem with my having one.

The one problem is there is an old cat who is homeless and lives in a hedge in the back garden. He's a lovely cat, if it weren't for my own cat, I'd have taken him in. He is totally deaf (always has been), is going blind, has an untreated dislocated hip that has formed a false joint, is very stiff and just seems sad and tired.

My neighbours have been feeding this cat since he was chucked out as a three-month old kitten. He almost starved to death, as he doesn't seem able to hunt, possibly because of his deafness. So he's been here for almost a decade. He's never been to a vet, he's obviously un-vaccinated and hasn't been neutered. He's been seriously injured at least once, probably by a very aggressive cat, which caused the dislocated hip and also caused a huge wound on his face.

Obviously, the first thing I did on moving in was suggest getting Cats Protection to rehome this poor soul. Then the neighbours started saying that he was "quite happy", that another neighbour would be very upset, etc. Basically, I was given lots of reasons why he couldn't go. I backed down because I'm the new girl and I don't want to cause problems. I help feed him but he's nervous due to being mistreated and also because my big, furry twerp of a cat is trying to chase all the other cats out of "his" territory.

The situation really upsets me. A few weeks ago, we had snow one night, I was sobbing thinking of this poor cat out there trying to stay warm and lying on cold, hard ground with his sore joints. I'm saving up to get him a little shelter but there's no guarantee he'll use it. Plus, he must be in a lot of pain, and might have other problems, so he needs to see a vet. He's a lovely cat and deserves to spend what remains of his life in a nice home, lying in a soft bed in front of a fire, with a loving owner there to cuddle him. I wish I could give him that home but my cat would never accept him.

What do I do? Should I phone Cats Protection and ask for their help? One neighbour is going away for a few days and that might be a good time to trap the cat, as she said she couldn't bear the thought of this cat being in a trap all night as he'd be frightened, so she'd let him out. However, I don't think CP would have a space for him. I'm also worried that they might decide that the branch couldn't afford his medical bills and would put him to sleep. He's not going to be easy to home, he's 10, he's deaf, going blind, is arthritic and he's the most unpopular colour: black. He'll need to go into a foster home and they'll be overrun with kittens.

I have Asperger's Syndrome so I struggle with understanding how people will react in a given situation. What should I do?

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 20-May-16 18:29:56

I'd take him in and neuter him, your cat will most likely adjust.

If anyone says anything tell them to fuck off, their heartless monsters if they think a domesticated animal abandoned as a kit and now going blind and deaf is happy living outside.

He would be better living as a house cat. If they chip him while neutering he's yours then.

ocelot41 Fri 20-May-16 18:33:12

Poor puss! Can take him in or at least build an outside shelter for him?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 20-May-16 18:35:46

Personally I'd take him in. Your cat will adapt.

Alternatively I could do with an indoor cat............

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 20-May-16 18:42:54

10 isn't even old. He should be in the prime of life.

Your neighbours are batshit crazy.

thecatneuterer Fri 20-May-16 20:31:19

I totally agree. Get him neutered and checked out at the vets and take him in. Your cat will get used to him.

starsmurf Fri 20-May-16 20:35:46

Sadly, I don't think Starcat would accept him. Starcat is a rescue from a house of 30+ cats. They had to fight for their food so Starcat sees other cats as a threat. Even outside, Starcat has tried to attack the stray. It would be dangerous given that the stray can't see or hear him coming. Starcat is a big boy, the vet thinks he's a backyard-bred Maine Coon, so his claws can do a lot of damage. The first night I had him, I ended up with cuts and bruises from him padding on my arm, he was so happy to have a home.

I've always wanted a black cat and I'd love to give this sweet boy a home I always look out for him when I open the door, hoping that I can go out and give him a nice treat and some food. I had hoped he and Starcat might make peace and then he could live with us, and things did look like they were improving. However, Starcat went for him yesterday and the stray couldn't see him until he was really close to his face. I had to (gently) chase Starcat back into the house with a mop just to give the stray his breakfast. I think the stray would be too scared to even come into my flat, given that it smells of his attacker.

I know the way to introduce two cats is to put the new cat in a spare room and let them get together very gradually. Unfortunately, my flat is a one bedroom place with no room that could be shut off and used for the stray. The front door is in the living room, the back door is in the kitchen, the bathroom is a tiny wetroom, as I'm disabled and the bedroom is also tiny and is Starcat's favourite room. There would also be no way of preventing Starcat getting into any room and I'm not exactly speedy at doing so myself. The stray will sometimes sleep in my neighbour's kitchen for a couple of hours but only if she leaves the door open. She'd have him in for the night but he won't stay.

I'm saving up for an "outdoor cat shelter" with a cosy fleece liner and a soft cushion but I worry that the stray won't use it.


When can you bring the cat box? wink

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 20-May-16 20:37:52

Unfortunately I don't drive 😢

I do have a cat box though.

orangebird69 Fri 20-May-16 20:39:00

If you can't take him in, at least take him to the vet. Yoit neighbors are twats. It sounds like the poor thing very much needs urgent attention.

Goingtobeawesome Fri 20-May-16 20:40:42

He's been living in a bush for ten years? shock.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 20-May-16 20:42:36

What area are you in op?.

Toddlerteaplease Fri 20-May-16 20:59:46

I'd take him in, they might not like each other but most cats are pretty tolerant after a while. If I doesn't work I'd definatly take him to the RSPCA or local rescue.

thecatneuterer Fri 20-May-16 21:05:21

Not the RSPCA - they would likely put him down. Do you have a spare room OP? If you get him neutered he would have to stay in for a few days afterwards so a spare room would be ideal. That would also be very handy for introducing the two cats. I really am fairly sure that your boy would accept him eventually.

thecatneuterer Fri 20-May-16 21:06:00

Sorry, didn't read your first post properly. I see you don't have a spare room. Damn.

thecatneuterer Fri 20-May-16 21:08:30

How much does your neighbour like him? Enough to fit a cat flap? If she had a cat flap then he would stay. Nervous cats like that don't react well to being shut in, but if they realise there is always a means of escape then they start spending more and more time inside until they become normal pets. The only way to achieve this is with a cat flap though.

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Fri 20-May-16 21:20:34

Urgh, your neighbours don't want him to be rehomed, and think he is happy living out in the cold???? Sod them all op, do what you think is right. The poor boy needs a warm house to live in and proper veterinary care. I would call cats protection, rather than rspca personally.

starsmurf Fri 20-May-16 21:25:28

Fluffycloudland77 I'm in Perthshire in Scotland so I doubt anyone is close enough to take him sad

BTW I posted on the "Gloomy Friday" thread, your cat is beautiful, is he a pedigree? If so, what breed? He looks like the cats I saw that were rescued along with Starcat. There were two females like your gorgeous boy although they were small, probably from being bred from too young. I wondered what breed they were. There was also a kitten, which I presume was the daughter of one of the females. However Starcat was "mum" to this kitten, he cleaned her, he cuddled her as they slept, everything. I wish they'd been homed together, then he might not mind me taking in the stray.

MilkTwoSugarsPlease Hmmm. Well, I'll see if I have a friend heading in your direction. Complimentary cat box included wink

ElegantDream Fri 20-May-16 21:45:04

But surely your neighbours don't own him. And if they do, they are neglecting him.

Contact the vet. And cats protection. He can't be left.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 20-May-16 22:12:06

As far as the Midlands please.

Seriously though OP, I really do hope you can sort something out for the poor little guy. At least he's got you looking out for him. Good luck.

starsmurf Fri 20-May-16 22:20:27

I've just been outside and gave him some food and some cat treats. He let me stroke him for the first time. It felt like he was pushing into my hand slightly, so it's further proof that he'd cope in a home. I just wish it could be my home.

I have to do something. I can't take any more. It's good to know what other people think regarding the attitudes of my neighbours. I think they've become so attached to him, they've lost sight of the fact that he's suffering.


I'll see what I can do.

tabulahrasa Fri 20-May-16 22:20:41

I'm in west Lothian...I'll come get him, I've no clue what I'd do with him after he's been to the vets right enough, but it's got to be better than being unwell in a bush sad

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 20-May-16 22:23:00

<waves pom-poms for tabulah>

ElegantDream Fri 20-May-16 22:41:27

flowers for Tabulahrasa

TheGirlOnTheLanding Sat 21-May-16 06:55:48

Poor wee guy. I agree with the others, the welfare of the cat is more important than whether the neighbours miss him. I find their attitude odd. How can they think any cat could be happy and comfortable outside all the time? I've got a territorial big ex-stray here or I'd take him. (The rescue were very definite that he had to be an only.) Tabulah, hope you can give him a lovely happy home to see out the rest of his days.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 21-May-16 07:27:08

Tab Really? You promise?.

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