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Middle Eastern rescue cats

(19 Posts)
newnamenewnamenewname Fri 16-Mar-18 23:12:51

Does anyone have experience of adopting a cat rescued from UAE/Qatar?

I've always had cats since I was a child and always lived in cat friendly places but since losing my DCat last year (a hand reared Bengal who made it to his twenties), I've moved to a flat in Central London (with a small roof terrace that can be contained). I miss having a cat almost as much as I miss him (he was a character who left big pawprints to fill...). Yet I don't think it's ethical to keep a house cat/cat-proof balcony cat for my convenience so I have been looking to adopt a cat who needs to be kept contained (eg FIV or elderly habitual house cat that needs rehoming).

There aren't many out there but I've found a gorgeous boy that I've fallen in love with from a small charity already thinking of names. But he is a rescue from The Gulf. His write up says that he needs to be kept indoors because he will do a runner otherwise confused but he is total lap cat who loves people.

There is plenty out there about the issues/ethics of adopting dogs from abroad but nothing about cats. I'm not sure if I'm doing a good thing or a bad thing, nor opening a whole can of worms for myself...

OP’s posts: |
Want2beme Sat 17-Mar-18 00:10:41

I think there are animal rescues in many countries that rely on a certain amount of rehoming overseas. Even the country where I live, very close to the UK, sends dogs for rehoming there. I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it. If you can offer a good home to an animal with a medical condition that needs one, do so. It sounds like you've got the ideal home for him.

Beaverlac Sat 17-Mar-18 00:19:21

Do you know what it will cost, and does the cost matter? My son is bringing a cat he's adopted when he returns from Saudi, and says it will cost about £1k.

StarbucksSmarterSister Sat 17-Mar-18 00:32:08

Newname does the charity have a fruity name? If so, I've been looking at them and some of their cats are stunning!

I can't see an issue, other than cost. It's expensive to ship an animal from abroad, plus vaccs spaying costs etc so I wouldn't expect the rescue fee to be cheap as they need to try and recoup costs.

As long as the cat has had a health check and you're aware of any potential issues, I'd say go for it.

EnormousDormouse Sat 17-Mar-18 04:08:23

I live in the ME, and am involved in helping street cats. The organisations round here do re-home abroad as there are too many animals to re-home here (which would be the first option). With low oil prices there are also less expats here to take on animals - it's a pretty desperate situation and life here for a street animal is brutal.
I don't know which rescue you are looking at but I know that I will be taking my own cats back via Amsterdam as it cuts the cost down massively (they fly as excess baggage for about £100 each rather than cargo into the UK at £1000!). I will then take them overland back to the UK.
I assume this is organised (and part funded? ) by the rescue people though?

feesh Sat 17-Mar-18 04:28:06

I’ve got two cats from Qatar and they’re both wonderful! One is still quite the street cat (his mum was on the streets, he was born in QAWS) but he’s a right homebody. He just will eat ANYTHING and likes to catch things. The other is a big lazy Bengal type with much of the Arabian Mau in him. He’s a real character and a right soppy git.

It costs a couple of grand to fly them home but the charity might raise the funds for this (although it would be better if you can pay yourself) and they will appeal for a flight buddy. The incidence of FIV is high, bit otherwise there should be no major health concerns.

Flamingoose Sat 17-Mar-18 04:30:34

I have two middle eastern street cats. I would say that they have a wild streak in them. They're definitely not as chilled as normal pet cats. Both are a little bit broken as a result of being inexpertly hand raised. One is very sweet and devoted to me, and terrified of strangers. The other is a bit bitey and swipey and needs his space. He goes out fighting and carousing in the neighbourhood and has terrorised a number of neighbours into feeding him. They both love to roam and would, I think, go stir crazy stuck inside.

JoandMax Sat 17-Mar-18 04:45:55

Middle Eastern cats are wonderful but feisty! We adopted ours in UAE then she moved with us to Qatar. She’s very affectionate and loving but if she’s in a spikey mood will happily give you a scratch or bite - we know her cues though and when she needs to be left alone. She had a horrid time before coming to us and I am so glad we got to rescue her.

It is a common situation for us to fly out cats and dogs to be rehomed, especially here in Qatar. The amount of cats needing homes is staggeringly high and the available homes here are limited. Animals are not treated well by a lot of people and life for stray animals is extremely harsh......

In my opinion you’d be doing an amazing thing rescuing one from here!

Toddlerteaplease Sat 17-Mar-18 06:24:52

My cousin lives in Dubai and regularly shops animals abroad. Not sure if she does it as a job. One of her cats went to the rescue my cats are from, and I'm now friends with the people who adopted him.
I must admit that i don't agree with it as our own shelters are overflowing with needy kitties.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Mar-18 06:28:29

I’m afraid I take a hard line in this. I think that the trauma involved in shipping and quarantining animals from abroad is utterly cruel. And, frankly a misuse of money.

EnormousDormouse Sat 17-Mar-18 09:33:57

There is no quarantine for for animals from the Middle East with the right papers (chipped, rabies vaccination etc). It's ~7 hour flight in a pressurised area of the hold.
That's a lot less trauma than life on the streets over here.

EnormousDormouse Sat 17-Mar-18 09:34:45

And it's around £100 to send a cat as excess baggage.

Veterinari Sat 17-Mar-18 09:44:58

I’m afraid I take a hard line in this. I think that the trauma involved in shipping and quarantining animals from abroad is utterly cruel. And, frankly a misuse of money.

How much experience do you have of shipping animals Bertrand? My experience is that most tolerate it very well. And quarantine hasn’t existed in this country for several years as we’re harmonised with the EU. What exactly are your concerns based on?

People import animals for many reasons. I applaud ex pats living abroad who don’t simply abandon their local pets when they return. Also for the OP who can offer a suitable home to an animal with specific needs that’s great.

People adopt for many reasons. Yes there are many uk cats, just like there are many uk staffies but the people adopting from abroad are not necessarily looking for any random surplus animal in a uk shelter. And the vast majority of animals in uk shelters have better lives than street animals elsewhere. At the end of the day it’s one less homeless animal suffereing somewhere.

In terms of the money I think it’s up to people to make that choice for themselves - some choose a luxury holiday, some choose to donate to cancer research, some choose a big car. I’m not sure why paying shipping fees is any better or worse than those choices.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Mar-18 10:00:38

Fair enough. Just my opinion. I don't have much experience of cats from abroad, but I do of dogs.

I just think that its very wrong to thing that being PTS is the worst thing that can happen to an animal, and "heroic measures" both in veterinary and rescue terms are usually in the best interests of humans not of animals.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Mar-18 11:46:32

“Allowing people the freedom to make their own decisions and accepting it without self regard is surely not that difficult?”

Of course. But people also need to accept that making their own decisions can cause other people pain. And those people have the right to feel pain.

BertrandRussell Sat 17-Mar-18 11:47:06

Sorry-wrong thread!

scaryteacher Sat 17-Mar-18 12:05:01

My brought his cat back from Oman last year, as they were determined not to leave him. He is fine, except not keen on the cold.

newnamenewnamenewname Sat 17-Mar-18 15:44:07

Thanks for all your replies and positive stories about your lovely adopted street cats.

BertrandRussell They don't have to be quarantined as they have health screening, vaccinations and are chipped before they come to the UK. I agree with you that there are lots of cats in the UK that need homes but my home isn't suitable for a free roaming outdoor cat and there are very few "housecats" that need adopting, mostly cats with health issues, and many of them seem to have come from abroad. I am also aware of all the issues with dogs adopted from abroad but I can't find any information about cats. Hopefully that is a good sign.

"Malik" is already in the UK with a foster family so I guess we can visit him and see how he has adapted to his new life. I am concerned that a life of pampering might seem infinitely better than a life on the streets but maybe not if he is unhappy stuck inside. I am also concerned that he might have behavioural issues like spraying if he was a street cat but no one has mentioned that! I'll have a chat with our vet too, see what he thinks. I am in a neighbourhood popular with expats, particularly from the Middle East, so he may already have some patients who have relocated here.

And yes, Malik's adoption fees are a king's ransom, appropriately enough! grin Although not too bad compared to the £1000 some of you have suggested... His flight and vet's bills come to £350.

OP’s posts: |
Veterinari Sat 17-Mar-18 23:06:44

I just think that its very wrong to thing that being PTS is the worst thing that can happen to an animal, and "heroic measures" both in veterinary and rescue terms are usually in the best interests of humans not of animals.

And that’s a perfectly reasonable point of view but not particularly relevant to the thread smile

Good luck OP

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