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Taking in a neglected cat - advice please!(39 Posts)
This may end up long, but I really need some advice from fellow cat lovers.
I already have 2 kittens, brother and sister, approaching 8 months old now, both neutered, very happy, no problems. Over the past few weeks there has been increasing concern for a kitten walking around our community, near miss hits by cars, very slim and always begging for food and never being let into its home. There have been posts on our community page about this cat for weeks and although some people have said who owns the cat, until now unfortunately the owners have never answered the door. Today the kitten was found outside the local school, crying, and one of the ladies I know who takes her children there took the cat to the vets - to see if it was chipped and if we have all been assuming the wrong owner. The cat was not chipped, is a she, is less than a year old and is pregnant. The vet advised that if she has the babies in this weather outside they will not survive, especially if mother isn't getting enough food to sustain herself and therefore them. The vet advised the lady to find a home for the kitten if possible, or take her to a rescue - she asked me, if she can't contact the owners, could I take it in tonight and post my details through their door. She knocked and low and behold, they answered! However - they stated this is not the first time she has been pregnant, they dont want her inside ever, they don't want her kittens and they don't care about chipping or neutering her. We found the cat this evening, walking home, it had been raining and very windy, sheltered under a bush, absolutely soaking and crying. I got my cat carrier and I have brought the cat home where it gobbled lots of food and got warm next to the radiator. Yes, I've kind of 'stolen' a cat, but I couldn't bear to leave her out in the freezing cold.
My dilemma is introducing this kitten to my others. I brought her in today, took them upstairs first and just let her have a sniff around and she was quite happy. I let them in and she wasn't fussed by my male cat but was hissing at my female. Does anyone have any tips on introducing them? I'm not trying again until the morning as she is fast asleep now and settled, but I'm wondering if her being pregnant and protective of her babies (and having to be as she has essentially lived outside all her life!) will make it trickier. I can't bear to leave her outside all alone again.
Thank you if you have gotten this far!!
I'm afraid I can't really offer any advice but just wanted to say how lovely you are for taking her in. What a terrible start to life, poor thing.
What a lovely person you are.
Am afraid I don't know enough about introducing cats either to offer any advice but am so glad there are people like you out there looking out for wee kitties in need.
Little and often I think - and make sure everyone has a "safe" space to get away. They might all be fine fairly quickly as they're quite young.
I wonder how far off giving birth she is? I would definitely be keeping her in a separate room from the others when that is imminent.
Be wary of her bringing fleas, mites and worms into your home and infecting your other cats.
By the way, you've done absolutely the right thing, so don't feel guilty about "stealing" the cat!
Aww bless you , you lovely person. but I'd probably do the same too . I could bear the see a poor animal freezing, it really annoys me irresponsible owners who don't neuter animals . I don't have any advice but I really hope you find homes for the kittens .
For some reason this thread posted twice so I'm probably saying the same thing in my replies here haha. I'm glad the consensus is I've done the right this, I just couldnt leave her out there. I would always be thinking about her. I am taking her back to the vet in the morning Devon so hopefully they can give me some more information and advice about that, I will be getting her chipped, vaccinated and deflead and wormed too. Luckily we have only just sprayed the house and my kittens had their month treatments yesterday so I think that side of things should be okay.
Not to cause you concern but as this cat is not chipped and has been kept outside I would be concerned about it’s health.
I’d take it to the vets for a full check and for shots as I doubt the previous owners have been doing this. To be honest I’d keep it separate from my other cats until the vets give the all clear.
I’ve taken in a stray, got it’s shots, chipped and sterilised.
The other thing we did was Initially give her a separate litter tray, food and water bowls. Slowly moving them closer together (large kitchen so doable).
Keeping them separate when we were out the house to help slowly introduce them.
We now have two very happy cats who do now share food bowls etc.
You definitely did the right thing! I’ve done the same in the past. I would still report the owners to RSPCA and explain everything you’ve written here.
Keep the cat separate from yours so she can rest. You need to take her to the vet for basic tests, so you’re sure your own cats are safe too (I imagine your cats are vaccinated which reduces the risk but still something to be sorted).
You need the vet to establish if she is in a fit state to have the kittens and if you’re still on time to neuter her before she has the babies. This is sad but she may be much too young to be a mum. It takes a toll on their bodies especially if she is malnourished etc. Then start ringing animal charities around and see if they can take her in. Whereabouts are you located?
Thank you only, I'll definitely ask the vet about that and try some of the things you mentioned! Hamster, I'm quite happy to keep her as long as she and my others are happy. Obviously if they're not I'll have to find her another home but I won't be letting her go until I do when I've just rescued her from an awful one x
Definitely space to get away from each other and time, and absolutely seperate feed and water bowls (put a water bowl in a different area in case one guards the existing things?). She might not be litter trained either if she's never been inside.
Definitely speak to the vets re worming/flea/injections- it may depend on the pregnancy.
I'm sure they'll all get on in time (there may well be a lot of hissing!). Have you thought of a name?
My male cat snook downstairs this morning and she wasn't bothered by him in the slightest, he was wary but not upset. Yesterday when the new kitty saw resident female kitten (RFK) she hissed but this was as we were separating them so I didn't really have chance to see whether or not it was just hissing. That's why I thought it might be due to her pregnancy as it is only my lady she was bothered by. RFK is very very timid, always has been, so hopefully in time new kitty will realise that she's nothing to worry about!
A name - vets asked that and have had to put down Kitten MummySurname as I didn't know. She's black as the night. My 2 are called Salt and Pepper but had I preempted this I would have called her Pepper! So I need a name to go with those. My partner suggested Chips
Oh she sounds beautiful. Just slow and steady on introducing them. I took in a cat (stole it) years ago and she ended up being best friends with mine.
I hate owners like that. My girl had 3 sets of kittens before I got her and was a skinny thing but she ended up a big happy girl.
Bless you for caring and you could call her ebony
No advise but bless you. Poor little kitten that story made me sad, I'm glad she has you.
Bless you for doing this (as one cat owner to another). I have two cats and had to introduce them to each other when they were kittens. They now sleep cuddled up together and this is what I was told - they need to swap smells until it becomes the "family smell". Very important to cats apparently. How I did it was to stroke one for awhile and then stroke the other and then stroke the first one again, thereby exchanging smells on their behalf. I also kept swapping the blankets on which they slept. It took a couple of days but it meant that when they did finally meet, a thorough sniff confirmed that they were "family". Mixed in with all of that, of course, are traces of your "smell" as you are part of their family! Possibly the most important one as you wield the tin-opener
Hope this helps. Good luck!
How is she today? Hope she gets on alright at the vets. For a name you could call her something like Storm, Jet, Coco or Binx after the immortal cat in Hocus Pocus!
Well done OP; she'll be one of the grateful lucky cats that have had to endure terrible hardship at the hands of those that shouldn't be allowed near a animal and think they've landed in paradise when they get a proper home!
I'd look into getting her neutered as as awful as it sounds the cat population is already at saturation point. If that isn't feasible then contact a rescue to take the kittens as soon as they are old enough, then you can be certain that home checks and neutering will be done.
As for names to go with salt and pepper, how about Sarson's? Or a herby name to go along with the seasonings (Parsley, Rosemary, Tarragon, Saffron, paprika, chilli, thyme etc)
We have decided to call her Olive as she has beautiful green eyes the vets wasn't great today as she was really stressed and they couldnt chip her or vaccinate her, but they are going tp do it on Saturday after a diazepam. The good news is she has calmed down a lot at home. I bought a feliway friends diffuser and a pet remedy calming spray and I can already see a difference as now when my other 2 are in the same room she's wary but not hissing or stalking them haha.
As for the neuturing - this vet wasn't sure whether she is pregnant or not. He said when she is sedated a little on Saturday they will be able to have a better feel and then I can decide what to do on that front. She hardly weighs anything at all, less than half of my others and the vet estimates them to be around the same age.
Poor cat. People make me so angry-what is the point having a cat and not let it indoors?! The RSPCA should take action as the cat's basic welfare needs aren't being met!
Rant over... OP thankfully people like you do care. If she is too late in pregnancy to spay now I would contact rescues once you know how far gone she is and you can discuss them taking the kittens in advance.
You have done a brilliant thing as she would have probably not made it through the winter. Even if she doesn't settle with you at least you've saved her as it sounds like she was really struggling. Well done!
Olive is a beautiful name. It's great you're looking after her especially as this storm is raging outside and when I think of cats out there alone with no home I want to cry.
My girl s been in all cosy most of the day.
Lovely name OP; I really hope she isn't pregnant and you can all enjoy a warm, peaceful christmas together.
And when the time is right you can post a picture of them all. I really hope shes not pregnant too.
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