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To keep the cat?

75 replies

lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:14

Me and my DH found a kitten by the side of the road while out walking last night.

We live in a country where strays are quite common, although not so much in the area of the city where we live. It's a sweet little tabby tomcat, and I suspect it's been abandoned recently as it's in quite good condition and was begging for food from passers by, whereas most of the strays here are very scruffy and run away from humans. It followed us for about half an hour mewling and we were worried it was in danger of being run over so we put it in the car and took it home, fed it etc.

It's a lovely cat and we're already quite attached. Problem is that we live in a high rise apartment with a balcony but no garden. The landlady would not like it (not that she needs to find out). It's a young tomcat and so we're worried it'll piss everywhere/destroy the sofa (although so far it's peed in its litter and not scratched the sofa too much). To top it off, my husband is a little bit allergic to cats.

Problem is, if we gave it away it would probably be in a similar situation as most people live in high rises. If we gave it to a shelter I don't think it would have a good life - they are crowded and the cats tend to be put down when they get to a certain age. And there's no way I would just abandon it again, poor mite.

What to do? Any suggestions?

OP posts:

MokunMokun · 20/08/2015 12:20

Honestly? I think there is probably a family somewhere frantically searching for their lost cat.


Purpleknickers · 20/08/2015 12:25

Get it checked by a vet , it may well be chipped to an owner


InTheBox · 20/08/2015 12:26

It sounds as though you've decided to keep it but just want outside confirmation to make you feel less guilty. Tbh all the reasons you list to not keep it outweigh the reasons to keep it. You were wrong from the start i.e. putting it in your car and taking it home.


OnlyLovers · 20/08/2015 12:26

I'd get it checked for a chip too, and if not is it worth putting up 'found cat' posters?

If no one claims it, keep it. It sounds sweet. Get it neutered obviously. your DH can just put up with the allergy


NynaevesSister · 20/08/2015 12:27

Mokun from what they say, in that country, it probably isn't.

Cats can be kept indoors as long as you keep them stimulated. My husband was mildly allergic and built up a resistance. Get the cat spayed as soon as it is possible and you won't have to worry about him spraying everywhere.


NynaevesSister · 20/08/2015 12:28

You can also get him checked for a chip and put up found posters in the area where you found him.


Spilose · 20/08/2015 12:31

Yes YABU. Go to the vets and get it scanned. If it has no chip look into local animal charities which can help rehome it somewhere suitable and you could foster it short term.


lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:32

Wow, people jumping right down my throat here! You don't understand the country I live in. Yes we will take it to a vet and get it checked for a microchip but we are assuming it has been abandoned, not lost. The area of my city is entirely high rise flats - from ground floor to about fourth floor is car parking, and from fourth up the apartments. So to escape a cat would have to get out of the apartment, into the lift with an actual person who presses the button to the ground floor, out through the lobby (where there are concierges) and through two front sliding doors. That is how all apartment blocks are built here.

It's unlikely to come from another area of the city as my area is entirely ringed by massive six lane highways - a cat would have no chance.

Plus this is a city of expats and people leaving abandon their pets all the time.

Still think I did the wrong thing by putting it in my car? We found it by the side of a busy road and it didn't seem to be particularly car savvy.

Still think I was 'in the wrong'?

Anyway, assuming it has been abandoned, I'd like to know what people would do?

OP posts:

OnlyLovers · 20/08/2015 12:33

OK, OP, I know the odd poster is being quite forthright but you have also had some useful advice.


lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:34

Spilose that's what I would do if we lived in the UK, but here there are so many strays that need adopting, there is very little chance of it being able to find a good home. Plus if it did find a home I can't imagine it being any better than ours, as like I said the vast majority of people here are high rise.

OP posts:

lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:36

Yes, thank you Only - I'm only really addressing Inthebox. The nice advice came only after I'd typed and posted my response.

OP posts:

lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:37

Nyn, your DH developed a resistance?

The other thing I was thinking, if we kept it, we could get a Roomba and an air filter to minimise hairs...

OP posts:

SuperFlyHigh · 20/08/2015 12:42

OP - I was very allergic to cats before I got my 2 cats (now sadly passed away). I had always wanted cats and just figured i would wash my hands more (which I did) - after a few months the allergy vanished!


lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 12:47

That is encouraging, Super.

Does anyone have experience with tomcats? Do they make the house stink?

I really don't think I have the heart to send it away... I know the living conditions are not ideal but I'm trying to figure out the 'least worst' option, iyswim.

OP posts:

SuperFlyHigh · 20/08/2015 12:49

if you neuter him he won't spray. so get that sorted out first. I have one now though who is neutured and no stink at all as long as you change their cat litter tray regularly.


patienceisvirtuous · 20/08/2015 12:51

Same, I was highly allergic, got two, built a resistance. I take antihistamines on bad days...

I think get it checked for a chip, and put up some found posters nr where you found him - so you've done the right thing.

No-one comes forward (with proof) then keep him. If you keep him, get him neutered/vaccinated/chipped etc. Get him plenty of stuff to keep him stimulated (needn't be expensive). I find cardboard boxes, toy mice, and feathers on sticks/string are great (mine love Da Bird). Also, tall cat trees are great for indoor cats. Means they can still climb and sleep up high if they want to feel safe.

Get a covered tray to help keep smells at bay (but you'll need to scoop and bag each poo to really keep smells under control).

Also make sure you get safety nets for balcony so kitty can't fall.

Good luck!


patienceisvirtuous · 20/08/2015 12:54

Really cats are no work at all ( you get back much more than you put in) and if he is brought up as an indoor cat he won't know the difference (between indoor/outdoor life) and will be perfectly happy.


Charis1 · 20/08/2015 12:59

Yes, our spayed tomcat makes the house stink and destroys things. But we love him to bits and would never ever consider rehoming him. He lives entirely inside, actually this was his choice though, not ours. I've had experience trying to keep a stray inside temporarily for their own safety and she got very restless. It suits some cats, but not all.

Lots of toys, things to climb, love and attention etc. Which country are you in? In the UK, it is unofficially accepted that if you make two weeks reasonable efforts to find the owner of a cat, and don't succeed, then the cat becomes legally yours.


TheCatsMother99 · 20/08/2015 12:59


Sounds like you haven't even taken it to a vet to have it scanned, so it could be someone's pet. Also, of it's young it may be that someone hasn't got round to chipping it yet, in which case you need to put up 'found' posters and if possible do a leaflet drop.

I disagree with you hiding a cat in your flat. For all you know it's against the terms of the lease for pets to be in the apartment or that you need to seek freeholder permission and so you could leave your landlady in breach of her lease terms. Not just that but if the cat pisses everywhere then it'll stink & potentially damage the flat too (again which isn't fair on the owner of the flat).

I'm also against cats being kept in flats, or even in houses if I'm honest, unless there is a specific reason which means it is in the animal's best interests to do so.

And I disagree with making your DH suffer from allergies just so you could have a cat. Would you suffer if he decided he wanted something you didn't like or were allergic to?


yestheyhavethesamedad · 20/08/2015 13:00

You asked if we think you did the wrong thing putting it in your car, yes I do someone saw my cat at the side of a busy road near my house, decided she was a stray and put her in a car and took her home where she took her to the vets who scanned her. I received a phone call the following morning telling me I had to pick her up within 12hrs or they would charge me so I had to go to work late and do a 2 hr round trip to collect her .

The only consolation was that the vet told the woman that next time if she is worried that she should phone someone local and NOT remove it from the area its found in.


Charis1 · 20/08/2015 13:01

some things we get from our destructive smelly Tom, love, company, entertainment, warm cuddles, happy purr, welcomes home, conversation ( ok, a bit one sided....) but I realise I hadn't explained in my previous post just how lovely and satisfying it is to have him.


SuperFlyHigh · 20/08/2015 13:01

patience just would like to have a disclaimer - cats are no work at all unless you have a Siamese or Siamese cross - quite demanding.

OP - be warned re scratching - unfortunately cats can scratch stuff other than their posts... also you may want to invest in cat grass on your balcony as they like to eat it to help with digestion.

Cats are very calming and relaxing generally though and very endearing.


lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 13:15

yes that is ridiculous!! Safe to say it wouldn't happen here!

TheCats you are being unnecessarily aggressive. We only just found the cat last night - haven't had a chance to take it to the vet yet! And it's my DH who really wants to keep the cat - what is it about my few posts that makes you think I'm the sort of person who 'makes' someone to live with an animal they're allergic to? And as for keeping it in a flat, yes I know it's not ideal. But it's got to be better than being abandoned at the side of the road, or put down in an overcrowded 'shelter'.

As for the landlady - she can go to hell. Horrible, money-grabbing swindler of a woman (but that's another story!). I'm more concerned about losing the deposit if the place is destroyed at the end of the lease (although we probably will anyway, knowing her). The only soft furnishing we have in the living room is a sofa though, and the covers are removable and washable so hopefully any damage can be limited. We don't want to live in a stinky house either!

Thank you other kind posters for the tips: the balcony net in particular. We are worried about it jumping up, but not sure about the likelihood that it would? We haven't let it out there unsupervised yet. And the cat grass. Although I assume that's something you have to grow, and as it's 46 degrees here at the moment... Still, we could give it a go.

OP posts:

Lurkedforever1 · 20/08/2015 13:19

Yanbu. Assuming you intend checking it's chipped and check for lost ads, and place found adverts (vets, local Facebook, shops etc) I think you should keep it. Don't check just locally though, it does happen that they get in a bag/ box in a vehicle and end up miles away. If you were UK or similar, I'd say a shelter because cats need at least a garden pen and kittens are usually rehomed quick. But where you are a shelter doesn't sound a better alternative. Just ask how soon it can be neutered when you take it for a chip scan. And get a litter tray even if it only ends up staying a few days, once they wee somewhere they return.


lushilaoshi · 20/08/2015 13:20

I think we will put up found posters. A leaflet drop is out of the question though.

OP posts:
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