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AIBU?

Is this a bit neglectful (pets)

72 replies

Pleaseaddcaffine · 19/09/2022 19:44

Friend, has housecats and they done go out. He adores them. But...
Two females ages 2 to 3 form kittens, never vet registered and not netured or wormed or fleaded regularly.
Live in living room only which isn't that big, no scratch posts, beds or toys realy and place is very messy.
Fed 2 pouches between them a day and busicuits... If he can afford it often no biscuits end of month. Litter tray is frankly grim.. Can smell it and viably full of poo very often.
Is this neglect? I think it's borderline but he clearly cares about them. They got poorly and I pointed out needed worming and fleaing then got better.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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NameChangedForThis12398 · 19/09/2022 20:59

If they do not go out they do not need flea and worm treatment. A pouch each plus dry food doesn't sound like they are being starved at all. My cats get that. They used to get 2 pouches each a day plus unlimited dry food but wasted so much wet food I cut it down. I have 1 housecat and 1 cat that goes outside. It's their choice but my younger one had never attempted to go out. I've put him in the garden and he runs back in. He's 7 now and not neglected. YABU.

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Sideorderofchips · 19/09/2022 21:05

Indoor cats need flea treating

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70isaLimitNotaTarget · 19/09/2022 21:06

Cats Best itter is brilliant but so ££ the price has shot up.

He definately needs to be cleaning severa times a day. i have a M+F they each do 2+ poohs a day ( he buries his, she doesn't) and 4-5 pee clumps . Mine go out but come in to toilet .

Do they drink enough?
If the pee stinks and they are peeing everywhere they could have a UTI
If they don't like their toilet tray they might be trying to avoid it (and I bet he tells them off doesn't he ?)

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Ansjovis · 19/09/2022 21:09

NameChangedForThis12398 · 19/09/2022 20:59

If they do not go out they do not need flea and worm treatment. A pouch each plus dry food doesn't sound like they are being starved at all. My cats get that. They used to get 2 pouches each a day plus unlimited dry food but wasted so much wet food I cut it down. I have 1 housecat and 1 cat that goes outside. It's their choice but my younger one had never attempted to go out. I've put him in the garden and he runs back in. He's 7 now and not neglected. YABU.

Did you miss the bit where they have one litter tray between them that's only cleaned every four days? Absolutely grim and needs to be sorted.

Also everyone with your judgment at indoor only cats: my two came to me at 18 months old having been indoor only cats, it would have been cruel at that point to let them roam as they missed the time window to acclimatise when they were kittens. They've got a large house to run around and they will actually run away from the front door if they spot that it's open. Vet is happy that both are healthy.

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LovePoppy · 19/09/2022 21:21

Babyroobs · 19/09/2022 20:27

Why bother even having cats if they are not going to be able to go out. Just wrong ! I don't care what anyone says trying to justify it.

Not Allowing cats to roam at large is actually a bylaw where I live. All cats are meant to be house cats.

Doesnt stop people, but its not wrong to have house cats. I think its wrong to allow them to go out and bother the neighbours.

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Bearthepooh · 19/09/2022 21:30

The food sounds fine to me also, I have 2 indoor cats and they have the equivalent of 1 pouch each a day, (share 1 in the morning, and share another in the evening) plus a good quality biscuit. They're not underweight and are very healthy.

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Nothingtoseehereok · 19/09/2022 21:32

OP, I hope you have reported him already. My kittens eat more than that per day and they are 17 weeks old - and I clean their tray at least 2-3 times a day.

He is starving them and having them live in a filthy prison - not because they are indoor cats, but because they have no stimulation at all and must shit in the equivalent of a Glastonbury toilet. Every moment more they spend there is torture for them. Please do something to help them - even take them away yourself and say they escaped. I'm devastated to hear about this - it is proper animal abuse via neglect.

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Catinabeanbag · 19/09/2022 21:32

He needs to clean the litter tray every day. And ideally there should be one litter tray per cat, plus one spare. We've got two cats (indoor) and four litter trays. Cats hate peeing / pooing where it's not clean, which probably explains the peeing everywhere. They're stressed because there's nowhere clean for them to pee.
They could also do with some toys, things to play with, and high places to sleep on/in. Boredom means they'll fight, and that can also lead to peeing where they shouldn't - if one's bullying another, for example.

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Mahanii · 19/09/2022 21:34

@Pleaseaddcaffine the manufacturers say 4 pouches a day in order to sell more. Cats protection definitely advise feeding once a day.
That being said, the litter trays and lack of space are definitely an issue. Can you tell him his flat stinks and embarrass him into action?

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Nothingtoseehereok · 19/09/2022 21:35

I would also wonder about his mental health if he's happy to live in a swamp of cat piss.

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Whatsthepointofmosquitos · 19/09/2022 21:49

Two pouches a day between them?! My small cat eats six a day.

Yes it is neglect. Suggest you print some info on cat care and send to him saying you’re worried.

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GlitteryUnicornSparkles · 19/09/2022 22:49

So the arguments start re indoors vs outdoors! I personally prefer cats to have outdoor access and think the benefits to their mental health / stimulation and physical health far out weighs the risks of letting them out in most cases. I do however accept there are some circumstances when free outdoor access is not always appropriate. What I think people sometimes fail to realise is that whilst cats do sleep a lot when awake they are also extremely active with high prey drive and being crepuscular often keep hours that are not entirely in line with our own, all of these things need to be facilitated, they need to be provided with adequate ways in which to be able to express normal behaviours which whilst achievable indoors when done to a good standard can be quite expensive and invasive and there is no denying that many house cats are obese putting them at higher risk of many health problems. Therefore keeping them in itself is not nessisarily a bad thing but keeping them in one small room with no facilities to run, jump, climb. No toys to chase and hunt or provide mental stimulation is far from ideal.

Cats on a wet only diet usually have an average recommendation of 4 pouches a day per cat based on a cat whose Ideal weight is around the 4kg mark (average cat size). 1 pouch each plus biscuits is fine but if he's running out of biscuits and not compensating with additional wet food during this time this is not adequate or acceptable as the cats will be going hungry at the end of every month.

With regards to litter trays the guidance is one per cat plus one extra, this is particularly relevant to indoor only cats, therefore 1 litter tray for two cats is not adequate there should be 3. Cats toilet several times per day and cat pee is very strong, having a single litter tray for 2 indoor cats and only cleaning it out every 4 days is not going to be anywhere near adequate. It needs poo picking probably twice per day and fully emptying and cleaning every other day. Whilst being unspayed will undoubtedly add to the urinating / marking behaviour it is also likely behavioural if their facilities are not clean enough or they are stressed. Getting the smell of cat urine out of furnishings is a nightmare and if they can smell where they have been they are likely to go there again.

With regards to being unspayed not only can coming into heat every few weeks be stressful for them but it increases their chance of marking, escaping and developing mammory tumours and pyometra (a life threatening uterine infection), if these occur it’ll cost a lot more to get sorted than the initial outlay for a spay would have. If he is in receipt of any benefits many charities like the PDSA or Cats Protection offer heavily discounted neutering and microchipping. The outlay now could save a small fortune in the future.

With regards preventative medications I think its unwise to have no vaccines at all so I would always recommend a full kitten course as virus’s can still be brought in but I also believe in many (not all) cases vaccines often last longer than than they are guaranteed for (I titre tested my dog) and many of the diseases that are vaccinated against in cats are transmitted by direct contact (fighting / mating) so as an indoor cats risk is pretty low. The biggest parasite risk to indoor cats is fleas as they can and do hitch a ride on people and if I had a pound for every person with an indoor cat that had gotten fleas and saying ‘but they don’t go outside’ I’d be rich so flea treating is definitely recommended on a regular basis, again this is something where treating the problem once its there is so much more expensive and time consuming than the treatment to prevent it in the first place. You can get a 4 month supply of Advantage online for around £12 with postage. Worms are also a minimal risk in a housecat, the biggest risk is tapeworm which comes from fleas, prevent the fleas and the worms are unlikely, in an indoor cat treated preventatively for fleas I’d probably only worm the cats 6 monthly. Drontal bought from an online pet pharmacy is about £2 per tablet. This isn’t significant cost.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, The 5 Welfare Needs which are a legal requirement for any animal are:

The need for a suitable diet - this includes a suitable amount of food (to prevent both obesity and malnourishment) and access to fresh water and is something your friend is not meeting if they are at times going without enough food.

The need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns - if the cats have no access to adequate exercise, facilities to run, jump, climb, chase, hunt, scratch your friend is not meeting this need.

The need for a suitable environment - they must have enough space appropriate to the species, comfortable resting areas and hiding places etc. Again limited to a small room messy room with no beds or adequate toileting facilities and that smells this is not being met.

The need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease - this means prompt treatment should the animal because unwell or injured to prevent suffering.

The need to be housed with or apart from others.

From what you have said your friend is failing in at least 3 out of 5 of his legal obligations.

I’m not sure how you go about approaching this with your friend, its a tough conversation to have but hopefully those points will help. Also I have attached the DEFRA guide to cat care / welfare, maybe you could print it off and give it to him.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/697941/pb13332-cop-cats-091204.pdf

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Hakunamatata91 · 19/09/2022 22:53

Pleaseaddcaffine · 19/09/2022 20:14

I have spoken to him about it several times, he seems to genuinly belive he cleans the litter tray every 4 days. No way he does. It mings. I mean takes your breath away mings

The litter tray needs cleaned every day!!! If I left mine 4 days I hate to think how gross it would be 🤢 Indoor cats don't need regular flea and worm treatment, but the rest is neglect. I would report him, poor cats..

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Thelnebriati · 19/09/2022 22:57

Its a myth that cats that never go out don't need worm treatment or vaccines, and its neglectful of owners not to bother. Its easy to take a stool sample to the vets for testing if you believe your cat is worm free.
Most kittens are born with worm eggs and good breeders will worm them; BYBers don't bother.

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Hakunamatata91 · 20/09/2022 00:24

Thelnebriati · 19/09/2022 22:57

Its a myth that cats that never go out don't need worm treatment or vaccines, and its neglectful of owners not to bother. Its easy to take a stool sample to the vets for testing if you believe your cat is worm free.
Most kittens are born with worm eggs and good breeders will worm them; BYBers don't bother.

Agreed re vaccines, but my vet is of the view indoor cats don't need worm or flea treatments (after one initial course as they were rescues). So obviously something people have different opinions on, but if you're following a vets advice I don't think its neglectful.

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PinkSyCo · 20/09/2022 06:15

Do you really need to ask? I’m not sure how much food a cat stuck in one room all of it’s life needs in terms of food and flea treatment and worming, but I do know that it doesn’t sound like a very happy life for them. Still, that’s 2 less free to shit in my garden I suppose.

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Pleaseaddcaffine · 20/09/2022 08:42

Yeah I'm worried but he loves them and is sensative. I wnat to help the cats and not offend, I think talking about best circs and recommendations may help

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Thelnebriati · 20/09/2022 16:11

Hakunamatata91 Your vet was clear about them needing the initial course! And it does need to be a full course, as the wormer doesn't kill the eggs, only the adult worms.

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TooMuchToDoTooLittleInclination · 20/09/2022 16:15

Pleaseaddcaffine · 19/09/2022 20:01

They wee everywhere as not neturtered

It sounds like you know as much about cats as he does.

the cats deserve better, much better.

sadly SPCA won't do anything about it.

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TheNoodlesIncident · 20/09/2022 17:06

To be fair to the RSPCA and others, they have to produce the strongest evidence of the most horrific cruelty to get a conviction - it's the CPS and the courts they need to persuade that a serious crime in law has been committed against animals. It's not fair to say they won't care, they clearly do - but they know they won't get a conviction of cruelty against someone who doesn't provide enough litter trays or is sketchy with doling out food. It's clearly dreadful neglect but in the eyes of the law, that's not enough unfortunately. There are only so many animals that animal rescues can house and feed themselves, they can't keep indefinitely removing them from dodgy homes.

"The RSPCA is under pressure to drop its right to bring prosecutions after it spent £22.5 million on prosecutions over two years. The cost includes £10 million for vets fees and taking care of animals during the prosecution process." Posters have said before that the RSPCA don't care, they clearly do but it's unrealistic to think that they can stop all people who, for example, get dogs and leave them to bark all day in the garden!

All you can do is try to educate the person into understanding that there are baselines of care and they're not meeting that, with the pets suffering as a result. And that in itself can be very difficult, as not everyone is endowed with sufficient intelligence to learn adequately nor always the understanding that their treatment of their vulnerable pets is abusive. They might not have the compassion to care enough either. It's never an easy situation. OP clearly wants her friend to enjoy pet ownership with an improved ability to care for the cats, but is he willing and capable?

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Pleaseaddcaffine · 20/09/2022 17:37

TooMuchToDoTooLittleInclination · 20/09/2022 16:15

It sounds like you know as much about cats as he does.

the cats deserve better, much better.

sadly SPCA won't do anything about it.

Slightly rude... Female cats can mark territory if not netured through urine. Although much more likely in males

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Pleaseaddcaffine · 20/09/2022 17:40

TheNoodlesIncident · 20/09/2022 17:06

To be fair to the RSPCA and others, they have to produce the strongest evidence of the most horrific cruelty to get a conviction - it's the CPS and the courts they need to persuade that a serious crime in law has been committed against animals. It's not fair to say they won't care, they clearly do - but they know they won't get a conviction of cruelty against someone who doesn't provide enough litter trays or is sketchy with doling out food. It's clearly dreadful neglect but in the eyes of the law, that's not enough unfortunately. There are only so many animals that animal rescues can house and feed themselves, they can't keep indefinitely removing them from dodgy homes.

"The RSPCA is under pressure to drop its right to bring prosecutions after it spent £22.5 million on prosecutions over two years. The cost includes £10 million for vets fees and taking care of animals during the prosecution process." Posters have said before that the RSPCA don't care, they clearly do but it's unrealistic to think that they can stop all people who, for example, get dogs and leave them to bark all day in the garden!

All you can do is try to educate the person into understanding that there are baselines of care and they're not meeting that, with the pets suffering as a result. And that in itself can be very difficult, as not everyone is endowed with sufficient intelligence to learn adequately nor always the understanding that their treatment of their vulnerable pets is abusive. They might not have the compassion to care enough either. It's never an easy situation. OP clearly wants her friend to enjoy pet ownership with an improved ability to care for the cats, but is he willing and capable?

Yes that's what I want. What's best for the animals, ignorance isn't an excuse but if there situation can be improved then I would like to do that for him and them.
Hard conversation to be had sadly but thanks everyone for confirming that I should say somthing

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