A new home for an unappealing cat?
May 23, 2006 11:19 AM   Subscribe

How can I find a new home for my overweight, unhappy, kind of gross cat?

About 8 years ago a young cat showed up on my doorstep and would not leave. After a while I let her in. She was a very nice pet for a couple years until my wife and her 2 cats moved in, and we got a German Shepherd, all within a few months.

She merely tolerates the other cats but has never gotten used to the dog. The dog, in return, hates her as well and they cannot be in the same room without much hissing, growling and chasing. The dog would never hurt her, but sees her as a threat.

Throughout this 6 or so years, she has gotten very fat (we tried diet food to no avail), and developed a nasty temperment and many bad habits. She loves human attention, but she DOESN'T CLEAN HERSELF (first cat i have known with this quirk) and is greasy and dirty. She leaves a gross pile of dusty shedding everywhere she makes her bed (usually somewhere we don't want her to go.) She will let you pet or brush her for a minute or two, and then get crazy and scratch you. She also has all her claws, and they are very, very sharp. She mainly lives in the basement by herself. All in all, she does not appear to be a very happy pet.

We had a daughter in early March, and it has been decided that this cat is not kid safe. Once the baby is able to move around and grab things, I don't want this cat around, for fear of her getting scratched.

My question is, how do I get someone to adopt a 9 year old, overweight, dirty, greasy, not very friendly, fully armed black and silver tabby? Did I mention she has several shaved spots where mats were removed at her last vet appointment? Not exactly a selling point. Oh, and the vet also mentioned she is covered in "flea dust", although they did not find any fleas.

The humane society may be my only option. I won't feel good about putting another cat in there when there are so many unwanted cats. I don't think it's likely she would be adopted.

Any ideas?
posted by bradn to Pets & Animals (51 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's tough, but Pussy has to go sleep with the fishes.
posted by veedubya at 11:26 AM on May 23, 2006

Why don't you try listing her on Craigslist or something similar? Be upfront, but try to put a positive spin on it. ("Needs some TLC" or whatnot.) Mention that it'd break your heart to give her to the Humane Society, and maybe someone else will take her in.
posted by fogster at 11:36 AM on May 23, 2006

Post in the pet section of craigslist with as flattering a description as you can muster. Post a flattering picture, or as close to flattering as you can get. Be honest about the cat's less endearing features, such as propensity for scratching. Mention that your cat has been living in a somewhat unhappy situation since the dog moved in, and you would like to find a happier home for her. Some people love to help out animals in situations like this. And the best part about craigslist is that you don't lose anything by trying it out.

On preview: Agreeing with fogster.
posted by agropyron at 11:38 AM on May 23, 2006

Your cat sounds depressed. I'm not kidding. Can you talk to the vet about antidepressants? I know it sounds ridiculous but if you can get the cat to take care of itself either a) you may be able to keep it, or b) you will be much more likely to adopt it out.

Also, I had a cat do similar stuff as it got older - switching from unlimited dry food to one can of wet food per day got her to lose a lot of weight and improved a few things.

Oh, and cats tend to hide symptoms when they are sick -- so there might be something really wrong with this kitty that it is hiding.

In a nutshell: get to a vet and explain what's up. The vet might even know some tenderhearted soul you can shuffle the cat off onto.
posted by selfmedicating at 11:39 AM on May 23, 2006

I don't know where you are located, but maybe you can at least do the legwork into finding a no-kill shelter for the kitty if you insist on getting rid of her.

I agree that ads on Craigslist and around town might also be worthwhile. Can you Freecycle a cat? Maybe.

Good luck, I hope you find her a home where she can be relaxed and happy.
posted by tastybrains at 11:44 AM on May 23, 2006

It can't hurt to try to find a home for her yourself before going to the humane society. Put up "free cat" signs in the neighborhood, ask friends or coworkers if anyone wants a pet.

There are an awful lot of people out there (I'm one of them) who are suckers for an animal in need. If you present your case right, you could surely sway somebody. For example: "I don't suppose you know anyone who wants a cat? She's got some health problems and I don't want to put her in a kill shelter but I just don't know what else to do..."

On preview, what's already been said.

Additionally, keep in mind that her behavioral problems, her weight and skin trouble are all likely to be effects of her unhappiness. Once she's in a home where she's no longer being terrorized by a german shepherd, she'll mellow out.
posted by miagaille at 11:47 AM on May 23, 2006

Not sure if I have any ideas for your immediate situation, except perhaps seeing if someone will adopt the cat via craigslist. If you give her to an organization to be adopted, she will likely get euthanized if no one claims her after 2 weeks.

There are some things you might be able to do to improve her appearance. Improving her behavior might be more difficult, since it might require changing ingrained habits.

Did the vet have any comments to the effect that the cat's not maintaining good hygiene may be a result of an underlying medical or psychological condition? If a cat scratches someone it is usually trying to tell that person that it has had enough of whatever the person is doing. The cat may not be accustomed to brushing, or brushing may be hurting it for some reason.

Your cat may have fleas despite none being seen. Have you tried Revolution (http://www.1800petmeds.com/pselect.asp?LV=201&PG=Revolution)?
Perhaps her hygiene would improve if fleas were eradicated.

Do you leave cat food out for the cat all the time? If so, this very quickly can lead to feline obesity.

Try to teach her to use a scratching post. You can use certain sprays to encourage this.
posted by cahlers at 11:47 AM on May 23, 2006

This sounds like a very sad case of neglect on the owner's part! I would never wish this on any pet.
posted by cahlers at 11:51 AM on May 23, 2006

One other thing: be prepared to be seen as the bad guy. People will tell you you're a horrible, irresponsible, heartless person for treating a cat that way and will berate you for abandoning her. Just ignore them. You're obviously trying to do what's in the cat's best interests by finding her a more suitable home.
posted by miagaille at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2006

mlagaille: agreed bradn is trying to do the best now, but what about for the last 6 years?
posted by cahlers at 11:55 AM on May 23, 2006

What miagalle said. This cat sounds depressed to me and could probably make someone a very happy, calm and loving pet if she were in a home as an only animal.

I would recommend finding a no-kill organization that uses fosters. If I'm right, and the cat perks up in the right environment, there would probably be no problem getting her adopted.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 11:57 AM on May 23, 2006


He has two other cats, a dog, and a baby. He took in a stray eight years ago, fed it, brought it to the vet, pets and brushes it, and pretty much let it do what it wants.

How is this neglect?
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:01 PM on May 23, 2006

It's probably too late for it, but I've heard diet cat foods (at least dry diet foods) are exactly the opposite of what you want to give overweight cats. They're too high in carbohydrates, and cats are strictly carnivores. You'd want to feed her either the really high-quality dry foods with high, high protein content, or preferably wet foods.

Yeah, that is a pretty awful situation. I wouldn't try to flatter her up on Craigslist. In fact, take some utterly unflattering pictures of her: "GREASY GARFIELD WANNABE MUST GO", something like that. Really ham up how ugly and nasty this cat is, but in a funny manner. Some people (like myself) really go for the utter rejects, especially if you point out nobody would ever take this cat and it's going to be put to sleep if they don't get it. You're almost guaranteed to get a true cat lover this way, since the casual pet owner wouldn't take on a ugly task like that.

Call shelters if that doesn't work.
posted by Anonymous at 12:04 PM on May 23, 2006

The cat isn't happy with the baby. Sad but true, the cat's gotta go, even if all the other things about it weren't true.
posted by k8t at 12:04 PM on May 23, 2006

Sorry, cahlers, that wasn't a direct response to you; I posted before I saw your comment.

However, I don't see any evidence of neglect. To be fair, OP could have found a new home for the cat years ago before it came to this pass, but it's just so hard to tell if things will get better or worse with time.

My point, I guess, was this: if you find a kind soul who is willing to take in your cat, swallow your pride and put up with whatever preaching they and others may unload on you. Kitty is worth at least that.
posted by miagaille at 12:05 PM on May 23, 2006

leftcoastbob: it's neglect because the owner is responsible for the cat's condition. If the condition is less than optimal, then it is up to the owner to determine the reason and attempt to fix it. If the cat were a child, would you still feel the same way? Ina way, a pet is like a child, in that a pet is more or less dependent on the adult responsible for it.

k8t: it's not that the cat is unhappy with the baby; at least nothing in the original post points to this. The baby appeared in 3/06, as far as I can tell, but the cat's condition has been deteriorating for 6 years. The cat is unhappy with other things in its environment.
posted by cahlers at 12:15 PM on May 23, 2006

Also, I can say with personal experience that a difficult, unhappy cat is not necessarily permanently difficult and unhappy. My difficult cat who had problems with everyone and everything excepting me (and, long ago, my ex-wife), but sometimes me, too, became almost a normal, happy cat during the years when I lived with her and her aloneā€”no other people or pets.

So a single, lonely animal lover with no other pets might be just the thing for everyone involved.

And, by the way, I loved the cat and took care of her for 14 often difficult years and I don't regret it in the least. And I still love her in memory (she died in Dec. 04). But I gotta tell ya', the 9 mos. old kitty I adopted this February is one of the most affectionate and easy-going, people-comfortable cats I've known. Hisses were part of life with Simone. Muncie's not hissed or growled once; not even when I've had to pick her up or otherwise stop her from doing what she wanted to do. And, you know, I think I deserved an unusually loving and easy-going cat after Simone. But I loved Simone; and, also, I think I learned some important lessons about responsibility and love taking care of her for 14 years.

Anyway, an unhappy cat in your family's situation might thrive in another.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:20 PM on May 23, 2006

Find a box. Put cat in box. Take box to professional groomer. Pay for the works. Take a good photo. Use CL.

That failing, make up (read: lie!) a really sad story about this cat that some cat lady bleederheart will get attached to. With the cute photo post-grooming and a manipulative tale you can easily place this cat.
posted by cior at 12:23 PM on May 23, 2006

Also, I can say with personal experience that a difficult, unhappy cat is not necessarily permanently difficult and unhappy.

Absolutely. A cat's behavior is very dependent on its environment!

Cior: your idea will cause the cat more grief in the long run when the future, duped owners discover the cat's behavioral problems. Bad news for new owners and pet. Better for the future owner to know what he/she is getting into.

Cior, don't you have any compassion?! A cat is a living being, not some object you can just pawn off as quickly as possible, just to be rid of it. I can't believe that type of viewpoint, and hope you don't own any pets, for the pets' sake.
posted by cahlers at 12:28 PM on May 23, 2006

A lot of these suggestions are good ones, and worth a shot if you are committed to finding a home for kitty.

But reading your descriptions, I have to wonder if the cat will ever be happy. I think you should also consider putting it to sleep. I am a complete cat lover, but the cat sounds miserable.
posted by agregoli at 12:45 PM on May 23, 2006

DO NOT put up "free cat" posters. You have to charge at least a nominal fee to deter people who would use kitty for dissection fodder or cruelty. It does happen. Think Bill Frist. If you get a taker on kitty you can later waive the fee, but you have to weed out the sickos.

It does sound like the cat has a health problem of some sort, either mental, physical or both. Take the cat to a vet, as said above. This will be a step in the right direction whether or not you chose to give her up or keep her (assuming her dsposition gets better). I second asking the vet if he or she knows of a person who would take the cat.
posted by oflinkey at 12:58 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: Cahlers, did you even read my post? Do you think I would have even wasted time posting this if I didn't care about the cat's wellbeing?
I have taken cat of all of her needs since I took her in. She has had a yearly exam, she has had a reasonable amount of food (with 3 cats it's extremely difficult to regulate intake), and she has had a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in for 8 years. My wife and I CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT OUR ANIMALS, and we treat them with compassion. I would never "pawn off" a pet unless absolutely necessary. I am finding it, in this situation, increasingly necessary.

I have no control over her unhappiness, she is simply in the wrong environment for her personality, and up until now, I didn't try to find her a new environment because I knew that would be difficult, which brings us to my post here. Was I supposed to design my home and environment around a tempermental, antisocial cat? You have no right to question my compassion towards animals, you ignorant jackass.
posted by bradn at 1:03 PM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: k8t, cat was unhappy LONG before the baby, but the baby makes it necessary to do something about it.

oflinkey, I would never advertise any animal for free. I was planning on making that point here and I hope everyone who reads this takes note. I would put a $25 price on her and then probably not accept it when I found the right candidate.
posted by bradn at 1:05 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: cior, this cat will not accept grooming, she would have to be sedated. I would not put her through that.
posted by bradn at 1:07 PM on May 23, 2006

Sounds to me like putting this cat down would be best.
posted by Rumple at 1:13 PM on May 23, 2006

Bradn, light sedation isn't so bad for the cat, and a good grooming will probably make her feel better, anyway. Cats don't enjoy being dirty. Consider talking to your vet about a light sedative, such as Ace, that you could give her in a tuna fish treat or something. (We used to sedate our 25# cat with Ace in order to bathe him -- he just couldn't keep up with his fur, try as he might.)

Also, just for the interim, consider getting a Feliway diffuser and putting it in her basement. It might mellow her out a little bit, which will be nice for her, nice for you, and will also make her easier to show to people.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:15 PM on May 23, 2006

I knew of a cat in a similar situation (terrorized by a dog). The owners gave the cat to their son and his wife, and the cat mellowed out instantly. They even changed its name, the improvement was so profound. She started cleaning herself, playing nice, not scratching. Turned out someone just had to turn on the chill, which in this case took the form of removing the dog from the equation.
posted by jon_kill at 1:17 PM on May 23, 2006

Does this cat get outside at all? Perhaps a little hunting and excersise would help?
posted by kc0dxh at 1:24 PM on May 23, 2006

bradn, I've read your post multiple times. Perhaps six years is enough time to realize the cat is unhappy? If you were so compassionate, you might have noticed the cat's condition?

I applaud your trying to find a good home for the cat, however it's unfortunate condition will make this all the more difficult, though not impossible. There are many good suggestions in this thread.

Bradn, I was not implying you were trying to pawn off the cat, this comment was directed at cior's post.

In any case, I apologize for interjecting my opinions, which will not help the cat get the home it deserves.

Nevertheless, would the same have happened if this cat were a child? I'm truly interested in the answer. What would social services think a child were in this condition? Oh, I'm sorry, you're trying to find a good home for the child, er cat. That makes you compassionate, my mistake. I am indeed completely ignorant, my mistake.
posted by cahlers at 1:37 PM on May 23, 2006

Some people (like myself) really go for the utter rejects, especially if you point out nobody would ever take this cat and it's going to be put to sleep if they don't get it. You're almost guaranteed to get a true cat lover this way, since the casual pet owner wouldn't take on a ugly task like that.

This is so true. I read the post and immediately checked to see where bradn lived because, well, poor kitty!!! She needs me!
posted by jennyb at 1:41 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: Cahlers: I apologize for the harsh reply, I felt I was being called something I am not, and now that I read back, I see things differently. Yes of course, I should have found a new home for the cat years ago, in fact, I tried, simply by asking around (for several years). Posting signs, advertisements, or going to a shelter is last resort, and now that I have a child, i am at that point. I am posting here to get ideas, and I have recieved several good ones.
You cannot compare a cranky cat to a child. I find that ludicrous. I find no parallels so I can't answer your question. A cat can take care of itself at 6 weeks, after that point you can only do so much to keep it happy. If she was severely depressed, sick, or her fur were falling out, I would immediately do something, but she has been living a decent life this way for years, and aside from not getting along with the dog, being cranky, fat, and not cleaning herself, she is a normal cat. I have known other people with cats that stayed in the basement and weren't very friendly , and I never thought that they were like an abused child.
Again, the dog is not hurting the cat, and if you can believe it the cat regulary incites the dog. They just don't hang out.
posted by bradn at 2:10 PM on May 23, 2006

aside from not ... being cranky, fat, and not cleaning herself

That's just it! These are signs something is/was wrong. A normal cat is none of these things.

A cat can take care of itself at 6 weeks, after that point you can only do so much to keep it happy.
That doesn't mean they go on autopilot. A cat may seem aloof, but they very much need and crave human attention, contrary to popular belief.

I still hold that a cat is very much like a child.
posted by cahlers at 2:14 PM on May 23, 2006

About the cat getting fat: My roommate has a cat with think stomach lining, so he can't pull the necessary nutrients from the food he eats. As a result, he eats too damn much. You should get a vet to check him out for that. The medicine is pretty damn cheap.

I think you should stick it out and somehow train the cat to sit still so you can bathe it. I think moving this cat to another home after so long would be extremely jarring to it, and you'd be better off putting it to sleep if that's your only recourse.
posted by cellphone at 2:23 PM on May 23, 2006

I mean, check her out.
posted by cellphone at 2:23 PM on May 23, 2006

Response by poster: Do you have a child? Because I have both and, as related to this situation, I strongly disagree. Maybe a pet is good PREPARATION for some aspects of having a child to take care of, but beyond that comparisons are thin.
In defense of myself, this cat is and always has been around humans most of the day. Of course, when we are hanging out in the living room, she is not around because the dog is. We would pet and brush her as much as she could handle, but she doesn't tolerate it, and scratches. If you are thinking maybe it's a skin or coat problem, again, she has always been to the vet yearly.
So far off the subject are we, and this does not help with my guilt at having to get rid of a pet ( I have never done so or even considered doing so before.)
posted by bradn at 2:29 PM on May 23, 2006

A new home with her as an only cat, with just one or two people in the house and lots of TLC and attention for her (at a pace with which she's comfortable) and I bet she will be a different cat six months on. She's depressed and unhappy.

Some people prefer to take on an older cat rather than a kitten, and I know at my local shelter the 'sob story' cats are adopted fairly quickly.

Find your local no-kill shelter and talk to them about whether they can place her.
posted by essexjan at 2:42 PM on May 23, 2006

Do you have a child?

Yes, and a cat and a dog, and all get along wonderfully.
posted by cahlers at 2:46 PM on May 23, 2006

Cahlers, you started this accusatory tone that you (passive-agressively) seemed to admit was inappropriate. It's inappropriate for AskMe. If you want to make this guy feel guilty instead of offering suggestions about how he can help this cat now, then perhaps that would best be accomplished in email.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:50 PM on May 23, 2006

Your website says you're a graphic & web designer. Perhaps you can utilize your skills to come up with a flyer about your cat that will be both informative about it's grooming and behavioral problems, as well as touch upon your current situation (i.e. how because of your baby, there will really be no other option but for your to send the cat to a shelter, if a patient individual capable of taking on this cat doesn't appear.)

Use glossy paper, colors, photographs, and maybe add a line or two of how you'll supply bedding and toys to any caring and patient individual who's willing to assume responsibility of this cat.

Make at least 100 copies, and ask relatives and friends to help you out by posting them. Tell them about your dilemma and again, reiterate how important it is for you to both get rid of this cat and to find it a good home. Grab a handful for yourself and post copies in places where cat-lovers are likely to hang out. At the Whole Foods Market in Pasadena for example, there's a bulletin board near the entrance where dog-walkers, groomers, etc. post a bunch of ads. Think about other places where cat-lovers are likely to hang out - independent bookstores, craft shops, sewing and knitting supply stores, etc. Visit all of them, and politely request if you can hang your flyer in a place where customers will be able to see it.

Of course, this will take you a lot of time + money + energy. But that is the price all animal owners pay whenever they assume responsibility of a pet. At the very least, you will be able to deal with your guilt by knowing that you invested a good amount of effort into helping your cat find the best situation possible.
posted by invisible ink at 3:14 PM on May 23, 2006

Bradn, your cat sounds utterly miserable and clinically depressed. She probably can't clean herself properly due to the combination of depression and being significantly overweight. From your description it sounds as if she has lost all confidence in close contact/petting from humans. The scratching/lashing out behaviour is symptomatic of this fear of intimacy. The best thing you can do is to rehome her.

Find a 'no kill' shelter and talk to them in detail about your situation and be totally honest about your unhappy cat, her behaviour and your reasons for wanting to rehome her. This will make the shelter's job easier in finding her a new permanent home or placing her with fosterers.

Do not put up 'free cat' posters. Do not shove the cat off to friends or co-workers. Do not advertise the cat on Craigslist. Unless you've had a bit of training in rehoming, you will never be sure that you have placed the cat within a safe, secure and knowledgable environment with new owners who can devote some time to helping her be happy for the rest of her life.

Environment shifts are a very big deal for cats. They are attached to the people and other animals around them, not property. I think you owe it to your cat to pass her with care to someone who can really give her the best prospect of a settled future.

Do the best that you possibly can for this cat that you once caringly took in as a stray It is not her fault that her environment has been invaded and dramatically changed beyond her scope of adapting.

I'm hopeful that as a concerned owner you will try and do the most humane and sensible thing.

To try and avoid this situation happening in the future with your remaining cats, get hold of a good book on feline behaviour.

Good luck, and extra good luck for your cat :)
posted by Arqa at 3:14 PM on May 23, 2006

Ethereal, my first post on this thread offered several suggestions.
posted by cahlers at 3:20 PM on May 23, 2006

I also think this cat wants to be an only cat. I've had a lot of experience with cats in my lifetime, and there are cats that just need to be only cats. Having to share territory can be very stressful, especially if the cat knows it's at the bottom of the hierarchy in the family unit. Once she can rule her own roost, I'd expect dramatic changes. So be sure to describe her as wanting to be an only cat.

My mom adopted a kitty from a no-kill shelter who had bounced through three different households with other cats and dogs, and in her stress urinated inappropriately and drove the owners crazy. The no-kill shelter told my mom that this middle-aged declawed kitty was going to have to go live in a barn, because they needed to move her on, if my mom didn't take her. Well, no declawed formerly indoor kitty is going to manage as a barn cat! So even though my mother had many other cats, she took her in and gave her her own bedroom. As long as she stays in her bedroom (with big window, cat tree, toys, etc), and the cats have never been allowed to bother her, she is happy and has no behavioral problems. In order for her not to feel too shut up in her room, my mom uses baby gates to fill the doorway completely- it takes 3, one on top of another.

So, if you can't find a new home, try setting up part of the basement (with a window!) or another room for her where she is secure that the territory is hers completely and no other pets can ever come in. In fact you can do that now, and if her mental state and condition really improve, it would be easier to find her a home, if you wind up still wanting to do that.
posted by overanxious ducksqueezer at 3:30 PM on May 23, 2006

It seems like it would at least be worth sedating her so that she can get thoroughly clean for once and so that her nails can be trimmed. Who knows, maybe she'll be happier once she's clean. And have you tried feeding the other cats separately and removing their food after a set time so that she can't get at their food? If nothing else, maybe helping her get cleaner and trimmer will make her slightly more adoptable.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:54 PM on May 23, 2006

Sorry about your difficult situation. And sorry if I'm repeating other advice already in the thread - lots of moralizing noise (that I hope you can ignore). Finding the best solution for your family is the important issue at hand.

I like overanxious ducksqueezer's idea of a seperate area if that's possible. Talk to your vet who may have some good suggestions as well. The vet can be a good reference and may have dealt with this before.

Good luck.
posted by dog food sugar at 3:57 PM on May 23, 2006

You are an hour's drive from a huge metro area with at least 10-squillion no-kill cat rescue groups. Call one and get advice from local people who know what the potential adoption situation is for unappealing kitties in your area.

Here are a few to get you started:
Chicago's Harmony House For Cats
Animal House Shelter in Huntley, IL
PAWS Chicago

Petfinder.com and 1-800-save-a-pet.com are national clearinghouses for shelters and rescue groups.

If you can get an experienced rescuer to take the cat off your hands, you can avoid a huge financial investment in something you want to get rid of anyway, and you can also avoid the guilt of possibly saddling an unsuspecting person with the task of changing the cat's behavior.

I work mostly with dog rescue groups, but if you can't google up an appropriate cat group, let me know, and I will ask my contacts for recommendations.

If I didn't already have a rambunctious, dominant puppy and several other critters, I'd take Ms. Thing off your hands myself. She sounds just right for a crabby old lady like me!
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:31 PM on May 23, 2006

Cahlers- but your second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth posts did not.

Bradn, I agree that finding a no-kill shelter is probably your best bet. They generally make prospective owners go through a rigorous interview, and make sure that the cat has a fitting home. Whichever way you choose to go, being absolutely honest about the cat's issues is the best thing you can do for her.

Somebody mentioned Feliway. It would be a worthwhile investment to make her a little more comfortable in the meantime. The diffuser works wonders, and can be found for a fraction of the cost on ebay.

I'm sorry for the situation. It is apparent that she does need a different home, with an environment more ideally suited for her.
posted by moira at 5:39 PM on May 23, 2006

I agree that she probably wants to be an only kitty. I would call your vet and ask them if they have a client who has recently lost a pet and might want to foster or adopt an older, well house trained cat.

I can't even begin to tell you how many animals our vets have suckered us into this way.
posted by fshgrl at 7:55 PM on May 23, 2006

I just wanted to reiterate my original advice, which has been echoed by a number of other posters. The cat sounds depressed and would probably be an entirely different cat in an "only pet" home. Cellphone's assertion that it would be "jarring" is bullshit. The cat would adjust easily to a change for the better.

Also, as others have said, many people are suckers for cats like this. I know I am. It's a challenge to earn the love of a cat like this, and so completely worth the reward. A rescue organization can find her a home. If I didn't have two already, I would take her!

Finally, one other reiteration of the advice to get the cat to the vet. Even though you are planning to find another home for the cat, or especially because you are trying to find another home, you should have her checked out thoroughly so you can be upfront about any medical issues she may have. My senior cat had dental work last year and his demeanor completely changed afterwards. I hadn't realized that he was in pain from his teeth because the change was so gradual, and after the surgery the change was incredible.
posted by ereshkigal45 at 8:19 PM on May 23, 2006

It may help if you offer a year of food and vet costs to her new owner. if you take her to a no-kill shelter, give them a good donation.

Your other cats need a safe harbor. They should have a place to hang out where the baby, then toddler, then young child, can't get to them. Any cat will defend itself from a child's curiosity.
posted by theora55 at 6:55 AM on May 24, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. I will start by contacting a no-kill shelter, and go from there. I do agree that she wants to be an only cat, I have thought that all along.
posted by bradn at 8:22 AM on May 24, 2006

Get cahlers' address and send it there.
posted by mumeishi at 8:57 AM on May 25, 2006

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