Re-home your cat
Having to re-home our cat/s is never something we think we may have to do when we add one to our family and is always a heart-breaking decision to make. Every month Cats Welfare receive e-mails and calls from people who need to re-home their cat for one reason or another. Unfortunately we do not have a refuge so we can only offer to advertise on your behalf to try and find a home. Although it can be hard for us to find a responsible home and can take some time we do manage, given sufficient time, to home most cats.
Step 1 – Is there anything I can do to help my current situation
Do you really need to re-home your cat? Are there any changes you can make which may mean you can keep your beloved furry family member? The most common reasons for re-homing a cat is as follows:
We are moving house and due to our landlord we are not able to take the cat with us
- If you are dealing with a letting agency, see if you can speak to the landlord directly. Sometimes letting agencies have a blanket policy which is not changed unless the landlord requests it, the landlord may in fact be happy for you to have a pet.
- Offer to pay a larger security deposit. A landlord’s primary concern is damage to the property which may be caused by the cats. Offering a larger deposit gives them more security and assures them that it will be able to cover any damage which is caused.
- Suggest the landlord visits your current property for reassurance that your cats are house trained and that you take care of your home.
- Be honest and upfront from the beginning about the fact that you have cats and how many you will be bringing to the property. The landlord is much more likely to come round to the idea of cats in the property if permission is asked for, rather than the discovery that you have broken your contractual agreement by having undisclosed pets in the property.
I/my partner/my child is allergic to the cat
The first step is a visit to your GP to have the allergy diagnosed. There may be medication you can take which eliminates the symptoms, that alongside daily vacuuming may be enough to control the allergy.
Tips for dealing with cat allergy
The cat should be kept out of the bedroom if at all possible, or confined to one part of the house.
A surfactant based lotion can be rubbed onto the cat weekly to reduce the allergens on the coat of the animal. Talk to your vet.
Regularly groom dogs, preferably outdoors, to decrease hair shedding.
If you can, bathe your cat once or twice a week. This is thought to reduce cat allergens around your home by up to 90%
Vigorous cleaning strategies should include vacuuming with a high efficiency vacuum cleaner and damp dusting.
Pet bedding should be washed regularly and wash any washable fabric cushions and pillows and keep carpets and furnishings to a minimum.
Ventilate the house as much as possible.
Don’t allow the cat to lick your hands or your face.
Use an air purifier either with a HEPA filter or one of the other high quality air cleaners available. This will remove the allergen from the air and help to maintain lower levels of allergen in the environment.
I am pregnant and I am worried about toxoplasmosis and the risk to my unborn baby
There is no need to reduce contact with your cat if you are pregnant. Statistically speaking cat owners are not at any more risk than non-cat owners and you are more likely to contract it from raw meat or unwashed vegetables.
The parasite which causes toxoplasmosis is shed in cat faeces but ONLY becomes infectious after a week. This means if you wear gloves, scoop every day and thoroughly disinfect the litter tray every week then you are ruling out all chances of catching toxoplasmosis from your cat.
We just don’t have the time to give her the attention she deserves anymore
Cats are self-sufficient, independent animals. Although they are all different generally (especially in older cats) they will be content with being fed twice a day and a bit of attention after work or when the kids are in bed. If you live in a safe area, allowing outdoor access to your cat via a cat flap can give them free range to come and go as they please throughout the day. They may also appreciate a companion to play with, or perhaps toys that they can play with alone (such as cat trees/climbers, a “Cats Meow”, rotary tracks and cat nip toys).
My cat is toileting outside the litter tray and I just can’t take it anymore!
First of all take your cat to the vets with a fresh urine sample, they will be able to check your cat over and test the urine for any medical causes such as UTI’s, cystitis, etc.
Once this has been ruled out, turn your attention to the cat and your home.
Not enough litter trays is just one of the reasons your cat may toilet inappropriately. There is lots of information on the internet that could help solve the problem.
I am leaving Tenerife and I can’t take my cat with me.
The passport process for a cat is surprisingly easy and not expensive. Your cat will require a blue pet passport, microchip and a rabies injection. The rabies injection needs to be administered 21 days prior to the date of travel. 2 days prior to travel your cat will also need a “fit to fly” examination by a vet and the passport stamped. All of this should cost in the region of 60€/70€. Flying animals to England can be very expensive although to Europe can be very cheap, around 100€. To Europe some airlines even allow small animals including cats in the cabin in a pet carrier. If the expense of flying your cat to England is prohibitive then think about the possibility of traveling over land. There are people in Tenerife who make regular over land trips back to England and some allow pets to travel at a much reduced cost to flying.
Step 2 – OK, I’ve thought long and hard and there is nothing I can do which would result in being able to keep the cat
Firstly you need to ensure the cat has up to date injections, a microchip, a green health book and is neutered. We can advertise the cat for you but it needs to have had these things done or be about to be done. New owners don’t want immediate expense after the adoption so it is our policy that all adult cats have these things completed prior to new adoption. If payment for it is a problem contact us and it may be possible for us to arrange for it to be done at a discounted rate for you at one of our vets practices.
Step 3 – My cat is being advertised but I don’t really have the time to wait. I would like to try to rehome the cat myself
If you choose to privately re-home your cat, there are steps you can take which will mean you have tried everything you can to make sure your cat goes to a responsible, loving home who is fully committed to the lifetime of your cat. The last thing we want is for the adoption to fail.
Ask for an Adoption fee
Asking an adoption fee for the cat is a very important factor in making sure the cat goes to a good home. Putting a “price” on will discourage impulse buys and spontaneous decisions, it will discourage the less desirable, illegal activities such as dog fighters looking for free “bait” and it will also help to prevent people taking a free cat to sell on for profit. Your cat will have had its injections, microchip and be neutered so any responsible new owner will be happy to pay a small donation towards that. If you do not want to profit from re-homing your cat then you can donate the money to us, or another charity of your choosing.
Be honest about the cat’s temperament/behaviour
No matter how quickly we need the situation resolving, we have a duty of care to the pets we are responsible for and we must make sure that the home they are going to are willing to take on-board any behavioural or medical issues they may have.
Neuter your cat before re-homing
Neutering your cat is the responsible thing to do and will prevent unwanted litters should she escape from the home. It will also in most cases stop males from spraying which is a huge deterrent for people who want to have a cat. We may be able to help with low cost neutering or you could use the cost of the operation as the adoption fee for your cat for if costing is an issue.
Ask for interested parties to visit the cat in your home
A chance to meet the cat in it’s home environment will ensure that people are happy with the cat and that the cat is happy with them! It will also give you a chance to talk about the cat and discuss it’s likes/dislikes and to ask questions about their home and lifestyle to see if it would suit the cat.
After they have visited the cat, ask to visit their home so you can see where the cat will be living.
It is best to mention that you would like to visit the home from the beginning so that people are prepared for this and know that if they want to re-home your cat they will need to have a home check. It is a great deterrent for anyone who has something to hide or may want the cat for something other than a pet! Consider your own safety first and if you can’t take someone with you make sure you always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back by. If you do not drive, we may be able to go on your behalf using our own home checking procedure.
Things to check/look for during a home visit
Surrounding area – If the cat is to be let outside check that they do not live near any main roads. Are there any hazards in the immediate area?
Identification – Are they who they say they are?
Other pets in the home – Ask to see them if they are not visible. Do they look happy, healthy and well looked after? Do they envisage any problems when being introduced to your cat?
Condition of the home – We all have clutter and our kids rooms are always a bit of a mess. Dust on furniture or shelves shouldn’t bother you, but is the home generally hygienic and are there any hazards that may be a risk to a cat?
Have they re-homed any other pets in the past and why – There are genuine reasons for re-homing our pets, but asking this question will help to reassure you that your cat will not be re-homed for a trivial reason.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss further we will do all we can to help you.