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Taking A Cat Back

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
For those of you who have adopted from a shelter or rescue, have you ever gotten an animal and known very early that the arrangement would not work out in your home? How soon did you know? Did you keep the animal trying to work it out or did you give it back?
I'm dealing with this situation right now, I got two cats this past Tuesday (I had a few visits with them before taking them home) and one of which I really believe I won't be able to care for her the way she needs to. This is hard for me 'cause I the type of person who doesn't like to give up and usually presses through. I honestly feel like if I keep this cat things she will won't improve and things will get worse for me and the other cat. I'm seriously considering bringing her back (I got her from a no-kill shelter). Anyone been through this?
post #2 of 39
I'm sorry I can't offer any great advice, but I'm sure someone will be around soon who can. It might be helpful to know what exactly the problems you're having with this cat are. How old is she? Do you have any existing pets in your household? Any details you could provide would help us to understand your situation.

It must be really rough to be going through this and I hope that everything sorts itself out soon.
post #3 of 39
I have never returned a cat, but working at a shelter I did have to deal with this on occasion when an adopter felt it couldn’t work out, realized they weren’t ready or changed their mind. One thing I would strongly encourage you to do is contact the organization you adopted her from and see what advice they can offer on your situation- a majority of the time I believe we could have offered advice or insight that could have made a difference.

This site is also a wonderful resource if you could provide some more information on what the issue is- please don't hesitate to ask!

I hope everything works out for the best for you and your cats.
post #4 of 39
My cat had all kinds of behavioral and health problems for a few months after I got him from the shelter. I agonized over whether to keep him, so I know it's not a fun situation to be in.

But looking back now I can see that he was completely shocked and terrified, either because of the new environment, his old environment or his time in the shelter. His personality and behavior were all over the place. The adjustment took time, and now he's very happy... and I'm still surprised by new affectionate behaviors that pop up, a year later.

I don't think you can know anything about who this cat really is or will be after only four days. I'd give it at least a month or two, and then after that see if you still want to give the cat back. Then you'll know you gave it the college try.
post #5 of 39
If you don't mind us prying, would you care to elaborate on the issues? I'm sure everyone here is more than willing to try to help in any way we can. I also agree that it would be a good idea to contact the recue you got the cats from to see what advice they can offer.
post #6 of 39
The poor girl hasn't even had a chance to get settled in yet, please give her more time.

As others said, if you want to tell us exactly what the problem is maybe someone can offer advice on what's best to do.
post #7 of 39
My Rosie hated both me and Sophie when i first brought Sophie home, but i wouldn't give up. I rode the storm and we all came through it in the end.
post #8 of 39
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
The poor girl hasn't even had a chance to get settled in yet, please give her more time.

As others said, if you want to tell us exactly what the problem is maybe someone can offer advice on what's best to do.
Please give us some details, we may be able to help.
post #9 of 39
We are here to help if we can. But as others have pointed out, unless you're able to share what the problems are, we can't really provide much advice.

I am sorry you're going through this. Cats are sensitive, intelligent, emotional, and territory-oriented. Any change is very traumatic and does take time.

post #10 of 39
My hubby and I joke that every time we bring a new pet home, we go through the 'what on earth have we done?!?!?!?!?!?' phase. A few months later, we go through the 'it feels like they have always lived with us, and they're the best pet in the whole world', phase.

In my experience, the first few weeks (at least) with a new pet can be rather stressful, and even downright miserable (both for the new pet, and for you).

I agree with everyone else who has posted -- without more detail on the exact nature of the problem it's hard to say whether or not your new kitty will be a good fit for your home. In general though, it's definitely worth persisting with a new pet -- they often do need a fair amount of time and patience to settle in to their new home/routine.
post #11 of 39
I haven't been through taking an animal back to where it came from, but I am dealing with a situation that is stressing out all of us... moving my 3 cats and me into my boyfriend's home with a geriatric cat that absolutely HATES other cats. I keep getting feelings of wanting to give up, find a new home. I get stressed. I've cried. But day by day I keep doing this, determined to make it work. I don't know your situation. But good luck and I hope the best for you and you're cats.
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Even though it's only been a few days there is so much to tell. I adopted two cats Tara and Frenchie. When I first came to the shelter me and Tara hit it off right away and we are doing great. Tara is one and full of kitten energy w/o the biting and tearing up tendencies of a kitten. The other cat I picked Tiki was also 1 but more laid back but she got taken by someone else so when I came back to pick another cat I choose Frenchie. Frenchie is very cuddley she is 2 years old but she has 1 eye (birth defect) and she's overweight. Frenchie and I get along good but she will not play. She will follow them with he eye but she won't get up and play with them (and I have brought/made a ton). She's just content to be rubbed and sleep all day. The first day I brought them home I was prepared for them to be hiding under the bed but they stayed under the bed for 5 minutes and then ventured out to inspect my bedroom. Both immediately wanted me to pet them but they kept hissing at each other. The shelter told me that they had kept them in the same cage for a few days after I picked Frenchie and there had been some hissing and swatting put they said it would die down. That first night I had to break up a couple of near fights. I couldn't sleep with them in the bedroom 'cause of the hissing so I separated them and have been rotating them between my bedroom and bathroom all week. Tara just wants to play with Frenchie and since I got the Feliway diffuser Thurs she is even more curious and wants to play. Frenchie I really believe hates Tara, I've back up from putting one cat in a carrier and letting the other inspect (Frenchie always hisses, but Tara is curious and will approach but she has stopped hissing defensively). I was putting each one's favorite snacks underneath my bedroom door (there is about a two inch gap) with one cat on each side and at first they would eat their treats. Now Frenchie won't even come to the door (and I was in the hallway w/ Frenchie) and eat her treats. And I hadn't feed her yet. Truthfully I'm starting to like Tara more than Frenchie. I'm starting to think that Frenchie needs to be the only cat, she really scared of everything I brought catnip bubbles and she is scared of the bubbles. I think she may have been hit with a broom before 'cause when I go to sweep up the room she hides under the bed, I have to move very slowly with the broom or she flees. I really feel like Tara needs a rough and tumble buddy to play with ('cause I truly can't keep with all of her energy) and Frenchies never going to be that and Tara has atleast a year or two of play left in her. I can't afford and don't have the space for a third cat. I haven't even gotten them used to the rest of the apartment because of the room switching etc. I just don't want to keep Frenchie for a few months and then if she continues to hate Tara and Tara begins to get fearful or mean because of it then I have to give her back but Frenchie has now bonded to me and the good food (do you know she has already stopped eating dry food, only canned premium for this spoiled princess). I feel better and less stressed especially since the cats have started to understand that you can not play with mommy when she is sleeping at night. However I just really feel like I should give Frenchie back. I talked with the lady who did my home visit at the shelter and she's just like spray Frenchie with a water bottle when she hisses (she didn't even suggest separating them) but I don't like the water bottle 'cause she already scared and I hate disciplining her with clapping and saying "No" 'cause it scares her. Tara gets alarmed but she's not scared when I discipline. I know the Feliway is working because both of the cats purring has greatly increased (Tara purrs just by looking at me now and Frenchie has started to purr when previously she didn't) but Frenchie still doesn't like Tara. Thoughts?
post #13 of 39
I think you have decided that you don't like Frenchie, and therefore whatever she does will look bad to you, and that's life - you're not always going to like everyone. Just find a no-kill place (or the original one) to take her, or even better put an ad in the paper saying she needs to be in a one cat home, but is otherwise a nice cat who possibly needs a bit of a diet.
post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
I guilty admitting it but I don't like her as much as Tara. I'm trying but why should I have to try to like my own cat. I need to love both of my cats equally and at this point I don't. I'm going to talk to my home visit lady and the shelter today. Maybe with in the week we can make arrangements.
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well I called the lady who did my home visit and her opinion is that the cats will never get used to each other if I continue to separate them. She says just use a squirt bottle on Frenchie etc I expressed my concerns about not making the right choice for Tara w/ Frenchie and she like she and her hubby are going to come by today and check things out.
post #16 of 39
Maybe you need to be honest with this lady and tell her that your feelings aren't the same about the cats, not just that the cats don't get along. It seems a shame to keep Frenchie under less than ideal circumstances when she might have a better life somewhere else.
post #17 of 39
I think the home visit person is a bit misguided in her opinion that they will never get used to each other when separated - you aren't going to be doing it forever. I personally think you need to give them both a lot longer, i tell people at least a month, as it has only been days, and they have to get used to new humans, a new house and a new friend, and it is just too soon to tell. When I fostered Annie (Sar's Annie) last year, she was really quiet when she first came (admittedly she had just been spayed), I was surprised as I had been told she was the opposite - a week later however, she had turned into an incredibly playful cat, so Frenchie could change given time to adjust.
post #18 of 39
Others' experiences may vary, but I've found that it's often the cats that are harder to "connect with" initially that make the best friends for me later on.

I'm not finding the right words today...but hopefully you know what I mean.
post #19 of 39
Wait, it has only been 4 days or so right? I have cats who have been together for years and still hiss at each other occasionally. It can take a month or so AT LEAST before coming to a conclusion that your cats *hate* each other. But honestly, they don't even seem to hate each other. One wants to play with the other and the older one doesn't so she hisses and probably swats. That is what cats do when they want to be left alone. If they were tearing each other to shreads then I would say they hate each other. They haven;t even drawn blood from each other have they?

I just think it is way too soon. And that is awful of the shelter lady to say she doesn't think they will ever get along. And then she suggests to squirt her with water? How does she think cats tell each other to leave them alone? They hiss. You can't punish a cat for that, just give them more time.

But if YOU don't like her then that is another story. She doesn't deserve to be in a home where her owner doesn't even like her. Rehome her for that reason, not because she doesn't get along with your cat.
post #20 of 39
Thread Starter 
Well the case is solved, they are both definitely my cats 'cause they made me look real stupid when the home visit lady came. I let them out to be around each other w/o some in a carrier or giving anyone treats. Do you know Frenchie barely hissed and Tara would just walk away and then come back 5 minutes later, like "So do you wanna play now?" we were both able to both cats and they were only inches away from each other? Those two had this planned all along I bet you. The lady and her hubby were reasurring, saying that Frenchie has probably had a hard life and was neglected and she'll start to calm down and she'll probably be playful. I told them that I like Tara more and they kinda just brushed it off like, they'll get along and be friends but it's up to you. I'm going to wait and see about Frenchie, maybe I'll grow to like her more as she comes out of her shell, but I definitely think she is a bit of a Princess. You know she must get her beauty sleep and doesn't want to be bothered with the peasents! I'll call her Princess Frenchie from now on. Thank you for the encouragement and talking me down. I definitely think the first few days I was stressed thinking "What have I gotten myself into?" between the new responsiblity and the not sleeping since the first few nights the kitties didn't understand that "mommy's don't play after midnight" really contributed to the second thoughts. That's for let me vent and not being too hard on me (some of you guys are tough though). I've got few pictures I'll attach pardon my really old digital camera.
post #21 of 39
I'm so glad that your kitties are getting along better. When I first got mine (brothers at 5 months) Nigel was very skiddish of everyone. When I would put down their wet food he would growl and swat at Pekoe and try to steal Peek's food. I didn't have a great impression of him based only on our first few days together. Pekoe on the other hand was affectionate from our first evening together and was my "favourite" cat right away.

Now Nigel is still a bit timid around unfamiliar people or sudden noises but he is so affectionate and lovely to me. His table manners have improved now that he knows there is always enough food and he doesn't have to fight for it (though he does still steal from Pekoe sometimes... ). And I can honestly say neither one is my favourite because they're both such great cats.

So your first impressions may be wrong! We've only been together for about 2 1/2 months now and there are still parts of their personalities I'm just getting to know. So good luck to the three of you.
post #22 of 39
Thread Starter 
Here are pictures of Princess Frenchie http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i9...sFrenchie2.jpg - under the bed (I think she considers that her private palace.

http://i70.photobucket.com/albums/i9...sFrenchie3.jpg - and sitting on her throne.

And here is Tara chasing a mouse, but she would freeze like she was trying to give me a good picture or something.


post #23 of 39
Thread Starter 
Oh I forgot the best part, I was telling them how Princess Frenchie won't eat dry food anymore and how I'm going to have to suck up the extra expense. They were like just put the dry food and don't give her wet (well that obviously won't work 'cause I was giving dry in the morning/free feed during the day and wet in the evening but taking everyones bowl up at night so they only have water.), actually dry food is good for them it helps keep their teeth clean.
post #24 of 39
My vet said that giving a cat both wet and dry food is best. But cats can do very well on either kind, so you should do whatever works for you.

It is very normal for cats to be scared of brooms (and vacuum cleaners). They don't like the noise they make, or the disruption to their environment. So there's nothing wrong with this cat for disliking the broom... it's natural.

And I agree with the others that a little hissing and swiping at each other is not a problem. If the cats aren't injuring each other and are just hissing and swiping at each other sometimes, then they actually *are* getting along pretty well. If they were really fighting you'd know it.

I don't think you can expect to love or not love a new pet after only four days. It's just arrived.
post #25 of 39
if it isn't working, take her back.
sometimes cats have personality differences, and you could stand your head and spit wooden nickles and it wouldn't make a difference. Maybe that one needs to be an "only cat" in the family...just a thought
post #26 of 39
Frenchie is lovely! Definitely deserves to be a princess The little one, Tara, is adorable too. Comparing them, to me, is like comparing apples and oranges. They are two different cats with different life experiences - just like people.
I am betting they will get along fine in time. Just make sure Frenchie has a place to escape where the little one cannot get to her and she won't feel picked on. That way she can come to grips with things in her own time.

Sebastian and I lived with another cat, Pookie for 9 years - for the last three years they were the only cats in the house. Pookie never did get around to admitting she cared anything for poor Seb. She was the queen, he was the common peasant. Never fazed him, he didn't seem to care what she thought, but she had an attitude about it. They managed to live and grow in a form of domestic peace.

When Seb and I moved out, she was lost. Looked all over for him. Even now, when I take him to visit, he is more upset about it than she is. She seems happy, in her own regal way, to have him there. He just wants to go home lol. But, she was never a lovey cat to other cats or dogs - just with people.

I say don't give up on her. I would bet a fur-covered mouse that she surprises you.
post #27 of 39
LOL some cats simply take a long time to get used to the idea of a new animal around. In your case it's a totally new EVERYTHING. I think Frenchie might be aptly named and is going to be the queen. I have a Queen too. Her name is Sanura. NO new cat is allowed inot her home and do anything until she gives the a-ok. She hisses and growls to let them know that SHE is the Queen - they are the subjects. Then after a month - it's cool.

You think your situation was bad - you should've seen it when I brought Tristan home. Sanura did her Queen thing and Tristan was totally insulted and he taught her he wasn't taking her rude treatment laying down. It probably took them at least 2 months to stop the hissing and pouncing stuff.
post #28 of 39
As someone else said, the shelter lady sounds fairly misguided... I wouldn't pay too much attention to her advice on how to handle your kitties!

But I do agree that you should give it time -- much more time, at least a month. Let the kitties have time to settle in and get accustomed to their new home...and give Frenchie time to grow on you. There's always time later on to change your mind if things really don't work out...
post #29 of 39
Sadly, another misguided comment from your rescue person - dry food doesn't actually do all that much to help their teeth, and certain cats just will not change 'type' of food and would rather starve, which isn't good. Why would you pull all the food up at night and just let them have water? All the cats I have had loved to nibble at food overnight.
post #30 of 39
I think it's completely normal to go through the 'oh no, what have I done!' feelings when you first bring new pets into your life.

I first got Radar as a little kitten, he was my first ever cat, and I was completely unprepared for the amount of energy he had and his constant need for attention. The first few days with him were awful. I cried frequently because I thought I couldn't cope with him, I wondered why we had got him at all, I thought he was very cute, but I didn't immediately bond with him or love him, mostly because I was so exhausted and driven to despair by his normal kitten behaviour.

It didn't take long though, after a week I was starting to get used to him, and finding his behaviour entertaining and sweet rather than exasperating. We are now inseperable - he is absolutely adored and I would never willingly part with him.

Then we got Sonic and went through pretty much the same emotions for the first week we had him! He is also very much loved now We still can't leave them unattended together, because Radar is older and bigger but more playful and Sonic loves playing with him for a while, but hisses and hides under the sofa when he's had enough, but Radar ignores the hissing - and Sonic isn't yet large enough to be able to back up his hissing with language which Radar wouldn't be able to ignore, ie. swatting and pinning him down to say enough is enough. They don't hate each other, in fact they love interacting! And they will work it out in the course of time
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