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It's actually hard to find a cat!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This article does have some confessions that you may not like.
I have owned many cats in 7 years, but we havn't been the 100% perfect owners. I will give reasons but don't think of them as excuses.
Mostly the only big thing we do wrong is to not get them their shots.My parents are very cheap and don't like the idea of paying $84 a year for cat shots. We've never had a cat get sick, and we don't officially allow them outdoors.
However they get outside a lot, without our consent, so when people ask we say they are outdoor cats. Then we get a bunch of bad looks.
Personally, I think that as long as it is safe, cats should be allowed outdoors. Our area appeared to be safe so for a while we let out first cat ourdoors, before she was hit by a car on our street which is never busy. I swear only a person doing it intentionally, or speeding, could hit a cat on our street. But a few years since it's become clear it really isn't as safe as it looks. Once, a person hit a horse on our street, and not long after a motyrcyclist was hit by a truck and killed right accross from our house. It isn't safe for humans, or for cats. Even if it is right accross from the woods. Even if I have seen deer crossing it without problems. You could never imagine.
But our cats get out easily. Our front door dosn't like to close, and the bathroom we keep the litterbox in is right next to it so that they can go into that room and dart out the door. If you ask me, it's a horrible place for a litterbox because you smell it as soon as you enter the house. But the cats don't mind.

So for some people like us, it's 100% impossible to find a cat. When we were looking for playmates for Stripe, we first called a no-kill shelter. The reason I didn't call a shelter that does kill so that I could save 2 kitties is because I knew there was no way to decide to save ONLY 2 and let the rest die .
I was also looking to volunteer at the shelter. I ask and she says they Don't Need Volunteers like they get asked that constantly. I said we are looking to adopt a cat (thinking of 1 at the time.) I tell her we have one all ready.
"Is it an outdoor cat?"
"We don't like that..."
"Does it have all it's shots?"
"BTW, the reason we want an other cat is because this cat's palymate disapeared."
"That's because you let them outside."
"Well we don't techniquely, but they are great escape artists."
"No way are we giving you a cat."
And to her I was the devil of cat owners. It was as if they hated me before I called!
And they are the only no-kill shelters around that we knew about!

So I kept my eye open on boards at the supermarket, post office, and the classifieds. We didn't want to spend $200 for a pedigree. We didn't want to take care of a long-haired (ok I don't mind but my parents do!) We wanted kittnes because after our experiance with a very mean stray (not a feral though) my parents were sure Stripe couldn't get along with an adult. We only gave them 3 days!
The classifieds revealed nothing but pedigree. The bulitens didn't reveal anything but adults.
Finnaly I saw a want ad for two adult cats for free. Not very likely but I looked into it. They were male and female, long-haired and unsexed adults. The owners aparently didn't mind dealing with them having kittens all the time.
I called them.
OK, more confessions:
My parents don't like anyone over our house unless they have to our are really good friends. I confess we are very messy people and are very embarressed. Our house is fine to live in but we don't invite people over.
The owner demanded to see our house first. We couldn't do that. So much for that.
2 months past before we saw Anything. Finnally we spotted a 'free kittens" add at a supermarket. We went over and picked the cuties up.
But that's a lot of work!! We were suprised that shelters wouldn't let us have their cats

-Sarah of Borg
post #2 of 15
I think the shelter is thinking in terms of in the best interest of the cats - I know from personal experience that even a 'safe' area for cats is not as safe as it might seem. Our previous cat was allowed outdoors (during the day) and he never went on the road. We lived in a cul de sac with very little traffic, and he didn't venture towards the top of the street or much further than our own yard (he made occasional forays to the neighbour's yard). But just one time, he went on the road (we think he may have been startled by something) and he was hit by a car and died. It was extremely devastating, he was my first cat and just wonderful. So now we don't let our new kitten out doors ever. (unless he's in a carrier, such as going to the vet). Of course, he has never been outside, and doesn't seem to want to go, and doesn't try to escape, so I think we're pretty lucky in that respect.

There are statstics that show outdoor cats have a very short life expectancy (less than 5 years) compared to indoor cats - sorry I don't have any references for that but I think previous threads have mentioned it.

So the shelter needs to have policies and guidelines regarding adoptions. It would be hard for them to judge on just one meeting or phone call if your family (or whoever happened to be looking to adopt) will be the kind of irresponsible pet owners they are trying to avoid, so they need to ask these kind of questions - I guess it means a lot of good prospective adopters miss out, because their answers aren't "right". I seem to remember another poster had a similar problem a couple of months ago.

However, I am glad you found your new kittens and have given them a good home, I saw their pictures in another thread - they are lovely! and are obviously well loved and well cared for.

Please don't take this reply as a personal comment about yourself - it's just a few thoughts on why some shelters have strict guidelines on these things.

Maybe you could try moving the litter tray (just a little at a time) to a place away from the front door?


post #3 of 15
Is there any way you could fix the front door so it shuts better and the cats can't get out? Since you live near a street where alot of accidents seem to happen, it doesn't seem so safe to let them out.
post #4 of 15
You said you don't officially allow your cats outside but they manage to escape from the house a lot. One way you could let your cats go outside safely is to either buy or make an outdoor cat enclosure. This link http://www.geocities.com/holmescathy...enclosure.html will take you to a site which shows a good example of an outdoor cat enclosure. This type of arrangement for your cats would also be acceptable to a shelter.
post #5 of 15
Petco and Petsmart have them all the time. The shots are about $10 to $15 and you only have to get adult cats shots once a year. There is no office fee at Petco when it is a traveling clinic.Living near a wooded area with deer there is a chance of rabies. There have been cases of rabies being spread by bats, racoons, and lots of other animals. Good luck!
post #6 of 15
What a great idea! I had no idea that PetSmart was so cheap... My vet said to get both cats up-to-date on everything would be $200. That's worms, shots... I dunno, but it's everything. Would it cost this much every year?
post #7 of 15
Well, if your parents can't afford or choose not to for whatever reason, give you cats the vet care they need ( ie shots, deworming), in my opinion then you shouldn't be a pet owner. Part of having a cat or any other animal is upkeep of their health . It is irresponsible of you to just let them wait until they get sick when you can prevent it by general health maintenance. I have sacrificed things in my life, like a new outfit or whatever, if its the time of year my kitties need their annual check up. No its not cheap, I dropped $115 just 2 weeks ago, but that is part of being a cat owner.

As far as letting your cats out. I have lost 2 cats to the street in the past 14 months. They are miserable inside, or at least they were. I have finally gotten it...my cats stay in now no matter what. And let me tell you its not an easy feat. My front and back door are constantly opening even in the winter. My kids and their friends are in and out, and my home business requires the door to open often. I have just become VERY aware, and I catch them when they dart. But over time, they've stopped darting, I can actually open it now and Sunshine, my oldest, will just ignore it. So it can be done.

Where there is a will, there is a way.
post #8 of 15
Back in the days, when I had 6 cats, I gave their shots myself. You don't need a prescription for animal vaccines, here. The vet charged $30 per and I could do it myself, for $9. I figured that, since I had been giving people shots, since I was 12, I could do cats. The kids were good, at holding and I had syringes lined up, on the table and did them one right after the other.

Now, I've found a low-cost shot clinic. Yesterday, Pearl got her puppy shots and rabies vaccine, for $24. The county doesn't accept owner-given rabies shots and Pearl has to be licensed.
post #9 of 15
Originally posted by Sarah of Borg
My parents are very cheap and don't like the idea of paying $84 a year for cat shots.
Rabies is always fatal to both animals and humans. Your parents are risking the safety of the humans in your home by not getting the cats vaccinated against this. Whenever a person is bitten by a possibly rabid animal they have to go through a series of very painful shots to keep the disease from developing. The cost of these shots is probably more than $84.00.

Since your parents are unwilling to have the cats vaccinated, is there a way that your and your brothers and sisters could come up with enough money to take the cats to a low-cost clinic for shots???
post #10 of 15
We used to let Suki out all the time but after the last time there's no way.

She went out of the front door and trotted across the street. A car came hurtling down the street, she saw it, got spooked and ran in front of it, it missed her by 3 inches!

Cats should not be allowed outside in a busy road area, doing so is silly. It's not the owners fault but the drivers who consider side streets as race tracks. If I had my way I'd ban cars from residential areas and only allow emergency services to access them.

Please don't let your cats outside, it's not safe. The last thing you would want to see is your cat crawling in agony into the gutter to die. I'm sorry but that's what happens and if the shock of that upsets anyone it's ment too, keep them indoors, PLEASE!

Whenever I think of that it makes me hurt inside so much, it stops me from letting her out and she's a very happy cat now.
post #11 of 15
Originally posted by Sarah of Borg
So for some people like us, it's 100% impossible to find a cat. When we were looking for playmates for Stripe, we first called a no-kill shelter. The reason I didn't call a shelter that does kill so that I could save 2 kitties is because I knew there was no way to decide to save ONLY 2 and let the rest die .
I'm sorry please forgive me if I seem rude but wouldn't it have been better to save 2 cats lives instead of none? I would have thought that saving the lives of 2 cats that wouldn't other wise get a second chance the way to go but perhaps I am living in a fantasy world!
post #12 of 15
Oh dear.

Well, I don't really think that any rescue has ever gone over bored with denying a person the right to adopt an animal from them, cause you have to face it, there are a lot of bad "owners" out there.

I can't really say anything about the shots, mine are a little over due for them, but I normally do get them their annual shots.
Even if your animals never got outside, what if one got in your house that was rabid? Then your cats/you could get it.

1.) Fix the door if your rents will let you.
2.) Don't let the cats ever get out past you.
I used to live with my rents and we had a lot of cats (they were all indoor outdoor) and to this day, an animal has never gotten out past me in anyones home.
My rents alway vetted our animals, but they fed them cruddy food, and always let them outdoors, I fougth with them for years on this. (I finally won after many deaths.)

I will only say one last thing, as I don't wan't to cause a HUGE argumnet.

And I quote: "Personally, I think that as long as it is safe, cats should be allowed outdoors."
The real outdoors can never be truely safe, if an animal is not penned or even chained (eeek). It is not safe. There are many things you can do in your own home, that any proper pet owner would do to keep them out of things, but I think the for mentioned is a very foolish statement. And I wish that you would reexamine outdoor living for a cat.
post #13 of 15
I have NEVER allowed any cat to be outside. Rowdy, occasionally, goes into the backyard, with a harness and leash.

We have several ferals and free-roaming pet cats, in our neighborhood and I hear horrendous fights, at all hours. I would not want one of my "babies" to be subjected to this.

My dogs spend their days outside but, they are kept safe, by a 6 ft. fence. Children and pets should not be allowed to roam, at will. It is MUCH too dangerous, out there: fights, diseases, cars and evil people, who like to torture and kill helpless creatures.
post #14 of 15
I have inside/outside cats as many know, I rescue ferals. I also live out in the country and although they recently widened the road turning it into a highway- you will hardly ever see our cats in our front yard. We have 4 acres they can prowl, we use the back doors only. And when we see them out front, they get immediately taken to the back property. We are flanked by woods on all sides, and they have plenty of places to hide and roam.

If I lived in the city I wouldn't have multiple cats, maybe two and I would keep them indoors always, no question about that. But most of my crew (I have 14) were born of a wild colony and they know that when the weather gets bad, or they just need comfort, they come home. With the exception of one or two, they all come to ground at night and can be found either in the house or in the barns. In fact they are great weather men, because when it is time for a bad storm they sense this ahead of time and come running.
post #15 of 15
Mine are in and out cats.

Between me and my friends we have about 30 cats - all with access to the outside. Over 15 years, there has only one who was killed by a car - Boris had moved from the town to the countryside, and had lost his road sense. All 29 odd cats are happy and healthy. The only cat that has had to be rushed to the vet with any injury over the last 5 years or so was Alf (my big gallah) who fell off the bannister and damaged his leg!!

Currently my two are curled up sleep on the bed, as there is snow on the ground, and no way will they go out if the weather is slightly wet or cold.
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