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Trying to find a new home/solution for a "problem kitty"

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone! I'm new here, and I'm looking for some advice. Maybe someone out there can help me out.

I have a cat (surprise), and I'm getting ready to go to graduate school. The graduate student housing at my new school does not allow pets. I know I could never give Ysma away unless I knew she was going to a good home (and I think it goes without saying that even then it would be incredibly difficult emotionally). However, I'm afraid I will never be able to find a good home for her.

She was originally my neighbor's cat, and their kids were constantly kicking her and throwing her across the yard. She used to come to my house each night, and I would give her food and water (which she would devour, making me suspect that they weren't feeding her properly). She was always very sweet to me, very affectionate and playful. Then they started keeping her locked in their shed at night, even though it was November and very cold out; I would hear her yowling all night long, and it was absolutely heartbreaking. One night she got out and came to my house, and after that I kept her. However, after the shed experience, she was different. She was very violent. She bit and scratched all the time. I waited it out, and eventually it stopped (for the most part). Now she is extremely affectionate with me. She sleeps on my chest or stomach every night, and she loves to be petted. But with other people, it's a different story. She's very skittish around others, and she'll frequently attack anyone who comes in the same room with her. I've had a couple of friends that she hasn't been scared of; she'll let them pet her, and she won't bite them, but those people are few and far between.

As a result, she has always lived in only one room. Originally this was because I lived in a one-room house. When I moved, I could really let her loose with my roommates, so now she stays in my room. I know this isn't very nice, but I've never been able to find an alternative. I can't let her out of my room, and I can't give her away to someone else who can take better care of her because I don't know if anyone can handle her.

I think if someone took her and took the time to show her she didn't have to be scared of them, she would get used to them and then she would be fine. She would be affectionate with them just like she is with me. But I'm scared that no one is that patient; or, even worse, that someone would take her and she wouldn't grow out of it, and then they would give up and get rid of her. I love her very much, and I can't stand the idea of sending her to a pound. I know that no one would ever adopt her, and I can't let her be put down.

I tell you all this (very long) story to ask two questions.

1. I know this is probably overly optimistic, but does anyone out there have a soft spot for "problem kitties"? Perhaps someone with experience for dealing with this kind of thing?

2. Does anyone have any advice for getting her to not be scared of other people and violent towards them? She's three and a half years old now, so I'm afraid it's too late to change her habits. But if there's some way…

Any advice or suggestions that anyone could give me would be very appreciated. I'm completely at a loss for what to do.

post #2 of 5
Dumb question, but is there any way at all you could manage not to live in student housing? That being said, have you looked around for private cat rescue organizations (apart from no-kill shelters)? Such people may well know someone patient and understanding about your cat who'd be willing to use your 'methods' to keep her. Another idea might be to either ask your vet, or advertise directly for someone like a senior who'd love to adopt her and also have the patience and accommodation to deal with her (but be honest about everything with them).
post #3 of 5
I don't know what type of student housing you have, appartment or dormitory. Most ot the housing for graduate students is not in the main area of campus. Some are off campus with no one to check if you have a cat or not. My daughter is in graduate school also and it was a situation of "don't ask, don't tell". With cats not needing to be walked like dogs, they were able to keep the two cats without any notice by others. A common practice. If someone noticed the cat you could always plead that you are temporarily keeping it until another home is found. It's a personal, tough decision that you have to make. Best of luck to you.
post #4 of 5
I agree with what everyone says. Have you visited the student accomodation. I am a graduate student and I live in an apartment that allows pets so I have my cats, I moved into this apartment because I could not be without animals, even though its a little farther away and a little more expensive. HOWEVER, many of my friends live in buildings with 'no pets' but ALL of them have cats or rabbits. Is your cat destructive?? probably not so it probably won't be a problem. Even if you have to keep her in one room it's better then the alternative. Just buy her a tall cat try that she can climb and sleep on. If this is NOT an option I'm not sure how much luck you'll have rehoming her. It's true that is someone has a ton of patience that maybe they'll be in luck with a really sweet cat, but it's hard to find that person when so many cats at the shelter are attention starved and would happily jump into anyones arms. I'm sorry for your situation but I think your best bet is to see if there is anything you can do to keep her......
post #5 of 5
There are people out there (a lot of them on this site) that handle "problem" kitties. They are somewhat rare to find and usually have others with a similar background living with them. Look into your housing situation first. No kill shelters, particularly this time of year with kitten season just about to start, may not have room and they typically put a priority on homeless pets first. If you try to rehome her, be totally up front with prospective adopters like you were with us. Cats like your girl can tug heartstrings.
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