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Should I take in a cat?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I am thinking of taking in a 6 year old, spayed, vaccs'd, declawed female cat.
It is basically on it's way to the SPCA but I would like to take her, I have spoke to the current owner a few times she needs to rehome her before winter.
My problem is I have an older rat, and a bird. The rat is in a large cage I don't really see him as a problem I can't see the cat and him getting into contact because the cage has a huge plastic bottom and then it goes up 3feet, it is 3 feet off the ground too, so 6 feet to get up to it and then the rat never hangs out at the top.
The bird though.. if the cat got up onto his cage which is about a 5 foot leap she could maybe stick a paw in and if he's sitting on his branch she might beable to touch the bird (if the bird didn't move) half the cage is covered on the top it's a big cage the bird could move..

Sorry.. ugh!! I've never had a cat before so I don't know what they are like I know they are all different...
She is a tad overweight also if that is something you need to know..

Any insite would be REALLY appreciated...

Thanks guys.
post #2 of 26
This probably not the best place if you want to be discouraged .

Sounds like this poor baby needs a home and is not likely to live long at a kill shelter. As for your bird, if she is declawed, she's likely to be in more trouble than the bird if she sticks a paw in the cage. IMHO, if she is overweight she is not as likely to be super active.
post #3 of 26
My cats, which are not declaws but are all spayed and neutered, don't really care about our bird (Simon-cockatiel). They're all indoor/outdoor and they do hunt, so it seems like they'd be trying to eat him, but they're perfectly fine with him around. Occasionally when he starts chirping they'll go sit next to him and watch him, but other than that they're fine!

I think that taking in a cat would be 100% fine. Especially with a declawed one the bird would be perfectly safe, and if you do see the cat poking at it, you can reroute her and distract her with a fun toy. After a while she should get the idea that you don't want her bothering the bird.

If you do decide to keep her, make sure to post pics! I love seeing all of the new TCS arrivals!
post #4 of 26
Bless you for offering her a home. Without claws its doubtful she will really threaten the bird or the rat.

But I would talk with the owner about any problems she may have regarding litter pan habits. Some declawed cats don't want to use the litter pan cause it hurts their feet. She also may be timid or a fear-biter cause of the declawing.

Hopefully she has not had any emotional or behavior problems with the declawing. If you take her, remember she can never be let outside without supervision as she has no defense.
post #5 of 26
My neighbor is a breeder and has her bird right out in its cage among the cats. Never been a problem in over 5 years.

The kitty sounds like she'd fit right in.
post #6 of 26
Of course you should!
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, I told the lady about the rat and she didn't seem to be bothered but she is trying to find a home..
The lady actually has a few cats I wish we could have taken more than one but never having owned one before I offered to take one, the reason that we are waiting a while though was because we/she were hoping she would find a home for all of them together but no such luck..


Also the cats are used to dogs, we do have a dog too a chihuahua he's 10, he is ultra friendly though with animals he visits people with cats, birds, hamsters.. lol..
So the only thing that concerned me is the small prey sized pets...
Well I will let you know, we are very excited my son has already made a few cat toys I told him she might not play with them as she's older but he made them anyway..

*GoldenKitty* That is extremely interesting about the litter hurting their feet.. Is there something I can do about that? Any special litter or anything?
The lady has picked out this one particular cat for us out of the 3 because she said it is the most friendly with children (my children are very good with animals and don't bother pick them up only the rat which is a reading buddy).
No Way outside.. NO WAY!!! This cat has never been outside either so I hopefully wont have to battle with her trying to get out...
I'm making her a window seat in our spare bedroom it has the best view
post #8 of 26
Usually the softer clumping litters are best for declawed cats. Anything with bigger granules or pellet type of litter will hurt their feet. Our first cat was declawed (parents insisted) and back then all there was was the clay litter. I cried a lot when Mitten came home with his feet banaged and him not wanting to use the pan.

Luckily he got over it, used the pan with the clay litter and was not physically or psychologically damaged. He was one of the lucky ones. Hope you don't have issues, but check with the owner if there is any potential problems.
post #9 of 26
If she's declawed, there's a good chance she won't hurt the rat and the bird. But even though she is declawed she has teeth still. I would just monitor her around the rat and the bird. Bless you for doing the right thing. My boys are not declawed and we have a huge tree in our yard they never show interest. They don't go outside, though but they do watch the birds fly by and that kinda teases them. Also, I am sure you know this already but please keep her indoors only as she doesn't have any defense. I would love to see pictures if you are to adopt her.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
I don't think we will be letting them out together not until we know the cat very very well if at all..
The lady is really sick right now and she doesn't' want to come over until she's feeling well... plus she still has to find homes for everyone else..
I can hardly stand waiting though.. I went out looking at different kitty litters today, of course I will use her stuff until she is used to us but they had all kinds one said it was soft on feet it was a pine one, there was another in a clear jug that was silica which looked like blue and white crystals but it didn't' look very soft for feet..
I have been reading this forum off and on all day every time I blink I think about our kitty.. ugh! I hope this works out..
Her name is Taylor...

I will live vicariously through you guys until she arrives!
post #11 of 26
Can you keep the cat out of the room where the bird is? I would not allow a cat to have any contact with a bird because cats' saliva contains bacteria which can be fatal to birds.

http://www.cockatielcottage.net/cats.html
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
No the cat will be free range in the house which will mean she is able to go in the living/dining room where the bird has lived his life thus far..
The bird will be in his cage he will be no where near where the cats mouth would reach if it did I wouldn't even be considering it we are talking 1/4 inch bar spacing here and the bird doesn't hang out on the bars he's kind of a middle cage dweller..
However the bird does get outside time he flys around for about 5 minutes and then returns promptly to his cage during these sessions we will not allow the cat to be in the room..
However in the unlikely even that the cat drooled from above and it happened to land on the bird in his cage you are telling me my bird will die? I will have to ask if the cat drools because I don't want to chance that.

Maybe it's not such a good idea after all then eh! Such is life... I always get too excited and ahead of myself..
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well i've had a brief look around from what I have read I can make my own conclusion that basically a cats saliva is like acid on a bird..
I am now thinking of ways that the cats saliva could get on the bird other than the drool theory,, also it's claws which in this case wouldnt' have been an issue..
This isn't looking good at all though...
I read that the bacteria is also in humans and dogs mouths but not to the same extent so you shouldn't kiss or like say bite off apple for your bird because of the bacteria...

I have been checking out some bird forums etc very quickly running a search and it seems loads of people seem to have no issues..
Here is a thread where bird and cat keeping is mentioned with the bacteria..
http://forum.kijiji.ca/ptopic6771212.html
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok,, sorry it seems I keep posting on top of posting..
I am going to talk to the cat owner tomorrow and discuss this new found issue, I know she will be beside herself because we have been in constant touch and really got to know each other so she will be back to having to find homes for all her cats again and this one seemed such the purrfect match for us I'm really heartbroken and I know she will be so upset..
I have to do what is right for our current house hold though...
Maybe one last shot at seeing what you guys think ...
My bird is in the dining room like I said before the cage is just over 5 feet off the ground. I'm not sure what the average cat is capable of but my guess is if it wants up there it will get up there... also though there is no middle ground to help the cat to make getting up there easier.. No furniture around.

If we make it a point as soon as we get the cat that cage top is out of bounds what is the likely hood of this actually working? I could always put some obtruse object on top to prevent it plus it's pretty hard and metally up there I can't seeing it being the most comfortable place in the world..
I don't know if cats drool like dogs do but that would not be good because then the drool could fall on his food/water and my bird could ingest the bacteria..

Well my mind is just whirling part of me can't see how there can possibly be a problem but part of me wont forgive myself if somehow there is a way of saliva contact that I didnt' think of.. I can't do the other room non of my downstairs has doors, my upstairs isn't suitable for my bird it's all carpeted, also I can't see the cage or the bird then and my bird might need care that I can't give him if I can't see him locked up in a room.

I can see the bird cage from the kitchen, dining room and living room so other than when we are out we have every opportunity to teach the cat that she mustn't get up there (if she does indeed ever try to get up there) is a no go..

What does anyone think? Anyone..
...
post #15 of 26
My parents had a bird and a kitty (who was declawed) when I was growing up and are cat never paid much attention the the bird. She liked to sit at the base of his cage and watch him and my mom would say "are you looking at my bird?" and she would just walk away from him. After that cat we had 4 more kitties with claws who also never paided much attention to the bird. We just made it VERY clear that the bird is not a toy. One of the kittes that we had with the bird was a stray cat that woundered into are back yard and it was never really an issue.
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlin View Post
*GoldenKitty* That is extremely interesting about the litter hurting their feet.. Is there something I can do about that? Any special litter or anything?
i can't speak to the saliva thing... but i have 2 declawed cats [plus 3 clawed ones!]. i use clumping clay litter - usually ScoopAway [when i can find the unscented kind] or the Petsmart brand. doesn't seem to be an issue w/either of mine. Chip, my male, will snap [tho not like he used to when i 1st adopted him - adult adoptee] when you're doing something he doesn't like. Pixel never attempts to bite me, tho. i didn't declaw Chip - he came that way. Pixel, i did have declawed [raised her from a kitten] before i knew better. however, she's only known me & i've never done anything to hurt her since then. Chip has gotten better since living here because he trusts me. he's much more likely to snap at a stranger touching his nether regions than me.
good luck! i hope you decide you can get her!
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Can you keep the cat out of the room where the bird is? I would not allow a cat to have any contact with a bird because cats' saliva contains bacteria which can be fatal to birds.

http://www.cockatielcottage.net/cats.html
I agree with this. I have a birdroom where the cats are not allowed access. It can be done but you have to be very careful.

Cats, like a lot of other mammals, have a lot of natural bacteria in their saliva and gut. Birds have very little bacteria that normally lives in their body, and their immune system cannot deal with the bacteria that normally lives in cat or rodent saliva. The main culprit is pasteurella, if a bird comes into contact with cat saliva (even if it is not wounded it will swallow any cat saliva when it preens) then it needs antibiotics from an avian vet within 24 hours - even if it seems perfectly OK.
post #18 of 26
I've had budgies & cats most of my life. My mum's cat sleeps on a table next to her budgie, bird stand, no trouble, the cat ignores the bird. Blossom my now 2 y/o cat, when she was a baby, we had a budgie & she would try & jump on his cage. It was on a cage stand about 3' off the ground. We now have a lorrikeet & Blossom pays no attention to him. She sometimes gets on top of his cage which is on a table, too big for the stand. I must admit that I had never heard of cat saliva being poisonous to birds until I read this post.
Cats only drool if theirs something wrong with their mouth or teeth or are very old. My mum's cat is 17 y/o. & I haven't really noticed if she drools much. Blossom doesn't drool. They may drool when they sleep & when they 'march' to soften their bed.
I also have a pet mouse that lives in the loungeroom. Blossom is very interested in her whenever she is out & about her cage. Blossom will get on top of her tank & paw at it. When we're out I always lock Blossom in the front of the house with access to my bedroom & bathroom where her things are.
post #19 of 26
I had basically the same problem, minus the rat. My family adopted 2 cats from the shelter, but we already had 2 cockatiels. My sister and I were worried that the cats would go after the birds.

A year later, we still have both birds and both cats. Our cats dont go after the birds, but of course, we had to teach them that they cant go after them. They sometimes go up to them and smell them, but they have NEVER gone after the birds or attacked them.

This may or may not be the same for you. We adopted our cats when they were a few months old, so they grew up with the birds and they know that they cant go after them.

Thank you for being willing to take another "critter" in to your home. I hope all turns out for you.
post #20 of 26
I have never even laid eyes on a declawed cat, but I imagine they would need their claws to grip surfaces when they jump to high places. Looking at the placement of your birdcage, is it possible for a declawed cat to jump/get to a surface higher than the top of the birdcage and drool on the bird?

If this is completely impossible, then there should not be a problem.

If it IS possible for her to jump, I don't recommend you take the risk (need help from people who know physics of a cat's jump and how their claws play a part, if at all).

For the bird's safety, try to shut the cat out of the room as he takes his 5 minute free flight around the room.

My good friend works at a wildlife rescue centre and they have had many birds die from cat bites (not drool). Do not put your bird at risk unless you are sure of the cat's temperament.

Would it be possible to go for trial adoption where you have some time to train the kitty not to treat the bird as food/toy?
post #21 of 26
Maybe take the bird to the lady's house & see if the cat shows an interest. I would also ask the lady if the cat is easily trained & how active she is. I would go for it. As I said in my previous post, I didn't even know about this subject. And nearly had a bird & cat. The budgie I had when my boys were little used to talk & fly around the room. I think we had my persian at the same time & there was no problems.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone again!
I was not thinking of letting my bird fly about with the cat around and now I know about the saliva thing I definately wont EVER try it even after I've know the cat for years.
She "is" supposed to be coming for a visit when the lady is better (has a really bad cold that is going around), I can't take the bird there because of her circumstances ..

I will speak to my husband today when I get home from work perhaps he can think of something to put above the cage that isn't going to make it inviting for a cat to jump up to. Half the cage is covered by one of those bird gyms
so that is one side taken care of. The bird goes under that side when he's sleeping.
He's not the kind of bird that will draw attention to himself he's very quiet, I think he's just a smidge smaller than a cocketiel in size.

I will keep reading about this so far I have found a lot of 'bird' forums with cats as pets some of which obviously don't know about the saliva issue..eek!

I do now remember my moms cat drooling a bit when it was kneading on my knee once so thankyou to Kalikat for pointing that out..
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
I have never even laid eyes on a declawed cat, but I imagine they would need their claws to grip surfaces when they jump to high places. Looking at the placement of your birdcage, is it possible for a declawed cat to jump/get to a surface higher than the top of the birdcage and drool on the bird?

If this is completely impossible, then there should not be a problem.

If it IS possible for her to jump, I don't recommend you take the risk (need help from people who know physics of a cat's jump and how their claws play a part, if at all).

For the bird's safety, try to shut the cat out of the room as he takes his 5 minute free flight around the room.

My good friend works at a wildlife rescue centre and they have had many birds die from cat bites (not drool). Do not put your bird at risk unless you are sure of the cat's temperament.

Would it be possible to go for trial adoption where you have some time to train the kitty not to treat the bird as food/toy?
My cat Matilda is de-clawed and she has no trouble jumping on high surfaces. She is timid and lazy and is the type of cat I can see living well with a pet bird.

I had no idea about the saliva thing. I would keep a separate room for the bird so that the cat can roam free about the house.
post #24 of 26
I've read that the transfer of saliva from a cat's paws (due to the large amount of grooming they do) and then to a bird by the cat reaching a paw into the cage can also transfer the bacteria.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sakura View Post
My cat Matilda is de-clawed and she has no trouble jumping on high surfaces.
neither do mine... but if the surface is a slippery one, & they're moving really quickly, they do sometimes slide off. depends on whether they've been able to 'grab hold' with their rear claws [both of my declawed cats are front only, of course].
post #26 of 26
A friend of mine has 4 cats (all with claws as declawing is illegal here) and a large bird cage in her kitchen area. The cats leave the birds alone, and don't bother with them at all.

Also, this is Farley's brother, he lives with rats and a bird

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