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Sick cat, splitting the family?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Will try to be as brief and concise as possible. I address this question specifically to multi-cats households.

Mary has two cats, Michel a 16 year old Siamese and a Richard a +_ 1 year old mix rescue. They are two lovely cats, wonderfully cared for, raw fed and loved. They have loving characters. Michel being a senior is calm and relaxed whilst Richard, a juvenile, still quite playful.

Recently, Michel has been diagnosed with a pancreas disease and the vet reccomends Mary that she tries to provide him with a calm environment where he can rest. The vet told her Michel could live another year or two.

Faced with this situation Mary ask asked me to rehome her younger cat (I run a rehoming organization in Turkey where to the usual complications of rehoming we must add the specifics of a country that is waaaaay behind in animal welfare and adoption mentality) so that Michel can spend his years in absolute quiet.

I have tried to convince her to seek an alternative solution, to create a "resting area" in her appartment (i.e. bedroom) where Michel can rest undisturbed, to be kept off-limits from her younger cat. During the day whilst she is at work they would be separated, later on the day they could be together under supervision. Anything except giving her cat away. It is extremely difficult to find a good family for a cat in this country, and ev en less for a mix breed. But most importantly I am taking in consideration their feelings here. The foster-rehoming process will be extremely stressful for Richard who until now has been a happy cat and will now face an uncertain future. Michel will be left isolated and in total calm, true, but he will also be deprived of the energy of his younger friend. In my experience older animals draw and absorb the energy of the younger ones, they keep active and going for longer. Finally Mary is devastated and crying her heart out.

For the time being I have placed Richard on a foster home. He has been there for 48 hours and is spending most of his time hiding under the bed.

My question to multi-animal homes is, what would you do? would you ever consider giving up your animals and separating the family if you were in a similar situation?

Because of my rehoming activities I am forced to witness on a daily basis amazing cases of cruelty and neglect. To me, we have a sacred responsibility towards our animals. Mary is a close friend, I know the cats very well. I am having a seriosly hard time seeing that household separated because of a rush decision that will surely be regretted at a later time.


post #2 of 7
I think she is making a mistake.
I havea almost 17 year ol cat with Crf and alot of other problems.
My other cat just had surgery last monday also.
You can keep the cats seperated.
I have other cats and my youngets i almost 6 months.
post #3 of 7
I have that very same situation only my sick one is a 12 year old dog. I would NEVER sacrifice one animal for another.

WHY DO VETS SAY THESE THINGS?? My vet had the same suggestion of calm and no stress. I have four former feral cats, three 1 year old cats that were bottle fed orphans and a rescue dog with separation anxiety. I am NOT giving up my senior dog for the sake of the other animals and I am not giving up ALL my other animals that have just as much rights as the sick dog. I took responsibility for them. That means if they are sick or well. I take care of each of their needs as best as possible.

My opinion:

The older sick cat will suffer STRESS because he lost his mate. He doesn't know what has happened. So in a sense she is contributing to his declining health by creating stress.

Two cats are suffering. Michael lost his mate and will grieve, Richard has been abandoned and is suffering.

Most importantly, Michael is going to die no matter what she does. Why not let the family stay together and not put them through this.

How will she feel once Michael does die and she has lost ALL of her fur family?

I am keeping my family together, keeping life on a schedule (as much as possible) and taking care of everyones needs.

Tell her to take Richard back and just love them. Stress for cats is created when things change.

By the way, did the vet tell her to get rid of Richard or is this what she thinks?
post #4 of 7
I would never ever ever give away any of my cats. No matter what the situation was. I would just make sure the sick one would be in a place he could rest etc. I wouldnt even be able to give away a kitten or cat I've had only for a day. They become part of my family when i bring them into my home. The only way they are leaving is when it's their time to go to a better place......

I think she is making a mistake. That's like saying you have 2 human kids, one is diagnosed with a disease so your give away the healthy one to someone else because you cant take care of both.
post #5 of 7
Seems to me the obvious solution is to get a second cat box and water and food bowls. Use a door to separate the cats. If the old guy sleeps out in the main room of the house, then the younger cat can be put elsewhere. If the old guy sleeps in the Bedroom, then he can be left in there.

In reading this it sounds like 'Mary' is pre grieving her older cat while forgetting the younger one.

If she were truly distraught about the future of the younger cat she would alter the living space to accommodate both animals rather than cry her eyes out.
post #6 of 7
I have a large household of cats (11) with 5 seniors. When one of them got sick a few years back, 1 of the younger cats purposefully antagonized the older sick one. Luckily, I had close friends that were looking for adult littermates, and I adopted the antagonizer and his littermate to them. I knew that they would be in a better situation at their new place with a 2 human to 2 cat ratio. They are having a marvelous time and it was the right decision for me.

I would never have given up the cats had I not personally known that they would be in a better home than I could give them. I would have separated some of the cats to keep the stress down.

Your friend's older cat may only have a year or 2 left in life, but her younger cat could have a lot more. She is going to kick herself if she adopts out her younger cat to a stranger. That will become very clear when she finally loses her older boy. She will grieve both cats at that time.
post #7 of 7
If it were me personally I would do as you suggested and give the older cat a safe room away from the younger cat. I would never get rid of an animal unless there was absolutely no other option.
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