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advice about neglect?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I hate this to be my first post but I would really appreciate some advice on two neglected cats.

The owners are my partner's sister and boyfriend and although I don't mind phoning in as "an anonymous neighbour" (I really don't want this to turn into a family fight, I just want the cats to have a nice warm, loving home) I really don't know whether to in case they get taken away and put down if they aren't re-homed. That is hardly a better situation than they are in.

The situation is this:
The cats are left out all the time, and never allowed into the apartment other than for a quick meal and a little bit of water. They are two big boy cats (and beautiful too) and they are only getting half a can each of food a day. They do not have access to fresh water other than at feeding time which, as far as I can gather, is only for a few minutes while they eat and then are chucked out again. They used to be allowed in for the night but that stopped when "cat hairs were found in the bathroom sink!! that is sooo disgusting"....I think the poor cats were looking for fresh water and that seemed as good a place as any to find it. So now their situation has worsened: they don't get in the flat at night and the weather here is awful just now. Rain, rain, rain.

They are actually pretty healthy looking just now and I think that us because neighbours are feeding them. They are also really affectionate (but that is maybe because I always spend some time with them when I am over and give them cat treats!!) and I am sure would make some lovely family pets. However, the boyfriend of the couple doesn't want to give them up and doesn't even think what he does is cruel even though many have tentatively tried to point out that big boy cats need 2 meals a day (each!) and plenty of fresh water. They are never violent to the cats but the poor things are just about homeless.

I have my own cat. She is a house cat (more her choice than mine!) and gets plenty food and water as well as loads of affection and play time. My heart breaks for those 2 cats that are outside all the time. When I see how much my cat misses me when I am away overnight, I see how much animals really need affection and company.

What to do though? Anyone got any advice?

Thanks for hearing me out. What a long post this turned out to be!

post #2 of 7
Hello, Lpine, and welcome to the Cat Site...

I am very sorry to hear about the poor conditions these cats are being held in. I can't tell you how to handle it, since it is a sensitive matter when its family afairs, but one thing is for sure - those cats deserve a better life. Really.

I don't know, confronting the couple in a manner of "whether you treat your cats better or I will take them away" maybe? that will be very stressful for you, but maybe bring a change to the cat's lives. Otherwise - just try again and again to explain how they suffer from this. If money is the problem - try offering to help our with cat's food or somthing...

Or just send them here... we will try to talk some sense into them... .

Im waiting with you for other people to comment.
post #3 of 7
I'm not sure if what you are describing could legally be termed neglect, but it sure as heck isn't responsible cat ownership. Are these boys fixed? Do they get their vaccinations?
post #4 of 7
Most states have laws on the books about neglect, but they are really aimed more at dogs. Some states prohibit owners from allowing dogs OR cats from roaming free, but obviously those aren't enforced very well. The problem would be that if you could get some official to come out, if the boys look healthy (not emaciated) they can't do a whole lot. You could certainly try, though. Contact your local Humane Society and tell them the situation, see what their advice is. You can find your local one here: http://worldanimalnet.org/new.asp
post #5 of 7
Since these cats are friendly, I would take them to a no-kill animal rescue organization when your family isn't home (so they won't see you take the cats). Maybe you could call a few rescue organizations first to make sure that they have space for these two affectionate furbabies! I know this is very devious, but it gives them the chance to find a loving indoor home.
post #6 of 7
Our local humane society has an outreach group that will go to homes just like this one to provide education to the people who aren't properly caring for their animals. They go out in cases in which the animals aren't being treated so poorly that they must be removed, but instead focus on people like these who are simply clueless about proper pet care. Often times, once the people realize they are doing poorly, they simply choose to give up the animal. Other times, they actually learn and start treating the animal correctly.

Anyway, try calling your local Humane Society or SPCA and see whether someone can come out and just talk to these folks.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice so far. It has really helped. I think the main thing here is for me to not act impulsively, e.g. to ask for advice from a cat or pet rescue organisation instead of reporting as soon as I phone them which is what I was going to do. I will be over in that area tonight and it is belting down with rain just now so I will check on the cats with my bag full of treats (including dental treats that my own fussy cat won't eat!)

This is all too sad and I think that the poster who said that because the boys look healthy not much can be done is correct. They are so friendly as well I doubt anyone would want to report them being a nuisance by always being outside by the bins etc.

Thanks again for the advice,

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