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cat psychology 101

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
i kind of have a situation here that is probably hard for anyone to answer because its quite personal but i would love to hear from anyone who has some insight. Here goes: I recently moved back to the U.S. from Europe. I brought one of my three cats with me on the plane. she was quite ill and i assumed she had little time left and the other two would bother her in her last days. well, the inevitable happened and she has passed away. Meanwhile, I planned on going back at the beginning of next year to get the other two and bring them back on board with me. One of the cats has FIV (no symptoms yet) and is quite skittish and i thought it would be better to bring them together in the cabin. Well, this plan was fine until i got a call from my roomate who is at her wits end with one of my cats. both of them were pretty upset when i left, and when another person left soon after me that they were quite close to, it got worse. The female, sita, lost a lot of weight and acted depressed. the male, mali, began to poop and pee everywhere and hides all day. he won't let my friend touch him. She said he's terrified! I felt horrible when she told me this, so i looked into sending them as cargo because i can't go back to get them right now. meanwhile, a new roomate who is going back to england soon, has asked to adopt sita. they have become quite close and apparently she sleeps with him every night. when i said that firstly, i would never separate the 2 of them because they have been buddies since mali moved in a year ago, and secondly i had no intention of parting with my pets, he responded back by saying he would take both of them with him. it would be a much shorter flight and they would stay together, so i am considering his offer for several reasons: I can't go get my cats at this time, both cats are depressed and mali is so upset that he spends all day every day under a bed and only comes out to do his very dirty work and eat when no one sees him. My friend says he is a very nice, responsible, person and would be a great caregiver for them. Sita seems to be attached to him already (she has always been very friendly) and i suppose that mali will pick up on that and adjust accordingly. Oh yeah, i forgot to mention that another factor in their stress is an addition to the household of another cat (my friend's) who has changed the whole dynamic between mine. she moved in with her cat about amonth before I left. anyway, my real question is: DO CATS REALLY BECOME ATTACHED MORE TO THEIR HUMAN PARENTS OR TO THEIR ENVIRONMENTS? AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THEM TO FORGET ABOUT ONE OWNER, AND GET ATTACHED TO A NEW ONE? DO THEY REALLY GET ATTACHED SENTIMENTALLY LIKE US OR IS IT MORE AN ATTACHMENT TO THE ROUTINE AND THE CARE THEY ARE GIVEN? don't get me wrong, i know that there are definite emotional attachments between humans and animals. my deceased cat was always very attached to me, but since sita seems to be so attached to the new roomate, i'm wondering if maybe they'd be better off settling with him instead of having to keep them in a home where they are no longer happy (their regular people gone, new cat) as opposed to waiting several months for me to get them or worse yet, travelling as cargo for 9-10 hours. this has been keeping me sleepless for many nights. I want to make sure that I am acting in their best interest and not humanizing it and doing what's more pleasing to my ego- a reunion which may be more stressful to them at present to really compensate for any future happiness thay will experience from it. does anyone know what would be in the best interest of the cats. they are 2 of dozens of strays that i have rescued and found homes for. i would miss them terribly but I volunteer at a shelter and would be happy to give two more kitties a good home if i decided to keep mine in good hands in europe. I just wonder if they will always wonder why they were abandoned by me or if they'll be just as happy with a new owner. I need some insight into how their brains work. will they understand? or will they forget about me in time? Help! I'm driving myself crazy. I have been searching the web for hours and haven't been able to find anything on the subject. thanks for anything you can tell me. love, jenny
post #2 of 3
I really cant answer you , this is a tough one . But I know for sure that cats can ajust very well to new people if their given a change .You just need to know for sure that this person is really serious (sp) about your cats . If he really love your cats is a good point too .As I said this one is hard and only you can answer all that . Some times cat hide when they are sick too , so when was it the last time that one shy cat was ck by a vet ? Cats pee and poop in diferend places when they have kittney or other problems . You may want to ask your friend to bring the cat for a ck up and get some blood work done explaining the vet what is going on with the cat . I would do that just to rule a desease out .
post #3 of 3
First off Jenny there is a possibility that your cats have stressed themselves out so and are sick, which is why the hiding under the bed and the pooping out of the box. I would make arrangements to send money to get them to the vet, or ask this person who wants both cats to please see to it that they are seen by a vet and quickly. They are not only missing you, but their friend that recently passed away, and for them, because she is not with them anymore, that is stressful enough.

Strays that are rescued do get attached to the person who rescued them. They do remember always, and they are probably missing you like crazy. I would be concerned at the quality of care they are receiving while you are gone. I would also not take someone's word for it that your cats have attached themselves to another person, though I don't know how you would check out the validity of the story.

It is entirely up to you how to proceed here. Both of these cats will be undergoing changes that are extreme, whether the one person takes both cats off to England (they will have to be in quarantine I believe) plus with one who has FIV, that cat may not be allowed into England, as they have to have a health certificate to travel. So regardless if you ship these cats to you (and again the one who is sick may not be able to go anyway) they will have a major change to get used to, same if they go to England. Change is stressful for cats and many cats get sick undergoing to many changes. This one is a hard one to try and answer.
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