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New Cat-Advice needed(long)

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Advice needed. As background info, this past Thursday, the next door neighbor rang the doorbell, and asked my sister (an adult woman of 45+ years) if we could watch their cat. They rent the townhouse next to us, and said they are moving next month. Their landlord was on the way to show the place and they needed to "hide" the cat before he came. They also stated they were looking for a new home for it. Anyway, without thinking about it or asking any important questions, my sister took the cat in. They just put the cat in her arms. (it should be noted that we already have 4 animals, a 16+yr old min poodle, 15yr old mix breed dog, a 17 yr old male cat, and a 5 yr old female long haired calico) So of course, shortly after she brings the cat in, it got scared, clawed her back and neck, and also bit her hand, drawing blood. ( An ER visit was warrented the next day, because the hand became infected despite washing and antibiotic ointments) Subsequently, she let go of the cat, and we have since been unable to get close to it, let alone handle it. After explaining to my sister she needs to get more info about the cat, such vetting, name,food it eats, is it fixed? etc.. she goes over later to ask these questions. They state the cat is male about a year old, they had since a kitten, had it's kitten shots, and that it was neutered. She explains that the cat won't let us near him right now, but that it was most likely because he was scared, and asked if they had anything that they might let us have that had their scent on it, or toys, or anything that might be familiar to him and be a comfort to him. Answer, um Nope, but he likes to bat around a small wad of paper.

So now, we have had him in the house 3 days, and still can not get near enough to him to pet or hold him, let alone keep him separated from the resident animals. I understand that the cat will need more time to acclimate to our household. I can not be sure, but, I strongly believe that his owners lied about his being fixed. He is spraying and marking everywhere. I have tried guiding him towards the basement, so we can keep him separated, but he has obviously has other ideas. He has no interest in the dogs, but he will not leave the cats alone. He constantly follows them, rather, stalks them, tries to pounce from behind. I do not get the impression he is trying to play. He has gotten the female once and bit her neck. Fortunately, she has so much fur, he only got a mouthful of hair. He tries the same on the male, but backs off more quickly with him. But he charges at them almost immediately after backing off, all the time he is constantly "talking" to the other cats. Not a meow, but the sound has a trill to it. Our cats respond by hissing and growling, but if they move away, he takes off after them and won't let them out of his sight. I have been trying to let them work it out, but I have had to chase him away from them, so they can get a little peace from him.

We have not ever dealt with this young of a cat or this aggressive, all our animals have been adopted as adults, and were already fixed. So my questions are, 1-would a cat which was supposedly fixed under the age of 1, still spray and mark? I can not get close enough to him when his tail is not obstructing the view of his posterier, to know for sure. 2- Is there something we can do to minimize the spraying ? Tomorrow, we are going to ask the neighbors again about him being neutered, if they insist that he is, I think we are going have them take him back. Of course I am assuming that they will, and that they can catch the cat. If they admit he hasn't been fixed, then we will tell them we will have to have him neutered if he is to stay with us. We wouldn't mind giving him his forever home. I think the aggression with the other cats would lessen once he had more time to get use to our household.
Any advice or remedies on the situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
post #2 of 16
I am far from a expert in this area but it seems the cat is reacting to a new envoirnment ... Is the cat eating>>?? pottying??
post #3 of 16
Well I will give them an A+ for being creative about how to get rid of a cat! There is something fishy here if they won't come over and capture it. Being that it is there cat, he should come right to them? Bet they hoped to never see him again.

The fact that he is spraying and if you are being overwhelmed with a really strong smell of urine- almost overpowering would suggest he is intact. But he could be neutered, and scared and with all the animals you have in the home he is marking the territory hoping to overwhelm them with his scent and make him feel more at home. I would suggest you get a trap a Hav A Heart trap from the local feed store, vet office or animal shelter and trap this boy and get him to a vet. You need help to corral him into a room by himself. Use a heavy blanket have three people with you. Spread the blanket out, put one person in the middle, and one on each end and use the blanket to guide him into the basement, or wherever you want him to go. Heck, some people would just open the door and let him run outside. Make sure all your animals are put up in another room before you try this.

Color me baffled on this one regarding these people and their lack of regard for you, and their cat. I would also slap them with the hospital bill from the cat bite-
post #4 of 16
Wow what a story.. I agree with Hissy.. have you been in their apt? Does it smell like cat spray in their house? :P I hope your sisters wounds heal up ok and you are able to deal with that cat. He sounds a bit on the mean side to me.
post #5 of 16
1. This cat sounds unaltered based on what you describe.
2. The best way to stop the spraying is to get him out of your house.

Here is a very easy test: Ask these neighbors for the name of their vet. If they don't know, then you shouldn't believe a word they say and start assuming the cat has never been to the vet for anything.

Do you wish to adopt this cat? If so, put your animals in safe isolation in another room and then trap him...protecting yourself very carefully! Take him to your vet for a full checkup. He might have diseases or need to be put to sleep, so be prepared for anything, but if things are reasonable then get him brought current and fixed.

But don't you want to get out of this situation? Isn't one trip to the ER with your sister enough? Round up your animals to safety and then tell these neighbors they have an hour to get this cat out of your home. If they don't get it together, call the city to come get him and be done with it.

I am all for rescuing animals but right now you need to be thinking about the safety of your four established pets and the humans living in your house.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, for your replies. First the cat is eating and using a litter box. I placed several food bowls and litterboxes around the house, even in the basement. They have been used. He evidently was in the basement during the night because when I checked it in the morning and the litterbox had been used. (my cats do not go into the basement, and have shown no interest in doing so) I don't know what possessed my sister to agree to this. We have always introduced new animals very slowly and kept them sepearted for a while. Why she didn't get the cat carrier first is beyond me. As for our neighbors, we don't even know them, nothing more than nodding at each other when we pass each other; We don't even know their names. I too was suspicious of their story. Anyway, I don't think the cat is really mean, the family that owns/owned him has children, and I have seen the young children carrying the cat around outside, so I'm pretty sure his aggression is because of the unfamiliar surroundings. I think the family was desparate when they asked us, as the landlord showed up right as the transfer of the cat was taking place. The cat seems comfortable moving aroung the house, but just scared of us. We are also reluctant to get too close to him considering the damage to my sister's hand, so when he hissses and growls at us, we take heed. When I witnessed him spraying I was stunned, because I thought that if they were fixed young, the urge to mark was greatly reduced. He is quite bold about it. Regardless, if they don't take him back, on Monday, he will be going to the vet as soon as possible. I want to work with them, because I fear they will dump him outside if we make too much of an issue of it. I shudder to think what they would have done had my sister said no.
post #7 of 16
I have seen the young children carrying the cat around outside

Okay, that piece of information helps! I would adjust some of my last post knowing that he accepts being handled and is not just biting everyone.

If you want to proceed, bring him to your vet and get him fixed/current. But when you come home, keep him isolated in the basement and work with him individually for a while. Give some time to clean up the sprays and allow the bad first impression this cat made to fade a bit. I'd recommend you introduce him into your normal family gradually using a few of the techniques described in this article:


Good luck...and hey, thanks for saving this cat from being homeless or something worse.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by 2kittymom
I think the family was desparate when they asked us, as the landlord showed up right as the transfer of the cat was taking place. The cat ... I want to work with them, because I fear they will dump him outside if we make too much of an issue of it. I shudder to think what they would have done had my sister said no.
Wow, yeah, I agree..Sounds fishy.
And then when the landlord left, why did they not come back and supply you with some assistance? ie, helping to corral him? or giving you more information? or at least thank you and help out?
I agree with Hissy..I would march over there and get this information as well as telling them about the bite to see if they will consider paying for the bill.
(I am in Canada and we don't pay for healthcare but if you are in that situation, by all means!!)

Good luck!
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Update-- we finally have the cat contained. Btw, his name is Mercedes, I guess I shoud stop referring to him as "the cat". So, I talked to the family's father this morning, and he admitted that Mercedes was not neutered, but did have his kitten shots. (I forgot to ask which vet they used) When I explained what was happening, I asked what he would do if I insisted that they take Mercedes back right now. He had no answer. At my request his daughter came over to see if she could get a hold of the cat. Mercedes ran right to her, poor thing was so happy to see her! We set him up in the basement for now. Now that he has been separated from the rest of the household, I think he will settle down. As soon as the vet opens tomorrow we will be scheduling an appointment. The father apologized and went on to say that they never had a cat before and had not realized how much care that they needed. I cautioned them that they would not be able to change their minds about this cat, and that after Mercedes was neutered, we would give him time to adjust to our household. If we decided that it was not working out, we would make the necessary decisions, even if that meant turning the cat into the pound. ( We would never do that as we have several more agreeable alternatives available to us, I just wanted him to really think about the possibility) I gave them until this evening to think about everything, or to make other arrangements, but I don't think I will be hearing from them at all. Anyway, thanks for all your suggestions, I thinks will start to work out now that we have some control over the situation. Thanks again
post #10 of 16
I just wanted to say that it is so good of you to give Mercedes a furrever home. I agree that he was probably just scared at the suddenness of the new surroundings. I hope it all works out for eveyone concerned.
post #11 of 16
Sounds like you've got it handled now. Good luck with Mercedes!
post #12 of 16
I just wanted to wish you luck with Mercedes. You are so generous to take him in and give him a furrever home. If you have time I'd love to hear how he's adjusting to his new home.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to let all of you nice people know I appreciated all your advice. Sadly, Mercedes was unjustly(IMO) PTS this afternoon. The vet was able make an appointment for him this morning for a healthcheck and his shots so he could be neutred later on in the week. Since I had to work, my sister took the cat in. She had a hard time catching him, so he was evidently very aggressive when she took him in. I have no idea what they witnessed to come to these conclusions. According to the vet, because he had bit someone, because he was behaving aggressively, and because we could not prove the cat had his rabies shots, the cat needed to be quarantined for 10 days at animal control. Animal control refused to quarantine him because there are so many cats that "don't Bite." If they picked up the cat, they would euthanize him immediately. I am very angry/heartbroken right now. That cat did not have rabies. He was only scared!! I fed him this morning and he was rubbing up against my leg, and let me pet him. I feel that the basemment helped calm him tremendously. Our animals never went in the basement so their odors were not agitating him. Last night, he was clearly coming out of his shell, starting playing with the toys I found for him. I had several play sessions with him yesterday. He was still stand-offish, but when he start behaving inappropiately, I just stopped playtime and let him be alone. Before I went to bed, I checked on him and he was out in the open, curled up on the pet bed I left for him, he was not hiding, nor did he run when he saw me. His death was so unecessary!! Right now, I don't know who I am angrier at, my sister, who keeps saying there was "nothing I could do",( -Yes, there was! Just another example of her lack of taking responsibilty-but that is another time and place) or animal control for unilaterally deciding this cat was not worth the effort!! I strongly feel all this could have been avoided, and Mercedes could be alive now. Yes, I am angry with his original family for not fixing him, or providing any kind of healthcare for him. But, I already wrote them off as losers when the dumped the cat on us in the first place. Sorry I didn't mean for this to become a rant! I guess I had a lot to get off my chest. Thanks again for your advice and kind words. RIP Mercedes.
post #14 of 16
Oh how sad! I'm so sorry for your loss. That a healthy kitty with a home would be euthanized . . . Don't worry about ranting, it's perfectly justified. And thank you for being so nice to him in the first place!
post #15 of 16
Oh no...this was not the update I was expecting to see.

It sounds like you were doing a good job. I don't know what to say.
post #16 of 16
I just wanted to say I'm sorry..... I wish I could get ahold of those animal control people, and the vet, and give them a piece of my mind.
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