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proper home?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I would like to know everyone's opinion here. What if someone whose spouse was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's wanted to adopt a cat? What sort of precautions might need to be taken? Is this a proper home for a cat to go to?

I recently heard of this situation and am curious to know what people think. The people live in very small 1 bedroom apt and the one who is not ill is not always at home.

Personally I would be worried that the person who is ill would inadvertently let the cat outside. The apartment has a door to the building as well as the apartment but IMO that is still not very safe.

Thanks for weighing in either way.
post #2 of 14
I am a bit mixed on this one.

On one hand, you are right, you do not want the cat to be neglected, let out by mistake, mishandled, etc. Someone, who is not ill, should be making sure everything is okay with the cat...and the ill person of course.

On the other hand, it is proven that animals have an amazing healing effect on those with illness and disease. This could be a really positive thing for the ill person.

Sorry...can't really be decisive on this. Seeing two sides to it.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I will add another bit of information and I apologize for not being up front from the beginning. The well person is a recovering alcoholic.

I didn't want to put that much information into this thread because this is a real life situation.

I think these people really love the cat but it feels more like the cat will be the most stable person in the home. The cat is an oriental and they are having trouble with her being very active. The well person, however, wants to be sure the cat is smart enough to escape a situation where an impaired adult may inadvertently inflict harm. So while the active nature of the cat is a problem, it is also a plus to them.

They do plan to declaw her, due to the Alzheimer illness. They already rejected the first cat they adopted who was special needs, due to timidity.

At present the cat is not in the home; she is being treated by the vet.
post #4 of 14
If there is any possibility of harm coming to this cat because the owners are not capable (physically or otherwise), then I have to sway towards this just isn't the right home for the cat...or any animal.

As far as declawing, it is painful, inhumane and unnecessary.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much leesali for your feedback. I really needed to hear from the community and I would continue to welcome feedback in this area because I work in this situation and I am constantly confronted with the decison of what constitutes a quality adoptive home, and what is a bad home.

Yes we use a standard adoption checklist, but it does not have questions asking if the people are felons or drug users or god knows what else.

For anyone who works in this area, other than what is on the checklist, what in your opinion makes an adopter a GOOD choice? What signs to they show that makes them good in your opinion?

And what makes them a BAD choice? What signs or other traits or things they do, makes you decide not to let them adopt?

In any case, this adopter above, will not get Lisa back.
post #6 of 14
Is there any chance of giving them an already declawed, older cat who might not be so active? Pets can have such a good effect. When I came to live here my parents took my cat, Cinders - she already knew them well and had often stayed at their house. Over the years my father, now 91, has become more and more absent - not Alzheimers but senile dementia, until now he cannot be left alone in case he does something silly. But the one constant in his life is the cat - when I go to visit now, he is always talking about her, always knows where she is, and she spends much of her time perched on his chair arm. As she was a rescue cat who was terrified of outdoors, even if the garden door is left open she never goes more than a few feet from the house, and only if someone is in the garden. My mother has had issues with her scratching and peeing, and has had to replace carpets with laminate to prevent accidents, but agrees that the advantages of the bonding with my father far outweigh the problems. I have offered several times to take Cinders back, bring her here if necessary, but we all think that the best thing for both her and my father is to leave them together. Sorry to be so long, but it has been a really good thing.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
Is there any chance of giving them an already declawed, older cat who might not be so active? Pets can have such a good effect. When I came to live here my parents took my cat, Cinders - she already knew them well and had often stayed at their house. Over the years my father, now 91, has become more and more absent - not Alzheimers but senile dementia, until now he cannot be left alone in case he does something silly. But the one constant in his life is the cat - when I go to visit now, he is always talking about her, always knows where she is, and she spends much of her time perched on his chair arm. As she was a rescue cat who was terrified of outdoors, even if the garden door is left open she never goes more than a few feet from the house, and only if someone is in the garden. My mother has had issues with her scratching and peeing, and has had to replace carpets with laminate to prevent accidents, but agrees that the advantages of the bonding with my father far outweigh the problems. I have offered several times to take Cinders back, bring her here if necessary, but we all think that the best thing for both her and my father is to leave them together. Sorry to be so long, but it has been a really good thing.
Sounds like they want an active cat, as they rejected a non active one.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbB
I would like to know everyone's opinion here. What if someone whose spouse was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's wanted to adopt a cat? What sort of precautions might need to be taken? Is this a proper home for a cat to go to?

I recently heard of this situation and am curious to know what people think. The people live in very small 1 bedroom apt and the one who is not ill is not always at home.

Personally I would be worried that the person who is ill would inadvertently let the cat outside. The apartment has a door to the building as well as the apartment but IMO that is still not very safe.

Thanks for weighing in either way.
That is a tricky situation...you don't want to rule out a person solely due to a disability. Just because they "could" let the cat out doesn't mean they will. If it were me, I would do the adoption with the who isn't ill....make sure they are aware of all the issues they could run into....make sure you offer a policy where they can return the cat if it doesn't work out. Of course there is the "gut" feeling about a person that I rely on heavily...if I don't get a sense the individual understands fully about the responsibility of pet ownership or if I have concerns about the adoption...I won't go through with it. Plain and simple. My responsibility is first to the cats and kittens in our care.

Katie
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yes they did reject the first cat, as well as a suggestion for a more sedate already declawed cat. In fact, our offer of the 3rd cat is when they explained the whole situation and brought it to light.

It bothers me that they want to put responsibility on the cat to get out of harm's way if needed, while at the same time they will declaw the cat and remove its natural defense.

The cat had already gotten out of the apartment twice in the first day, albeit did not get out of the building itself.

I do agree that it ends up being intuition. There are more variables I did not bring up here and which continue to unfold, but it all adds up to not a good situation.

In this case it just seems like they have good intentions and want to adopt and love this pet, but are either selfish in their love, or not intuitive enough about themselves and their own situation to see that this is clearly not going to work.
post #10 of 14
This is a difficult situation to judge. I'm a care manager for my agency's adult day care program and 80% of my clients have been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease. I can say from experience that you'd first want to know how far into the disease process the person is. Alzheimer's usually develops slowly and does not make them incapable of caring for a pet if it's still in the earlier stages. I do know that a majority of clients who have had pets in the past tend to respond positively toward animals in general, especially if it's the same type they once owned.

I'm most certainly not saying don't be cautious. I do praise you for wanting to gather information and looking out for the welfare of the animal.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
The cat had already gotten out of the apartment twice in the first day, albeit did not get out of the building itself.
Don't judge based on that alone...I live in a condo and my cat has gotten out of my condo MANY times....sneaky guy dashes out when I open the door. I always find him trying to sniff the neighbor doors. It would be VERY difficult for Tigger to get out as he would have to find a way to get down 3 flights of stairs or find the elevator open and then he would have to get out the front door. It has never happened.

Katie
post #12 of 14
If you're worried about the cat escaping due to the illness maybe you could suggest those canisters that emit a smell/puff of smelly gas when cats approach that way the cat can keep him or herself away from the door. These cans are usually used to keep cats away from very specific areas like doorways or plants.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
These people live in a garden apartment and their front door is about 5 steps from the main door of the building. The lady only mentioned the cat had got out as she was complaining she did not want to walk up the 3 flights to the top units to fetch her back.

I think all of those factors would weigh positively if the adopters showed more inclination to take responsibility for the cat. It just became increasingly apparent that these people were more interested in getting than giving and were somewhat ignorant about taking responsibility. It was more like the cat would be the main stability in the household.

Interestingly, futher to Katie's comment about intuition: My last foster was adopted by a young lady who is mildly retarded. I knew from the minute she came to see this cat, that it was going to have the best home it could possibly ever get. I've spoken with this young woman's mom twice since then and she gives me pictures, and it is one of the best loved kitties we have found homes for.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbB
These people live in a garden apartment and their front door is about 5 steps from the main door of the building. The lady only mentioned the cat had got out as she was complaining she did not want to walk up the 3 flights to the top units to fetch her back.

I think all of those factors would weigh positively if the adopters showed more inclination to take responsibility for the cat. It just became increasingly apparent that these people were more interested in getting than giving and were somewhat ignorant about taking responsibility. It was more like the cat would be the main stability in the household.

Interestingly, futher to Katie's comment about intuition: My last foster was adopted by a young lady who is mildly retarded. I knew from the minute she came to see this cat, that it was going to have the best home it could possibly ever get. I've spoken with this young woman's mom twice since then and she gives me pictures, and it is one of the best loved kitties we have found homes for.
I rely heavily on intuition and it has never failed me. The people I was really impressed with have never returned the cat...the people I've had concerns about are the ones who end up returning.

Katie
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