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Miserable kitty, when/if to rehome?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I warn everyone, this is going to be long, but I really could use some advice.

4 years ago I found my Tara out in the snow. She was a feral and not very friendly at all. I took her in, had her fixed, and we've been getting along pretty well. She is not a friendly cat. She is easily angered and scared and has attacked vets, visitors, family, friends, etc. She and I seem to have had a decent bond going on though and she was comfortable with me, to the point of cuddling at night and me being able to hold/pick her up for a few seconds.

Last July, I realized my life was going to become a lot busier and I was going to be home less. I wanted to get her a friend. I brought home an 8 week old kitten named Drusilla. I admit, intros were horrid. She outright attacked the kitten and turned on me for months. But by Christmas, she and Dru were very good together and she was fine with me again. In March, I moved in with some friends. It was a drastic change for the cats. Previously they had run of a large 4 bedroom, spacious home that they shared with a very calm Retriever mix. Tara never liked the dog really, but the dog was so calm and didn't bother her at all, so she "allowed it to exist" as I like to put it. Now, they are sharing my tiny 10x10 room with all my furniture and me. The Retriever mix is not here with us, but my roommates have a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. A very wiggly, sniffy, excited, happy, yappy, jumpy, barky, loud Yorkshire Terrier whose favorite game is to chase, jump on, bark at, and play with the kitties. Drusilla being young was ok with this and she and the dog get along great. Tara is terrified of the dog. She's attacked it several times. She attacks me because I pet (and thus smell like) the dog. She attacks Drusilla because she smells like the dog. I tried to simply keep all the animals seperate. Tara and Dru are confined to my room and the puppy has the run of the rest of the apartment. She still attacks Drusilla, and not in a playful way, she's drawn blood a few times. She howls at the top of her lungs when I leave the room, and then hides and becomes vicious when I come in to see whats wrong. My roommate said she sounds like she's in heat when she howls, but shes spayed. She's always been talkative and I guess there's a chance the vet did miss an ovary and it is a heat yowling. But exploratory surgery to look into this costs far too much than I could afford and she ceases the yowling when I come in. I've had cats in heat and they don't stop because you walk into a room. My vet said its probably equivalent to a childs temper tantrum. I took her out of her territory, put her with an obnoxious dog and a sister-cat she was never best buds with, and shoved her into a tiny room, along with leaving her for far more extended periods of time than before. So he thinks she's just howling for "attention" and will stop on her own eventually. But she's severely distressed. She's lost weight, throws up her food, grooms herself like crazy, hides under the bed far too often and no longer enjoys being petted or played with or sitting in the window. I don't know what to do. I cannot afford to move at all. I can't afford vet appointments every few days for Dru and E-vet appointments because I'm worried about her skinnyness and throwing up. All the vets ever want to do is try different very expensive procedures I cannot afford, like the exploratory surgery, and one of them wanted to put her on an anti-anxiety medication which would make her sleepy all the time. But I turned it down because it was too pricey and I didn't want her drugged up all the time.

So, I know theres no clear answer here, but how long do I let this go on? How long before I start looking for another home for her, where she won't have dogs to scare her and won't be locked in a small room? I don't really want to "kick her the curb" but the howling is obnoxious, the attacks on myself and Dru are becoming costly and causing me worry, and I feel like she's going to eventually make herself die or become severely ill with her stress related symptoms. I know its only been about 3 months, but with her throwing up, power grooming, and attacking Dru I'm afraid I'll tell myself to wait it out and then one day I'll have waited too long and things will end up worse. So any advice would be helpful.
post #2 of 6
Hi, I am normally the last person to even think about re-homing animals, but in your case, I'd ask if it is possible to find a calmer environment for her (your vet probably has a 'new home wanted' board up) before you all go completely nuts. It certainly doesn't sound like either of you are benefitting from the present arrangement and unless the dog, possibly other cat, and available space change radically soon, you're not doing each other any favors. You did a great thing taking her in originally, and probably saved her life, but it doesn't mean you have to therefore be responsible for the rest of her life, tough as that may sound. You have a right to peace and quiet too, and she has a right to another chance in a less stressful place (no fault of yours, but stuff happens, doesn't it!).
post #3 of 6

u r in a very difficult position there
dun really know wat to advice
but wat bout moving to another one-bedder place of the same rental cost??
where there's no doggy ard??
pls take care.. for now, jus keep them away from e terrier at all times
u may wanna try putting on some vanilla scent on both of them
this will help to make them smell e same

i learnt this from some fellow tcs members
when my kiki was neutered from e clinic
& koko attacked him when he smelt of the clinic
hope this will temp solve ur problem

post #4 of 6
Wow, gosh you're in a difficult position.... I would vote for the rehoming also, but given her personality it may be quite difficult. Is there, say a barn home that might be willnig to take her in? she sounds like she is not really the indoor couch kitty type. I'm so sorry that you and Tara and Dru are having all these problems, I wish I had better advice, but I'll definitely keep you in my thoughts
post #5 of 6
Someone on here(maybe TNR) said that some cats are truly feral & should live outdoors. I think, given Tara's personality, she will be difficult ot re-home to an indoor home. Since she has been living inside, she may have a hard time adjusting to an outdoor home. Maybe you could look for someone who has a shop or shed, heated & A/C preferably, that would be willing to take Tara? I know finding a shed like that is a long shot, but I know our HS has done it for some mean declawed cats.
post #6 of 6
Is there any way to build her an enclosure in the back yard where you are staying? Then you can find out if she will be happier away from the noise of the new home.

Personally, before I would try rehoming a cat (who honestly will be difficult to rehome...at least you love her!), I would try the medication. I had a co-worker who's cat was given amitriptyline injections that would last a month. Yeah, she was a little sleepy from the meds, but she quit licking herself bald!

Also, do keep asking among friends and family to see if there is another place for her, but in the meantime maybe an outdoor enclosure and or medications would help. I do understand sometimes there is no help for a difficult situation, but you are here because you obviously want to try your best for this girl. Give it some more time, I hope you will find a solution.
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