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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 

I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by johnnythemonkey on 26 March 2009 10:20am
My neighbours are moving overseas in a month or so and are unable to take their cat. He's 14 and the quarantine and the heat would be too much for him, so when I heard that they were struggling to get him taken care of, I offered to take him.
His name is McGill, he's black and cool. He's an outdoor cat and rather timid. He's often sitting on the fence when I came home in the morning and for years I used to try to approach him but he would run away, then one day a couple of years ago he let me stroke him and he was brushing his head against my hand and purring. I felt quite privileged ! From then on, he'd let me pet him if he was on the fence but he won't come towards me if I try to attract him.
Anyway, the problem is, how do you take ownership of a cat ? My neighbour is going to bring him into our house tonight so he can start to get used to us. The advice she was given from a cat rescue place was that we should keep him indoors for a month or so but he's used to being outdoors so he would probably feel like a prisoner with strange jailers, plus I don't want to be dealing with a shitty litter tray !
Shall I just sit him down and have a one to one with him and tell him how it's going to be ? :)
I'm concerned that when my neighbours move away, he might just think " bugger this " and disappear.
P.S. I should add that I've never had a cat.
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by suzulu on 26 March 2009 11:14am
I think probably two weeks is enough for a cat to get used to a new home but I suppose you had better listen to the cat rescue place.

When I was a child we moved to a different house 7 miles away. We had a cat but didn't keep her in to get used to the new house. So, she disappeared obviously trying to find our old home.

As it happened, by a strange coincidence, a cat turned up on the doorstep of a girl who was in my class at the new school. It turned out it was our Kitty. The girl was allowed to keep her.

As McGill's old home is quite close to yours, there might not be too much of a problem.

Of course, you can have a heart to heart talk with him! LOL
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by kazzzz on 26 March 2009 11:14am
Only one tip Johnny, the cat rules the house from here on in :)
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by tucsonmike on 26 March 2009 11:37am
The cat WILL rule the house. Ask Yerbie.
(Although Yerbie gets the occasional whipping to show who is REALLY boss, but he enjoys it way too much).
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by peripatetically on 26 March 2009 11:46am
I'm more interested in knowing where the peole are moving? Please don't tell me FLORIDA!!!!!!
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by Spursfan on 26 March 2009 12:03pm
May sound a silly question, but do they feed him outside or in?

Whichever, they could slowly move the feeding bowl and water over the four weeks (half a metre at a time, say) so that eventually it is either in your garden or in your kitchen, whichever. Same with his litter tray. (By the way - get the wood-based litter if you can (Tesco do it) as it is far more absorbent).

He would then get used to his dindins being round at the grumpy old chap's house hee hee.

And perhaps if he has a catbed outside they could move that too?

To be honest this is the main reason we haven't moved to Turkey - our pets! Ok we COULD take them with us (especially Tosun) but I don't want to. We have 2 cats who are 7 in July (they're from the same litter) and obviously we would have to let them out in Turkey and what if they got lost? Don't fancy their chances as street cats they are far too pampered!! Though they have caught no end of field mice etc.

I think Tosun would find the heat far too much and I would be worrying about him all the time.

And what about the parrot and cockatiel?

Sorry - I seem to have hijacked this thread, Johnny.

Hope it all goes well - you could always try the "old wives' tale" of butter on the paws!!

Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by johnnythemonkey on 26 March 2009 12:26pm
I think he eats indoors and apparently is quite fussy. He has a cat bed so we will have to use the next four weeks to gradually get him used to coming here.
I'm going to call him McCavity ( whether he likes it or not ! )
Btw Patty, the neighbours are moving to Cyprus.
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by Lounge Trekker on 26 March 2009 2:44pm
I can only relate my experiences of several cats, all of whom chose ME as their favourite person.

We were told a cat loves the place he lives more than the people, so being close to his previous home will make it easier to find him should he leave. I always left a window or cat-door accessible so the little guy could return at will. Within reason of course.

Give him luvin' when he needs it. Always have fresh water and dried cat food available. Never yell at him or hit him. A cat will get back at you if he likes you. If he doesn't like you, you might never touch him again.

Give him a litter box anyway. As he acclimates to his new home his schedule may vary and a month is a long time to 'hold it'! Some people freak when a cat buries his feces in their garden, so respect your neighbours and try to convince him to use the other neighbour's toilet!

Lounge Feline
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by sighthound on 26 March 2009 6:22pm
I'm fostering a lot of cats these days for a Humane Society in a rural area where there aren't many homes for them. I NEVER let any of them outside while they're here because cats take off for lots of reasons. The advice the cat rescue gave you was wise, johnny. Maybe you don't need to keep him inside for a whole month but do it for at least a couple of weeks until his new "feeding station" is very well-established in his brain. Even so, better make friends with whoever moves into your old neighbors' home because he'll probably spend a lot of time back there. Habits die hard with cats.

Some cats adapt well to "imprisonment" and some don't. Keep some special food he really likes and feed him a tiny bit from your hand every hour or so he begins to associate you and your house with very good things. Massages also do a lot to convince some cats to stick around (although I imagine you might also be in need of massage therapy after learning to cater to a cat.)
Re: I'm adopting a cat: Advice needed. by mrsthing on 26 March 2009 8:43pm
First, get as much information about his habits and preferences as you can from his owners.

On his first visit, let him explore your house on his own. Don't get in his way too much, just make sure he stays safe.

Hide anything fragile until you get to know his habits. Some cats love to jump up on window sills, shelves, and tables and knock stuff off. They've also been known to chew plants. He's probably too old to be climbing curtains and hanging bed clothes, but you never know. Keep your shoes up where he can't reach them. I never had this happen, but some cats will do their business in shoes.

If he hasn't been declawed, buy him a scratching post and teach him to use it instead of your furniture. If he's an outdoor cat, I certainly hope he DOES have his claws!

If he's never used a litter box before, he won't have a clue what it's for. You'll have to box train him, like you'd potty train a child. Try to catch him in the act, then carry him to the box. Or shut him up in the room with the litter box after a meal and see if anything happens (besides him crying to get back out).

Find out if he sprays--marks his territory with pee. He may do this anyway once he comes to live with you, so be prepared. DON'T punish him for it--he can't help it; it's an instinct. But ask a vet about some good cat pee smell deodorizer, because cat pee is really pungent.

You'll have to get used to watching out for him. He may lie down in a sunny place on the floor, even if it's in the middle of the traffic area. Some cats like to hang around cars, so make sure he's not around when you back out of the garage or driveway. Make sure your daughters and Meg know to look for the cat, and explain to guests who are coming over that you have a new cat and to please be careful coming into the drive or pulling up to the house.

Some cats prefer people to places. All of my cats did, anyway. If that's true of McGill, he might pine after his people leave. If he does, he'll need lots of patience and respect. Don't be too affectionate if he doesn't like that, don't pester him with attention if he doesn't want it. Do offer him treats and speak softly to him. If he loses much weight, consult his vet (I assume he has one).

If all else fails, you may just have to confuse him. ;-)

Cats, like people, are very different one from another. Some love to be in your face all the time, some prefer to be alone and come to you when they want company. You can't change them, so just let McGill be who he is.
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