Here is a live and current example of how, if we are honest, the wrong people can end up looking after domestic cats. Quality of cat care really depends of the quality of the person.
Three years ago, a woman split up with her husband. An ordinary day-to-day occurrence. As is typical in divorces, the spouses had to find new homes and the daughter says she had to rent an apartment and her mother agreed to look after her three cats. Perhaps the landlord forbade cats. I suppose the arrangement was meant to be temporary.
The mother doesn’t like cats but she looked after them and she says, “These cats are good cats and have grown on me…”. She took care of them but hates cat hair all over the house and the fact that they “wrecked the carpet on my steps…”.
The mother wants to renovate her house and at the same time wants her daughter to take the cats back. Her daughter refuses and says:
“How are you going to explain it to the grandkids that you got rid of their pets?”
Emotional blackmail? Mother is fed up. The cats have become a “problem” because neither the daughter nor her mother wants them. It is clear to me that the daughter was unsuitable as a cat caretaker in the first place because she willingly allowed her mother to care for her cats for three years. That indicates to me that the daughter is happy to let someone else do the work of cat caring but, I suppose, from time to time she enjoys some of the fun of being around domestic cats when she visits.
Her mother has done the best she can and admits she is unsuited to the responsibilities of cat guardianship. The wrong people are involved in caring for cats. What can be done?
The cats need a new home. Taking the cats to a shelter does not guarantee a new home in the USA (this is a USA story). It can lead to death.
I would not advertise them on Facebook or anywhere else because the wrong sort of person (again) may con them out of their cats. If the three cats are close friends they should be taken together, which makes it harder to rehome them. Perhaps the best solution is to find a home locally by asking neighbours and friends.
People should be cautious and thoughtful before adopting a domestic cat and even more thoughtful when adding to the family with more cats.
There is one last possibility, which is that the mother learns to deal with a bit of damage and cat hairs. After all, she does say they have grown on her. There is potential there: something to build on. Perhaps a bit of cat behavior education and a rethink may resolve the problem.
Photo: an abandoned cat but not one of the cats referred to in this article. The photo is a direct embed from Flickr and may disappear in the future. Photo by Stefan Tell.