I’m too sick to keep my cats. What do I do?

The question in the title must happen sometimes (note: it has not happened to me). Perhaps it happens quite a lot. What do you do? I’d try and find someone to care for my cat temporarily. It may be a foster carer working for Cats Protection (a large UK cat charity). Or perhaps a friend. Both may not produce a result but I’d be surprised if Cats Protection could not help.

At the same time I’d get a proper diagnoses on my illness so that I could decide if at sometime in the not too distant future I’d be in a position to care for my cats again.

Based a good consultation with a GP or specialist I’d decide to either leave my cats with a foster carer until I was well or I’d wait until my symptoms had ‘hardened’ so I could make a more permanent decision. If the diagnosis was bleak I’d have to give up my cats to the foster carer and the charity who would rehome my cats.

That is my answer. The question was raised by someone on Catster and I thought I’d answer it on PoC.

6 thoughts on “I’m too sick to keep my cats. What do I do?”

  1. The Cinnamon Trust is a U.K. charity set up spefically to help pet owners when they become elderly or terminally ill.

    Their network of volunteers can help with day to day tasks like dog walking for housebound owners or foster care whilst an owner is in hospital. They also provide long term care for pets if their owner dies or needs to go into residential care. Where permitted, they will take the pet to visit their former owner in their residential home.


    The RSPCA operate a ‘Home for Life’ scheme where they promise to re-home the pets of deceased owners. As they’re not 100% no-kill, I’d want a cast iron guarantee that there would be no time limit on my pets being rehomed.


  2. This question strikes fear in my heart. None of my friends could take my cat in. (I don’t have that many friends.) If I was hospitalized, my friend might come and feed Mitzy. Even though I have roommates, neither would be helpful in that way.

    When I die, if Mitzy is still alive, I might have her euthanized rather than go into a shelter. I saved her from euthanization previously when they said she was unadoptable after a month in the cage. I don’t want her to suffer like that again. I’d rather have her put down, and know that she won’t suffer.

    This may seem cold and uncaring to some people, but my options are very limited, unless my life changes for the better, which seems unlikely, although not impossible. I never play the lottery, so that’s out.

    If I had money, I would set up a trust for her, and designate that she be cared for by someone, but who?

    • Sandra, it seems that we both have a real dilemma. It’s so scary to think of what may happen in the future for our cats. It’s so sad that euthanizing Mitzy would be the only option you have, but I understand completely.
      We don’t have the luxury of all shelters being no-kill.

  3. A sad subject because it relates to end-of-life planning too. I have to admit that I haven’t formulated a formal plan for long term hospitalization or for my demise. I admit that good caretakers should have everything in place, but I have fallen short.

    There aren’t a lot of options here. It’s wellknown that I don’t want any cat taken to a county shelter. My only alternative would be if someone would just take over my life, ie. caretaking indoor, indoor/outdoor/ outdoor cats as well as 3 colonies of ferals. I don’t know anyone who could do that, not because they wouldn’t be willing, but because time constraints, jobs, and their distance away would be a problem.
    My opinion is that I should live forever.

    • Dee, you have a particular problem because you care for so many cats. That creates quite a technical problem. For me, caring for one cat it is much easier. I’d probably ask my girlfriend to take care of him. She could move into my apartment and if I became seriously ill she could look after him permanently. Failing that I’d ask Cats Protection or a local cat rescue to foster him for a while.


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