When Owning a Domestic Cat Goes Wrong

Here is an example of how things can go wrong when you own a domestic cat. It can go wrong to the point where you want to give up your cat. And it can also go wrong when you are a confirmed cat person. If you feel compelled to give up your cat when you love cats it creates a lot of emotional friction and unhappiness.

It gradually dawned on this woman that she should probably rehome her cat. She adopted her cat four years ago when she was a kitten. They formed a bond because her kitten helped her adjust to living on her own in a new city.

Then she met a man who is allergic to cats and who is not a cat person. As a four-year-old cat she is rambunctious and gets into everything. The woman says that her cat “tests authority”. I have to say that I disagree with her comment. Owning a cat is not about having authority over your cat and your authority being tested. It is about getting on together and accommodating each other’s preferences and desires (yes, cats do adapt). You can see how she might fall out with her cat because her attitude is not quite correct in my opinion.

Also, she met a man who doesn’t like cats. In an ideal world when a woman meets a man I think she should ask whether he at least accepts the presence of a cat in the home. That might be an impossible objective but I think it is a fair one because your cat was there first and you love your cat. You promised you would look after your cat for the length of her life. You are asking for trouble if you jeopardize that objective when you love cats.

The lady also says that her cat had to recover from surgery and has become anxious and difficult to manage. Her cat becomes upset even when she leaves the room. I wonder whether her cat is becoming anxious because she is living in a home with a man who doesn’t like cats?

To compound the problem, the woman is away for 12 hours a day. This obviously makes the relationship almost untenable. I always think that there is a misconception about cats being independent and accepting being alone all day. People choose domestic cat over dogs because they think that cats fit in better with their busy lives. I don’t really accept that argument. Yes, you can leave a cat alone for a long time and he/she will cause less problems but that does not mean the cat accepts it. There will be unhappiness and perhaps cat separation anxiety or at least your cat might become stressed with accompanying health issues. I don’t think it is possible to own a domestic cat if you are away from home 12 hours a day every day. Once again, this may be too stringent a criterion but it’s my opinion.

To return to the story. After several months living with her fiance he said that she would have to find a new home for her cat because it wasn’t working out for everyone. She did not admit it to her fiance but she had already considered rehoming. In short, she had made up her mind to relinquish her cat. She agreed to her fiance’s request to relinquish but wanted to attach conditions to it. She said that if they ever got pets again she wanted to have the final say. And that her fiance had to get rid of the salt water fish! I don’t think that helped either.

Finally, she says that the guilt of giving up her cat is crushing her. Saying goodbye to her will “rip me into pieces”. She asked advice from an agony aunt: “How do I navigate this?” Incidentally, in case you wondered,
the agony agrees that the cat should be rehomed.

I think that it is a good example of how cat ownership can go wrong even when you’re a cat lover and a decent person. And by going wrong I mean that you admit failure by giving away your cat. This really must be the very last resort because you have to live with the failure. This won’t concern a lot of people but if you love cats it will concern you, it will hurt you emotionally and it will put your cat through stress at best.

Read the original story on Tribune Content Agency.

3 thoughts on “When Owning a Domestic Cat Goes Wrong”

  1. This is hard to read. It upsets me greatly. But I am testament to a rehoming success back in 2012. I had no intention of getting a cat, although I love them all dearly and grew up around many wonderful cats. I get hay fever and cats really did upset my health just as badly. I was actually about to rehome a dog from Battersea Dogs Home but consequently didn’t. So it was a big deal that I took this cat so unexpectedly but I had to as I couldn’t bear knowing how anxious and upset my friend was.
    My friend had had this cat 4 years and then suddenly found that she couldn’t keep as her tenancy was up and she couldn’t take any pets to her new rental. She was distraught as she and her daughter loved the cat (also rehomed from Cats Protection).
    I felt so concerned and upset for my friend who advertised and pleaded on her Facebook page for anyone to take the cat otherwise the cat would have to go back to the Cats Protection and at around 9 years old could maybe end up euthanised etc etc etc
    For days I fixated on the situation eventually contacting my friend. In 2 days the cat came to live with me.
    It was a match made in heaven and I am totally in love with her, under no circumstances would I ever see her chucked out due to some potential relationship.
    I can’t contemplate it even crossing my mind. I would choose the animal over any partner, it’s telling what type of a creep he is if he made her choose anyway. Surely she heard bells ringing…..Any relationship should be ‘take me as I am, warts n all’
    What if she falls out with this new man? What then….She will always resent him for this, not a good way to enter into a lifelong agreement of marriage is it!
    The cat deserves unconditional love, cats are not to throw away on a romantic whim.
    Cats cost a lot to care for, when thing go wrong costs are huge. I hazard a guess that the financial burden on this woman was actually the precursor to her final decision and cinched her decision by having it backed up by the lovers demands.
    I’m 100% certain this kitty will end up with another human carer like myself that dotes on her instead of this doomed unloving, unworthy couple.
    I wish the cat all the luck and love in the world.

  2. I quite disagree. She has no right to evict her cat from it’s home. This is where considering them mere pets meets the guardians. While there are circumstances like loss of income and home, illness or simply neglectful owners where the cat is better off removed and placed in a better or more suitable home or even one of the fosters now offered in some places while you get your life in order your home became the cat’s home when you brought it home.
    If this cat is ejected from it’s home I would love to see a follow up if another kitten or a puppy appears on the scene soon after. That is indeed very common.
    Having a partner that wants you to get rid of a pet you have an obvious emotional attachment to is the red flag warning of a controlling person. What will be next ???
    The owner is literally going though contortions to justify getting rid of her cat therefore in this case I agree the cat needs to be re-homed away from the original owner and possible abusive human she introduced into her household.

    • Amen! My husband, who supposedly liked animals told me to “get rid of the cat”. My response was “you go before the cat!” And after 24 years of marriage, he did! And the cats and I are living together quietly and in peace.


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