There are many circumstances as to why people need to rehome their cat – moving house, moving interstate or overseas, or due to financial reasons. There are several options available to an owner, however ensuring this is the right decision first is very important.
Here are some of the common reasons to surrender a cat, and some solutions to the common problem.
- Moving house
Make sure to perform an extensive search which includes cat friendly accommodation. It is common now to arrange a ‘CV’ for your pet to present to your real estate agent. This provides a summary of your pet’s medical history, vaccinations and is a sign of commitment to the land lord to accept responsibility for the pet. It’s also a good idea to include references who can vouch for your cat and their behaviour. Often, rental properties are not advertised as ‘pet friendly’, but by directly calling the landlord you may find they are open to negotiation.
- My cat has a behaviour problem
If your cat has a behaviour problem it is likely to reduce the chances of being re-homed. Training is essential to address this problem and there are many veterinary behaviourists and qualified trainers that are available to help. Most problems can be overcome or successfully managed, so with a little time and effort, you may be able to avoid re-homing altogether.
- A new baby
Welcoming a new baby to the family is an exciting time for parents, but not always for cats. Take the time to introduce your cat to a new routine, smells and changes in the house before you bring your new baby home. Ensuring minimal change in routine is the key to a successful introduction that is stress free for cats and their owners. Simple examples include sticking to the same meal times and maintaining a small percentage of the day to give attention to your cat. Ensure your pet is up to date with vaccinations and worming before bringing your new born home.
There are excellent resources available for expectant parents including Australian veterinary behaviourist Dr Lewis Kirkham’s book Tell Your Dog You’re Pregnant – a guide to combining the patter of little feet with the patter of paws. By way of a taster, you can freely read the first three chapters on-line at babyandpet.com.au
- Cat allergies
Maintaining a clean home is important to reduce the allergens in the environment that are responsible for the allergies. Animal dander (skin dandruff that flakes naturally) is the cause of most cat allergies. Regular grooming and brushing the coat can help reduce the flaky skin in the house. Regular vacuuming, and dusting will eliminate this from the environment and air purifiers can clear the air of animal dander, dust, moulds, hair and other airborne irritants. Avoid carpet and rugs which can accumulate dust and hair. Specialists are also available to discuss other causes and treatment options.
- No Time
There is no doubt pets require your time and commitment. It’s about finding a happy medium between you and your pet. It may be as little as half an hour a day or as simple as bonding on the couch with pats in the evening. Cats can benefit from environmental enrichment with toys and food games while you are out, stimulating their minds and avoiding boredom.
Still Need Help?
If you have exhausted all your options to keep your animal, here are some suggestions to ensure your pet is rehomed.
- Contact your breeder
Call the breeder or person you originally got your cat from. They will often assist to find a new home or take the pet back to re-home themselves.
- Contact breed rescue groups
There are a number of rescue groups that concentrate on specific breeds and often have waiting lists of people wanting that type of cat.
- Re-home the cat yourself
Speak with friends and family members first to see if they are interested in adopting a pet. Advertise them in the paper, on noticeboards and social media etc. Speak with your local vets, groomers, and pet stores to see if there is any interest from the public for a new pet, or ask for permission to advertise in store. The best protection for your cat is not to advertise them as a give-away and to screen people looking to take your cat. Don't be rushed and don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for references. Anyone hoping to find a new, happy home for a pet needs to be sure they know the home their pet is going to. Even if you can't keep your cat anymore, they still depends on you to do what's best for their future.
- De-sex you pet
Ensure your pet is desexed to minimise costs for the new owners and encourage responsible pet ownership.
Take photos and create an account which highlights your cat’s best features and behaviour qualities. There are many websites offer free services for you to post info about your pet.
You can surrender your pet to your local pound, shelter or vet. Purina Australia proudly supports the work of AWLA http://www.awla.com.au/ AWLA have over 300 years of combined experience in rehoming and caring for companion animals across Australia. If surrendering your pet, it is important to disclose all relevant information about their behaviour. For example, if your cat has an aggression problem it could potentially endanger new owners who are trying to do the right thing by adopting a cat.
Take your cat to a foreign neighbourhood, wooded area or park and leave them behind. Domestic cat are very to wild cat and can’t fend for themselves. If left alone, they may starve to death, encounter dangerous predators or get hit by a motor vehicle.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.