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It So Hard To Talk About This.. But Need Advise..

Discussion in 'Grooming & General Cat Care' started by candicew, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Not all of us are so lucky to live somewhere with enough funding for a no-kill shelter, unfortunately.
    I imagine you're uncomfortable with at least 80% of cat owners then. Does the shelter you volunteer with have a requirement for what kind of food the adopters give the cats?
    Even if all someone can afford is euthanasia when the cat gets sick, that's better than what most cats get.
     
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  2. Yanaka

    Yanaka TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Not all areas do, but you might be surprised. As I said, this shelter I take as example is not a "no-kill". However, they just don't kill, they do whatever they can unless there are serious health and behavioral issues (which are still pretty rare--they keep very difficult and terminally-ill animals around). Plus even if it means driving an hour or two to a safer shelter, someone like the OP can probably make the effort.

    And yes, I am uncomfortable with 80% of animal owners. That's a sad truth!

    Finally, I don't see euthanasia as "better than what most cats get." Better give them to a kill shelter, then--I don't see the logic behind that last argument
     

  3. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I am sorry, but if the sole factor in a good home is the type of food the cat is fed it is a narrow focus. Friskies is not a great food, it is better then no food. I would much rather see a cat in a loving home being fed Friskies then in a shelter (where they likely will get Friskies or some random mix of whatever was donated that month). I would much rather see a cat in a loving home where the owner does what they can with the budget they have. There are millions of cats who never see a vet after their first vaccines. Ask a mixed animal vet how many cats they see in a day, a month, a year. You will find that they see maybe 1 cat for every 20 dogs, yet there are an average of 2 cats per household across the US. There are people who love their cats dearly and do the best they can and what they think is best; but that is Friskies and never seeing a vet because that is how they were taught or what they know. Quality vet care will help a cat live longer and healthier. But honestly, a cat who never sees a vet but lives in a home where they are loved is still better off then the ferals and strays and will outlive most of the cats who end up in a shelter.

    Do we wish for better for the cats of the world? Of course. Is it neglect or abuse to live within your means and care for a cat on a budget? No. Is it neglect or mistreatment to not provide the best biologically appropriate and 100% natural of everything on the market? No. It is just a different set of priorities and different understanding.

    I wish everywhere had good no kill shelters; I wish it was as simple as get in a rescue and be offered a home within a guaranteed two months. I wish every rescue had space the moment it was needed and there wasn't a fee. In my area, no local rescue has room right now, none. There are fires all around and all the shelters or rescues are overrun with emergency cases and evacuees. Even when things aren't crazy it is $75 per cat for the no-kill shelter when there is space but it could be a several month waiting list. During certain times of the year there simply isn't room and too many people are forced to relinquish their animals the only place they can. Which sadly means that many of those animals have a high risk of being killed before finding a home, or finding a home that is worse then where they were before. And my local kill shelter does try not to put good animals to sleep. But they also have a immediate drop of ear tipped cats and are working towards a standard TNR for any feral cat that is picked up policy. But I live in a more progressive area. There are areas where you can't find a no-kill shelter for 200 miles or the nearby shelters have a reputation for quick kills.

    Even if a cat gets a spot in a no kill that doesn't guarantee adoption. There is one little boy in the local no kill who was put there at 8 weeks old, he is now 8 months old and still hasn't found a home. I've seen him, I've interacted with him. He is incredibly withdrawn and is doing poorly in the shelter environment but there is no where else for him to go. They let the cats free roam in rotation and he spends his whole time in the kennel even when given the freedom. He was an adorable 8 week old kitten who was too shy to grab anyone's attention and now he is a withdrawn adult. He needs serious attention and work in a foster home but there are none of those available.
     

  4. Yanaka

    Yanaka TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    This is turning into what I didn't mean to start.

    Original poster, know that there are "bad guys" like us that would rather a cat in a shelter waiting a little bit for its forever home, than an unwanted, malnourished or sick cat (sicker than having a URI) at a home that can't afford having it. As easy as it is to say that you shouldn't have adopted more cats than you could afford, it's also easy to realize that it was a mistake only after you made it. In some circumstances it's better to surrender a cat. Let us know if the few changes we suggested are of any help!
     
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  5. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Most cats on this planet, even in this country, do not get ANY vet care and don't have anybody to care about them. If a cat lives in a home where the owners care about the cat---feed him and clean up after him and pay attention to him---and take the best care of their pets as they can, but can't afford to treat major health concerns and the only other option is euthanasia, that cat is doing better than most cats.

    I don't see why you think surrendering the cat to a kill shelter would be better than that---kill shelters usually can't afford to treat major health concerns either, and then the cat dies scared and alone among strangers. Far more humane for the cat to die in his owner's arms at their regular vet's office.
    That's not even an option here :/. There are rescues but they're usually full and there are no "safer" shelters. I think the one in Omaha considers itself "low-kill" but they don't take out-of-state animals. Maybe Minneapolis? Idk.
     
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  6. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I know you've already got a ton a advice on this, but I'm going to throw in my 2 cents worth.
    Getting in over your head is not a crime. Don't feel bad if you need to rehome your cats. The crime is not admitting when you need help and keeping the cats in 'hoarder' type situations. I am not saying that 5 cats is hoarding, but if you can't afford them, then the situation can easily become the same.
    If it was me, and I was in your shoes, I would rehome the cats. If you don't have friends that want a cat, then try to find a no kill shelter.
     

  7. Purr-fect

    Purr-fect TCS Member Super Cat

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    Candicew....is there a canadian tire store near you.? If so, i have a suggestion for the the kitty kitter cost problem
     
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  8. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    There are millions of cats in shelters either on a death list or waiting for months or years to have a life that isn't centered on time out of a crate a few times a day if they're lucky.
    Believe it or not millions of cats eat the cheapo cat food because their guardians have no choice. I'm not sure more of them get sick than our pampered pusses.
    I believe petsmart makes a few competitive dry foods at cheaper prices.
    When you put your cats back into the system that means a few others may never have a home. Many no kill shelters have waiting lists and require you pay a fee to surrender.
    I am 100% against pet food shaming. Look for ways to modify your feed bill and litter costs and go from there. Cats do not always rehome well.
    Most legit rescues and shelters inquire about other pets in the home and you should have been counseled before adding to your clowder.
     

  9. Max's Human

    Max's Human MAX Alpha Cat

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    I know here in CALIFORNIA people that go to grocerystores and get bags of food that have torn open either free or very low cost. If you develop a relationship with the store they will even set the bags aside. Also the SPCA will often assist in tbe cost of feeding pets when financially families have a hard time providing for pets in an effort that the pets are not surrendered. My first malamute's owners received a check to help with food costs but they still surrendered him. Their loss was my gain.
     
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  10. basschick

    basschick TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    our cats ate nothing but dry food for years. they liked it, their vet checks came back normal, so depending on the dry food, and it wasn't a boutique brand, either, so giving them all dry food is probably not a problem. our current cat, over 19 years old, only eats fancy feast, which most people on this board don't think too well of. one of our vets has 3 cats over 20, and they eat only fancy feast.

    btw, we, too use ultra precious cat litter - sometimes amazon has it for $16 a 40 pound bag if you keep checking, and it lasts much longer than a 40 pound bag of non-scooping litter. walmart has it for under $14 a bag right now, btw.

    good luck with your kitties!
     

  11. Ardina

    Ardina TCS Member Super Cat

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    It's expensive enough to feed cats. I've always wondered how people ever afford to feed large 50 lbs+ dogs.
     
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  12. Neo_23

    Neo_23 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I would do some number crunching and just feed your cats the most affordable option you can. If you are okay with doing some research and learning how to make your own raw or home cooked food then it may also have benefits in terms of cost saving.

    In the mean time, you can ask around to friends who might be willing to adopt one of your cats or look into a no-kill shelter, but I wouldn't put them in a kill-shelter as they likely will not survive, and an all dry diet is far better than the death penalty.
     
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  13. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    My Little Mercy was surrendered for other reasons and it is my gain. But it was her loss because despite what was said someone loved her and she spent a day running my home looking for them. BTW we both know our cases were the lucky ones.
    Many food banks now offer pet food you would just have to humble yourself and ask. The same with shelters as it's cheaper to keep the pet in their homes than take them in. I don't think the OP has explored all the options yet to put rehoming on the table.
     
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  14. Willowy

    Willowy TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dog food is cheaper. Even so, I had a Rottweiler, and when he was young he ate about 2 pounds of food a day. I get the Costco brand grain-free dog food, which is about $1 a pound, so for him that was about $60 a month! I now have 3 dogs over 50 pounds and they don't eat that much, I think it comes to about $20 a month each. Canned food is expensive, fortunately most dogs don't need canned food. Darn cats!
     

  15. Ardina

    Ardina TCS Member Super Cat

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    2 lbs a day?!? :running:
    Good thing that dogs tolerate more non-meat things in their diet than cats or feeding them would be completely unaffordable.
     

  16. candicew

    candicew Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Thank you I've read through all of it but I don't know if I have time to reply to every one of the posts . The thing is here at least here in the province I made with the shelters around me when you adopt them you sign paperwork that states if you were to ever not be able to take care of them anymore you have to surrender them back to the same shelter it's not that I would want to go back it's that that's the only option I have as far as where they would go if I was not able to take care of them if that makes sense . I don't know how illegal the contracts are within my heart I know that's what I signed and that's what I would have to do if it came down to it . We do not have kill shelters here at all no kill so that's not an issue . I've got a bag and a half of the current litter and after I'm done or actually as I get closer to midway down the second bag I'll buy one of the suggested brands here in Canada, that is cheaper. And no I'm not a hoarding house I actually have quite a clean house :) as far as food I'll start to look in to dry options and start to cut back the wet only one time a day instead of two so I'll only be using five cans instead of 10 . Yes all the cats drink water just fine . It's also not that I can't afford the middle it's that I can't afford so many with us will treated as they are I guess . It would definitely cut back if I can get the cheaper litter and make it work . As well as only feeding half the wet for now . My husband never meant that he would purposely malnutrition the cat we're not abusers of animals here it's just growing up my husband had a cat, it lived outside, and ate scrap from all over. He hardly fed it so he thought that was normal. It's not obviously so his picture of reality is a bit twisted. Not on fault though.
     
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  17. kashmir64

    kashmir64 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I didn't mean it that way. I'm not sure I can put into words what I was trying to get at. But I'll try.
    Some hoarders have animals that are sick or skinny because they are unable to take proper care of them. The cats are passing around an illness. If a person is financially unable to take them to the vet, or give them medicine then the 'situation' can easily develop. A vet is very expensive, and 5 cats can quickly run hundreds of dollars.
    I'm still not properly putting it into words.
    Basically, if they are financially straining you (I understand, I had 13 horses at one point), it would be better to give a few back where they can get the care they need. If they are not straining you, then you wouldn't be considering re-homing them.
     

  18. Letta

    Letta TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Hey I don't have any thing especially smart to say but I wanted to let you know that I am with you and send you good vibes. You are in a very tough situation, one that could happen to many of us and that non of us wish to be in (we actually all dread it). I would just add two things :
    1. I am not sure that they is any right or wrong decision to take here. You seem to love them and have their best interest at heart so please no matter what you choose to do don't beat yourself up (or not too much at least ^^)
    2. The question I would ask myself is: is this temporary ? Is this only a rough time or not ? How much the anxiety od this situation is burdening me, my family and my relationship with them?
    All hugs
     
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  19. kittens mom

    kittens mom Kittens life was lost to a negligent veterinarian. Top Cat

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    Moriarty, New Mexico
    I don't think anyone here was attacking you just trying to help you think through the situation.
    With 5 cats if you can find the Friskies Pate in the large cans it might be very economical for you. It is wet food and considered decent. Stay away from the gravy that is where they pack the carbs in.
    I took our stray mama cat to a rescue because it was just going to be an all out war between her and a resident cat. I totally get not being able to keep a cat no matter what the reason. It was a painful decision and the rescue let me have contact with her during the time she was there. It took 6 months to find her a forever home. Even so losing her was a grieving process.
    Everyone just wants to walk through all the options before deciding to rehome because it's going to be hard on the cats and your family.
     

  20. Mer.kitten

    Mer.kitten TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    just my 2 cents-we didnt have much money growing up, but my mom was always rescuing animals. For yeard all her cats got was Kalo cat food. I dont even think its made anymore, we're talking bargain basement. She managed their shots, vet if they were ill (the vet allowed payments) and of course all the love & cuddles they wanted. They were indoor-outdoor (meaning they could come and go as they pleased). All of them, except 1 lived to a ripe old age, and the one that didnt was killed in an accident, it didnt die of med problems. I only have one kitty and i spoil her rotten with only high end grain free wet food (and a little dry), but if my circumstances changed drastically i would feed cheaper food before giving her up. If a cat is otherwise being taken care of i dont think cheap food is the end of the world. OBVIOUSLY ideally theyd all eat like kings, but thats just not reality.

    id say feed cheaper dry, but look into supplementng a few times a week with raw chicken. if u get it on sale/in bulk it can be supercheap.

    Good luck whatever you decide, i know this thread cant have been easy to make.
     
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