Kitty alone in new home

ParkBaby

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I've posted previously about our park kitty, she is 10, very beautiful, active, semi wild. We are extremely attached to each other, my husband and I can pick her up, pet, etc. She won't willingly go into a carrier and we've missed already 2 chances to get her into a home.
Someone would like to adopt her now...and winter is coming, we would love her to be inside.
The person has lost her cat recently, she works from home but travels lots. She will be leaving end October for a month and a neighbor is supposed to feed the kitty.
We are extremely worried about what could happen if a kitty is left alone in a new, totally unknown environment...an accident, anything. Not seeing us or other people would already mean stress, anxiety, fear...
We've seen accidents with the owners being home...but in a different room.
I would love to have your thoughts on this matter.
We don't see a solution to this, and every winter has been a huge concern for us over the years. Those who take care of outside kitties know what it means.
Thank you!
 

klunick

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Shortly after moving into our house, a stray cat showed up. It had been owned by somebody because she was previously fixed when we took her in. Not sure how long we had her but we left her alone for about a week. Came home to the house being torn up from her trying to get back outside. We would allow her to go in and out of the house during the day so she wasn't a complete indoor cat.

I would worry about this cat being the same way as it won't have a lot of time to adjust to being inside prior to your friend leaving for a month. I'd suggest waiting until they are able to spend more time with the cat before taking it inside. It has survived 10 years outside. It will be ok for another couple months.
 

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It would be a shame for Kitty to miss the opportunity for a home. I would say it may even be better for her to be alone and explore the new inside world quietly without a new person there to add to the stress? Maybe you and/or your husband can arrange to drop by a few times a week to help comfort/check on Kitty in addition the neighbor? Also make sure the place is set up with a safe room, Feliway, etc...
 

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Could I ask why you aren’t keeping her? That’s a big step being able to pet and hold her. I’ve had my cats since they were kittens but they give me a hard time getting them into a carrier. I don’t understand why someone wants to take her knowing she’ll be gone away for a month. The cat will go crazy being trapped in a strange environment.
 

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The cat does need a home, especially if you are in an area of bad winters. However, the cat does need to have some introduction to the new home and to be observed when she is left alone for short periods of time. If, for example, the cat were trapped in late October, given to the adopter who then leaves a few days later, it could be a problem. My guess, from dealing with ferals who have to be taken off the street with no warning in some cases, is that the cat might wait for her chance for the door to open when the feeder arrives, bolt out, and that is the end of the home. If this adopter is not near you, it means that the cat will be alone and helpless in a completely unfamiliar area, in the cold, with no source of food or shelter.

I absolutely think that this can work, but there have to be some adjustments to the time frame at least. Can you foster this cat until your friend is not traveling for a long span of time?
 

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Fostering and socializing this cat would make all the difference. Either that or taking her to your home when they are out of town. She needs time to adjust to a new home and some quiet time is good but too much would probably be frightening since she is used to having things to keep her mind occupied. If they are her only hope, cameras with the ability to watch her and even talk to her would be an absolute must. How long would the cat have before the person leaves the first time? If you could adopt her it really would be the best thing because she has already demonstrated to you and your husband that she loved and trusts you. Cat sitting for the other person by you who be my second hope. As she gets older, the weather will be more difficult for her. Perhaps you could provide shelter for her where you live in a porch, garage or somewhere if you cannot adopt. I really hope you find the answer that kitty needs. I’m so glad you and your husband care! Thank you for that! Please do update us.
 
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ParkBaby

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Shortly after moving into our house, a stray cat showed up. It had been owned by somebody because she was previously fixed when we took her in. Not sure how long we had her but we left her alone for about a week. Came home to the house being torn up from her trying to get back outside. We would allow her to go in and out of the house during the day so she wasn't a complete indoor cat.

I would worry about this cat being the same way as it won't have a lot of time to adjust to being inside prior to your friend leaving for a month. I'd suggest waiting until they are able to spend more time with the cat before taking it inside. It has survived 10 years outside. It will be ok for another couple months.
Very helpful advice and story, thank you so much!!!
I had lots of concerns before...now I have even more.
 

klunick

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Very helpful advice and story, thank you so much!!!
I had lots of concerns before...now I have even more.
Sorry for making you worry. As others said, is there any way for you to foster the cat until your friend gets back? At least then the cat will be out of the cold and have time to adjust to living inside.
 
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ParkBaby

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The cat does need a home, especially if you are in an area of bad winters. However, the cat does need to have some introduction to the new home and to be observed when she is left alone for short periods of time. If, for example, the cat were trapped in late October, given to the adopter who then leaves a few days later, it could be a problem. My guess, from dealing with ferals who have to be taken off the street with no warning in some cases, is that the cat might wait for her chance for the door to open when the feeder arrives, bolt out, and that is the end of the home. If this adopter is not near you, it means that the cat will be alone and helpless in a completely unfamiliar area, in the cold, with no source of food or shelter.

I absolutely think that this can work, but there have to be some adjustments to the time frame at least. Can you foster this cat until your friend is not traveling for a long span of time?
You just read my mind...
This is a difficult situation for us and has been for 10 years...
We have a parrot, therefore Baby is still outside...otherwise she would have been with us from the beginning. We missed a few occasions because were not able to get her into the carrier. As you said, it will always be risky to leave the kitty alone, she is very smart, energetic and fast...will look for a chance to escape...to be with us and back to the park...
The winters are very cold...and we worry for her. We will see if the person is willing to wait, though in cold weather we will probably not be able to catch her, she is a totally different kitty in winter... Now we can pick her up, hold her, pet her...but as soon as she senses something or see a carrier, she fights and can bite, scratch...
Thank you!
 
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ParkBaby

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Sorry for making you worry. As others said, is there any way for you to foster the cat until your friend gets back? At least then the cat will be out of the cold and have time to adjust to living inside.
Sadly...no. We have a parrot boy...and a small apartment.
Kitty is a ferocious hunter....this is how she has survived in the park...
 
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ParkBaby

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I
Could I ask why you aren’t keeping her? That’s a big step being able to pet and hold her. I’ve had my cats since they were kittens but they give me a hard time getting them into a carrier. I don’t understand why someone wants to take her knowing she’ll be gone away for a month. The cat will go crazy being trapped in a strange environment.
I agree with you...the lady will travel quite a lot...she was hoping to have the kitty girl in September...but since she hasn't come to see her and get familiar, we haven't tried anything with Baby...I believe that Baby kitty needs time to adjust, as she is 10...and she is a doll with us, but still independent and could slap. She is very smart and could find a way out...or destroy something.
We cannot take the risk of taking Baby home...because of our parrot. Baby is a hunter.
It is heartbreaking to see her out...we go to check on her 3 times/day and offer the best we can.
 
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ParkBaby

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It would be a shame for Kitty to miss the opportunity for a home. I would say it may even be better for her to be alone and explore the new inside world quietly without a new person there to add to the stress? Maybe you and/or your husband can arrange to drop by a few times a week to help comfort/check on Kitty in addition the neighbor? Also make sure the place is set up with a safe room, Feliway, etc...
I still would worry every single minute...knowing her alone...with nobody to comfort her...to pet her and be with her...
She has lots of friends in the park...and she has us...we are her family. She sees people, some can pet her...but sadly cannot take her home because they had other pets...and we don't know how they will get along...or they just cannot afford another kitty.
 
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ParkBaby

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Fostering and socializing this cat would make all the difference. Either that or taking her to your home when they are out of town. She needs time to adjust to a new home and some quiet time is good but too much would probably be frightening since she is used to having things to keep her mind occupied. If they are her only hope, cameras with the ability to watch her and even talk to her would be an absolute must. How long would the cat have before the person leaves the first time? If you could adopt her it really would be the best thing because she has already demonstrated to you and your husband that she loved and trusts you. Cat sitting for the other person by you who be my second hope. As she gets older, the weather will be more difficult for her. Perhaps you could provide shelter for her where you live in a porch, garage or somewhere if you cannot adopt. I really hope you find the answer that kitty needs. I’m so glad you and your husband care! Thank you for that! Please do update us.
You are right about winters getting worse...and more difficult. This is the ONE situation when you don't have a solution...it is very stressful for me and my husband...and for kitty Baby.
We live in a big city...in an apartment building...so we have no porch or anything of the kind to provide a space for our girl. And it is very true that being completely alone for a month...would be frightening for any kitty. Even cat sitting won't change too much...the person will cat sit for an hour...and she will have the rest of the day and night looking for us...for her environment...
Quiet time, yes, she would need too...as there is so much noise in the park and around.
I know you cannot find a solution for us...but it's great to have your suggestions, as you have lots of experience with rescues...
We only found a home for ONE kitty...and it ended with a tragedy. Now we are very careful because it's about Baby's life...
Thank you!!!
 

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Have you tried contacting any rescue groups? You may need to check their adoption history but many do great work. Perhaps you could find a foster home where you could visit her. That would be ideal and I have had great success by using a foster. Sometimes the foster actually falls in love with the kitty too!;) Don’t give up. There is every possibility for a good answer. If doing an adoption yourself, there are ways to help protect her. It’s a little different since you are not the actual owner but if you establish her with a vet record under your name it maywork. You can insist that adopting humans sign a contract that includes things like assurance of vet visits and even a way for you to check in to be sure Baby is okay during the early months of the adjustment period. Any chance that you could be the cat sitter for her at first? I understand that you can’t bring her home because of the parrot but could you spend some nights with her at her new home when the lady is out of town? How did she handle being out of town with her previous cat? Someone must have been around to feed and care for that cat! Maybe a family member? I would ask.
 
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ParkBaby

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Yes, I've tried 2 rescue groups, no luck.
It is extremely difficult in NYC to find fosters or permanent homes, so many kitties! And priorities given to kittens...
Kitties, if no fosters found, stay in cages, mostly.
We cannot let Baby stay in a cage...
The lady was travelling lots in the past, a neighbor used to feed her kitty.
She cannot keep kitty at her apartment, since she has 2 cats.
We don't know each other very well, so I won't be able to stay overnight.
We didn't discuss this subject yet, I will need to let her know our decision and ask if she still wants the girl in December...
She might say No...
We missed a great chance for a permanent home because we were not able to get her into a carrier...those people moved and we don't know if they will ever travel again to NYC because of Covid restrictions.
Thank you for the information and very useful suggestions!
 
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ParkBaby

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Fostering and socializing this cat would make all the difference. Either that or taking her to your home when they are out of town. She needs time to adjust to a new home and some quiet time is good but too much would probably be frightening since she is used to having things to keep her mind occupied. If they are her only hope, cameras with the ability to watch her and even talk to her would be an absolute must. How long would the cat have before the person leaves the first time? If you could adopt her it really would be the best thing because she has already demonstrated to you and your husband that she loved and trusts you. Cat sitting for the other person by you who be my second hope. As she gets older, the weather will be more difficult for her. Perhaps you could provide shelter for her where you live in a porch, garage or somewhere if you cannot adopt. I really hope you find the answer that kitty needs. I’m so glad you and your husband care! Thank you for that! Please do update us.
After discussing with the potential adopter, we've agreed on waiting until she comes back, in December. What else could we do?!
Again, same problem, how to get Baby into a carrier?! We had this issue previously and she is now very suspicious when cold weather comes...as soon as she sees a carrier/trap/big bag...
My husband and I were thinking of using maybe a restraint bag or try to get her into a harness.
Because we already had several attempts in the past, Baby is very alert each time we pick her up.
I ordered again the Feliway, hope it's a new formula and will work.
We will try again bringing a carrier...or a back pack to get her used to it.
Thank you for any suggestion you might have.
 

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Just having the carrier there without any attempt to have her pay any attention to it unless she expresses interest. You can try to encourage interest by placing yummy smelling treats inside it with the door propped open. Don’t push her to enter, just make it available. Use highly scented food inside at the back of the carrier. Things like tuna, KFC, Gerber 2nd foods all meat baby food or anything she finds tempting to eat. Do this each time you visit even if you need to place the carrier a bit away from you. It’s all bout using the food as a tool and repetition to bring about a level of comfort for her. You can also place a shirt or something that carries your scent inside the carrier so she associates it with you. Catnip may be a tool she would like and if Feliway is helpful, you can use that inside the carrier too. Some cats like Feliway and some don’t, same with catnip.
 
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ParkBaby

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Just having the carrier there without any attempt to have her pay any attention to it unless she expresses interest. You can try to encourage interest by placing yummy smelling treats inside it with the door propped open. Don’t push her to enter, just make it available. Use highly scented food inside at the back of the carrier. Things like tuna, KFC, Gerber 2nd foods all meat baby food or anything she finds tempting to eat. Do this each time you visit even if you need to place the carrier a bit away from you. It’s all bout using the food as a tool and repetition to bring about a level of comfort for her. You can also place a shirt or something that carries your scent inside the carrier so she associates it with you. Catnip may be a tool she would like and if Feliway is helpful, you can use that inside the carrier too. Some cats like Feliway and some don’t, same with catnip.
Thank you, I will do this.
We have many obstacles where she is: lots of people, lots of rats...
It used to be quiet and decent, now all has changed. She is such a hunter, many times she wouldn't care for food for long hours...
 
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ParkBaby

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Maybe catnip would work if food is not appealing?
Not really interested in catnip, but loves the cat mint from the park...makes her more affectionate.
Will buy some.
The lady changed her mind...she probably didn't want to spend lots of time and efforts with an outside kitty...
We are back to Zero.
 
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