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My neighbors abandoned their cat

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by mobius, May 23, 2009.

  1. mobius

    mobius Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Oct 25, 2008
    The couple who used to live a few doors down from me moved out last
    weekend. I'm not sure if this was a planned move, or if the house was about
    to get foreclosed on (a lot of that in my neighborhood unfortunately!)

    According to the lady who lives across the street, she saw a large U-haul
    truck backed-up to the garage about 8pm Saturday night and it pulled away
    less than an hour later. The house has been dark since, and I have not seen
    either of their cars all week. The newspaper from Sunday morning sat on their
    driveway for several days until the neighbor picked it up and tossed it on the
    front porch. The other morning I noticed a door tag from the gas company
    hooked onto the front door knob, which probably means their gas service has
    been disconnected.

    Last night I came home around 7:30 and saw the neighbors' cat (I think his
    name is Turk) lurking around my house, he ran when my car pulled into the
    driveway. This morning, he was outside the front door, looking up at my two
    cats; as soon as I opened the door, he ran again.

    Turk is a big boy, much bigger than either Touche or Shelby, white with grey
    tabby splotches, medium length hair on his body, long hair on his tail - I'm
    thinking he may be part Angora. I'm not sure if he's been fixed or declawed
    or if he's current on his shots.

    I put a little food out for him before I left this morning, and it was gone by
    the time I got home 3-4 hours later.

    I'm going to give it another week to see if the neighbors come back for Turk,
    but it seems very unlikely to me. I would love to take him in, but given how
    little I know about his medical history, the fact that he is an indoor/outdoor
    cat (mine are both indoors only) and that my newest cat (Shelby) is only
    now getting settled in after almost six months, I don't think that would be
    a good idea.

    So, for now I'm going to feed him when I can, and see if I can get him to get
    over his skittishness enough for me to maybe get him to a shelter (rather than
    letting animal control trap him) and keep hoping the neighbors come back for him.

  2. addiebee

    addiebee TCS Member Top Cat

    Oct 30, 2007
    Yeah, unfortunately, there is a lot of that going around EVERYWHERE! My gut instinct tells me that he was left behind like yesterday's garbage. Maybe another neighbor can take him in before he gets hurt or killed. Shelters and rescues are full to overflowing these days, but a beautiful cat like the one you're describing, if he is friendly, might have a chance at finding a home.

  3. StefanZ

    StefanZ Advisor Staff Member Advisor

    Sep 18, 2005
    Or else?

    What alternatives are you thinking on?

    My advice is; whatever you plan, do it now.

    My personal comment, such people should be pursuited by law. But the first step is of course neighbours must react and must report them. The police cant know everything by themselves.

  4. momofmany

    momofmany TCS Member Veteran

    Have you knocked on the doors in the neighborhood to see if anyone knows where your neighbors moved to? If they did have to move fast, Turk might have been outside and they couldn't catch him to move him. I bought a house from some people once and their cat was outside and scared by the move commotion. They asked me to call them if we found her and they would come get her later. Since they moved 1000 miles away, later was about a month later, but we did care for Rachel during that time. If there is a way to contact them, you will find out if they really abandoned Turk, or if Turk was just too scared to come home with all the noise going on. You can make a decision then. Contact some local shelters in the mean time to find out what your options may be, or perhaps there is another neighbor that would be willing to take in Turk?

  5. mobius

    mobius Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Oct 25, 2008
    I took your advise Momofmany, went up and down the block and finally
    found someone who knows the woman's sister, so I asked the neighbor
    to pass along a message.

    In the meantime, I created a little shelter out of an old carrier and an old
    beach towel and put it on Turk's family's front porch where it is somewhat
    protected from the weather. I'm also going to leave some food on
    the porch as well.

  6. momofmany

    momofmany TCS Member Veteran

    Very good! At least you will find out the Turk's families intentions. Keep an eye on the house - if someone does move in, you will want to talk to them to see if they are willing to continue to feed Turk on their property.

  7. coolcat

    coolcat TCS Member Veteran

    [​IMG] Can´t belive how can the people left their cats behind...[​IMG]...[​IMG] poor boy...[​IMG]

    Mobius, I wish you can make some for this pour soul...[​IMG]..... my prayers for him...

  8. autumnblueangel

    autumnblueangel TCS Member Adult Cat

    Oct 29, 2005

    My advice is, that if you think you could manage to catch him & think you may be able to cope with keeping him, that it may not be as difficult as you think.

    My Eldest cats - Keylah, Jerryn, Lilly & Jessi were Inside-Outside cats (Jessi always preferred inside though), When Lilly had her babies I made sure she was an inside cat. Like Jerryn did after I moved and made him indoors as well, she wasn't a happy chappy at first. She was always trying to get out. After about a week or two, she calmed down though, and now, the same as Jerryn & Keylah whom were indoor / outdoor cats, she is a perfectly happy, contented indoor cat.

    The same goes for 3 of my other cats, whom I adopted as Adults from my local Veterinary Clinic, Jaszper, Snowi & K, I diddn't know their histories other than their ages at the time (now 3.5 , 2.5 & 2 respectively), that they had, had vaccinations & were de-sexed males & most likely as they had been dumped at the vet, that they had been outdoor cats at one point as most people let their cats outside. They've NEVER been outdoor cats with me, all my cats are indoors or in a cat enclosed yard. They settled fine.

    My other cats accepted the adult males, it diddn't cause them any stress. Although I don't know your cats or how they'd react, there's a possibility that as long as they're all de-sexed and so is he, that they may all get along fine if you want to keep him.

    My point is, even if a cat is semi outdoors or outdoors, if they're tame cats, after a while they'll get the point that you're not giving in. Sure, they'll look at you pitifully and beg for a while, but if he is de-sexed or you get him de-sexed, he'll calm down.

    But, I would suggest, making sure that your cats are vaccinated before introducing them if you ever do. Because not knowing his vaccination history may be the main reason to keep him away from them unless they're up to date and vaccinated.

    The other & probably easier thing you could do, is put a collar on him, feed him regularly, and keep him as your outdoor cat. You'd be responsible for him, have to have him de-sexed and if he is happy that way, then he is happy, knwim? Feeding him regularly would mean, he'd most likely become accustomed to you and want to be with you and if you're concerned about him, this might be the best way to make everyone happy.

    Either way, put a note on your neighbors door letting them know where he is, because potentially they left because he may have disappeared and hasn't come home and they had to leave.

    If you take him to a shelter, he might not survive it. Not all shelters are no kill, and a lot of shelters just don't have room, and adult cats don't adopt out as easily, so it probably wouldn't be looking to great for the kitty if you did that.

  9. barbb

    barbb TCS Member Top Cat

    Nov 16, 2001
    Chicago burbs
    I agree with Autumnblueangel & MOM about not sending him to a shelter. It is kitten season now and shelters are indeed overflowing. And some shelters that are "no kill" simply move the cats that do not get adopted, to kill shelters after a certain amount of time and/or trade them for kittens or other cats.

    I think it is a wonderful that you built him a spot on the porch and left food for him. If he does not go into his carrier, you might consider putting a deck chair or something higher up on the porch, with a towel on it and he can sit on that. I have a small plastic table for my feral cats (among other things LOL[​IMG]) where they can be under it when it is raining and I am feeding them, or on top of it when it is sunny.

    I will pray that his original family comes back for him and that they are good people who ran into problems. Bless you for caring for this little boy. He must be wondering what is going on. It does take some effort to see something like this through, but it is people like you and the many small kindnesses such as this one that you are doing, that make the world for animals a better place. [​IMG]

  10. mobius

    mobius Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Oct 25, 2008
    An update and happy ending (sort of)

    One of my neighbors got in touch with Turk's owner's sister and told her that Turk
    had been 'left behind' in the move; the sister came by yesterday afternoon to try
    to retrieve Turk, but the cat had other plans and was a no-show to his own rescue.

    The sister contacted animal control and explained the situation, so the AC
    people are going to set up a trap for Turk on the porch of his owners' house
    and contact the sister once they catch him. She already owns one of
    Turk's littermates (a black and white cat named Sassy) and doesn't mind
    taking in another member of the family.

    The sister wouldn't explain why the family move out in such a rush, but
    thanked me and the other neighbors for looking after Turk.

    I've only seen Turk once this week, Wednesday morning I think, but I am
    still filling his food and water bowls. My one neighbor and I are going to
    split cage-watch duty until we catch him.

    Let's hope Turk gets reunited with his sister soon.

  11. momofmany

    momofmany TCS Member Veteran

    That is good news!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    You will want to work with AC when they go to trap him. Normally you want the cat to be a little bit hungry when they set the trap, so they are more willing to go into it. Find out when they are going to trap him and don't feed him 24 hours ahead of time.

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