Should I help this 15 year-old cat?

gilmargl

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Problem - i was looking at the "Cats for Sale" section of eBay, quite surprised at the very inflated prices. Then I noticed a BSH, 15 years old, for sale (no picture).

I am inquisitive and wanted to find out more - what sort of person wants to rid themselves of such a senior cat. Or perhaps the owner had died, was moving and was no longer able to look after a cat.

Anyway, the family was honest - since the children were getting older and louder, and after a recent move - the cat (spayed, BSH) was peeing outside the litter box. So, they were looking for an experienced, quiet cat-person to look after a rather distressed cat.

I wrote to ask if they had taken the cat to a vet recently and, if so, what were the results from the geriatric blood test. Peeing outside the box could be a health problem. No-one would pay for a sick 15 year-old cat (not even a BSH with the breeder's papers) only to find out that she would need expensive treatment for the rest of her life or had to be euthanised. The answer shocked me: vet costs are too high and that is the reason why she hasn't been to the vet and why we think it would be better to rehome her. The picture they sent may have been a bad photo - but it did nothing to make me feel that this was a healthy, happy cat. Eyes closed, fur .....not good.

Will they take the 50 Euros they hope to get for their poor senior cat, and buy a kitten? What do I do now?

I could offer to pay for a visit to the vet. This they will probably refuse as they would have to take my word for it that I would pay (but only after the event). I live at least a good hour's drive away.

I could advise them to get in touch with their local cat charity/shelter who may help with vet costs.

I could forget the whole subject.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Wow - are you in a position to take on such an endeavor? Don't you have cats with issues already? Even so, you could pay for a vet visit - on the basis that you pick the vet (maybe on your own vet's recommendation?), and perhaps even take the cat there for testing. Or, contact the vet and give a credit card in the event you can get these people to take the cat to the vet? Maybe if there are issues from the tests that you are willing to take on, they will give you this poor cat for free? I have an absolute love of older cats, particularly those who appear to have been/or are being 'abandoned' for that very reason - elderly and no one wants to bother with them anymore.

it doesn't sound good for this cat's future. If nothing else, get enough information to search yourself for cat charities/shelters who might help with vet costs that are local to them.

I think they are trying anyway they can to get rid of this cat. At least they are not dumping her - yet.
 

kittychick

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Your heart is so big - - - I know (must of us here do!) how hard it is to see something concerning an animal that you KNOW is wrong. A big hug from across the world to let you know that the fact that you're even concerned about this furry one helps me believe there's still good out there!!!!!! :hugs:

I do agree with FeebysOwner FeebysOwner - you really have to be careful that you don't get yourself in a bind monetarily. SO many times I've wanted to take in a cat/kitten......but just as many times my hubby reminds me of the issues at the moment (monetarily, space-wise, etc) and he's right 99.9% of the time!

Not lecturing - just thinking out loud. I'd think about it for a bit - really think thru all of the options - both monetarily and emotionally. Even do a pro/con list. Definitely don't get in over your head - it sounds as though you have animals of your own - if so, I'd make sure they can be taken care of first.

That said, I've been in a sort-of similar situation several years ago (I will say, resources weren't so scarce as today!). SO - my advice (if you can afford it and all of the baggage it might bring with it!), is to definitely follow a few things. Note that some below are IF you have the time and energy - - if not, you could see if she'll do it. (I'd do the calling on items - bc it'll take more out of me to worry!)

1. No matter what, don't offer cash OR your credit card, etc.
2. If you do still want to help, offer to check with local no-kill shelters (you might be surprised - a shelter might just happen to have an available space right when you call!!!) - - - it's worth it to at least ask! (I'd have the neighbor do this stuff - -but I know, for me, I worry too much so it'd be easier for me to just call)
3. If you want to help pay - - offer to go to the vet to pay for the care for THAT animal only - - -and only pay as much as you can pay. Explain the situation - - I think vets run into this alot.

Good luck!
 

Willowy

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Personally, I'd offer to take her off their hands but not for money (if you're up for that). If they're afraid you have ill intentions, offer to send them a picture of the first vet bill. But I'm not sure they care that much. Anyway, nobody's going to give them money for an old sick cat so I think they'll probably accept your offer
 
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gilmargl

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Having slept on it and realising that, although I may be a crazy cat lady, I am not stupid. Sorry W Willowy , I am not as good a person as you think I might be!

I sent the following note: (translation)
"The cat looks to be in a very bad condition, but, from just a photo I cannot make a diagnosis. Her eyes appear to be infected and sticky and her coat is certainly not shiny. She may be dement. If I were trying to sell a senior cat, I would at least try to take a more pleasant picture, I have no interest in picking up a cat, who is very likely to die in the car on the journey home.

If you don't want to allow the cat to spend her final years with people she knows then please contact the animal shelter in your area and ask them if there are any opportunities to help your cat."

I then enclosed the address and contact details of the cat shelter I believed was the nearest to them, but included a list of towns where there are organisations, which could help.

I also stated that a vet could also help to find a solution - but she should make it clear about her financial situation. There are organizaions which help people on benefits pay vet bills - but, the one I work for is only able to help people living in this area.

"It would be best for all concerned if you take the cat to a vet and get a diagnosis. If you still want to sell the cat, you can add the vet bill to the price you demand. At least the buyer will know what he or she is letting herself in for. Best wishes to her and the cat"

Result. I did get thanked for the address of the animal shelter but that was followed by the snide remark "Sorry that the cat's coat did not come up to your expectations!"

It's funny that the cat doesn't seem to have a name, that she calls its colour "brown" although it's what is normally referred to as red (or perhaps orange), even though the cat has breeding documents!

Do I offer to take the cat regardless? Perhaps if they bring it to my door?
 

FeebysOwner

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Do I offer to take the cat regardless? Perhaps if they bring it to my door?
Are you saying to offer to take it for free, or pay the price they are asking? Would they even consider bringing the cat to you? You can certainly put out a proposal to them, one that you are comfortable with, and see how they respond.
There are organizaions which help people on benefits pay vet bills - but, the one I work for is only able to help people living in this area.
Does the one you work for have a network of related/similar organizations that they might be able to reach out to?
 
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gilmargl

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Are you saying to offer to take it for free, or pay the price they are asking? Would they even consider bringing the cat to you? You can certainly put out a proposal to them, one that you are comfortable with, and see how they respond.
I am still undecided. If she brings the cat here and we go straight to the vet at least she will know that I am serious about doing the best for the cat and she should be happy if I pay her for her gas! But, the cat's eyes don't look good (even though they are closed in the photo). She could have cat flu. I have no intention of subjecting my own seniors to infections at their ages.
Does the one you work for have a network of related/similar organizations that they might be able to reach out to?
There are no such networks here. Not all vets, even in this area, are happy about people being subsidised. We have to earn the money to pay the vet bills so we do have some say in the treatment offered. We cannot afford to pay for every expensive treatment people want for their pets so one of us has to accompany the pet owner and pet to the vet. In exceptional circumstances we will make a public plea for donations for a particular case (sick dogs are more successful than cats at earning money for their own treatment). We can't make special pleas too often as people lose interest. My own organisation will shoot me if they think I am bringing in a sick cat from outside the area, even though I will be paying the bills myself. We do have enough problems here!

I'm not even sure that this cat owner would qualify for financial help - i think she just wants to get rid of a cat which is becoming a nuisance and could cost her money in the future. There is no talk about selling the cat tree, litter box or anything else for that matter. A new kitten would be cheaper. :(
 

lucyrima

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If I knew of a cat that needed help I would just take it and not fuss about this and that. Take the cat, go to some vet and get a diagnosis. If you can't afford that then step away, but otherwise just give it a home where it's wanted.
 
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gilmargl

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If I knew of a cat that needed help I would just take it and not fuss about this and that. Take the cat, go to some vet and get a diagnosis. If you can't afford that then step away, but otherwise just give it a home where it's wanted.
It isn't that easy when you've got other cats to think about. I've known too many cases of people losing all their cats simply by taking in a stray or buying a kitten which was not healthy. I have been lucky so far but, from the photo, this cat looks ....well, almost dead and is an hour's drive away! Money is really not the problem - though I don't like being taken advantage of.
 

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Is there a local shelter, SPCA, etc. who could look at it for free? Looks can be deceiving tho' and she may not (yet anyhow) be that badly off, maybe just in need of the right food and a brush). Is there anywhere in your place you could keep it for the day or two you'd need to go to a vet?
 

lucyrima

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I meant anywhere separate from the other cats of course.
 
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gilmargl

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Is there a local shelter, SPCA, etc. who could look at it for free?
I have given the cat owner the contact details of the shelter which I think is closest to where she is living, and the names of towns nearby where they also have shelters. As I do not have her exact address I cannot do too much from here. The shelter nearest me is not responsible for animals outside this district. My area does care for strays and unwanted animals but the animals are fostered out and we do not have our own vets. We do not have SPCA, RSPCA, PDSA or anything closely resembling them. Each district does its own thing.
Looks can be deceiving tho' and she may not (yet anyhow) be that badly off, maybe just in need of the right food and a brush).
I have tried to convince myself that the picture I was sent, is just a bad photo, that the cat is sleeping, not in pain, hasn't got a dirty face, not close to death. But, I cannot ignore the fact that the cat is peeing everywhere and that the owner stopped taking the cat to a vet a few years ago. I can deal with some geriatric complaints and am willing to learn to deal with others. I cannot deal with cat viruses, FIV, FELV because they are infectious and I do not wish to keep a cat permanently separate from the others.
Is there anywhere in your place you could keep it for the day or two you'd need to go to a vet?
At first, I will have to keep any new cat in the spare bedroom away from my own cats. But, it is also my office and one of my cats loves to sit on the chair with me keeping my back warm, and Emily sits on the bed while I am working. So it will be too close for comfort if the new cat has something infectious and separation has to be long-term.
I used to keep foster cats and kittens in the cellar - but my daughter is at present building a dollhouse and the table tops are covered with tiny windows, doors, lamps, cables, as well as tins of paint, glue and varnish.
I have kept a stray FIV+ cat there for the last few months of his life, but it is not a good idea as a permanent solution. I cannot spend enough time with the cat in the cellar and keep my other cats happy!

I hope I have answered your questions and that you don't think that I am entirely heartless.
 

lucyrima

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OMG, that was not my intention, only my worry (from so far away) about the cat. I'm sure you'll find some answers and be able to manage, and after all, it's not (yet) yours. I just don't get people though who don't take care of their animals - and I'm not rational about money. Let us know what happens if possible though.
 
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gilmargl

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Well, the ball is back in the seller's court!

I apologised if she thought I didn't approve of the cat's fur. I love the color - cinnamon - my comment concerned its condition - she had already admitted herself that the cat's condition was not good.

I also said I was sorry that I couldn't just drive over to help her and the cat (excuse given) and wished her every success in her search for a suitable buyer.

And then...... If all else fails, she should bring the cat to me herself and we would go together to one of the vets I know in this area (her choice) and I would pay the bill - just to find out what is wrong with NONAME. I then asked if the cat did in fact have a name.

Once we knew where we stood she could decide whether to take NONAME home or to leave her with me, assuming I was willing to take her, of course. I would also pay for her gasoline.

She had admitted that the photo was not exactly flattering - as she didn't want to raise expectations. I appreciated that but asked if she could send an older photo - just so that I could see NONAME's eyes and, if possible, her BSH tail - as 2 of my cats only have skinny rat's tails! I wanted to ensure that it was her cat, that she had had it longer than for a few weeks and that it was what she said - a BSH.

I wonder if I'll get a reply. I think I've been fair ..... or maybe just a bit cheeky?
:devilcat:
 

lucyrima

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Oh wow, can't wait to see what happens next! Please let us know, and your asking for an older pic is inspired :).
 

Talien

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All too often people who get designer or "prestige" animals (Persian, Sphinx, BSH, etc.) do so because they think it's cool, like owning an expensive car or designer clothing, and treat the animals as if they were an accessory. When it becomes actual work to take care of them they try to sell them to someone else or just abandon them and get another.

You did the right thing by explaining that she's not at all likely to get any money for an ill senior without even a diagnosis of what's wrong. We can't save them all, regardless of how much we might want to.
 
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gilmargl

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UPDATE!

I won't be hearing any more about this cat. The description of NONAME has been updated. It now includes a bit more information about this unfortunate cat:

"Due to an autoimmune deficiency, she no longer has fur on her chin and neck. The autoimmune deficiency was treated with atopica or cortisone."

and

"BSH cats belong to the short-nosed breed. Some cannot have a nasal tears duct for genetic reasons. It is the same with our lady. The only effect is that the tear fluid to cleanse the eye of dust etc. does not flow through the nose but out of the eye."

I wasn't so far off when I thought she looked half-dead and miserable. No wonder a vet visit was out of the question. Why wasn't the owner honest from the beginning?

Some people shouldn't be allowed pets. I didn't say that, did I?

So sorry NONAME - I did try, but shutting you in my cellar away from my cats, and away from family life will not help anybody.

I hope you find someone with a bigger heart than mine, preferably without other cats, to care for you!

😿 😭 :sorry:
 

lucyrima

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Oh gosh, you tried. Sometimes that's all you can do... and you never know, someone else may well show up.
 
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