Should I take a stray kitten home from vacation?

JacobJNY320

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Before coming here, my cousin had found a stray kitten and fed it daily. When I came I continued it on and he's been very friendly, even falling asleep on us and coming inside. Me and my family have been discussing bringing him home.

We already have a small adult cat at home(canada) who spends about half the day outside.

I'd like to decide whether to take him home before making sure he's 3 months old, getting his rabies shot, and health certificate (requirements to take him on the plane). I'm a little worried to take him inside before deciding in case he gets used to it.

Would he be able to handle the trip from Portugal to Canada (about 8 hours)?

Would he forget how to live on his own if I brought him in for the remaining 10 days of my trip or would he be able to go back to living outside? (assuming I can't take him back)
 

Alldara

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fionasmom

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Oddly enough, a very good Canadian friend who lives in Winnipeg was in your situation a few years ago on a trip to Hawaii. One of the ferals who lived on the property where their lodgings were became very friendly. They got the appropriate paperwork from the Canadian embassy and brought "Mahalo" home. She adjusted immediately, and they are/were a multi pet family.

This kitten is probably depending on you for food at this point. What are the circumstances if you leave it behind permanently? In HI, these ferals were maintained by a loosely structured caretaking system, so there was a sort of safety net.

From my experience, especially if you only have one cat at home, you would only need to go through the process of cat introduction as if you had gotten a new pet in Canada.

Ten days inside will probably not ruin him for being left behind, but it will give him hope that he might have a home, only to find that he does not.
 

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Nebaug

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One more very important thing. Climate! Brought two kittens home (NY) from Caribbean mind that mine are indoor only . Come winter and they are constantly moving from one heat source to another (floor vents, lol) it’s actually very funny to watch them. Home temperature is always set to 72f summer or winter. And this is 6 years later. I’m quite sure that Portugals temps are far milder then Canadian and according to mine , great outdoor is not an option, so it’s definitely something to think about.
 

Eurocat

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Hi there
I brought a little skittish 5 month semi feral back from Greece last year (I live in Germany) and spent quite a few sleepless nights debating back and forth, so I understand what you‘re going through.
I would take it step by step. Of course - as you’re doing - you first have the aspect to consider that you have another cat and if it would work, but you also have to consider that the new cat may be FIV/Felv positive and what this may imply, as although cats can live full lives with these diseases, they could be transmitted to other cats. As far as I know, vets do not have to routinely check the animals for FIV/Felv (simple blood test) to get a rabies shot, chipped, vaccinated and a passport, so you would have to request an extra blood test. To travel within the EU and get a passport the rabies shot needs to be done 3 weeks before travelling, so I assume it may be similar with going to Canada.
So in your situation I‘d probably take it step by step. 1 - do you think it would work with your resident cat? , 2 Contact vet and discuss possibilities what could happen if you couldnt take the cat (animal rescue or TNR).
In my situation I had decided I would be able to take the cat, but sadly due to various circumstances only if FIV/FeLv negative. I had
contacted the local vet on the island and discussed possibilities and ensured the cat would be taken care of, if I couldnt take her. They had put me in touch with the animal protection on the island. 3) Take it from there, vet visit and see how things develop.
To cut an incredibly long story short, with me everything worked out really well, and I brought my kitty home. Despite it being Europe, the trip (ferry, flight) back took about 8 hours too and this also required careful planning so that kitty would be as comfortable as possible.
Although she had some health issues and it took her some time to settle down, now 9 months later she‘s doing fantastically. And her being used to the Greek climate has been very beneficial in dealing with the heatwave here ;))
All the best for your deliberations!
 

Margot Lane

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There is also the thought that if you feed him without getting him fixed, he will help make many more hungry kittens, which in turn eat a lot of endangered species.
 

Alldara

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To add on to what Eurocat Eurocat said, depending on where you live, there are vaccines for FIV and FeLV. Your kitten might have to stay in quarentine facilities in your home country and during that time you can get those vaccines for your resident cat.
 

Antonio65

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In order to travel with a pet across (and probably outside) Europe, your pet need to have the rabies shot, a microchip (to be applied prior to the rabies shot) and a pet passport.
The issue of the pet passport is 21 days after the rabies shot.
 

Fourcats4me

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I am sorry. I took an 8-year-old from a kill shelter where the owner passed away. Did I need a cat? After all, I already have 3? NO. Did teh cat need a home? Yes. Could I deal with problems that came up? Yes! Guess who came home,e with an older cat?
 

zed xyzed

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I know I wouldn't be able to sleep thinking about the poor kitten living on the streets. I know if I was in your shoes I would have a new family member. Recently my mom works for an adoption centre and told me about a cat that the staff deemed unacceptable and was scheduled to be put to sleep. My mom is kind of a cat whisperer and thought he was acting out because he was depressed. All night I was thinking about this guy. I called the shelter the next day telling them I wanted to see him. He is the best addition to my house and he was so easy going with my 2 boys. I am so happy I saved this special little guy. Every time I see him I smile knowing I saved a life and how appreciative he is to be loved
 
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