What would you do about this cat?

sophiec

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Hi everyone. I have been a member since 2006 but I haven’t posted on here in ages. I was single back in my active posting days but I am married now. Because of our jobs, my husband and I live in separate cities. He is going to be transferred soon and we will be in the same city. He has never been much of a cat person and was always one who thought animals belong outdoors.

Here is the dilemma. Back in January (ish) of 2023, this orange & white cat started showing up at my husband’s house. Eventually the cat allowed my husband to pet him. He’s been hanging around ever since. The cat had a collar on and one day showed up with it missing. He showed up again with a new collar and again that one eventually went missing. He hasn’t had another one since. The cat eventually started darting into his house when he would walk inside. My husband started feeding him pieces of chicken and turkey. Of course he is going to hang around. One day he was outside and some people/kids were walking by. One of the little girls was staring at my husband who was with the cat. So my husband asked her if this was her cat. She said yes and he told her that she could come and get him. She did. She took the cat and then told my husband “it’s a girl”. We don’t know who the kid is or where she lives. This cat waits for him and comes running when he gets home from work. He set up a little bed outside for him to get out of the rain and the cold. I sent him a couple of work lights to put inside on the colder nights. Needless to say, he has become VERY attached to this cat. He kept asking me if I thought he would use the bathroom in his house if he left him inside overnight. I told him if he had to go, he would. Just a week ago, we had a VERY cold spell here in South Louisiana with 2 days straight of below freezing temps. He finally went to the store a bought a litter box for him. He sleeps inside most nights and gets mad when my husband has to leave for work and puts him outside. Within the next few months he will be moving to where I am. He is worried about the cat. I suggested he find the owners and go talk to them and see if they are willing to part with the cat. What do you all say?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi! I agree that your husband should try to find the owners. One of the ways to start that process is to take the cat to a vet - any vet - and let them scan the cat for a microchip. It doesn't cost anything to do so. If they find a chip, they can check to see if the chip's records are current. They may not be, and you will have to find out what the general guidelines are related to ownership in that case. Or they may find contact information that is current and then the owners can be contacted. If that fails, you folks will have to decide if you want to make flyers and place them around the neighborhood saying that you found a cat. Since the cat wants to stay inside your husband's place, I would let him do so as this would accomplish two things - keeping the cat safe should an owner arise, or getting the cat used to being inside full time for an eventual move to your home (a whole other process to address should it come to that). If the decision is made for you folks to keep the cat, before the move, the cat should be checked out by a vet first.

It is possible that little girl isn't really part of the family who 'owns' him, she might have just wanted the cat. Or, her parents consider the cat as an outdoor pet (like your husband once did) and really has no interest in actually taking care of a pet. The problem will be if he finds someone who claims to own the cat, and whether they want to retain ownership. They may be willing to part with the cat for a fee??
 

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One of the ways to start that process is to take the cat to a vet - any vet - and let them scan the cat for a microchip.
This is an excellent starting point, rather than trying to find any possible owners on his own. The problem could come in where nefarious people say sure, that's my cat. You/he will want to ask for proof, for example photos to ensure true ownership if there's no microchip.
 
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sophiec

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If you don't mind, please let us know what happens. I am kind of rooting for this cat to become a new member of your household!
So I brought a carrier over last night and today I took him to a vet just down the road. She scanned and there was no chip.

New question.....this is an orange and white cat. Could this be a girl? For some reason I always thought orange or orange/white cats were always male. The reason I ask is because the belly appears to be staring to protrude on both sides. I thought he was a neutered male but it's been awhile since I've had to determine the sex of a cat. Photo of nether regions included.
IMG_20240203_182654362.jpg
IMG_20240203_182827311.jpg
 
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FeebysOwner

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Not all cats that are orange/white are male. I guess you didn't ask the vet's office when they scanned him/her for chip if they could tell?
I am kind of leaning toward that being a male, and maybe not even neutered, but can't be for sure with that pic. That pic shows more hair than anything else, so I certainly can't tell. Whatever the gender, it is a very pretty/handsomely cat!
 
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sophiec

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Not all cats that are orange/white are male. I guess you didn't ask the vet's office when they scanned him/her for chip if they could tell?
I am kind of leaning toward that being a male, and maybe not even neutered, but can't be for sure with that pic. That pic shows more hair than anything else, so I certainly can't tell. Whatever the gender, it is a very pretty/handsomely cat!
I honestly didn't think to ask them to determine gender when I was there. I know the sight of an intact male, and intact he is not. 😁

On to the latest. Today I walked down the street, dead end road. We really don't think the cat could have come from anywhere else but down the dead end street because the main street is such a busy highway. I knocked on 2 doors that had no answer. One I talked to said they didn't have a cat but suggested the people in a small mobile home (about 6 of them) park had cats. First one no one was home. Second one said they didn't have a cat and their dog bit me in the back of my leg. Didn't draw blood because of my jeans. Third mobile home....she had cats ( I think she said 11) but through the language barrier, it was understood that the cat was not hers. She knew which cat I was referring to because she sees him at our house all the time. She also said she didn't think the cat belonged to any of the remaining houses passed her. She said we should take him in.

So now that means he would have to be taken it and be tested before he could move to our place in Lafayette and before he could be properly introduced to my 18 year old Bella. Here are some better photos of him
IMG_20240218_143531.jpg
IMG_20240218_143517.jpg
 

Margot Lane

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Lovely markings! Exceptional ear tips! Let us know what the upshot is at the vet. I think it’s safe to say this cat owns you. ❤ Will they check his eyes? (Thought I saw a tiny bit of nictating membrane there, maybe it’s just the sunlight).
 

KittyCat_chitchat

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TCS has a couple of good articles on cat-to-cat introductions (I take it Bella is a cat). I found them super helpful when I was introducing Ozzie and Cleo.
This should help, too (you won't want to begin introductions until he's settled in, especially as I assume you'll want to transition him to being an indoor only cat):
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home

Hope this is useful. Keep us posted.
 
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sophiec

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I am biased - any cat that can be taken in and cared for is the way I would want to go.

TCS has a couple of good articles on cat-to-cat introductions (I take it Bella is a cat). I found them super helpful when I was introducing Ozzie and Cleo.
This should help, too (you won't want to begin introductions until he's settled in, especially as I assume you'll want to transition him to being an indoor only cat):
How To Help A New Cat Adjust To Your Home

Hope this is useful. Keep us posted.
Think my last question was misunderstood. What I meant was what should be checked out with a vet trip before introducing him to my cat. Not directed at you FeebysOwner, just used your post to quote.
 

FeebysOwner

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Vets can vary on what they want to do, but basically speaking a full exam, blood work and urinalysis, along with testing for the standard viruses that they vaccinate for. And, of course the vaccinations as applicable. Some vets will want to do a fecal sample testing for various parasites too.
 

KittyCat_chitchat

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:yeah: Get them both given a health check and up-to-date vaccinations, and obviously get rid of any parasites the new boy has, so there's zero chance of anything nasty being passed from one cat to the other. As FeebysOwner FeebysOwner says, different vets might have different lists, and different areas will have different disease risks. Some obvious things are to get the new boy neutered and tested for FIV - although an FIV+ result wouldn't necessarily mean you wouldn't be able to adopt him. Anyway, sorry I misunderstood your original question.
 
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sophiec

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So we brought Enrique over to Lafayette today. My husband insisted on bringing him inside in the pet carrier and letting Bella and him see each other while he was in the carrier just to see what happened. She got off the bed, walked up, they sniffed each other nose to nose and then she hissed at him about 3 times and growled. He did not do anything but sort of stoop down and look at her. We had to be somewhere so we brought him to the house we own next door that we use as storage/workshop and went on our way. We are home now and I am in our bedroom with Bella while he lets Enrique explore the rest of the house for the first time. I do still have to get a vet appointment set up for him.
 
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sophiec

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Is it not possible to edit your own post. I looked but couldn't find a way to do so.

I wanted to edit my post above from yesterday (#18) to add this. While we were letting Enrique walk around the house with Bella locked up, he found one of the litter boxes. He went inside and smelled her urine for a long time, then he hissed and started growling. He got out and kept walking around the house growling.
 

FeebysOwner

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There is a time limit on how long you can edit a post, I believe it might be 2 hours.

Are you considering following any sort of introduction process with these cats? Usually, a new cat is confined to a room with their own food/water dishes, litter box, toys, etc. It lets them get used to a new environment first before going out to see the rest of the house and/or meet another cat. Once they seem comfortable in that room, which is considered their safe zone, the introductions can begin between the two cats.

You were given the guidelines earlier in this thread, I highly recommend you read them and formulate a plan accordingly.

And, as was said before, Enrique needs to be thoroughly checked out by a vat before you expose Bella to him.
 
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