Many people feel cruel when they utter the words and they often think they’re the only ones around that ever said it. ‘I don’t really want my cat anymore’. In truth, I’ve heard this more often than you think.
Is this you? Did you recently say ‘I can’t cope with my cat anymore: what can I do?’
First, stop feeling guilty. Then, take courage that there are many options available to you both to improve your current situation or find an alternative owner solution for that cat going forward.
And yes, it’s very possible to solve this situation in a humane way, that’s beneficial to both you and your feline.
But, please do exhaust your options first and see if you can make changes that will make you and your cat happier.
Common reasons for not coping with your cat – and possible solutions
Let’s first look at common scenarios that present themselves. Some of these situations are beyond your control while others have remedies.
Your cat affects the family’s health
Many cats spark allergic reactions in owners and sometimes you may only discover the problem after you adopt a cat. Don’t give up immediately because there is effective medication these days that can prevent sneezing, itching and other issues forever.
The cat doesn’t fit in with your current lifestyle
Lifestyle changes can make it impractical to have a cat. Perhaps you have a new baby in the house or you were forced to move house and there’s no garden to exercise the cat anymore.
Don’t immediately give up though. There are many ways to properly stimulate a cat and they can learn new habits. Also, the cat can help you cope with transitions in life by providing emotional support, so what you think is too much now may be a blessing in future.
You realize you can’t handle the responsibility
Some people actually suffer from depression after getting a pet, simply because the responsibility is too much for them. Training your cat and keeping it stimulated does require time and effort after all. Know that it won’t always be so overwhelming and perhaps you simply need the help of a proper cat trainer.
The cat’s behavior is getting the better of you
A cat trainer should always be your first option if behavior is the issue. You’ll be surprised how many bad habits can go away once an expert shows you how to train, stimulate and discipline it correctly. An animal behaviorist can also give insight into the reasons for your cats’ actions. Then, small adjustments in your actions can transform your relationship with your pet.
Did your income change and now you don’t have the money to look after a cat anymore? There are ways to lower expenses, such as low-cost clinics and DIY food treats. So, first see how you can spend less while keeping your cat.
Also remember the presence of your cat may be good for you if you’re going through a stressful financial season.
Options for re-homing your cat
If you’ve tried all you could think of and the situation is simply not improving, you may need to re-home your cat. This is the very last option for people who can’t cope with their cat anymore and don’t know what to do.
Please never consider dumping your cat or consulting animal control or shelters that may euthanize the kitten. There are multiple other—better—options you can pick from.
Your goal is to find another home where both the feline and the owners will benefit from the adoption. With some effort you can ensue it will be safe and well treated, giving you peace of mind that you’ve done all you could.
Handy Hint: I was recently asked whether I thought it was cruel to feed a cat just once a day. I believe it is, and here’s why.
Talk to a breeder
If you have a purebred animal and especially if you own a popular breed, you may be successful when you contact a breeder. Whether it’s the breeder you purchased the cat from or not, if you have the correct paperwork they may be able to find another home for it.
With breeders caring for the species in general, they may not mind being middle man between you and a buyer. They can also help you vet the new owners, so you know the cat is going to a good home.
Contact breed specific rescue organizations
A quick search online will help you find organizations that are passionate about certain types of breeds. They don’t necessarily have to be purebred, so this is a helpful option for many cat owners.
These organizations may have sanctuaries where you can surrender the cat until it’s adopted. They also have networks communicating to a wide audience about available cats in a specific category. So, using them to find a new home will increase your cat’s chances of having a happy future home.
Ask for help from rescue or cat re-homing organizations
Whether you have a purebred or mixed breed, ask rescue organizations in your local community to assist. Find a reputable one known for looking after animals well. You may be able to surrender the animal to them if you really can’t cope with it at home anymore.
These are popular places where people in your town go to find family pets. Part of the attraction is the wide variety as well the affordability compared to purchasing from a breeder.
Once again, these organizations often have a large network. A photo of your cat on their social media page may prompt someone to come and have a look and adopt your kitty.
Sell it privately—but with extreme care
Perhaps you don’t find a willing organization to help? Or, you simply can’t imagine surrendering the cat to a clinical place like a shelter. In this case you may consider finding it a home yourself.
While selling it privately can work, you need to proceed with extreme caution:
- Never use the term ‘free to a good home’ because this can attract people who abuse cats, use them in cat fights or even resell them. Since they don’t have to pay for the cat, it’s an easy solution for their own supply chain.
- Try not to use platforms like social media to advertise your cat, because cat abusers frequent these sites. They can put up a front and seem like caring animal lovers.
- Always do thorough home checks so you have proof the cat will be in a safe environment. There should be gates and fences so the cat won’t escape and get lost. Remember, it will feel confused at first. You don’t want it to get hit by traffic because it escapes just to come looking for you.
Use your network
Perhaps the safest place to start when you plan on selling your cat yourself is to ask family and friends. You know them, so you’ll know whether your cat will suit their lifestyles and be treated kindly.
Experts in your area
Don’t underestimate the many animal lovers in your area. From pet shop owners to vets, many of them will be happy to help you re-home pets. Even putting up a flyer in a vet’s waiting room can be a way to locate a new owner. Or, someone they know may be looking for a cat just like yours.
Tips for fast rehoming of your cat
See, there are many solutions to the situation you currently face. You can even improve the chances of finding that perfect next home for your pet by doing some homework.
Whether you’re sending it to a shelter or talking to a breeder, compile proper information, such as temperament and behavior traits, as well as medical history. This will give new owners clarity on what they’re buying and help these organizations match the cat with the right owners much easier.
If you can’t cope with your cat anymore, please do try everything you can to resolve the situation – for example, make sure you are at least meeting the cat’s basic needs. Being re-homed could be very stressful to the cat.