Adopting a Stray Cat - opinions?

Hey Pet Lovers of Monzo. I know a few of you here are big Cat Fans - so wondered if I could gather some opinions on this situation.

Long story short; my SO’s Grandmother passed away - and it turns out Grandma had been looking after a cat, that predominantly lived outdoors. As of right now - the Cat is living outside, in the cold, and SO’s parent’s are making the trip to feed the cat twice a day - which isn’t entirely sustainable.

They’ve also tried to put the cat in a shelter - but they all the local ones are full and not accepting new cats.

So here comes the dilemma - should I adopt this little fluffball? I currently have 1 cat - but because of London Flat - the cat would have to be an indoor cat. And then there’s the potential drama of 2 cats not getting on. Obviously there’s the thing of keeping them separate until an appropriate time after vaccinations/checks/socialisation etc.

Options, it seems, are:

  • Take the cat - and hope she’s ok being indoor only.
  • Take the cat and keep her until we can find a home with outdoor access
  • Don’t take the cat.

WWMD?

Cat Tax: Sid
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I this instance I would say no if the cat is an outdoor cat. I’m not sure keeping it enclosed would be good for it :neutral_face: I am no expert though!

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Maybe contact the RSPCA/Battersea cats and dogs and see if they have some good advice as to what to do

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An outside cat won’t be happy being stuck indoors and it isn’t a kitten so it won’t adapt very well. It should be able to hunt and feed itself

Cut down the feeding to once a day, it’ll find someone else to feed it or sort itself out

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May sound harsh, but simple answer is - NO.

A stray outdoor cat of some age is not going to adapt to being an indoor cat in a London flat. Especially not one which already has a cat in it.

Do you know any of your SO’s grandmother’s neighbours? Would any of them be up to feeding the cat instead? That would sound like the best thing for the cat, if any of them were up for it.

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Sadly we’ve tried around the village - and so far it seems no one wants to take the cat on.

It’s such a dilemma as she’d make a lovely pet for someone (up until now the cat was inside/outside living at G’mas house - where as now she is 100% outside).

I do like the suggestion of calling batteries for advice - will give that a try too. Thanks for inputs everyone :heart_eyes_cat:

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Have you tried cats protection? I volunteer there and it’s amazing. If not I can give some advice.

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Battersea cats home cat.rehoming@battersea.org.uk gave me good advice via email.

I asked whether it would be possible to adopt a cat into a 10th floor London apartment with a balcony. They said unless we cat proof it or never let them go on the balcony (not possible as it gets so hot in summer) then best not to have a cat as they are known to do crazy things when a bird perches on the balcony or they can just become curious or experimental and make a mistake so it could well end in tears from this height.

Sorry (not sorry) to hijack your cat story with my cat story :grin: the more cat stories the better, right? :heart_eyes_cat:

I think they might say adopting this unfortunate cat is a bad idea. From all the cats I looked at on their website (hundreds!) the vast majority of descriptions specified that there should be no other cats in the household and also the vast majority said that where it’s had access to outdoor spaces in the past it must have access to the outdoors in future, so for those two reasons it seems like it’s not so compatible :frowning:

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Personally I would take the cat and see how it goes - it may adapt well to the indoor life. If it doesn’t or there are issues with your other cat, you can always call a cat shelter.

I’m going to come down with the no brigade.

First, it isn’t your responsibility to save a stray cat and look after it. Might sound harsh, but there are so many it is impossible to have responsibility for them all. Even the RSPCA state:

Unfortunately we don’t have the resources to collect healthy strays

Battersea Cats and Dogs home are even blunter:

AVOID FEEDING CATS

Try not to feed cats who come into your garden unless they’re clearly underweight. This will only encourage them to keep coming back and they may have owners feeding them too or have special dietary requirements due to health issues.

Both the RSPCA and Battersea ask you to fit a paper collar to the cat.

USE OUR PAPER COLLAR

Put a paper collar on the cat asking an owner to contact you if the cat is theirs. If you get no response after a couple of days you can assume the cat has not been back home or may be stray.

  1. If this isn’t possible but you can get close enough to put a collar on it, then download our Paper cat collars [PDF 36.5KB]. Take precautions when approaching the cat and fixing the collar.

This is probably because what Blue Cross advise:

Often cats seem to be strays but actually have a home. Due to their nature they do tend to roam and can appear to be lost. A cat that is hanging around looking for food, or trying to get into your house may have a home not far away, so you need to be sure they are genuinely homeless

If you feel you need to take the responsibility do as others suggested and talk to a Cat Shelter about it. The Blue Cross state that if they can’t rehome the stray cat, they will give you an alternative solution.

Also remember that while your local cat shelters might be full, cast a wider net. A day driving to the next city over may be easier than multiple travels over a month to a location.

As others have stated, it is an outdoor cat and will probably try and make a break for it when it sees freedom in its grasp (i.e. an open window) and then have an accident.

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Cats are terribly pretentious creatures. She/he might get along with yours, or not (usually not). If she/he was used to walk free, it could be a challenge for you to impose her/him to adapt to imprisonement. As much as her/his fate seems sad to us, she/he is very happy with that life, trust me, I’m a cat. :smirk:

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Nice response, @Chapuys.

It’s also worth noting that if the cat is a stray if you could get someone to scan the cat if possible as he/she may be chipped.

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Thanks for all the great responses and thoughts everyone.

I perhaps explained the cat a little incorrectly - less of a stray and more of a cat without a home really. Cat had been with G’ma for about a year or so, with indoor and outdoor access (not just a stray that she fed).

We’ve got the cat to the Vet, found no microchip, and have had her vaccinated. We’re trying to get in touch with a wider net of shelters to help her find a home :slight_smile:

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