Surrendering your pet can be a stressful situation. However, we want the best attention and a loving family for our furry friends. We all think that no one will be able to fill our shoes. Sometimes, it is an inescapable situation, and the best solution there is. Maybe you are just providing temporary shelter and acting as a foster home, or your housing situation has changed, and you can no longer have animals.
To surrender pets, first, you must think of friends and family. Then, if no one is available, you can go to animal shelters, veterinarian clinics, and webpages for adopting animals like Adopt-a-Pet.com.
Sometimes, pet owners feel like the painful decision to resign a pet is their only choice. Different reasons may cause issues when it comes to living together. Let’s analyze first those possible causes and see if we can develop a great solution, so you don’t have to give your cat up. If no solution fits your situation, then surrendering it is the best fit for you.
Bad Cat Behavior
Cats have certain behaviors that are not ideal for us. An example of this would be uncontrolled urination. In spite of this, uncontrolled urination is not always caused by bad behavior. A treatable medical condition can cause many behavioral problems. For instance, a house-trained cat may begin peeing in the house due to a urinary tract infection. A vet can quickly diagnose and treat the condition. When there is no natural cause for the issue, remember that many common pet behavioral problems have easy solutions.
Local rescue groups or animal shelters can offer low-cost training or veterinary care services. In case they don’t, then they can send you to other shelters that offer these services.
You can find a large number of web pages with information about different organizations and their contact information.
Suppose you are having difficulty finding pet-friendly housing or other pet-related housing difficulties such as noise complaints. In that case, first, you must be open-minded to the fact that many landlords are reasonably worried about renting to pet owners. After all, some people allow their pets to harm the property, upset the neighbors, and in general give pet-owning renters a lousy reputation. But as it turns out, these irresponsible renters are the exception. Therefore, landlords need to see that the overwhelming majority of pet owners are considerate of rental properties and make sure their pets never become a problem—renters just like us!
A quick personal story. I moved out of town to work on a temporary job for a couple of months. In my place, there was a “no pets policy,” but they made an exception for me. Long story short, I complained more about human noise than they complained about my pet’s behavior. During my time there, I did not receive a single complaint. I know you are thinking, how loud can a cat be? Well, noise is not the only issue you can have with a pet. They can escape and go to other places, destroy property, and annoy the neighbors.
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Back to the main subject, when searching for a new home:
- Take your time. Do not rush unless the situation doesn’t require it.
- Look for pet-friendly listings and real estate agents using online sites and social media.
- Ask your friends and family for recommendations.
- Look for guide books online and in nearby stores.
- Show your pet to landlords so they can have an understanding of your little friend’s behavior.
- Be open to paying extra in rent or a refundable pet fee deposit. Some landlords demand you do that.
Even if Mr. landlord-tough-guy/girl says “no pets allowed” or “Only some breeds accepted,” some will make an exception, just as it happened to me. You will have extra points if the landlord is a pet lover. Work your magic in person. Schedule a meeting.
Before you sign the lease.
- Even if you see other pets on the property, do not sign a lease that says “no pets allowed.” Not even if someone tells you it’s okay. If the lease has a “no pets” restriction, ensure it is at least crossed out or replaced with pet approving language. In both cases, you and your landlord should sign the pages of the changes as a consent sign.
- Pet fees or deposits must be specified on the document, previously discussed and agreed upon between you and the landlord.
- Always store a signed copy of the lease safely in case you have to use it.
First, make sure to schedule an appointment with a doctor to make sure that you are not allergic to your pet. There are reasons for doing this. For instance, you might think you are allergic to your cat, but in reality, you are allergic to the dust that accumulates on his fur.
Suppose you have confirmed allergies regarding your pet. In that case, you must understand it and determine what is causing it in a more specific way. When you do that, you can prevent and implement control measures to keep yourself allergy-free or have the allergy controlled. If the symptoms are not life-threatening, then you can work things out. Here are some suggestions:
- Create a safe “allergy-free” zone in an area of the house, preferably in the bedroom or frequently visited places of the allergic person. Ensure to control the pet’s access to it strictly. You can use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner and consider using impermeable protection for pillows and mattresses.
- Use HEPA air cleaners. Hepa stands for “High-Efficiency Particulate Air,” use it throughout the rest of the house and don’t use dust-and-dander-catching fabrics like blinds, cloth curtains, and carpeted floors. Keep everything dust and dander-free.
- Weekly baths for your pet to minimize the level of allergy-causing dander.
Cats can be a little sensitive to baths if you don’t use the right products. Make sure you only use cat shampoos recommended by your veterinarian.
- Don’t blame the pet for allergies immediately. Instead, ask your allergist to test for allergies to pet dander specifically. You may be sensitive to more than one allergen.
- Try treatments. There are treatments for pet allergies that include allergy shots, nose sprays, and pills. It is crucial to find an allergist who understands your relationship with your pet.
If you combine all of these approaches to allergies, you are more likely to succeed in controlling the problem. Medical guidance, good house cleaning habits, and immunotherapy (shots, nose sprays, and pills) are ideal.
Difficulty Managing Your Pet’s Care?
If you find yourself in a financially tough spot, some local shelters and organizations can help you with low-cost food, vet services, and behavioral assistance.
Baby On Board?
The long-time fear of contracting Toxoplasmosis still exists and has forced many people to get rid of their cats. It is difficult for cats to pass Toxoplasmosis directly to their owners.
Many factors keep the transmission chance low.
- Only felines who eat tissue cysts get infected. This would be limited to outdoor ones who eat rodents and are fed raw meat.
- A hunting cat is often exposed to the illness as a kitten and is less likely to transmit the infection as it grows.
- Clean out the litter box daily.
- Oocysts are transmitted orally. Pregnant women would have to touch infected feces and, without cleaning their hands, touch their food or mouth.
The following recommendations will help you reduce the risk of getting Toxoplasmosis.
- Avoid ingesting raw meat.
- Thoroughly wash all uncooked vegetables.
- Wash all utensils that touch meat before using them.
- Wash your hands or wear gloves when gardening or working with soil.
- Ask a non-pregnant person to help you with litter box disposal.
- Wear gloves when cleaning the litter box—everyone in the house.
- Clean litter daily.
- Keep your cat inside.
What Do You Do If You Can’t Keep Your Cat?
If the decision is final and you can’t keep your cat, DO NOT DUMP HIM. It is considered an offense and can lead to fines or even imprisonment. Instead, try to relocate with friends and family or take him to an animal shelter, local council, or rescue organization. If you purchased your cat from a breeder, contact them. They might want to take them back.
Use these tips.
- Make your cat more charming to potential adopters. Keep their vaccines up to date.
- Place flyers advertising your pet at school, work, church, and public places you frequent. Use a good-quality picture and an engaging description of your pet.
- Use social media. Post your cat’s image and story, and ask your family and friends to share it.
- Be honest with possible adopters. Share all the details of behavior and medical history. Don’t hide anything.
- Shelters and local groups can help you promote your cat.
Do cats remember being abandoned?
Research shows that cats have an excellent memory. They can remember details from their lives before the rescue or relocation. It applies to positive and negative memories. This is why it is vital to build new memories that they will cherish for the rest of their lives.
How long does it last for a cat to adjust to a new owner?
A typical, happy, trauma-free healthy cat takes no more than 7 to 10 days to get used to a new home. They should feel comfortable quickly enough. If the cat has had traumas, it should take no less than a month. However, after a month, if the cat is not adjusted, you will need to look for assistance to help in the transition processes.
Surrendering a cat is not an easy task. Please look for every solution possible and try to stay as a family. If nothing works out, use this advice to help you conclude the process in the best way possible.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.