Rehoming advice

Are you thinking about rehoming your cat? Here are some solutions to common reasons for rehoming a cat.

Moving to “No Pets” Accommodation: One of the main reasons for people giving up their cats is due to many landlord’s ‘no pets’ rule in rented accommodation. However, in many cases this rule is put in place based on a ‘worst case scenario’ where a landlord is worried about animals who might leave mess everywhere and damage their carpets or furnishings. They are often a lot less concerned about cats rather than dogs so do discuss with them whether your cat can live there. If you are prepared to make a guarantee that there will be no damage or that you will fix any damage, the rule can often be changed, at least for the duration of your tenancy.

Some things that can help to persuade a landlord to relax the ‘no pets’ rule, could include: offering to pay a “pet bond”, providing a reference for your pet from a previous landlord (were they well behaved, did they cause any mess etc) and offering to pay for the property to be professionally cleaned when you move out.

Allergies

If a member of your household has become allergic, many people assume the only solution is to rehome the cat. This is not necessarily so. If your symptoms are asthmatic in nature, consider whether they are being brought on by the cat litter you are using, rather than the cat. Changing to a dust free litter may alleviate, or in some cases eliminate symptoms entirely. Some people may develop allergic symptoms when living with a cat for the first time, but find that after a few weeks their symptoms subside, and often disappear once their system gets used to contact with the particles of allergen. Reduce risk of reaction by making sure the cat is regularly flea treated; grooming will help also but it’s best to do this outside. It can even help to wipe a damp cloth over the carpet after vacuuming, and even over the cat! Get the cat their own bed so then they have their own spot to sleep to help with fur on the furniture.

Other tips

Vacuum every day, limit the amount of soft furnishings in your home, switch from carpets to solid flooring such as laminate or tiles, replace curtains with solid blinds, regularly wash any bedding that your cat sleeps on, and keep the cat out of your bedroom. An air purification appliance may also help. Some people find their allergic reaction is reduced by reducing or removing dairy products from their diet (which reduces the amount of histamines the body produces), perhaps by switching to soy or rice milk.

Emigration

If you are emigrating abroad, you may still be able to take your cat with you. If the cat is elderly or has a medical condition, you may consider the journey might be too much for them, and decide rehoming would be the best option. But, if they are in good health and you would like to take them with you, you can get advice and information from your local airport.

Pregnancy

The risk of toxoplasmosis contracted from animal faeces during pregnancy is still a major reason why many cats are put up for rehoming. However, the British Medical Journal has largely disputed this as an old wives tale, when a study proved that inadequately cooked or cured meat is the main risk factor for infection with toxoplasmosis. Contact with cats’ faeces was found to be a very low risk factor. The basic rules of hygiene should therefore be observed, and to be absolutely safe, rubber gloves should be worn when cleaning litter trays, or get a non-pregnant member of the household to do the litter duty! This simple step, plus keeping the cat’s vaccinations up to date, and ensure they are regularly wormed and flea treated will mean there is no need to rehome your cat. There are also many benefits to having a cat in your family with young children (see below).

New Baby in your Home

If simple sensible precautions are taken, there is no need to consider rehoming purely due to the arrival of a baby. And indeed, having a cat (or dog) in the family can be of immense benefit to the child’s development, allowing them to form an early bond with an animal, learning to respect and care for them, and quite possibly laying the foundations of a lifelong love for animals. Also, clinical studies have shown that living with animals during the first year of life can build up a child’s antibodies leading to a reduced risk of asthma and allergies.

Take precautions such as: closing the nursery door when your baby is on her own, keep litter trays out of reach of babies once at the age of crawling and walking, keep baby food and pet food separate and clean litter trays regularly.

IF THERE IS NO CHOICE BUT TO REHOME YOUR CAT HERE IS SOME ADVICE

The first thing you should do is to take your cat to your vet for a health check (including a dental check). You need to be sure you are rehoming a healthy cat to its new owner. Make sure they are desexed and vaccinated before rehoming.

You want to make sure you are rehoming your kitty to a loving home and to a home that is suitable to their personality and needs. Find out what sort of lifestyle the potential adopters have and if your cat will be comfortable in that sort of environment ie is your cat timid and need a quiet home, does it cope with young children or dogs? Is it dominant and needs to be in a home without other cats or animals?

Take some nice pics of your kitty. Try to get close-ups. See the pdf Photo Tips from Cat in the Fridge here: Photo Tips from Cat in the Fridge

Also check out the SPCA Rehoming Advice tips pdf here: https://www.spca.nz/advice-and-welfare/article/what-to-do-when-you-need-to-rehome-your-pet

Once you’ve placed an advertisement, when people contact you we suggest that you talk to potential adopters on the phone to get an idea about them, their lifestyle and household before you arrange a meet n greet. Here are some questions you could ask them –

  • How many people in your home?
  • Do they have young children?
  • Are they in paid employment and can afford to take on a pet?
  • What is the noise level in your household?
  • What current pets do you have?
  • Does anyone suffer from animal related allergies?
  • Is everyone in your household in agreement to adopt?
  • Do you plan to keep a cat indoors/outdoors or a mix?
  • Where will a cat be kept until it settles into their home?
  • How will the cat be cared for when they go on holiday?

After you’ve spoken on the phone to a potential adopter and you have a good feeling about them, arrange the meet n greet. If they have children ask them to bring them to the meet n greet.Young children can sometimes not have the maturity to be able to treat animals with care. Our advice would be to tell the person that the meet n greet is only for them to meet your kitty and that even if the meet n greet goes well, they can’t take the cat home with them.

Its good for both parties to have some time to consider if the cat is a good fit for that particular family.And you have to be completely sure that you are comfortable with that person having your cat. Also, if you decide you don’t want the person to adopt your cat, it will be easier for you to tell them that over the phone rather than in person. Some people can get offended if you don’t want to adopt to them.

Finally, don’t be shy about asking for a home check.You want to be sure they are going to a good home and seeing how people live can be an indicator of how they look after their animals. If the adopters have nothing to hide and an understanding that you are having to part with an animal you love, they should have no problem with you paying them a visit to their home.

The sites we recommend to advertise your cat for rehoming are;

  • TradeMe CATS TO BUY category allows you to charge an adoption fee. This is our preferred way to rehome. The fee could be as little as $30.
  • TradeMe CATS TO ADOPT category – the cat is Free, you can’t list an adoption fee. We would use this option with caution. Charging an adoption fee will discourage unscrupulous people. Remember also that some people don’t value things that are free. If a potential adopter can’t afford to pay an adoption fee, how will they afford to take the cat to the vet if its sick? We would advise to try to find out if the person is in employment and can afford to feed a cat, buy flea/worm treatment and take it to a vet.
  • Lost Pets – http://www.lostpet.co.nz/ This used to be the old Pets on the Net and has recently changed its name. They also have an Adoption section.
  • Facebook site: Wairarapa Pets—lost, found, buy, sell & rehoming—This site is a closed site, just send them a message and ask to join. Then you can put up a post to advertise your cat for rehoming.
  • Neighbourly.co.nz in the For Sale section.

Send us a Word document and a pic to kittycatrehoming@gmail.com and we’ll put up a post on our Facebook page.