Re-homing is never a fun topic. Things in life happen: You have to move, you don’t have the time or money to no longer care for your cat, you are too overwhelmed. Whatever the reason may be it is far better to find a new home for you cat then turn them over the a shelter. No, not all shelters are bad but cats are not meant to live in cages. Here are 6 tips to help ease you through the process of re-homing your cat.
Tip #1 : Be Certain
If you haven’t sat down and weighed all your options, please do so. People are under the assumption that cats aren’t like dogs and can easily be re-homed because they don’t become attached. This is far from the truth. Every cat becomes attached to at least one human. They aren’t pack animals, but they do form relationships with us, often deep ones. Many cats that get re-homed go through feline depression (see the 6 signs) that can last weeks, to months, to even years. This can lead to everything from hair pulling, to not eating. Please, be 100% certain there is no other way before you do this.
Tip #2 : Find Someone You Know
It will be easier for you, and your cat, if it is someone you know. A bonus would be if it is someone your cat knows. Finding a friend willing to take them in will not only lessen the stress on you, but your cat as well. You will be able to still see them as they make their transition and they wont feel so abandoned.
Tip #3 : Take Age To Heart
The older your cat, the harder it will be for your cat to be away from you. If your cat is an elder, it is not wise to part with them unless you are 1000% certain the place they go to can give them constant attention and love. Older cats who go through depression are a lot more likely to die from a broken heart. Just like we see in people who lose their husband or wife of 50+ years, cats are no different. They have been your partner in life. Take their age to heart in this decision.
Tip #4 : Send Them With A Care Package
Be sure, where ever you send your cat, you send them with all their favorite things, maybe even some new things. Include their favorite food, treats, a bed, all their toys, even a bag of the same brand of litter you have been using. This will make the change easier for them. Do not include something that will remind them of you like a shirt or a slipper they enjoyed sleeping on. Scent has the strongest response to memory in cats, if you wont or can’t visit them after you say goodbye, it is a good idea to pull away completely.
Tip #5 : Make A Do’s & Don’ts List
This is important if you are giving your cat to someone you both don’t know. Make a list of everything you know your cat enjoys, and everything your cat doesn’t enjoy. This will make it easy not only for the cat, but the new owner as well. Include favorite foods, treats, and toys on the list. Also, try to keep the same vet if possible. This will make keeping tract of medical records much easier.
Tip #6 : Forgive Yourself
Things in life happen and if you are doing this for the better of your cat, don’t feel so bad. You can’t beat yourself up over this with worrying or wondering. Just make a promise to yourself you will be 100% certain before adopting another cat or bringing home a new kitten, so this doesn’t happen again.