Rehoming Advice Please

Queries and discussions about cat rescue & rehoming
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Blue264
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Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Blue264 » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:05 pm

Hi all,

This is my first post and I have searched dozens of websites for the particular advice I need, so really hope someone here can help me.

I'm British, currently living in Switzerland. The building I was living in until last week, is being demolished in a few weeks time. Because apartments are difficult to find here, particularly if you have pets, one of my neighbours has had to move into a place where pets are not allowed. The place I've moved into does allow pets so I've agreed to adopt her cat as he's used to me feeding him whilst his owner was on holiday.

This cat is 10yrs old. He was put into a shelter when he was 5 and stayed there for 9 months until my neighbour adopted him, so she was adamant that he didn't go back to a shelter. He's been an outdoor cat for the last 4yrs, but I've kept him indoors for the last 3 days whilst he lays his scent around my apartment.

My problem is, how long should I keep him indoors? My new place is only 300yds from his old home, and my fear is that, whilst workman are in and out of that building, the cat will get inside his old home and get trapped there. He's been feeding normally from day 1 and has taken refuge in the bathroom cupboard during the day, but at night, he begins pacing and crying to go out.

Should I just keep him in for the usual two weeks or wait until the building has been demolished before letting him out?

I would really appreciate some advice on this. Thanks.

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Crewella
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Crewella » Fri Apr 08, 2016 10:45 am

It's very good of you to take this boy on, good for you. :)

As he's an older cat who has lived so closy by, I would keep him in for about 5 weeks minimum, as you really need him to settle in and feel your place is home and safe before he goes out and has access to his old territory. With the added complication of the work going on, I must admit that I'd be tempted to try to keep him in until his old building has been demolished - do you have any idea how long before that will happen?

Hopefully he will settle into his new routine and stop calling to go out when he realises that it doesn't get him anywhere.

Blue264
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Blue264 » Mon Apr 11, 2016 2:27 pm

Thank you for taking the time to reply Crewella.

Latest I've heard is that the demolition begins later this week. In the meantime, the building is being stripped down of anything that can be recycled, so the doors are open all day long.

I bought a harness and tried him out with that on Friday night whilst it was quiet, but he was startled by a much larger cat and struggled free of the harness. I left it a few hours, then went back to the old building and he came straight to me. Just had him in the garden for about 30mins on his harness. He was happy to explore, but happy to come inside again and went straight to his kibble dish. It's the wailing at night that's driving us to distraction. I know he just misses his buddies as he's one of 5 cats in the area that seem to spend time together.

Thanks again for your advice.

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Crewella
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Crewella » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:09 pm

I completely understand why you got one, but I must admit that I'm not keen on using a harness on cats. So many cats do struggle and panic when on one, and the thought of what could go wrong if he did get loose and ran off trailing a lead (especially on a building site) makes me very nervous. Please be very cautious.

I decided to start locking all my gang in at night a few years ago, and I can well remember the yelling in the first few weeks! We stuck, rigidly, to a routine of calling them in, feeding them, then answering the first yell with "no ...... it's bedtime" and ignoring all calls after that. It did take a couple of sleepless and painful weeks, but they honestly did get the message and stop wailing when they realised it got them nowhere. It doesn't matter what routine you set up (obviously you won't be calling him in!), what matters is that you follow it, to the letter, and don't ever give in - one day of gratification will undo about a week's worth of good work!

I really wish I could come up with something more useful - it's so good of you take take this boy on and have sympathy for him.

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Kay
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Kay » Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:36 pm

I would in your place pop along to the demolition site when work begins and see if you can find a sympathetic builder who would give you a call if your adopted boy turns up there

But I would think the noise during the day would frighten him off, and that he would only visit, if at all, at night, so getting him into the routine of a nightime curfew is very important

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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Blue264 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:18 pm

Thanks again for the advice.

Our boy used to live in my neighbours 2nd floor apartment and used a cat ladder to come and go as he pleased. We lived across the main road from Lake Zurich, so he used to go there at night when there was no traffic. As we still live on the same road, I know he'll want to be off there again at night.

Luckily, he builders here are good at securing a site once the work begins, only problem now is the neighbours... It appears we've walked straight into a legal wrangle between the building owner and both sets of neighbours over the new balconies he's got planning permission for. We're on the ground floor, so ours would be steps from the kitchen down to the garden, but everything's on hold. So I put the cat ladder up to the kitchen window, just to see if it would reach, and both sets of neighbours called the owner to object. Gees! This led to the landlord asking if I could rehome the cat again to prevent further issues, but my partner got really angry and said we'd move house again before he'd allow that to happen.

Honestly, it's so so much easier to have a pet of any kind in the U.K. Luckily, out little man is settling in nicely and we really don't want to undo that work. He hasn't cried for more than a few minutes the last 2 nights, and sleeps at the side of our bed at night. In the daytime, he sleeps on top of, or inside a cupboard in the bathroom. That was his quiet room when he moved in, so I'm seeing it as progress that he will also sleep in another room. Still won't touch the bed I bought for him though :)

Thanks again.

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Crewella
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Crewella » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:22 pm

Cripes, it does sound as though you've stumbled into a bit of a political minefield there!

I'm glad that he seems to be settling down, though - that is progress indeed! I hope it continues that way. :)

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Kay
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Kay » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:19 pm

have you not heard of the unwritten law which states a cat must ignore any new bed bought especially for him, until owner decides to get rid of it, when the cat must immediately take up residency 8-)

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Crewella
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Re: Rehoming Advice Please

Post by Crewella » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:36 pm

.... so true!! :lol:

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