Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

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morrwilcox
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Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:25 pm

To cut a long story short:

There’s two tomcats in our street who are being neglected by their owner. They have been outside all day and all night since the 24th May at least, possibly longer we think - sleeping under cars and only being fed by us (usually twice a day) and occasionally by the house opposite.

They are both very scrawny, one slightly bigger than the other. One has a limp which has progressively gotten worse and we suspect the other has possible dental problems.

The owner also has two ginger kittens but in the last week or so, the male kitten has got scruffier and scruffier and spends a lot of time outside with the two tomcats. He’s come over to us to be fed with them in the morning for several days running and seems far too hungry. The other female kitten is rarely seen outside and seems very well looked after unlike her brother and the tomcats.

The owner has pulled up in her car multiple times in clear view of them and never acknowledges the tomcats, simply acting as if they are not there. She will occasionally pick up the male kitten. She never seems to call any of them in at night or call them in for food. Her house does have a cat flap which the kittens use, but neither of the tomcats ever use it. The owner also has a dog who has been left in the house alone on several occasions, and once got his head stuck in said cat flap while the owner was out. We did run into the owner back when we didn’t really know what was going on or who they belonged to, and she was very defensive and aggressive, immediately telling us that “they have food, they’re just old” when all we’d asked was who they belonged to.

We called Cats Protection on the 4th who recommended that we called the RSPCA, which we did. We’ve kept the RSPCA updated with a lot of detailed information for the last ten days and nothing is happening. No response in person, via phone call or via email.

We’re at a complete loss as we’ve really come to care for the two tomcats in particular. They are so so friendly and, to be honest, we’d love to adopt them ourselves.

Does anyone have any ideas about what we could do? We’re really quite worried now - not only for the tomcats but also for the two kittens and the dog, as who knows what goes on behind closed doors?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Lilith » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:41 pm

Hi and welcome and good on you for your concern :)

A very common story, alas. Why do these vile people get animals and then neglect them? Sounds to me like one of these people who lose interest once the cat's past the 'cute kitten' stage.

Two of my present cats joined me because of a similar story - in fact by the time they met me they were living wild.

Personally, if you can give these cats a home, I'd just encourage the cats and avoid the owner. The cats will soon move in. Is the owner likely to come knocking on your door, do you think? Would she even notice if they didn't go home again? I know every case is different of course; you don't want to land yourself with a feud or brawl.

I did once ring up the RSPCA about another cat who was rumoured to have a home (though you'd never have thought it.) He moved in with me and I asked the RSPCA about my legal position, and as far as I can remember, they told me that if a cat had lived with me for a fortnight I could count it as mine. This is a good while back, so it might be a good idea if you rang them again and ascertained the legal position.

Yes, they don't come out to cases like this, or very rarely.

Hopefully other people more experienced in rescue will be along soon but hope this helps for now. All the very very best with these guys, they're lucky to have found you, and please keep us posted :)

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:00 pm

Hi Lilith - thank you so much for replying so quickly.

That’s exactly what we thought - that she’d lost interest as soon as the ‘cute kitten’ stage was over. Horrible really, as they are all lovely, lovely cats.

The two tomcats seem very keen to move in with us already! They’ve actually got into our house twice before and into our courtyard several times, but they’re so good and always go out with no trouble at all. We don’t think the owner would notice at all to be honest if they did disappear from the street into our house. Only problem is that we have a female cat of our own and we’re not sure if they could all live together comfortably? We’re also not in a position to take the male kitten in (three cats is our max at the moment!) and I reckon the owner would notice if he disappeared.

Good idea about the legal positioning. We’ve been advised by Cats Protection that despite the fact that the owner is breaking the law by not providing food, water, shelter etc, we can’t take them in as it would be stealing in the eyes of the law. Interesting about the fortnight rule also. It’s worth ringing up to check anyhow!

I’ll keep you updated, thank you so much! :)

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Kay » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:14 pm

fingers crossed you will find a way to take on these two

I wonder if the female kitten has been spayed? if she is too young she should not be outside at all - my suspicious mind is thinking maybe the two older males are superfluous because she is wanting to breed from the two younger ones

the trouble with CP is that they have a lot of rules which must be adhered to - I'd be tempted to take on the two boys and put a note through her door to say they were with you, if she was looking for them - I don't see how you could then be accused of stealing them, as of course you would give them back if she came for them - if you do go down this route I would tell the other people who have been feeding them about it, as they may know more about what is going on than you

I did this once with a young kitten which was being left outside for days at a time without shelter and with food in a bowl full of rain - she followed my cat to my door, which I opened and in she came - the owner never knocked on my door, and in fact disappeared a fortnight later

as for introducing them to your cat, if she isn't too happy at first - and she is likely to be hostile to two interlopers - you could set up an outside kennel for them during the warmer months so they can come indoors gradually - the kennel could be a home for the ginger lad later on if needs must
Last edited by Kay on Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by booktigger » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:17 pm

The two week rule only applies if they aren't chipped. These could well be, depending where she got them from.
It's not so much that CP have a lot of rules Kay, more that the only charity with legal powers are the RSPCA, so CP could be sued for taking peoples cats - even something minor such as flea treating an owned cat!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by bobbys girl » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:05 pm

I think most folks on here know my feelings about the RSPCA. :x :x Cats chose where they want to be. One turned up at my sister's door. She took 'her' to the vet to get her checked out and found 'he' was an overweight male who had been chipped. On contacting the owner she was told he had been given away to a friend, and kept running away - yes she could keep him.

I hope for a similar outcome for you. If the owner can't be bothered with the cats, she can't surely object if they decide to live elsewhere!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:32 am

Thanks for all the info everyone!
I wonder if the female kitten has been spayed? if she is too young she should not be outside at all - my suspicious mind is thinking maybe the two older males are superfluous because she is wanting to breed from the two younger ones
Interesting idea. The female kitten is very rarely out. She’s been seen three, perhaps four times outside by ourselves. Would not surprise me at all if none of them were neutered, spayed or microchipped - she doesn’t seem a responsible owner! Good idea about popping a note through her door and about the outside kennel also!
It's not so much that CP have a lot of rules Kay, more that the only charity with legal powers are the RSPCA, so CP could be sued for taking peoples cats - even something minor such as flea treating an owned cat!
That’s exactly what CP told us. If they had any legal power, I reckon we would have progressed with them rather than the RSPCA.
The two week rule only applies if they aren't chipped. These could well be, depending where she got them from.
Thanks for clarifying. As I said, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they weren’t chipped, but I suppose the only way to tell is if we take them to the vet? We did call up our local vet to see where we would stand if we did take them to be checked out, and were told that we are within our rights if we’re worried about them, but that we we need to be careful as it could, again, be seen as stealing. It was also recommended that we let the RSPCA know if we did take them to the vet as that way, the vet would send the bill to the RSPCA rather than to us. Would be grateful if anyone could tell us anymore on this!

Thanks again all, I’ll keep you updated.

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by booktigger » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:32 pm

You might be able to find an independent rescue who are willing to come out and scan them just so you know where you stand. Good luck getting the RSPCA to actually agree to paying the bill though.

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Yes, I had a inkling that it would be hard trying to convince the RSPCA to pay any vet bills! I think we might call our local vets to see if it would cost to come in and check if the two tomcats are chipped or not.

Just witnessed a mother and daughter come along with a tupperware tub full of cat biscuits and tip them onto the ground for the three of them, so clearly we're not the only ones who have noticed that something is up!

Forgot to mention this in my last reply - is there anywhere I can find more info on the 'two weeks rule'? Would be very grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction! :)

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Lilith » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:39 pm

I'm pretty sure a microchip check is free at the vet's - but best phone of course.

About more info on your legal position, the RSPCA and also the CAB ought to advise.

It does look as if they're up for grabs though. I can understand how you feel (I was like that myself) but a bold front may help. Tiddles and Cuddles may be sleeping on the bed but, 'Who? Tiddles and Cuddles? Never seen them love.' :)

Recently a local scally 'rehomed' my grocery delivery with the same attitude. (Hope it chokes him.) I got it replaced but the theft won't be followed up; doubt if you could be taken to court over a couple of needy moggies.

All the very very best, all paws and tails crossed and do hope your resident cat accepts them too :)

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Sniper1 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:01 pm

Hi a very experienced rescuer here and my advice is if your willing to take the two tomcats do so but take them to your vet asap for a microchip scan and full health check make sure the vet accurately records the details of the health check and any advice he gives regarding treatment and general condition you will of course have to pay but its an investment should a dispute occur then take the cats home and move them in gradually by the time they're fully living with you and you're ready you can then take care of outstanding health issues and get them chipped you must get them chipped never get into a confrontation with the owner never admit to having anything done to the cats just smile and say oh you know how cats are they do what they like if anything act a bit dim if the owner never brings up the subject be happy with that if a real conflict occurs always claim you thought the cats were unwanted and refer to your original vet check and RSPCA contacts

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Sniper1 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:16 pm

One thing I forgot please please do not put anything in writing like a note saying the cats are with you through the owners door and if you take them to the vet say they are two cats living in your street you think they are strays and would like them checked as you're prepared to adopt them if no owner is found don't admit you know who the owner is and also you cannot steal a cat that is free to return if it wishes only if in some way you prevent it from ever doing so

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:01 pm

Hi all, thank you so much for the advice. We did try and encourage them to come in as it was chucking it down with rain and they were soaked, but they were a bit unsure so we didn’t pressure them. I don’t think adopting the two toms will be possible after all because of something that happened this evening.

We practically fell over them leaving the house earlier and the owner just so happened to be getting out of her car across the road. We didn’t acknowledge her but she had a friend with her who (presumably jokingly) asked if her cats had found a new home. If looks could kill, we’d be dead within a second because she looked fuming. Not sure if it was the owner or her friend who said this next bit but something along the lines of “do they keep feeding them?” or “yeah they keep feeding them” was said by one of the two. We were left feeling very uncomfortable. She may know that we’re feeding them and at least knows that someone has realised that they’re being mistreated.

We’ve updated the RSPCA and will phone them tomorrow. The two tomcats are nowhere to be seen right now - we reckon she may have brought them in for food because she’s with company. For the sake of the other animals, we want to continue with the report to RSPCA so hopefully something can be done, but it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to give the two tomcats a new home as otherwise it’ll pretty much confirm that it was us who reported her.

Rather upset as I’ve come to really, really care for them, but at the end of the day, I just want them to be somewhere safe where they won’t have to beg for food and water. Will update if anything else happens.

Thanks all.

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by booktigger » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:37 pm

Sorry to hear that

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Lilith » Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:41 pm

:x :x :x

Some people!

I'm fuming! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by morrwilcox » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:49 am

Hi all - final update from me I think.

We’ve fed them maybe 3 times since my last post.

I think it was Tuesday that an RSPCA officer came out and managed to look at the smaller of the two tomcats - the others were hidden from view but if he’d shaken some biscuits I’m sure they’d have appeared. The owner wasn’t in so he dropped a card through her door.

Yesterday we scattered some biscuits as we left the house and the two toms looked suspiciously less unkempt - like they’d been brushed a little. Of course, another officer turned up and we saw him go in with the owner. He called ourselves once he left and said that he’d “given her some advice”.

He rang again this morning to give us a final outcome. His manner was terrible and has made us feel like we’d made a mountain out of a molehill, so to speak. He couldn’t tell us much because of privacy laws but he said that he saw all the cats and that all their needs are being met.

Clearly she’s pulled the wool over his eyes because she knew he was coming out and could put up a convincing facade. The condition of the two toms has improved (only because we have been feeding and looking after them a little) but they are still skinny, you can still feel their spines as you stroke them, one of them is still limping terribly - their needs are not being met.

We’re so angry and upset and as much as we want to look after them still, we have to distance ourselves. The RSPCA have been terrible - no transparency, no forthcoming information, no reassurance - and it doesn’t make us inclined to report anything else to them in the future.

Thank you so much for all the advice you’ve given - it’s all been greatly appreciated!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Lilith » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:07 am

My god.

Please please don't think yourself alone in this. It must be thirty and even forty years ago that I remember ringing the Reluctant Society about a) a puppy kept 24/7 in an unlit garage and b) a local businessman who talked about bringing his shotgun into work and having a 'cull' of the local ferals. I was sneered at and shouted at and it was implied that it was me who was trying to find out if it was ok to shoot cats. A cat rescue worker I knew was brought a cat in a dreadful state (won't go into details) and later found out that a RSPCA officer had warned the culprit to lie low and keep out of the area for a bit.

The last time I had to phone them, 15 years ago, about a rabbit abandoned due to a family tragedy (neighbours all fed and cared for him so he didn't suffer, but he needed a new home) the RSPCA did act fast and sensibly (he was well cared for and in good nick and rehomable.) There ARE decent RSPCA workers out there and I don't mean to slag them off.

But as for some of them ... words fail me and it's not often that happens.

I suppose you don't know of someone (out of the area) who could take these cats in ... and abduct them?

Forget I said that.

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and the cats too. But you're NOT doing any thing wrong; wish there were more people like you about!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by bobbys girl » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:36 pm

I am sorry this has happened to you. You were just trying to help these cats. It makes me angry when people manipulate the system and wrap police, social workers etc around their little finger. We had it happen with a neighbour once. Her kids were totally out of control, but it was the rest of the neighbourhood that was made to feel ashamed for 'picking' on this poor single mother (she had shown her perfectly reasonable, nice husband the door years before). Then it was just our gardens getting wrecked, not the lives of their poor cats.

TBH I'm with Lilith, perhaps a nice stranger will spirit them away - oooh, did I say that?! :lol:

Don't you change the kind, caring person you are because of them!

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Sniper1 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:39 pm

The RSPCA inspector who visited is giving you their verdict on the situation judged within the legal guidelines and I am afraid they can do no more a bit skinny and unkemp is not cause for RSPCA action they would need to be very thin and begining to loose muscle for energy and have no access to shelter (they have a cat flap whether they use it or not is their choice) and their maybe a reason for the limp a vet may have established the cats care may be poor but in welfare standards is nowhere near neglect I am afraid and their will be sick,injured and pregnant cats with absolutely no helo or care at all on that inspectors list to deal with , its frustrating I know but that's the way it is am afraid

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Re: Abandoned tomcats - RSPCA not doing anything!

Post by Monii » Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:43 pm

Read through this thread expecting the positive result and now I am furious!!

What is going to happen to the kittens now??

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