Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

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Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by CrowdPublish_TV » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:40 pm

There's a house near my mom in Phoenix, AZ, where people seem to dump their cats when they no longer want them. The homeowner makes sure they're all neutered & fed. Several of them are extremely friendly and will sit on my lap when I visit.

One of the cats has very thick beautiful white fur. I don't know how the summers go for him, but I assume OK since he has been in this yard for 4 years. He runs to greet me whenever I walk by and when I get up to leave, he sits on my feet then follows me and watches me until I'm out of view. He seems to be happy living there, but he also seems like he'd like to come home with me. I had considered taking him & one of his friends home when I first met them 4 years ago but didn't because I already had 2 cats. Unfortunately, when I was visiting in December, I found out that his friend had been missing for several weeks.

My older cat died recently and I am considering bringing home the white cat in March as a companion for my 9 year old indoor declawed cat. This would require putting the white cat in a bag for a 5 hour flight, plus the trip to & from the airports. Then it would require keeping the white cat in the basement for 2 weeks while he & my 9 year old get used to each others' smell, etc.

Does anyone know if it would be a good idea to have him become an indoor cat? Would it be worse to leave him half-cared for in a yard full of other cats even if he seems to be happy there? There are lots of feral cats in that neighborhood with sketchy health conditions. But then, there are lots of cats in Northern Virginia who also need homes.

If I take him, should I also take his friend Calico whom he has been hanging out with for the past 3 years so he has someone else familiar to live with, or would this likely upset my 9 year old too much? My 9 year old used to pee on the carpet when his older sister used it or when people stayed in the guest room overnight, but after he had been living here for 2 years and we got him his own box for the upstairs, he spends every night wrapped around my arm and hasn't peed outside the box since.

I plan to take my 9 year old to the vet for shots beforehand. I'd also make an appointment to take the white cat to the vet in Phoenix to make sure I don't bring a cat with health issues onto the plane, but then there's the logistics of what to do after the vet. I'd probably have to put him back in his yard until I'm on the way to the airport so that there wouldn't be any problems between him & my mom's cat. I don't think my mom would allow the cat in her house.

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Lilith
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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by Lilith » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:03 pm

Hi and welcome :)

While you've obviously given this a lot of thought, the situation could be difficult. My first impression is that both these cats, your resident, and white cat, may be very set in their ways. Your cat clearly resents any disruption and seems to be stressed by it; white cat, while not having the most luxurious of lives, is clearly settled where he is, and has a caring person watching over him - even though he clearly turns the charm on when you visit, as many cats do lol. To transport him to a totally strange environment and a different way of living, would be a massive upheaval, as would his presence in the house where resident cat is now ruling the roost.

Another thing is, your resident is declawed, and even if they became friends, white cat would be used to the rough and tumble of his semi feral life - and could well play rough. A cat with claws would defend itself and teach him to inhibit his roughness; a declawed cat couldn't do this.

Sorry to sound so negative; plenty of adult cats settle down happily together and even if there are difficulties, they seem to reach an agreement. It could go either way, but I feel it would be as well to be aware of possible pitfalls.

This is just my personal point of view and other people on here may have different views; whatever you decide, hope these two cats, and the whole semi-feral community, go on thriving :)

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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by OHWS » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:46 am

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Last edited by OHWS on Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Mrs Kane
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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by Mrs Kane » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:39 am

I'm sorry to say that even though you and the white cat seem to share a bond I don't believe it would be fair to uproot him from his surroundings of the outdoor warm Arizona weather and place him in the cold weather of England and also place him under house arrest for the rest of his life.

If he seems happy I'd let him be. There are many cats out there that have been abandoned that need a good life right here in the UK that I'm sure would be quite happy on your lap and to follow you around.

Plus, the expense of transporting the little thing is ridiculous. I had to research this for my cat when I couldn't find her a cat sitter when I needed to travel back to the UK for personal reasons and you need to pay upwards of a grand for a medical inspection, passport (yes, they do a need a passport for some reason!) total vaccination because when you issue a passport to an animal they need to be able to travel anywhere for the next 2-3 years, and also a complete medical history, (AKA, from when they were a kitten). They also need to be re-chipped by a vet with US or EU approved credentials.
I found a cat sitter btw. Paying that 200€ was the easiest money I've ever parted with after all that form filling and rejections from airlines.

I would say your 9 year old is probably quite settled in his "only cat" regime. He sounds just like my Sofi. She hates other pets which is why I can't adopt or foster. :(

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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by MarySkater » Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:57 am

Mrs Kane, the original poster mentions Virginia, in a way which suggests that that is where she lives, so international travel doesn't come into it. But apart from that, I agree with you that such a long-distance move would be unfair on both the cat being moved, and the resident cat.

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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by CrowdPublish_TV » Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:08 pm

Yeah, this was a US question. It's only $125 USD to take a cat on the airline I have tickets for.

What I found interesting was that everyone in the US I asked said Take Both Cats. So I looked up the difference between cat ownership in the UK & the US to find out some reasons why the response was so different. The main reason seems to be that - according to the sites I browsed - 90% of the cats in the UK are outdoor cats while 90% of cats in the US are indoor-only (such as my Phineas). I think in the US there's more of a problem with disease spread by feral cats, and possibly more problems with cars speeding through neighborhoods too quickly to see the occasional cat in the street.

Phineas lost his beloved older sis only two weeks ago, so he's not quite used to being an only cat yet. Hopefully he will love his next sibling just as much, no matter which cat that ends up being.

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Re: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & turn him into an indoor cat?

Post by Mrs Kane » Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:00 am

My apologies, I didn't read properly it seems. I presumed they meant Virginia, Surrey. I have family there.

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