Animal Umbrella Messenger Spring 1999



Dedicated to the Rescue, Welfare and Adoption of Homeless Cats Number 18

Published Quarterly by Animal Umbrella, P.O. Box 2675, Acton MA 01720-6675

Druing the last three years we have noticed an alarming increase of abandoned cats. Cats are being left behind by people who lived in apartments or houses and decided they did not want them any longer. A typical form of abandonment is to move out of a location and leave them trapped inside without food or water and let the real estate agents or landlords deal with the problem. Most cats are immediately surrendered to kill shelters where most of the time they get destroyed. Some abandoned cats are left outside a building and stay there for a long time hoping their owners will return. Usually, a compassionate neighbor feeds them and helps them survive for a while.

Other more cruel forms of abandonment are leaving a cat on a highway, parking lot, or near restaurants and fast food places. Most cats do not survive the ordeal because of cars, hostile people or dogs, weather, illness, lack of food and water and simple sheer fright.

As animals are becoming more a disposable commodity for many people, abandonment has become more common and more cruel.

Why are people abandoning cats today? There are many reasons and they are often complex. Below are some of the major reasons:

If you no longer can keep your pet, start searching for a new home months in advance as most as most places are full and you will need to search for quite a while. First, try to place the cat with relatives or friends, people basically  that you know and trust. If this fails, search for a reputable vet or shelter with a no kill policy. Understand clearly how long they will keep the cat if it does not get adopted quickly. Make sure you understand how closely they screen potential new owners. Ask to get in touch with them after adoption. Never adopt your cat to strangers through a newspaper ad!

Finally, if all fails and especially if your cat is old, you may have to consider putting the cat to sleep as a far more humane alternative to the suffering the cat will have to edure because of abandonment. Remember to place the cat's interests first when finally making your decision.

By Annamarie Taylor