Avoiding Surrendering Your Cat

Adopting a pet is a life-long commitment, and cannot be rushed into or taken lightly. Many owners surrender pets for issues that can be solved with a little bit of time, patience, and love. Local Animal Control centers and rescues are full of cats and kittens that have been surrendered, and many times these are among the first to be euthanized. Since many centers are required by law to accept any animal brought to them, most are consistently unable to keep up with demand and euthanize dozens of animals each day that are deserving of a forever home. Nashville Cat Rescue does not accept owner surrenders, but we can give you tips on dealing with behavioral issues and avoiding surrender.

If you adopted your cat from a shelter or rescue, contact them first about possible avenues to return your cat to their program. Friends and family may also be able to adopt the cat from you, and they are a great tool for spreading the word to others who may be interested. Remember, adopting a cat means taking responsibility for their health and life from adoption forward. Below are some common issues cat owners experience, as well as more information on what to do.

Pet Allergies: Just like with flowers and bushes, some cat owners experience allergies that may vary in intensity throughout the year. For many owners, these are manageable with guidance from your doctor. If you think your allergies might be cat-related, make an appointment as soon as possible to speak with your primary care physician about how to keep your allergies under control.

Pregnant or New Mothers: Many women are counseled about Toxoplasmosis, a zoonotic disease that is passed by fecal-oral transmission--which means you must ingest cat feces to be at risk. This disease leads to concerns over the safety of pregnant women or new mothers owning cats. However, studies have shown that the risk of getting Toxoplasmosis from gardening is higher than the risk of getting it from your cat. Simple solutions are to wear gloves while cleaning the litterbox or enlist the help of your family.

Litterbox Related Issues: If your cat is demonstrating unusual litterbox behavior, you need to first rule out a medical condition. Cats frequently express physical discomfort or illness through a change in habits or behavior, and what might be an annoyance to you could actually be a sign that there is something medically wrong.

Behavioral Issues: Of course, not all behavioral issues are related to medically-induced. Cats act out for a variety of reason, but cat behavioralists can help you determine stressors or address bad behaviors. World-renowned cat behavioralist Pam Johnson-Bennett lives right here in Nashville. Johnson-Bennett has written several books and has her own television show dedicated to helping owners understand their cats behavior, and she does both phone and in-home consultations. http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

If you are experiencing other types of issues with your cat or kitten, please contact your vet or local rescue before considering surrendering your pet.