Rehoming Your Cat. A Difficult Decision

Black and white cat sitting on a shelf next to two small blue balls

Sophie’s Story

Sometimes circumstances dictate that a cat behaviour problem can only be resolved by rehoming. This is an incredibly hard thing to do and a situation that was faced by Ann Wyatt who has kindly given me permission to share her experience of this with you.

​“Sometimes we have to say goodbye to our precious feline friend in a way we never expected. Not the final goodbye, although this would perhaps, in some ways, be easier in that at least you would know that your dear little furry one was at rest and not suffering. Not knowing where they are going, or who they will end up with makes this, in my opinion, a very painful goodbye.

Rehoming a much loved family member is a decision made after a long time of deliberation and soul searching, and coming to the realisation that you have done everything possible to avoid this heart wrenching event, but without success, is almost unbearable.

Having been in this situation with our much loved ten year old Sophie, I can only implore anyone who is torn between keeping an unhappy cat or re-homing them with a chance of a better life, to please try to see things from your cat’s point of view, and do what’s right by them.

Sophie developed painful stress related cystitis as a victim of merciless bullying in a multi-cat household and in the end, we had no choice. I just wish now we’d been more aware of her distress and made that decision earlier and given her more years of happiness as a much loved ‘only cat’ with someone else.

And YES – there are people out there who will love your little furry bundle as much as you do! Maybe they will even keep in touch so you can follow their new lives from afar. We occasionally receive photos of Sophie in her new home – I never realised that cat could actually smile!

A good animal shelter, realising their new resident has already had one change in their lives, will go out of their way to make sure they are matched with only the very best humans!

Of course, we still miss her. We will never forget her, but our hardest ‘goodbye’ turned out to be her easiest ‘hello’ and, after all, it is all about them in the end, isn’t it? “  Ann

​If you find yourself facing this painful decision, I hope this helps.

Clare Hemington

Clare has worked in the field of cat behaviour for sixteen years. She is an accredited Cat Behaviourist and respected member of the COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers. Clare believes that understanding cat behaviour is key to their overall welfare. Through consultation and education her aim is to share information with owners that enables them to give their cat a life that is as happy as it possibly can be. Clare is also founder and owner of Honeysuckle cat toys. Toys made from Tatarian honeysuckle wood which provide wonderful natural enrichment for cats.

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