What to do with a homeless cat?

Those who know me well know that I’m not a big fan of cats. I’d much prefer a dog the size of a lab. My wife is extremely allergic so I never had to deal with them nor thought that I would. However, in the last week my boys and some other neighborhood children have discovered what appears to be a homeless cat. They have fed it and now it thinks it lives with us. It sits on our steps, tries to get in the house, and follows us like a dog might.

What to do with this skinny-as-rail cat?

My first thought was take it to the SPCA. I’m told though that euthanization is likely. My second thought is to get some other family to adopt it. I’m still in favor of this but my sons tell me “Adoption is OFF the table.” They wish to get a kitty door to allow it to come into our basement through the hatchway. My wife lobbied to have it live in our garage–where it seems to have slept recently since our forgetful boys left the side door open.

Question: Can you have an outdoor cat? In our Philly climate? Won’t we just be feeding the squirrels if we put out food?

Anybody want a cat that acts more like a dog? 2009 pictures 3302009 pictures 335


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9 responses to “What to do with a homeless cat?

  1. Amy

    Awww…what a sweetie! 🙂 My roomie is allergic or I would take the little cutie.

    Phil, I’m thinking you’re outnumbered on this one by your wife and boys. It sounds like this cat chose you and you could make very comfy quarters for the newest Monroe in your basement/garage.

    Be aware, though, if Kitty Monroe is going to roam the streets during the day, then there’s a chance he/she might not come home. Also DO NOT put a collar on the cat to let everyone because that cat will not be able to escape from danger if left outdoors. You can keep its food indoors–in the basement quarters or in the garage. And don’t forget a litter box! 🙂

    If you decided to keep the cat (which I totally think you should–kids need sturdy pets), then you’re going to want to get it fixed, shots, and yearly check-ups. Now is a GREAT time to take in this cat because it’s going to be VERY COLD soon and it may be running out of housing options.

    Personally, I love the fact your boys (and the other kids) took this scrawy cat into their hearts. It shows character and love for animals–something that calls to mind God’s command to take care of the earth.

    Enjoy, Kitty Monroe!

    (P.S. If you have any specific questions, feel free to send me an e-mail or FB message. I know a lot about animal rescue and may even be able to hook you up with low-cost spay/neuter.)

  2. Amy

    Oh, and another thing…

    The SPCA and other rescue organizations aren’t taking a lot of animals right now due to overcrowding. Due to the poor economy, a lot of people have been giving up pets.

    If you could take care of the cat, that would be great! A lot of communities are spaying/neutering feral cats and leaving them in the wild because it’s just easier.

    This cat, obviously, is quite friendly. I imagine it did have a home since it doesn’t fear humans, but has been abandoned because it’s so thin.

  3. I won’t take the cat but I’ll take either or both of your kids. :o)

  4. Lana Aris

    Advantages to SPCA: the one in your area is considered a grear one. If this cat DOES belong to someone, then that family is missing it and is looking for it at the SPCA. If however, no one claims the cat w/in 2-3 days (and it’s not sick like my Blessing was), you can have first pick at adopting the cat ($80) – which includes spaying, shots, 1st vet visit, carrier, & “How to” video. You will have to say you won’t declaw the cat; and they will prefer the cat is indoor (but it will be indoor/outdoor). Cat litter is yes, but not a huge hassel as this cat is used to going outside. If you’re going to keep him, you will definately want to give him Frontline year round (Warrior had a tick on him last week and gave our other cats fleas! I had to treat them all). If you don’t go the SPCA route (which can be a hassle) – consider the costs involved. Since he’s acting like a dog (like Warrior) – you will find him loyal (especially if the boys feed him meat). He looks like my last cat, Jonah (beautiful). Yes, you will definately want him inside through winter – otherwise his paws, ears and nose will get frostbite. Bottomline: it will cost money & you’re wife may suffer – but having a cat is much easier (and cheaper) than a dog. By the pic – this cat has already bonded with your boys. Get rid of it now, if your going to or it will be harder on all! I’d take him in a heartbeat – but we already have 4. Keep us posted.

  5. Don Wilmoth

    What a blessing to have been honored by being chosen by a cat. You can no more remove this cat from your family than you can any other member. So get used to it. We had a feral cat choose us for about 6 months. We called him Sammy. We only shared cat food and affection with him. He decided since Kat (our female house cat) was not interested in his charms, he would move on. It was good while it lasted, but we didn’t feel the need to replace him when he left. He never bothered the chickens or the dog. He was as good a cat as any cat can be.

    Enjoy yours while you have him.

  6. Alan Taylor

    Hi Phil,

    It is likely that this cat has been abandoned or lost as most “found” cats are not truly feral [domesticated cats that have gone wild], though they might be less “tame”. If you can easily handle (pet, feed) the cat, it is likely to be domestic.

    Stray Cat Blues is another local (215-631-1851) rescue organization that could also help you. They have a website as well: straycatblues.org

    Feral cats can handle living “outdoors” in winter, and abandoned/lost/stray ones probably could as well. The important thing for them is a dry place to sleep. Alley Cat Allies (alleycat.org) has instructions on, among other things, putting together simple, inexpensive, and effective housing. A key to this is the use of straw for bedding; towels and similar items retain water when they become wet.

  7. Amy

    That’s excellent news, Phil! 🙂 I’m glad that cat found a good one AND your boys get to enjoy him, too.

    I still think it’s absolutely wonderful that your boys and the rest of the neighborhood kids took an interest in this cat, instead of duct taping him or tying things to his tail. Well done raising children who care about God’s creatures! 🙂

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