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I Don’t Want My Cat Anymore – What Can I Do?

There are many reasons for wanting to rehome your cat. No matter the situation, you may be wondering what options you have.

Before rehoming your cat, be sure of your decision. There are options for many of the most common issues with owning a cat. 

If you decide giving up your cat is the best decision for you, you can give your cat to someone you know, surrender him to a shelter, advertise him on social media, or let him loose outside.

Rehoming a cat is a stressful situation, so read on to inform yourself about each option before making a permanent decision.


Common reasons for rehoming a cat

What are some reasons for rehoming a cat

Rehoming your cat can be a difficult decision. There are many reasons people decide to give up their cat. Some are unavoidable parts of life; other problems take some extra care.

Allergies

Sometimes you develop allergies to cats even if you’ve had them your whole life. Cat allergies are uncomfortable for the owner. Usually, the allergy is to cat dander, fur, saliva, or urine. Your immune system attacks the allergen, causing you to exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Skin rashes
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • runny nose

Some reactions are more severe than others, especially in asthma sufferers. These reactions can make living with your cat miserable. You love him, but you are sick whenever you are around him.

Aggression

Another reason you may want to rehome your cat is that he is aggressive. This can be very stressful for the entire household.

Often aggression in cats has an underlying cause. Cats show aggression when they are in pain, afraid, or mistreated. They can also get too aggressive with play. They may even redirect their aggression from another animal to a family member.

Aggression can be scary. You don’t want to walk on eggshells in your own home, even if you care for your cat.

Urinating Everywhere

Urinating everywhere is another bad behavior that can get out of control. Cats can destroy a lot of items in a home with their urine.

Cats urinate outside of the litter due to the following:

  • stress
  • illness
  • dirty litter boxes
  • uncomfortable litter sand
  • marking territory

It can be frustrating dealing with constant urine in the home. You may think giving up your cat is the only option.

The recent death of an owner

If you have a cat who belongs to a loved one, it can be very hard. The cat is mourning. You are mourning, and you don’t know what to do. You weren’t prepared to have this cat.

It’s a sad situation. It can take time to navigate through those feelings and decide what to do with your loved one’s cat.

The cat may not act its best during this time. It may act out because of fear, stress, and mourning its owner. This can add to the difficulty of keeping the cat.

Pregnancy

Some people believe cats are dangerous to pregnant women because of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal brain damage. It can be transmitted through a cat’s feces.

Most indoor cats will never contract the disease. They have to eat an infected mouse or other small creature to contract the disease.

Also, cats usually get the disease and then shed the illness in their feces. This only lasts about three weeks. Then, their immune systems are much stronger against toxoplasmosis after that.

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Adult cats with the disease are far less likely to shed it in their feces.

Yet, if you have an outdoor cat, you may worry about keeping him if you are pregnant.

Moving to a place with a pet-free policy

Some apartments or rentals won’t allow pets. You may have to move, and your pet is not allowed to come with you whether you like it or not.

In today’s housing market, sometimes you can’t be picky about getting a pet-friendly home. The home may be in an ideal location or have the right amenities. It may be the only thing you can afford.

This can be a stressful situation for you and your cat. No one wants to make this change, but you don’t know what else to do.


Other options besides rehoming

Other options besides rehoming

Although rehoming is essential in some cases, most of the time, there are other options to consider before getting rid of your cat.

Talk to an allergist.

You can control cat allergies by talking to an allergist and getting tested. You can also take over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays.

Some allergists may even recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots desensitize you to the allergens, so it’s easier for you to live with your cat.

Also, HEPA air purifiers can help reduce the number of allergens in your home. High-quality filters will capture pet dander.

You can also do basic home maintenance to reduce your allergy symptoms. You can do the following maintenance more often:

  • vacuum
  • washing rugs and furniture coverings
  • keep the cat out of your bedroom
  • wash your hands after handling the cat

Find the source of your cat’s aggression, and work to prevent it.

If your cat is exhibiting aggression, determine the cause. A family member or pet may be irritating the cat. Kids are sometimes a little rough with cats. They can pull their tails or corner them. Teach the kids the best way to interact with the pet.

If another pet is bullying your cat, you may consider having them in different parts of the house. You can also train them to tolerate each other by placing them in a room together. Then, use treats to build positive associations.

Your cat may be afraid or stressed, which can also cause it to lash out. To reduce the stress in the home, give your cat his own space.

You can also try positive reinforcement for calm behaviors. Try slowly interacting with the pet. When he acts gently, give him a treat.

If all this fails, try taking your cat to the vet to see if the aggression is due to an underlying illness.

Determine why your cat is urinating everywhere.

If your cat is intact, he will be more likely to mark territory. Marking territory is an instinct of male cats. Neutering the male usually takes care of this behavior.

Even after neutering, some male cats will still mark territory. This usually happens if he gets into the habit of spraying before neutering. To discourage this behavior, you can clean up his urine with a cleaner designed to remove the pheromones.

You can also place treats where he has urinated. Cats don’t like to pee where they eat.

Another reason your cat may urinate is due to a urinary tract infection, so you can have him checked by a vet.

Avoid cat feces when pregnant.

You do not have to give up your cat once you get pregnant. If you worry about toxoplasmosis, avoiding cat feces is the best way to prevent it. So, don’t scoop the litter. If you have to scoop the litter, wear gloves and wash your hands afterward.

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Keep your cat indoors, and don’t interact with strays or outdoor cats while pregnant. If you garden, wear gloves while digging and wash your hands well when you finish. Outdoor cats like to poop in garden soil and sandboxes, so keep children’s sandboxes covered.

Foster the cat for a while to see if things will work out.

If you received the cat because a loved one passed away, try taking care of the cat for a little while. You might end up liking it.

Cats are pretty low maintenance. All they need is quality cat food, water, dishes for their food and water, a litter box, and a place to hide at home. You don’t need to spend much money on toys or cat towers.

Cats can be great companions. Where the cat and you both miss their previous owner, it may be a way both of you can heal and honor the previous owner.


How to rehome your cat?

How to rehome your cat

If you’ve explored all your options and still need to get rid of your cat, here are three options.

Give your cat to a friend or family member.

The best option for rehoming would be to give your cat to someone you know and trust. There are people out there who harm cats.

Before advertising, try to ask around your friends, family, and neighbors. This way, you know he is getting quality care. Plus, if you end up missing your cat, you may be able to see him from time to time.

Surrender your cat to a shelter.

When surrendering your cat to a shelter, double check you pick a shelter with a no-kill policy. Some people give up their cats to a kill shelter.

If your cat is older or has a medical condition, it will be much harder for him to get adopted. He will be at a higher risk of getting euthanized, even if he has many more years left in him.

Also, check to see if your shelter has a vetting process when they let people adopt their pets. Some shelters are so overcrowded they don’t screen their applicants thoroughly. You want to make sure the shelter you surrender your cat to is finding the best forever home for your cat.

You can advertise your cat on several different social media platforms. There are also animal-specific adoption websites. In this case, you can usually vet the applicants yourself.

Don’t advertise your cat as “free to a good home.” Charging a rehoming fee is a way to ensure serious applicants are applying. You need to be careful because some people adopt cats and then mistreat them.

Never dump your cat, even if you can’t find a good home for it. Dumping a cat is when you simply leave it somewhere. This is very dangerous to the cat and illegal in some states.


Final thoughts

Frustrating or heartbreaking situations may make you want to get rid of your cat. Yet, there are usually solutions for these problems. If you have exhausted all possibilities and you still want to get rid of your cat, be sure to get him a good, forever home.