Abandonment of cats: what are the reasons?

Abandonment Of Cats: What Are The Reasons?

Each year, 100,000 animals are abandoned in France, of which 40,000 are collected in the SPA shelters. Cats pay the heaviest price; felines alone account for two-thirds of abandoned pets. Why do cat owners decide to part with them? Difficult to know for the thousands of cats abandoned in the wild… But for those entrusted to shelters, we know a little more. Animal behavior problems, life changes, economic or health reasons, etc; the causes of abandonment are multiple… and sometimes irrational.

Leave Your Cat Behind To Go On Vacation

In July and August, the SPA sees many more abandoned cats flocking to its shelters. Every summer, it welcomes around 10,000 cats and kittens, often due to going on vacation. When we question Internet users, holidays represent only 2.6% of the reasons given to justify abandoning a cat. Reality shows that it is nevertheless a major cause of abandonment. The difficulty in finding a mode of care for the cat seems to explain that many owners come to abandon it pure and simple. However, there are solutions, of which they are not always informed: pensions, home care, neighbours, family, friends, pet-sitting… Another difficulty is being able to take their cat to their vacation spot. This often turns out to be impossible, when it comes to rentals or hotels where animals are prohibited or when holidays are planned abroad… Ironically, it regularly happens that a family adopts a new cat on their return from vacation.

Animal Behavior Problems

36% of respondents mention a change in behavior that is a problem for them. The cat is accused of aggressiveness, dirtiness, noise pollution, destruction of objects… He scratches the sofa, meows all day when he is alone, relieves himself next to the litter box…! Most of these behaviors actually reveal an unmet need, a stressful situation or a health problem. Some cats don’t tolerate apartment life well, others suffer from loneliness, still others refuse litter that is not fresh enough… Not to mention diseases or parasites that can make a cat suffer or change its mood. Stress can generate aggressive attitudes, sometimes explosive, incomprehensible at first sight. For some exasperated owners, abandonment appears to be the only solution. To avoid reaching this point, an examination of the causes would suffice to find solutions adapted to the needs of the cat and its owner. Before making a final decision, it can sometimes be useful to seek the help of a feline behaviorist who will help the person better understand their cat.

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A Change Of Life And It’S All Over… For The Cat.

15% of dropouts are due to a major life change. 13.2% just for changes of domicile. It happens in fact that a moving house makes it impossible to keep your cat, for example if you have to move from a house with a garden to a small apartment. This is also the first cause of cat abandonment. In the event of a move to equivalent accommodation, however, we forget that the law prohibits the landlord from refusing pets. It is always possible to move in with your little feline, wherever you go.

A divorce or separation can terribly complicate life with a cat. This stressful situation often goes hand in hand with the obligation to change residence, to reorganize family life… and this leaves hardly any room for the cat.

Likewise, the birth of a child is sometimes cited as a cause of abandonment (about 6% of cases). Yet it is rare that the presence of a cat poses a problem, quite the contrary. Concerns on this subject are more often imaginary, so much a cat can be beneficial to the development of a child.

This becomes a difficulty all the more insoluble as the change is unexpected. This is the case of a chronic illness, loss of work, sudden separation, any major change in lifestyle… So many situations that sometimes put the owner of a cat before the need to s separate from it.

Economic Reasons

When you fall for a charming ball of fur or give your children a kitten as a Christmas present, emotion speaks louder than reason. But in the long run, some owners discover that the care of a cat represents a budget that they had not anticipated. Once the kitten has been purchased or adopted, you must plan for veterinary costs: vaccinations, sterilization, health and identification record, treatments against parasites… You will have to buy your cat food and litter, but also equip it with equipment if necessary. adapted (scratching post, toys, cat tree, etc.), take care of it, groom it and have it kept. All this represents a budget that can go up to 1000 euros the first year, then 300 to 700 euros per year depending on the cat’s age and lifestyle. A loss of work, a change in household income, and the cat budget can become too much of a burden on family finances. This represents 13.2% of dropouts. But before abandoning your cat, certain solutions exist to help the poorest households take care of their cat. For example, the SPA and certain associations (Veterinarian for all or Assistance to animals) offer dispensaries with low-cost care or financial aid for urgent care.

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Abandonment Due To Health Related To The Cat

Leading health issues: allergy ! Most cats have allergenic fur. In question, a certain protein contained in their saliva and deposited on the hair by long daily toilets. However, approximately one in four French people is allergic to cats. This sometimes becomes a health problem such that cohabitation with a cat is a real ordeal. Especially since, like all allergies, this one can start after several years of living together. To avoid having to abandon your cat if you have an allergic background, it is advisable to turn to certain breeds known to be hypoallergenic. Prevention is better than cure, knowing that cat hair allergy represents 7.7% of abandonments.

Another health concern is that of pregnant women, who renounce the presence of the cat for fear of contracting the virus. toxoplasmosis. The risk is however limited if they take certain precautions (like letting the future dad take care of the litter). And why not entrust the cat to friends during the pregnancy…?

My Cat ? Well, He Doesn’T Interest Me Anymore…

Loss of interest in one’s cat is mentioned in 11.2% of abandonments. A cat is sometimes considered as an object of consumption like any other. And as such, he must always be pleasant and friendly, cuddly but not sticky, independent but not too much, clean and never sick… In short, a perfect living plush that only gives pleasure to its owner! The reality is very different, the cat being a living and sensitive being, with whom we can create a beautiful relationship of friendship. But if we see it as an object, we expose ourselves to disappointment. At the first sign of stress, illness or aging, the cat is rejected like a common Kleenex.

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The Drama Of A Definitive Departure

Certain life circumstances put an end to a long friendship with a cat. A long hospitalization of a single person, a departure from an EHPAD, a death… are painful causes of abandonment. No one is there for the cat, who then finds himself in a shelter. We would really like an elderly person to be able to keep their cat with them in all circumstances, such an affectionate relationship is so beneficial to them on a daily basis… But while waiting for cats to be admitted to retirement homes, they are often condemned to abandonment when their master leaves them for good.

Abandonment Due To Intensive Reproduction

The arrival of an unexpected (but not unpredictable) litter accounts for 14% of kitten abandonments. Too often, new cat owners neglect to have them sterilized, which is nevertheless an obligation. The nice kitten is getting big; if it is a cat, she will have a first litter at the age of six months, then one or two litters each year. At the rate of four or five kittens per litter, whose females will become mothers six months later, the owner risks being overwhelmed by the reproduction rate of his cat family! No longer knowing how to manage kittens, after giving away one or two, he turns to abandonment. The simplest solution to avoid this is to have your cat, even or female, sterilized from its first year.

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