Dealing with cats and kittens that you can't keep

We know it's not easy...

a box of kittens

You've probably had your cat for a while, years perhaps. You've probably shared more secrets with your cat than any human and you've certainly given it more cuddles, but that won't stop life stamping on your fingers once in a while.

It could be a litter of unexpected and unwanted kittens, or a health issue that affects your ability to look after your cat, or any one of a hundred problems. But one day, you realise you can't keep your cat or cats any more. That's life, like it or not. Now it's time to solve the problem. Sometimes the solution lies with a friend, or family member, but not everybody is so lucky. And here is where too many people resort to dumping their cats or kittens on somebody else's doorstep at midnight.

There's no reason to dump a cat

Especially if you've been a cat lover and owner for years, it must be hellishly embarassing to have to take your cat or kittens to a rescue centre and hand them over. I was obliged to do it once with a juvenile English Mastiff when my work obliged me to move away from the UK to a place where keeping a dog was more or less out of the question. I felt like I was handing my dog over to a butcher who was going to turn him into hamburgers. Doing the same with half a dozen big-eyed kittens or an old friend must be almost unbearable. But handing your cats and kittens over to a rescue charity at least means they will enjoy life after you say goodbye. It's the right thing to do.

So why not knock on the door?

I read an article in a paper recently about a rescue organisation that was a little bit exasperated at the number of pets which were being dumped outside their doors at night. You've decided that a cat rescue group is the best solution for your cats and kittens, you've taken the time to bring your cats and kittens to us, so why not just ring the bell and carry them that last two metres, was the question.

The probable answer was embarassment, but you should never be embarassed that when something goes wrong you try to do what's best for your cats and kittens. Life happens to us all. Caring about the consequences is nothing to be embarassed about.

Abandoning pets in the streets or even on a doorstep leaves them at the mercy of the passing world; drunk or drugged idiots, unknowing dustmen making their morning collections and careless parkers. Also, your pets are significantly more likely to continue leading a happy life if you can take the time to pass on their medical histories, likes and dislikes, and so on. It's obvious, if you stop to think about it.

Sorry, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

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