Help me win a debate with myself about a stray

It’s not great, though.

Last night I let a stray cat into my apartment building. it was cold and I felt bad. As I’m putting down my stuff on my kitchen table, I hear a noise and look back to see it curling up on my bed.

Do I keep it? I’m on a narrow budget as is and my landlord WILL charge me to keep it, not counting vet bills and whatnot. It seems very friendly, and so may well be someone’s lost pet from the recent flooding. The softhearted part wants to keep it, but the practical side says NO. I haven’t even named it, just call it “Cat” so as not to get attached. I could in theory just put it back on the street or take it to the Humane Society, though I’m sure they’re bursting with animals. sigh I need an outside perspective.

Are you sure it’s not someone’s cat that got lost? If it’s that friendly, it might have owners. Consider taking it somewhere that can scan for a microchip.

I would not put kitty back out. The poor critter sounds like it was a housepet and won’t know how to survive on the mean streets. If finances won’t allow you to keep it, take it to the Humane Society.

Do call the Humane Society and tell them that you have found a lost cat. I’m sure that they have a list of lost pets and you might be able to reunite kitty and owner.

Inside only cats aren’t really that expensive. Its possible that there are low cost spay/neutor clinics in your area. After that is done, kitty will only need litter and food. Inside only cats don’t need yearly shots. Cats make great companions and are pretty low maintenance despite what us cat slaves say.

Oh, it’s very friendly. Jumps on my lap any chance it gets, and it’s made me mistype serveral times :).

It’s not declawed or litter-trained, though.

You have already been adopted; the fight is lost already!

Just kidding. Definitely call the humane society, as suggested, in case it’s a lost pet. Someone else may well adopt it if not; if not that, THEN you can get a better idea of whether YOU want to adopt it from them; you’ll have the distance and a little less urgency by that time.

Animal rescue geek chiming in:

First, try to locate an owner. Signs in your 'hood, HS or AC, craigslist lost and found, nearby vets. Perhaps this cat became lost or discombobulated during a recent move and has a frantic, loving owner looking for it. I would make this effort first.

Second, tossing it out or giving it to your local shelter is often a death sentence, depending where you live, (This isn’t a guilt-trip, but reality in many parts of the country Too mazny cats, too many kittens, etc.)

Cats aren’t usually that expensive to keep, especially indoor cats. I realise that is relative…I belong to a rescue that allows me to do $10 spay/neuters on non-owned cats, and $15 vaccinations and optional testing. PM me if you want me to look up resources where you live.

That’s odd. Most cats figure out the litter box as soon as they can walk.

One of my overlords helped me post that last and somehow deleted my agreement that kitty might be microchipped.

Male or female? Do you know how to tell? This isn’t a snarky question, I’ve been in rescue for a very long time and I still make mistakes with a casual grope. Males who were fixed as kittens can sometimes be mistaken for females, and once I felt up an in heat female and diagnosed her as a male. :smack: I was soooo embarrassed when the vet told me.

How do you think the cat felt? :smiley:

She didn’t seem to mind me fondling her swollen bits at all. :eek:

While I agree with chiroptera that taking kitty to the HS is probably a death sentence, it would be an easier death than will happen on the streets.

You mentioned flooding. Is there any way you can keep kitty for a couple of weeks while the disaster is being handled?

That’s how we ended up with Flo’Lrr. It was a long adoption process. At first, we thought ‘she’ was in heat, trying to get in to our dude-cats. As summer waned into fall, we realized she was likely homeless and what we were faced with. My mom was the first to name her.
**Fluffy Menopause. **

Great sense of humour, Ma.

That didn’t sit well, so we dubbed her ‘Flo’ for short. Kinda fit.


Eventually, we realized she was determined to get in and get our boys, so we moved on to F’Lola, 'cause whatever F’Lola wants … F’Lola gets…

After taking her in and getting the news from the vet, I really wanted to keep it as is. But Kinks be damned, Mrs. Devil wouldn’t want a boy named Sue either. We eventually figured we’d have to find something with a shred of dignity and machismo, given his past.

Hence, Flo’Lrrr, ruler of the planet OmiCat Persei 8
Also, hanging in many a vets office:

Sounds like the cat has already made the decision. It’ staying, it’s up to you if you want it or not.

Can I afford it would be first question.

Second, is it nuts ?

If it is I don’t want it.

“The cat is nuts” is redundant.

Any Keystone Dopers who are interested, give me a shout!

They do in fact need to be, at the minimum, vaccinated for rabies (every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used and the jurisdiction), and yearly exams can lead to problems being picked up before they become expensive and/or life-threatening (in many areas, this is less than $100, not including treating anything that is found). Also, they can get sick and have dental problems like FORL. IMO, any responsible cat owner does need to allow for some veterinary expenses at some point in the cat’s life. I’m not saying the OP should or shouldn’t keep the cat if the owner is not found, just trying to give full disclosure.

BTW, one way to lessen the impact of unexpected illness is pet insurance. I mention this because some/many pet owners don’t even realize it exists, although I realize Dopers aren’t typical pet owners.

I always name my cats “Cat”[SIZE=“1”](as per board rules photos included)[/SIZE] If I have more than 1 they get a number -Cat 1 or 2 for example, so it seems to me you already named him/her

How much does your landlord charge for pets? I’ve always lived in places where there was just a one time flat fee/pet deposit, but I know some places ask for a monthly fee.
If you’ve been a good tenant, is there any chance you could negotiate with your landlord about the amount you’d pay?

I know this may not be the best way to go, but I’m just saying, cats are quieter and easier to hide than dogs. :slight_smile:


Cats CAN BE expensive - and there is no way to tell upfront if yours will be or not. But a cat who isn’t using the litterbox is very likely to be a very expensive cat (cats self train for a litterbox). Say bye bye to your security deposit if there is any carpet in your apartment or if the cat ruins the wood floors with caustic cat urine.

I adore my cat, but she is NOT cheap. Poor thing had four surgeries before she was a year old.

Will a cat self-litterbox-train if it was a feral cat raised by another feral cat? That doesn’t seem to jive with this one’s lap-seeking tendencies, but I’m just curious.

I urge you to keep it and cut corners elsewhere. Perhaps you can skip buying some inanimate object that won’t mind not existing, as opposed to the cat, which would very much mind.

Did anybody mention microchipping? I didn’t see it. The dear may have been microchipped, and a vet would be able to wave a wand over it and get contact information for the owner.

I second the comment to the effect that cats are generally all self litter box trained. Tell more about the evidence to the contrary and perhaps we can identify some other problem.

I found a feral cat in the park. I had to take it home it was small and it saw I was a sucker. It walked up to me and meyowed.
It was friendly and had no trouble using a litter box or eating cat food. It also was the roughest cat i ever saw. It cleaned out all the rats in the neighborhood and all the mice. When it played , it hit so hard it was shocking. I wrapped my hand in a thick towel and teased him. He would fly off the ground and nail my towel wrapped hand with ferocity.
There are lots of feral cats in my neighborhood. When Spaulding was alive, there were none.