You’ve probably seen the memes, where the gist is “I will never rehome my cat. Cats are family.”
When someone posts in a cat group, that they need to rehome their cat, the hateful comments can come quickly.
People are quickly shamed for wanting to find a new home for their cat, regardless of the reason. How does this help the cat?
You may say “I would never rehome my cat.” but choose your words carefully. Sometimes situations change and it’s not possible or desired to keep the cat(s).
I never wanted to rehome a cat but needed to when Rocko didn’t work out with Nacho.
Your judgment doesn’t help the cat or the person
How do you think people that have rehomed cats feel when they see so much hate directed towards someone seeking help in rehoming?
Perhaps, they feel sad or anxious about having to rehome the cat and do not need a heaping dose of shame.
Keeping your cats is ideal but things can change. And sometimes the cat is better off with a new family.
Usually, you don’t know the full story.
Here’s an example
I had a family member who was given a cat. In time, it was revealed that the cat was stressed living in her home.
When taking the cat in, the family did not know that is how the cat would respond to toddlers.
The cat began pawing/licking his head so much that his fur was missing, and he had scabs on his head.
The activity in her home was too high for the cat. He needed a new home.
The family does not need to feel shame. Finding a new home HELPED the cat have a more enjoyable life.
Eventually, one of my coworkers (without small children) adopted him and he quickly made friends with her other cat.
Choose kindness and understanding
Regardless of the reason for needing to rehome a cat, a cat can change homes.
Stop the memes, shame, and guilt.
Can we show people some kindness, grace, and understanding?
Asking for help is much better than someone secretly dumping their cat somewhere.
You could offer rehoming suggestions, ask around for them, or offer your empathy. When we needed to rehome Rocko, I received nice comments like “Good luck finding him a new home” and “It’s a tough situation”.
If the rehoming is due to having short-term financial issues, there may be local shelters or programs that will provide cat food and supplies to help the person keep their cat.
Rehoming is different than abandoning (kicking the cat out of the house to fend for itself). Please be responsible if you need to rehome a cat by making a plan and seeking assistance if needed.
Shelters and rescues exist for a reason. They may not be able to take your cat immediately, but eventually, they may be able to help.
Remember: Rehoming the cat may be the best possible choice for the cat.