What is my plan for my cats if I die or become unable to care for them? I plan on living at least another 20 years but none of us knows how long we will live (no matter how old we are today). Nor do we know how long we will be healthy enough to care for our cats. My friends and I talk about who would do what for my cats if something were to happen to me. We also talk about who they want to care for their animals if something were to happen to them. They have cats, dogs, tortoises, etc.
Tonight I ran across an article titled: “Life After Death: Caring for the Cat of a Deceased Owner” written by PetPlace Staff from their website. I had several topics I was going to choose from tonight. But, no, tonight, especially after watching what happened in Paris, I am so reminded that the course of life can be so dramatically changed or ended in milliseconds. So, I want to touch on this difficult issue.
The decision to put a cat down is extraordinarily painful. The pain of separation of cat caretaker from cat is nearly unbearable. So, how would our super intelligent, loving, intense, magical little fur-ball friends handle separation from us…through no fault of their own? It would be difficult for them. I want to do what I can to ease them through this eventuality, if it should ever come to this.
Cats are ideal pets for senior citizens. I don’t consider myself elderly, but I am a Senior Citizen. Assisted living homes will not accept pets. How would my Cat Authors find long-term homes? Fortunately, there are some options. The key is preparation and here are some of the article’s suggestions:
- Assign a trustee through a living will to be in charge of finding a good home.
- Establish a trust to set aside money for funding each cat’s future needs.
- Document each cat’s medical history and their veterinarian.
- If a caretaker is already known, get that commitment in writing. It is a good idea to have an understudy waiting in the wings just in case the first home doesn’t work out.
- Best outcome is for a family member or friend to take the cat. The advantages are that the cat and the family member or friend may already be familiar with each other. This makes the change less traumatizing.
- The family member or friend may already have an animal. Most cats are capable of successful integration. However, it will be necessary to establish safe hiding places in the new home. See the 10/18/15 'MEWS ‘N NEWS' Article on “Hiding.”
- Seek aid from a rescue organization. These organizations seek foster care until a suitable permanent home can be located. Many shelters rely on assistance from rescue groups to find new owners for displaced pets. Unfortunately, most rescue organizations are overwhelmed with the number of rescues that exists.
- Some pet stores and breeders offer a service that will house a displaced animal until a new owner can be found. This scenario is most suitable for younger cats that originated from that pet store or breeder in the first place.
- Some farms offer a place for displaced cats. However, it works better if the cat is used to the out-of-doors. My cats are not. We have coyotes roaming the area I live in, so the Cat Authors are not allowed to roam outside.
- In my case, I have four cats. Most homes will only take one or two cats. Inkee-Bear and Spirit could go to the same home because they get along so well together and they are both very social cats. However, they would do well in any home. Sophee is so adaptable. She gets along with all of the cats and would get along with any new cat or dog. Gracee is more anxious and controlling. She might be best as a single cat. But she does play with Spirit. She would have the most difficulty adjusting to a new home.
I did consider this problem before I brought the Cat Authors into my home. Until the Cat Authors, all of my prior cats were rescues. However, I was hoping that the knowledge that if a cat is from a registered breeder, that that would help and enhance the future of the Cat Authors if we ever had to be parted. Of course there is no assurance that being a specific breed would help them, but I do check the rescue organizations for the Cat Authors breeds (Scottish Fold and Egyptian Mau). This week’s blog postings will be by Gracee in honor of my last two, indoor rescue cats, Tigger and Charlie Brown, who both lived nearly to the age of 19 years. My friend, Sharon, inserted these two lively spirits into my life and I am forever grateful to her for that.
Information for this article was summarized directly from the article written by the PetPlace Staff. I want to thank them for addressing this issue with such sensitivity and frankness. I will allocate specific funds from my trust for the care of each of my cats, the Cat Authors. They deserve only the best from me as they have and are, most assuredly, giving and sharing their best with me. √