Thursday, July 20, 2006

Adopting kittens and cats to children

If you're thinking of giving a kitten or a cat to a child, a word of advice : Don't. You should never adopt a cat or kitten out, no matter how much the child wants the cat, because the child isn't probably going to be the primary caregiver. He or she lives with his or her parents - and if they decide the cat is going to go, then it's going to go. Of course this is entirely different from adopting into a family WITH a child - if the child comes along with his or her parents, and all of them want a cat, then that is a wonderful situation and the cat will probably be well loved.

One of the caregivers just called me because she said that one of the feeders she knew had just adopted a cat out to a 14 year old boy. This boy is quite well known to the adoption volunteers and myself. Usually when the holidays roll around he will call and ask for a kitten. I have spoken with his mother and she does not want him to adopt a cat. He is also extremely persistent - he continues to call day after day, even after you have told him that you do not have a kitten for him, with no regard to the time or whether it is inconvenient and is rude.

Now what happened is that the boy happened to get the feeder's number and the feeder gave him a kitten - she also gave him a few hundred dollars so that he can look after the kitten, buy it food and litter, etc. She also apparently never visited the house. The caregiver who contacted me is very worried as he called her after that and asked for yet another kitten - he said he has four at home, but his mother doesn't mind them. He also asked what she would give him if he took her cat.

So please, you may want to adopt a cat out, but be sure it goes to a GOOD home. Don't just give it up to anyone and certainly not to a child without their parents' consent. Also if you get a phone call from a 13 to 14 year boy who sounds like a girl, who is extremely persistent and wants a kitten, please don't give one to him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's true. Do not foster a kitten or cat to a child. First, the child is only interested to play with the kitten but the child don't really know how to care for the kitten. The child will treat the kitten like a soft toy, play with it and eventually get tired and throw away. Sometimes, the parents might not like the kitten and they will send the kitten to SPCA or AVA, or just abandon it in the bin centre or void deck. So, please give your kitten or cat to a good, caring and responsible family. Otherwise, your poor kitten will end up on the streets begging for food and kick by strangers.

20/7/06 10:36 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well said Anonymous.

21/7/06 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree with this post and I hope all animal welfare organisations keep this sentiment during their adoption drives.

the reason why i say this is because this post brings to mind a letter to the press i read some time ago - when some animal welfare groups came together for an awareness / adoption drive at bishan park.

the writer of the letter was a visitor to the event and said he observed one adoption in which a child kept pestering his parents to let him get a ginger kitten. though unwilling, the parents finally gave in the kid left w the poor kitty, poking away at it through the airholes in the box.

needless to say, this letter made me feel angry and very uneasy abt the kind of home (and life) the kitten was allowed to go off to.

i cannot remember if the writer named the welfare grp the kitten was adopted from but i remember being very appalled that it wld allow a kitten to be taken away under such circumstances.

i have since read abt how CWS screens potential adopters and even make follow up visits, so i am quite sure it wasn't CWS, but i think we all agree that welfare organisations shld realise that adoption of a homeless animal is not always a good thg in itself. a poorly orchestrated one cld mean a lifetime of misery.

21/7/06 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My neighbours (two primary school children) brought 2 young kittens home. They fed them with sardines (not the type of cat food but Ayam brand sardines, so salty, and it's meant for human consumption). Then they gave condensed milk mixed with water, and the kitties had diarrhoea for days. They also gave hot dogs (chopped into pieces). The kitties vomitted. They also bathed the kitten with cold water.

That evening, they forgot to close the main door and the kitties escaped from the iron gate. They were gone. I don't know whether the kitties are still alive. Poor fellows.

Children don't know how to feed and care for kittens. They do more damage than good.

22/7/06 3:57 PM  

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