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Unread 09-22-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on a Difficult Situation

We live with two relatives who own five, long haired, domestic, very social cats..the cats used to have the run of the house, coming in to visit us and they just love people..They have lived this way for a few years.

There is mainly cat-hair and the cat box which needs cleaning-vacuuming daily, but apparently one of the owners grew tired of the wear and tear on
the house so they decided to place the cats out on a screened porch.

We thought this would be a sort of in-out situation to alleviate some of the
interior cleaning..etc. but since introducing this arrangement, the cats have been out there 24 hours at a time for several days straight without ANY
social interaction from the owners, other than tapping on the glass
enclosure doors to say hello..

The temperature in the daytime is approx. 90 degrees..they do have
everything they need such as water, food, cat box..but there has already been one huge argument between me and the owners because they were
refusing to turn on the overhead fans to provide ventilation stating they weren't going to pay the electricity to run fans all the time.
It is hot out there during the day..Florida sun..

It was our understanding that this would be an ideal situation for cooler months..but right now, the cats are panting when they are hot, their fur is wet with sweat when I pick them up..they are anxious to get in and meow for most of the evening and morning hours to be let in.

One of the owners stated they would get used to it, after all cougars live outside and they survive just fine....

When the owners are gone, we let them in our room or I will go out onto the porch to give them some attention. This morning I had two of the bigger cats in my room as they were very hot and sweaty when a knock came on the door and I was ordered to put them out on the porch and to respect the wishes of the owners, which apparently means no social interaction, either.

They said we are to stop acting like the cats are being abused and that the cats get plenty of social attention from them..

This is day four and there has been no attention given to the cats other than changing the cat box, it is like they have put them out of sight, out of mind.
The curtains are drawn for most of the day so the cats cannot see much inside..

This whole situation makes me sick to my stomach and I hope to leave this living arrangement as soon as I financially can...I love cats and just cannot stomach the people I am living with now for doing this..

I'm not asking for advice as they have set their rules down..but I would love to hear some opinions from other cat owners..

Does this cause the cats a lot of stress and how will they interact with people if this continues which I think it will...for a long period of time?

Thank you for your thoughts..
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Unread 09-22-2009   #2 (permalink)
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This is animal abuse.

Cats can die of heat stroke and it is unpleasant painful death, their organs basically cook inside them. Not to mention the mental and emotional suffering of being deprived of the human interaction they are used to.

I understand your position as you are living there, but those cats need your help. Those people need to be reported to the SPCA, or animal control, immediately. The cats will probably be taken away from them, which will be very stressful for the cats, but certainly better for them than being cooked to death.

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Unread 09-22-2009   #3 (permalink)
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for someone to allow cats to live a good life, then suddenly decide to take that life away from them and put them in a situation that is causing suffering shows serious metal instability.

The sooner those cats are removed from the situation the better.

Please, narc them out. Their lives depend on it
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Unread 09-22-2009   #4 (permalink)
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I know you said you weren't looking for advice but I urge you to take Gail's.
This is animal abuse and a very, very cruel way to treat these poor cats. Their lives are at risk. Also as they are used to being indoor cats they will be very confused, frightened and this huge change in their living arrangements will definately be causing them stress.
I hope you do something to save them before it's too late.
Has your relatives attitude changed suddenly or have they had problems caring for these cats for a while? No matter what the problem this is not a reasonable solution.
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Unread 09-23-2009   #5 (permalink)
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acerlt..

Yes, heat stroke is what I am really worried about and what is making me so upset with this situation.

Late last night they brought the cats in for an hour and told their son that now that it's cooler outside it's fine for the cats to be out on the porch
besides..it rained so the cats were fine..

Well, yes, that is correct EXCEPT it didn't rain until 5 PM..and all day the temperature was 92, high humidity, hot and sunny..!

Because I have been told not to interfere with their wishes, all I could do was watch through the glass to be sure the cats were OK..and again, a few were panting ( without running around ) just sitting there panting..and I am very worried about the overweight cat...

I spent most of this AM reading about heat stroke and it looks like cats that have been accustomed to being indoors run a greater risk of heat stroke than outdoor only cats, which just adds to my concern..

acerlt..

You are also dead accurate about the mental instability..
I did not elaborate or add those specific details to my original post but that is a factor in all of this, too...you are most insightful...

We both have health issues and rely on these two relatives heavily.
If we rock the boat too much we could be asked to leave and we do not have the means to be independent right now.

Yet, we are having to be a part of what I consider animal abuse and it is causing me extreme stress because it is NOT what was originally intended for these sweet cats.

If they want to ostracize their pets because they want a perfectly clean house now, they shouldn't have had the cats in the first place.
However, that is only our opinion and we can't keep them from doing this..
It IS and has been so stressful to the cats, but the owners are adamant in
keeping them on the porch to reduce the interior cleaning...

Which would be fine..EXCEPT for the heat factor.
It is NOT cooler outside even if it is September.
As I write this, it is 10 AM and the porch is filled with HOT sunlight..
I couldn't sit out there, so I KNOW it is bad for the cats.

I have just checked the extended forecast..
Today will be 91 with high humidity..
All week and through Sunday will be 91 + degrees.
Hot and sunny..

hallan...

RE: Has your relatives attitude changed suddenly or
have they had problems caring for these cats for a while?

One owner decided they had had enough of cleaning up everyday and placed the burden entirely on the other owner who NEVER likes to clean up after them so this was the ultimate decision.

They briskly and hastily do what is necessary on the porch each day and then close the doors and draw the curtains..I cannot bring the cats into my room or the house..the hour they spent inside last night was the first night they were allowed in after four straight days and nights..

I am not speaking to either one of my relatives which may ultimately lead to another huge battle..I intend to contact a local vet today and if they suggest this is not good, I will then see if I can find someone with authority to speak to them about this rather than "just me"..

Thank you again, for all of your thoughts..
I appreciate knowing I am not being overly sensitive and my concerns are valid ones.
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Unread 09-23-2009   #6 (permalink)
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OMG... this is so cruel, i hate ppl who treat their cats and dogs like some emotionless creatures (maybe dolls) and only keep them wen they wanna stay busy and occupied.

I have been in such situation with my neighbor who use to keep their dog on their trace all throughout the year. no matter if it rained, if it was scorching hot or cold winters with little or no human attention and they never even cleaned his poop on the trace.

i went to their place once wen they were at home which was rarely and offered my help. i simply told them that if they were finding it difficult to keep the dog or wanted to find him another home i cud help and guess what the guy got into an argument with me... i told him i wud complain to the animal authorities... and since that day he knew i was keeping an eye on him so they started taking care of him abit more. well after a few months i moved and i hope that the dog is still healthy and doing well.

i definitely agree with acerlt and i think maybe b4 complaining just threaten them with it... it might work as it did in my case.

Last edited by glass-half-full; 09-23-2009 at 10:55 AM.
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Unread 09-23-2009   #7 (permalink)
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i have no idea as to what can be done... these ppl need to get a taste of karma...

where do u reside? just wondering wen will the weather become abit better. another idea maybe u can offer to help with the cleaning in the house if they let the cats in or get one of your friends or neighbor to complain if u complaining is gonna put you in a difficult situation as you have to live there.
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Unread 09-23-2009   #8 (permalink)
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glass-half-full..

Re: where do u reside?
Florida

Re:
just wondering when will the weather become abit better.

Usually Sept is cooler, however since the cats have been placed out there
it has been 90-91-92 with high humidity..and rain late in the day.
Will be this way all week.

Re:
another idea maybe u can offer to help with the cleaning in the house..?

For the most part, the house is very clean..the cats shed a little each day
on the tiles, the chairs have to be vacuumed and the catbox needs cleaning..
We keep to our room, clean our bathroom and make sure everything
is in place and clean before they arrive home each day.

It is more like the cats have been put away and will be brought inside
to be played with when they want to play with them.
They don't think the cats are under any stress..
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Unread 09-23-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
However, that is only our opinion and we can't keep them from doing this..
It IS and has been so stressful to the cats, but the owners are adamant in
keeping them on the porch to reduce the interior cleaning...
This is not a matter of "just an opinion". Animal abuse is illegal. They are breaking the law. Leaving 5 cats in an enclosed space in direct sunlight 24 hours a day is not any different than leaving them in a car in a parking lot...also illegal.

I am sorry you are being faced with this. I appreciate your position that you are dependent on them. Can you get a friend or other family member to get involved? Perhaps this vet you will speak to would be willing to make the call? And yes, you could be charged as well, for instance if someone else (I mean besides you or someone who helps you) reports them.

Otherwise, it may take a dead cat for these people to listen. I hope it doesn't come to that. Thank you for making a start by speaking to a vet. Perhaps that and printing out some heat stroke information will get them to see reason.

Please keep us updated.
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Unread 09-23-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Hi acerlt..

No, not totally enclosed..part screen and part glass doors.
But it is still hot and I know it's so uncomfortable for them when they
have been indoor cats for two years prior.

Since they were let in last night for an hour..no contact all day today
OR this evening..they are meowing, meowing, meowing at the glass..
These are beautiful, loving, social cats..

I thought they really loved these animals..
I am so disgusted I cannot look at or speak to the owners..

Yes, I hope to find a vet who might just come out to look this over quickly when they are at work and give me their opinion or maybe something over the phone...even in writing somehow..

If 90+ degrees is too hot for them I need a professional to tell
them because they think this arrangement is just peachy.
What is very obvious is this is how these cats will be living now
and I will not be able to tolerate this indifference to their stress.
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