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Unread 02-09-2016   #1 (permalink)
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Default Unanswered: Should I take an outdoor cat living in a yard with 16 cats on a 5 hr plane trip & tur

There's a house near my mom in Phoenix where people seem to dump their cats when they no longer want them. The homeowner makes sure they're all neutered & fed. Several of them are extremely friendly and will sit on my lap when I visit.

One of the cats has very thick beautiful white fur. I don't know how the summers go for him, but I assume OK since he has been in this yard for 4 years. He runs to greet me whenever I walk by and when I get up to leave, he sits on my feet then follows me and watches me until I'm out of view. He seems to be happy living there, but he also seems like he'd like to come home with me. I had considered taking him & one of his friends home when I first met them 4 years ago but didn't because I already had 2 cats. Unfortunately, when I was visiting in December, I found out that his friend had been missing for several weeks.

My older cat died recently and I am considering bringing home the white cat in March as a companion for my 9 year old indoor declawed cat. This would require putting the white cat in a bag for a 5 hour flight, plus the trip to & from the airports. Then it would require keeping the white cat in the basement for 2 weeks while he & my 9 year old get used to each others' smell, etc.

Does anyone know if it would be a good idea to have him become an indoor cat? Would it be worse to leave him half-cared for in a yard full of other cats even if he seems to be happy there? There are lots of feral cats in that neighborhood with sketchy health conditions. But then, there are lots of cats in Northern Virginia who also need homes.

If I take him, should I also take his friend Calico whom he has been hanging out with for the past 3 years so he has someone else familiar to live with, or would this likely upset my 9 year old too much? My 9 year old used to pee on the carpet when his older sister used it or when people stayed in the guest room overnight, but after he had been living here for 2 years and we got him his own box for the upstairs, he spends every night wrapped around my arm and hasn't peed outside the box since.

I plan to take my 9 year old to the vet for shots beforehand. I'd also make an appointment to take the white cat to the vet in Phoenix to make sure I don't bring a cat with health issues onto the plane, but then there's the logistics of what to do after the vet. I'd probably have to put him back in his yard until I'm on the way to the airport so that there wouldn't be any problems between him & my mom's cat. I don't think my mom would allow the cat in her house.
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