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Snap. Kitty suggestions?


BlsdMama
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My parents live on a farm.  They are set in their ways.  They do not understand the necessity of spaying.  They got three female cats because they are having issues with mice.  They do not want them too tame but obviously, with a dozen grandkids, they do get caught and petted.  Mom and Dad obviously feed them.  All three cats had litters.  Dad had someone say, "Hey, I'd like your kittens." 

I knew this was going to bite me.

When someone says, "I'd like your kittens," they mean NOW.  But they were newborns.  They're about 6-7 weeks old now.  Yesterday, Dad says to kids, "Hey, see if you can catch any of those kittens.  I'm going to drop them off at X's house."  (Also to be little wild farm kittens.)  The kids caught four.  It was obvious one had an eye issue.  I told Dad, "Hey, I'll take them home, clean them up, and contact X and let him know we'll bring them by in a week."

Now, I know my husband is going to shoot lasers from his eyes.  I send him an email of the cutest little black kitten and say, "Hey, this happened but DON'T worry! This is a temporary thing, we already have a home, I've already contacted him."

The girls wanted to show him the kittens today.  The obligatory, "They're nice, I honestly don't like cats, please don't put them by my face," ensued, followed by, "Do not spend money on these cats.  Do not make the appointment to get them spayed.  Do not do anything except feed them, clean them up, and deliver them.  And, Kelly, we are NOT keeping them," as he walked out the door to take the oldest four on an outing today.

Got the email just a bit ago.  Oh hey, X doesn't need kittens, he has plenty now.  Snap.  And Mom and Dad are not going to want them back because it's AMAZING how tame little kittens can get in a day and a half of petting and being hand-fed.

Now, the local animal charity does do "last litter" spaying.  Spayed, vaccinated, healthy kitties are easy to rehome for the $25 it costs me to have all that done.  Honestly, I could talk DH into it because he gets it - BUT you have to take Mom in.  Mom really needs to go in - I love my folks, but they haven't thought this through.  I know what they're thinking - farm cats wander and have relatively short life spans, they are willing to supply them with warm barns, endless food, it's a decent life.  But, seriously, you don't need the amount of cats the cats will produce.  I know they figure it all works out because their whole lives have been spent on farms with unneutered farm cats having litters and litters of kittens.

1. How do I convince them?  We live on a mini-farm and have three outdoor cats.  They're all neutered, all vaxed, and all stick around without unwanted litters.  
2. What do I do with these kittens?  Ugh.  We have three.  We're really happy with three - JUST three.  We've discovered four is our tipping point.

ETA: And I know what DH is going to say, go drop them back off.  
But they aren't wild kitties anymore.  I get that a day shouldn't make a difference, but it does.  They're now tame kitties with names.  I really don't like me much right now.

Edited by BlsdMama
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Is there any way you could get mama spayed without your parents knowing about it? I'm usually not in favor of sneakiness, but it is just plain wrong and cruel to allow so many poor little kittens to be born. Then you could have the charity spay/neuter the babies as well and rehome them. I realize your parents still have other cats that will continue breeding, but at least this would make a small dent in the problem.

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I'm with kand; I really don't understand the "too tame" part. My one and only cat was both very tame *and* a ruthless killer. 

If you can talk your DH into it, I'd then say something like, "Mom and Dad, it would make me really happy to have these kitties spayed/neutered and send them on to indoor homes, since they're so sweet and tame and etc. But to get the best price on the spaying, I need to have the momma spayed too. Would you please let me do that?" Hopefully they'll indulge this whim of yours 😉 and don't have to "get it." 

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Poor little things.  We have tons of cats on the ranch and part of our ranch/farm mentality is that we are supposed to care for our animals.  This includes feeding, health care and obviously spaying and neutering.  That's a big part of farming.

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2 hours ago, kand said:

 The one point I’m not understanding is why they can’t be tame and still be barn kitties. Our cats have all been indoors only, but with some garage access, and have all been great mousers despite being house cats.  I agree with you they should all be spayed and neutered. I don’t know your family relationships well enough to know how much you can push that. 



Because wild kitties avoid people - they stay in the barns and not by the house.  When animals roam in/around the house, they particularly like the garage.  The garage leads to surprises being found - like a litter of kittens, cat poop, one accidentally being locked in, more kitty accidents with cars.  Their thought is if they are skittish around people, then they'll happily live down the barns, eat, sleep, be kitties without being around the house.  

The kittens are already unafraid of people now.  LOL, they are really little and sweet and they've been carried around, hand fed, and snuggled for about 5 hours this AM and all day yesterday.  Up until yesterday they bit on contact and scratched.  Once the other grandkids (the ones that live down the road and see my parents daily) know that they can be picked up, they will be picked up, snuggled, carried non-stop, and be up at the house.  

Drat. 

Maybe this should have been better phrased, "How do I tell my husband we adopted four more kitties at least until they are fixed and adopted?"  The man is going to grow to hate me for this... It's not the first time.  (Or second.  Or third.  Did I mention we had 22 cats at one point?)

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Well, I can't help you with the kitten issue, but I think the solution to your parents is to just pick up their cats and have them done by a TNR organization. You can R them right back at the barn within a few days. I would neither sneak around nor ask first - just tell them after the fact that, as a favor, you did this for them.

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4 hours ago, Selkie said:

Is there any way you could get mama spayed without your parents knowing about it? I'm usually not in favor of sneakiness, but it is just plain wrong and cruel to allow so many poor little kittens to be born. Then you could have the charity spay/neuter the babies as well and rehome them. I realize your parents still have other cats that will continue breeding, but at least this would make a small dent in the problem.

I did practically this with barn cats at my MIL’s house. She did, ultimately, know about it but I got the ball rolling with getting SNAP certificates for inexpensive spaying. At one point there were five females out there and numerous kittens had already died of disease or death by dogs. That was just not acceptable to allow them to keep having kittens. 

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I know people who had feral barn cats that arrived at various times.  They've purposely tamed them and spayed/neutered them.  It doesn't affect the cats' willingness to sleep in the barn, hunt lots of mice, and generally be cats.  It just makes it a lot easier to deal with them when needed.  

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5 hours ago, Quill said:

I did practically this with barn cats at my MIL’s house. She did, ultimately, know about it but I got the ball rolling with getting SNAP certificates for inexpensive spaying. At one point there were five females out there and numerous kittens had already died of disease or death by dogs. That was just not acceptable to allow them to keep having kittens. 


See? And with the animal clinic here - the last litter package is cheap - the kittens are only $20 each with mama's spay.   

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51 minutes ago, MaBelle said:

Oh mercy, I'd kill for a $20 spay.  I've paid from $35 to $100.

 

Here, the ASPCA van does it for $5 if you have a benefits card - but they don't care whose card you use, so you can just hit up somebody else in line to borrow theirs if you don't have one.

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11 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Here, the ASPCA van does it for $5 if you have a benefits card - but they don't care whose card you use, so you can just hit up somebody else in line to borrow theirs if you don't have one.

Whoa!  I maybe could save them all for that!

 

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Two per customer per visit, and they only take 25 animals a day. They say to show up by 7am, but really you gotta get there by 5 and find the person who's been there before and has started a sign-up sheet. Plus, if you don't pick up your animal by 4pm they take it to Queens and make you pay the adoption fee to retrieve it.

But it IS inexpensive!

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21 hours ago, BlsdMama said:


See? And with the animal clinic here - the last litter package is cheap - the kittens are only $20 each with mama's spay.   

I'd just tell your parents that you found this great deal and you are going to pick up ALL the mama cats on such and such day and please pick up their food that night. You'll be back with them in the afternoon. If they want the kittens back, fine, if not, you will rehome them. Act super excited and like there is no way they would ever say no. 

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