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Old 14.01.2015, 14:53
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I would not bring a 12 year old cat for one year. It will get mad, pee all over the place, and you will lose your 14000000 CH deposit.

With a heavy heart, I would suggest putting it down.

Enjoy your year in CH though. (ps: many here have out door cats, so replace fluffy with a Swiss version, I hear Swiss cats are even better )
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Old 14.01.2015, 15:00
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

OP I'm sorry to hear you're in this situation and unfortunately there are no easy answers. I had two older cats (13 and 15) in the States and only briefly considered moving them here. I won't bore you with details, but the older one I let cross the Rainbow Bridge, and the younger one I re-homed with a friend. Still, absolutely heartbreaking.

Putting myself in your position, and given that they're otherwise healthy, I'd talk to the vet and do everything I could to bring them along and help them adapt to the new surroundings. You say you'll be here a year but as we've seen many times on EF that often gets extended. Much easier to bring them along at the start than to figure it out later.

TiMow your suggestion to just abandon the one cat is A) not funny, B) irresponsible and C) heartless. The cat has been part of her family for 12 years. Shame on you.
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Old 14.01.2015, 15:02
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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So replace fluffy with a Swiss version, I hear Swiss cats are even better )
Good idea. The kids won't notice - they'll just think that the wholesome Fribourg air has magically turned Psychomichiganpuss into Fluffyswisspuss.
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Old 14.01.2015, 15:51
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

And what will happen after that year? Will the cat be taken back to the States? Will any shelter they adopt from even allow them too? With many shelters here you are only the custodian, not the owner, that stays with the shelter and any major decisions you want to make for your pet has to be done with their approval, even life and death ones. So the cat could well find itself back at the shelter after a year if the shelter doesn't agree to a long distance move.

No, I'm sorry, but it's better to wait and find out what your long term plans are going to be. You can do without a pet for a year believe it or not and once you know whether you're going to be in Switzerland long term or going back to the States you can make plans for a new pet then.
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:10
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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TiMow your suggestion to just abandon the one cat is A) not funny, B) irresponsible and C) heartless. The cat has been part of her family for 12 years. Shame on you.
Maybe if you'd have seen the program, to which I refer, you would be able to grasp the concept, better.

Cats are much more resilient than their owners give them credit - and they don't let sentimental emotions get in the way like humans do.

The option of releasing them (not the same as abandoning) in a natural country environment, where they could adapt easier and quicker than people would imagine, is no more cruel, than all those people who think it is acceptable to keep a territorial predator locked in an apartment for all of it's life ...... or suggesting a one-way ticket to the vets to get the needle.

So my earlier suggestion was A) not funny, but B) not irresponsible, if the right environment is sought and C) certainly not heartless, if the animals are able to live a few more years, without humans dicking about over them.

The cat sounds like it's half way to being feral, anyway.
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Old 14.01.2015, 18:33
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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The cat sounds like it's half way to being feral, anyway.
This (being aggressive) has nothing to do with that (being feral).

One of my cats was a feral and has NEVER been aggressive. She kept her distance and didn't wanted to be touched. After 6 years (and a travel across the Atlantic) she decided that I am her best friend and can't get enough love now.

One of my rescues was not a feral and had behavioral issues (who knows why ...). She could be the sweatiest thing ever and suddenly attack. I was lucky to find someone that fall in love and adopted her.
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Old 14.01.2015, 19:02
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Maybe if you'd have seen the program, to which I refer, you would be able to grasp the concept, better.

Cats are much more resilient than their owners give them credit - and they don't let sentimental emotions get in the way like humans do.

The option of releasing them (not the same as abandoning) in a natural country environment, where they could adapt easier and quicker than people would imagine, is no more cruel, than all those people who think it is acceptable to keep a territorial predator locked in an apartment for all of it's life ...... or suggesting a one-way ticket to the vets to get the needle.

So my earlier suggestion was A) not funny, but B) not irresponsible, if the right environment is sought and C) certainly not heartless, if the animals are able to live a few more years, without humans dicking about over them.

The cat sounds like it's half way to being feral, anyway.
Drop it off in a country environment (by which I assume you mean rural farmland) and the cat is pretty sure to go straight for somebody's chickens. Yeah, yeah, mice and sparrows and all that - but when you're a cat hunting for food, domestic poultry are about the softest targets around. It will go for the chickens.

And when it does, sooner or later some farmer will shoot the cat. And then feel bad because they have no way of knowing whether it was a 'wild' cat or someone else's pet. They assume it was probably wild, because house cats live indoors and farm cats don't stalk chickens. But they wonder, and it kinda spoils their day. Not to mention the cat's life.

So yeah, as far as I'm concerned pretty irresponsible.
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  #28  
Old 14.01.2015, 19:16
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I really do appreciate all your input! While I do not think I would (ever) actually release a pet cat into the wild, your point is taken. However, even if I were to entertain the idea... it wouldn't be a kind thing to do to this particular cat. My other cat (Samba) would LOVE it. However, the neurotic, mentally ill cat (Pippi) is a very anxious cat and does not enjoy being outside unless we are there with her, and even then she is cautious and nervous.

At present, I am investigating costs/hassle associated with bringing them with us, as well as long-term boarding options here. I found a place that looks pleasant enough for $5400 for both cats for one year. Not inexpensive, but it's an option. (and in my initial phone call, I did not mention that she is a psycho kitty!).

I will say that since she attacked me yesterday morning, she has been perfectly normal and sweet with me. Sigh.

Thank you again for the opinions! Much appreciated. I am coming to the conclusion that no option is ideal, unless some kind relative offers to take her (I'm looking at you, animal-loving-sister-in-law). We will approach that possibility gently.
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Old 14.01.2015, 19:20
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Good idea. The kids won't notice - they'll just think that the wholesome Fribourg air has magically turned Psychomichiganpuss into Fluffyswisspuss.
Or find a good taxidermist and you can keep Psychomichiganpuss with you forever in blissful harmony (not sure what customs would say on entry to Switzerland though*)

Seriously though, an otherwise healthy cat shouldn't (in my book) be put down unless you've tried to find an environment which could work for that cat. I had this experience many years ago on 'acquiring' a cat with a house purchase. The cat was used to a much quieter environment than my family allowed and got extremely stressed with kids running about it all the time... it was successfully rehomed with a single owner elsewhere. Appreciate that may not be easy - but might be the best thing even if you weren't moving. Good luck with your decision.

* A quick google search suggests some people do actually do this.
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Old 14.01.2015, 19:45
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Based on our experience moving out of our apartment and Switzerland in general, I'd not take any animal that can do any damage to your place. Landlords are specially picky on any tiny tiny damage caused in the apartment, and I can only think on all the damage that a potentially aggressive cat could cause. Also, I don't know how insurances would handle damage caused knowing that the cat could do that... would they even insure it, or cover it? Just food for thought....
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Old 14.01.2015, 20:10
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Drop it off in a country environment (by which I assume you mean rural farmland) and the cat is pretty sure to go straight for somebody's chickens. Yeah, yeah, mice and sparrows and all that - but when you're a cat hunting for food, domestic poultry are about the softest targets around. It will go for the chickens.

And when it does, sooner or later some farmer will shoot the cat. And then feel bad because they have no way of knowing whether it was a 'wild' cat or someone else's pet. They assume it was probably wild, because house cats live indoors and farm cats don't stalk chickens. But they wonder, and it kinda spoils their day. Not to mention the cat's life.

So yeah, as far as I'm concerned pretty irresponsible.
I have family who live in rural Ireland, it never ceases to amaze the number of city people who drop their unwanted dogs off in the country-side.

One of my relatives looked after 2 different dogs on 2 occasions, thinking they were lost and put out messages on the radio. When no response called the Dog Police to collect and all future stray dogs the same thing.
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  #32  
Old 14.01.2015, 20:58
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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However, the neurotic, mentally ill cat (Pippi) is a very anxious cat ...
Perhaps it's the name that makes her so crazy .

If your OH is here on a sabbatical, I read that your will be going back to the US after the year. If so, I would also suggest leaving the cat(s) behind. A one-year boarding school for kitties, perhaps .

All the best for your move.
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  #33  
Old 15.01.2015, 02:01
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Sadly, I don't have the answer, but do you mind me asking what you have tried before?

Right after we got our cats, one of them developed this irrational fear/aversion towards my boyfriend for some reason. Ok, he can be quite a clumsy brute at times, but my other cat simply loved him and I'm pretty sure he never did anything to hurt them.
Luckily, she didn't get aggressive, but she was fearful and tried to run away from him all the time. Which made him quite miserable too, because it's not nice when you go out of your way taking care of your pets and one of them obviously doesn't like you.

Trying to solve the problem, I came across something called 'Zylkčne' and we decided to give it a go. It's only a supplement, no heavy medication. But the difference was like night and day. She became this totally mellow kittycat, stretching completely when lying on the floor, rolling over from side to side, no longer jumping and running when my boyfriend passed her in the hallway.

I think we gave her the pills for one month or so. Then stopped... After that she was a lot better, but at one point it started to come back a little. So I decided to get a prescription for another month. And after that month she was absolutely fine with being around my boyfriend. They are still good friends today, although I'm still her favorite, but hey, who can blame her?

Oh and she absolutely loved the pills... I didn't have to force her to take them or anything. I would either sprinkle the powder on her food, or just give them whole and she would play with it for a bit and then start chewing it.
She became like this total junkie... Never cared too much about candy, but her pills... Oh my... Sometimes when I'm popping one of my prenatal vitamins capsules, she still comes running, thinking it might be for her... And it's been over two years ago.

Might be worth looking in to? Whether you decide to bring your kitty with, or leave her in the care of others.

Anyway, good luck with making such a hard decision.
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  #34  
Old 15.01.2015, 08:32
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Bestfriends.org. They may have some ideas or be able to help.
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Old 15.01.2015, 11:28
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Shelters have enough trouble rehoming cats without personality disorders. A sympathetic friend or relative is about the only hope for an aggressive older cat. If noise is what sets your cat off, have you had its ears checked? A phone alarm would sound like a jackhammer to a cat with a ruptured eardrum.
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Old 22.01.2015, 16:22
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Thanks again for all the responses & suggestions. Just to clarify, I would not give them to a shelter per se. And now that I've calmed down a bit after the attack, we have decided that euthanasia is not an option. So here ARE the options, as we see it:
* bring them to Switzerland. Pros: having them with us (we do love them very much!), less expensive than the alternative, not having the anxiety of worrying that Pippi will attack anyone (besides us ha ha). Cons: finding a willing landlord may be difficult, plane travel will be stressful, having to find cat sitter while we travel.
* board them at a kennel of some sort. Pros: being "freer" during our year in Switzerland re: travel, not having to worry about the apartment. Cons: expense (so far, the only acceptable place would cost $5000+ for both cats for the year), missing having them with us.

The kennel I found for the expense I outlined above has rooms for cats that are 8 feet by 8 feet. All the other ones seem to be small cages that I can't imagine my cats living in for a year. Even the 8x8 one hurts my heart....
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Old 22.01.2015, 16:31
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Thanks again for all the responses & suggestions. Just to clarify, I would not give them to a shelter per se. And now that I've calmed down a bit after the attack, we have decided that euthanasia is not an option. So here ARE the options, as we see it:
* bring them to Switzerland. Pros: having them with us (we do love them very much!), less expensive than the alternative, not having the anxiety of worrying that Pippi will attack anyone (besides us ha ha). Cons: finding a willing landlord may be difficult, plane travel will be stressful, having to find cat sitter while we travel.
* board them at a kennel of some sort. Pros: being "freer" during our year in Switzerland re: travel, not having to worry about the apartment. Cons: expense (so far, the only acceptable place would cost $5000+ for both cats for the year), missing having them with us.

The kennel I found for the expense I outlined above has rooms for cats that are 8 feet by 8 feet. All the other ones seem to be small cages that I can't imagine my cats living in for a year. Even the 8x8 one hurts my heart....
I think you have answered your own question m'dear, bring them with you, it will be just fine.
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Old 22.01.2015, 16:57
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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...Cons: finding a willing landlord may be difficult, plane travel will be stressful, having to find cat sitter while we travel.
To address your concerns:

- It is not too hard to find a landlord that accepts cats. Much more difficult to find one that takes dogs, particularly big ones. Don't be put off by ads that say no pets. Often they say that, but when they hear it's a cat or two it's fine.

- Plane travel will only be stressful for a short time on the way over, and again on the way back. They'll be okay and you can talk to your vet about some calming medications. Look here and on Google for recommendations on which airlines are the best with pets.

- Try to set up cat sitting sooner rather than later. Have a primary and a backup. A lot of people think it will be easy and leave it to the last minute before a trip. Best to sort early, and have a sitter that your cats know and are comfortable with.
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Old 23.01.2015, 22:28
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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- Try to set up cat sitting sooner rather than later. Have a primary and a backup. A lot of people think it will be easy and leave it to the last minute before a trip. Best to sort early, and have a sitter that your cats know and are comfortable with.
I might have missed where you're moving to, but Basel has a FB group for cat sitters (Basel Expats Catsitters). It is quite an active group and they are friendly and willing to help out. Where you move to might have a similar group.
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Old 25.01.2015, 18:36
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

As others have said, I'd have her checked by vet for some issues, hearing maybe and possible pain (arthritis and so) which may cause her to behave "aggressively" out of fear / stress.

While you're there, talk to vet about pheromone products, I think there are sprays and plug-in diffusers, which are meant to mimic mama pheromones and calm anxious fuzzballs. The idea with them is to start using them on days you know will be calm (no alarms) or other "what a great day" days so that kitty equates them not only with mama but calm soothing days at home.

Prep kitty with this "now", hopefully it will help your "aggressive" cat now. Also, if your cats are prone to being unhappy about being in carriers, start prepping carrier with this stuff now too and maybe some things to attract them in to the carriers so that they'll be more relaxed for the eventual trip as well.
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