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Old 13.01.2015, 16:11
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Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Hello,
My family is moving from the USA to Fribourg for one year in August. We have two 12 year old cats. We have been thinking we would ask a relative to keep them for the year, but one of them is unpredictably aggressive. Normally she is ok with us but unfriendly toward adult guests. (for unknown reasons, she doesn't mind/bother kids as long as they don't provoke her, thank goodness). She has been known to attack people and even seeks out the visitor and then hisses and sometimes attacks. It's very odd; our theory is that she must have been abused as a kitten before we adopted her. Over the years, we have tried many strategies, including Feliway and other things.

This morning an obnoxious phone alarm went off, and it set her off. She went completely crazy and attacked me viciously. I could not escape her until I ran to get a blanket (she chased me scratching me all the way), grabbed her with the blanket and put her in a closed-off room. She has only gone that insane a few times, but she was really like a wild animal. I have gashes all over my legs.

I can't in good conscience ask anyone, even an animal-loving relative, to keep her for the year. We are weighing our options, including (with heavy hearts) euthanasia. What if she attacked a child? But I would also feel terribly guilty... and most of the time, when it's just the family, she's a nice cat (sleeps on our laps, etc.).

Should we bring the cats with us? How difficult will this make finding an apartment? How hard is it on the cats to make that plane trip and readjust to new surroundings?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions/input. I'm so sad about this situation and don't know what to do. [the other cat is perfectly lovely and is not a problem... the two cats do get along well.]
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Old 13.01.2015, 21:49
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Hello,
My family is moving from the USA to Fribourg for one year in August. We have two 12 year old cats. We have been thinking we would ask a relative to keep them for the year, but one of them is unpredictably aggressive.
Presumably that's the cat, not the relative which is unpredictably aggressive?!

Cats are territorial animals. Perhaps the best option for the aggressive moggy is to see if she can be successfully, and permanently, rehomed - perhaps with someone who doesn't have another cat (and ideally doesn't have a phone alarm or too many visitors!) Better than having her put down if she is otherwise healthy.
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Old 13.01.2015, 21:54
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Thank you for your reply. Rehoming would be a good idea, except that who in their right mind would want a 12 year old cat with a history of stranger-anxiety and aggression? She actually gets along very well with our other cat. It is mainly that she doesn't like human strangers and occasionally gets aggressive even with us (and sometimes VERY aggressive and insane as in the case described above).

I am leaning toward bringing the cats with us to Switzerland, but I am wondering how hard it will be to find an apartment that will allow them.

Thank you.
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Old 13.01.2015, 21:55
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I would not bring the cats for only one year. I don't have any advice about your aggressive cat, but even so with cats of that age the trip can be daunting (my own cat was 16 when I brought him here and he didn't last a month before his health got beyond the point of saving )
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Old 13.01.2015, 23:00
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I agree with DantesDame, for just a year it's not worth both the cost and the strain it will put on your pets. If you were going to be here longer it would be different, but a year just really isn't worth it imho. Better they stay where they are in familiar surroundings (or as familiar as you can make them before you leave).

Have you had your aggressive cat checked over by a vet to make sure there's no medical reason for her behaviour? Or call in Jackson Galaxy to see if he can help.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Galaxy

http://jacksongalaxy.com/
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Old 14.01.2015, 01:04
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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......who in their right mind would want a 12 year old cat with a history of stranger-anxiety and aggression? ....

Right mind indeed...

I just had a quick look here, for "pets allowed" in the Fribourg area:
Comparis

Plans change.
I was planning to stay 1 year in Switzerland as well. That was 1999.

I'd take the cats.
But then my cats are 11 and 9, and they are also still training me to behave better

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Old 14.01.2015, 01:10
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I would take the cats.

One year is really a long time and the stress is "only" for a relative short period (a couple of hours).

The apartment is not the issue. The only thing I would be worried is at the airport, if you need to take the cat out of the carrier.

Maybe talk with a vet that knows your cats and how to handle them.
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Old 14.01.2015, 01:38
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Cats are not protected animals here so if it gets aggressive with someone and they react badly then you would have no comeback!
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Old 14.01.2015, 08:45
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

You haven't stated whether your cats are indoor only or have access to outside. This could make a difference.

If you you plan on living in an urban area, here, it would be unadvisable to bring them - they will get stir-crazy if kept inside a lot, or will end up in conflict with the many other cats that will undoubtedly be around, or have a bad experience playing with the traffic.

I saw, not long ago, some program on the TV, about cats. There was input from cat behavioural 'experts' who claimed that cats only humour their human keepers, for an easy life, but could, if left to their own devices, go feral in a short time and easily fend for themselves.

Another option, perhaps.
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Old 14.01.2015, 08:51
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

What let them go feral? And add to the stray cat population? Very responsible behaviour.
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Old 14.01.2015, 08:52
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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What let them go feral? And add to the stray cat population? Very responsible behaviour.
I would hope that they're snipped, and in a non-urban area.
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Old 14.01.2015, 09:10
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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Hello,

Should we bring the cats with us? How difficult will this make finding an apartment? How hard is it on the cats to make that plane trip and readjust to new surroundings?
Apartment choices diminish (I had some trouble finding a place for my cat-sized dog), the paperwork both ways is expensive, and depending on the airline / size of the cats, you might have to stick them in the cargo area. But I understand wanting the best for the cats, it is easy for us to say leave them when we dont know them.

Are there any cat rescues in the area that might be able to help you rehome? There are a lot of small nonprofit animal groups in most major cities that can promote a listing for you. If you are up front with the cats issues, then no bad conscious if you find a new home. And like was mentioned, a single cat environment is probably best for an agressive one.
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Old 14.01.2015, 09:20
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

I see no-one's mentioned the option of Fluffy Heaven.
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Old 14.01.2015, 09:20
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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I see no-one's mentioned the option of Fluffy Heaven.
The OP did in post #1.
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Old 14.01.2015, 09:27
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

Oh yes.
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Old 14.01.2015, 09:38
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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I would hope that they're snipped, and in a non-urban area.
Still, adding to the population by two and not a responsible attitude imho.
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Old 14.01.2015, 12:02
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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The only thing I would be worried is at the airport, if you need to take the cat out of the carrier.

Maybe talk with a vet that knows your cats and how to handle them.
THIS. [alas, the former, not the latter]

My wife had to remove our cat from a soft underseat carrier, passing through security, and she [the cat] has a history of biting with little provocation. No psychotic breaks, but a good chomp to keep her chattel in line.

Your cat has a much higher chance of ending up on the news, from the sound of it.

---

As for talking to the vet:

Search for other cat transport threads, and you will find much of what you need. Some people pass through customs without their animal, paperwork being requested, but my wife was asked for papers, and thankfully had everything in order.

Kitty needed updated rabies, assorted immunizations, and these have to be complete precisely within the 30 days prior to your trip. And if that is not inconvenient, a visit with a USDA approved vet for a final health check within 10 days prior departure.

There are products out there worth considering. Some calming sprays [besides feliway], a similar product in collar form, dog pads for indoor use [you will want this in the carrier{and then pray they don't go, they probably won't}] Also, sedation. I imagine there are options for popping a pill or a dropper, just long enough to get kitty on the plane, if not longer.

I would maaaaaybe consider foster options, goto costco or sam's club, get food for the year, shell out 500-1000 for incidentals, and come back to kitty afterward.


By the way, what brings your to Switzerland, time for introduction , ah, just looked up your posts, .., Enjoy!
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Old 14.01.2015, 12:24
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

You also need to make sure the chip is one that can be read by a European chip reader, not an American one. People have had problems with bringing pets in and the chip can't be read. Use the cross border online link to find out exactly what you'd need to do.

http://www.blv.admin.ch/themen/04670...x.html?lang=en
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Old 14.01.2015, 12:33
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

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You also need to make sure the chip is one that can be read by a European chip reader, not an American one. People have had problems with bringing pets in and the chip can't be read. Use the cross border online link to find out exactly what you'd need to do.

http://www.blv.admin.ch/themen/04670...x.html?lang=en
We got our cat chipped 10 years ago, with the HomeAgain brand, all the while being very much within the United States. It is perfectly compatible / compliant with European systems, and the chip was accurately read at customs in Zürich April, 2014.

But then, knowing the world, current models probably are not compatible, who knows. Definitely check Medea's link
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Old 14.01.2015, 14:40
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Re: Moving to CH for 1 yr; bring our aggressive cat?

With all the love I have for cats I'd seriously consider the option of Fluffy Heaven.

The church bells at noon are merciless (depending on where your apartment will be though) and will definitely trigger an aggressive reaction on your cat (talking from experience these bells have 'set me off' many a time, but my fear of being put behind bars and/or deported restrained me, and I'm no Fluffy Being).
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