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Am I too ill to own a cat?
I adopted a sweet cat last October. I love him, but again, I've been crying all morning over him.
Since the adoption I've been constantly anxious about him, I haven't had a decent night sleep since, and I often need to get out of the flat to be away from him because I feel suffocated by him. I live alone and thought his company would help. It does sometimes but...
I have multiple health issues, including long term anxiety and depression, on top of a complex genetic disorder which causes chronic fatigue and pain, among other things.
I just don't know if I can keep this up, my health is suffering but I feel so guilty for wanting to give up on the little guy. I swore I wouldn't be that person. I'm also on a disability pension and constantly worry I won't be able to help him if he needs veterinary attention. I also feel my mental health might be affecting him.
I'm sorry for such a long first post, just a mess right now.
Welcome to the forums and thank you for reaching out. Fellow pet lover here - I'm a dog person although I'm sure cat people will come your way 🙂
Can you help me understand more about why you feel like you should give up on him? Is a cat something that you want in your life?
I've always had dogs, and I have one at the moment and I know I'd be financially screwed if he had serious medical issues, but for the most part I've been very lucky for his health. While some dogs have high energy and need walking, cats for sure do not - and are often quite content with the basics of love, food, company and even toys.
Are there other reasons you feel like a cat is not for you? As for mental health- well, I struggle with PTSD, anxiety and depression and my little dog is pretty happy. I have no doubt that you and your cat could be a great companionship for each other if that's something that you want and feels right.
I have a cat and i have severe depression/anxiety and a chronic illness that leaves me unable to even get around some days but I would be lost without him.
Can you enclose you balcony with cat mesh that is unseen from the street but would give a bit of space between you and the cat when you needed it.. thats what i did on my balcony....Cats are considerably low maintenance, they dont need walking like dogs do, they sleep most of the day ...they are toilet trained.. all you really do is feed him morning and night and give cuddles.
If you think its best to not have him anymore maybe advertise him yourself and seek out someone that he might be suited for it he isnt the one for you.
Personally i could never get rid of an animal , i believe they bond with you and would feel rejected and hurt to be moved around so much.
I have been involved at a management committee level of my local animal rescue for nearly ten years. During this time, we have done over a thousand adoptions of cats and dogs to local families, and I've seen and learnt more than I would have thought possible back when I first started to get involved.
All I wanted to say is that sometimes it just doesn't work out. It's no-one's fault, not yours and not the cat's, sometimes it simply isn't what people think it will be. Which sounds like the issue here. And that's ok, it happens. I want to repeat, it's no one's fault. Life can be complicated sometimes.
Ultimately you need to make the best decision for both the cat and your mental health. From your original post, it doesn't sound like your cat has got any behavioural issues as such, it's just that his very presence in your life is just that little bit too much for you to handle right now. And it is ok to feel like that. If you are unable to care for him, feel overwhelmed by him, etc, then I would contact the rescue that adopted him to you, explain the situation, and ask if they can take him back into care. I believe animals know when they have found their forever home (I have seen some very weird and spooky things over the years, lol), so if you aren't feeling that you are the forever home for this little guy, chances are he already knows this too. He does deserve the opportunity to find his forever family if you believe it's not you, so I would ask the rescue if they are willing to take him back.
Sometimes animals can really help with our mental health, and sometimes its too much. Personally speaking, I wouldn't get through my depression episodes without my dogs, but I live on a large property and work, so it works for me personally - if I lived in a small flat, it most likely would make things worse! If you feel you would still like a connection with animals, perhaps you could volunteer once a week to walk rescue dogs or play with rescue cats at a local shelter if possible. I know this helps many people who want the connection but aren't able to have fulltime animals.
All the very best, I hope things improve for you.
Would there an opportunity to speak to a rescue, a cattery or friend / family to arrange "daycare" for times where you are struggling to cope until you are again well enough to enjoy the company of your cat. Perhaps there is someone / place that could look after him for a few days / weeks when your own health requires you to focus on you and you alone?
Hello Murmur, we often suggest to people to get a dog/cat or any other animal to help them through with any mental issues, but sometimes, especially with cats who want a pat on a continuous basis may not be appropriate if you aren't having a good day and want to be left alone.
This could be a reason why at times you only want to be by yourself.