“My name is Harry. I am misunderstood. The nice human ladies at the shelter where I’m staying understand me, but they can’t give me everything that I need. I really need a stable home, where I feel safe, where someone will love me unconditionally, despite my anxiety and fearful outbursts. I didn’t have a great start in life, being a kitten was hard, separated from my brothers and sisters much too soon, I didn’t get to learn what I’m supposed to do, what I should be afraid of and what I shouldn’t. I have been to stay with a few different humans, but none of them understood me. It’s not their fault, they don’t really speak my language. They do try, but it’s a hard one to master. I really like being around humans and love it when I have cuddles and a head massage, but I get scared and spooked easily, my hearing is so keen I can hear every little noise and sometimes it frightens me for a moment. Sometimes I’m not sure when I’m playing and when I’m getting too rough. I really need to live with someone who knows my language and can help me to see the world differently, they must have patience and can’t rush me. I need someone that has had a cat like me before so they know why I am how I am. I just need someone to give me a chance.”
Harry came to the shelter originally back in December 2016. His previous owner couldn’t care for him any more and Harry’s life wasn’t great. Being separated from his siblings at only 8 weeks old and sold from a pet shop, he has some behavioural difficulties.
We were originally advised by a cat behaviourist that one of the only options we had was to euthanise Harry, but we were not in agreement with this and knew we needed to give Harry every possible chance.
We were worried that he may have been suffering from seizures and that this could be the reason for him lashing out sometimes. He has been trialed on anti seizure medication and a mild pain relieving medication. He has now been weaned off of both of these. Harry hasn’t had any major incidents for a while now, which is really promising. We aren’t sure exactly what the triggers to his outbursts are, but they could include sudden/loud noises; feeling trapped and without an escape route; crowded rooms; confined spaces; physical contact that carries on beyond his tolerance level; other cats and scents of other cats. On the few occasions that the outbursts have happened, it has normally coincided around the time of one or more of these “triggers” happening. As we have customised his quarters to suit his needs, he doesn’t seem to be as anxious and on guard as he was. It has taken him a while to settle, but now he has we can see the cat that was longing to come out before, but wasn’t sure how. The playful, loving, funny boy we all knew he could be.
We realise that rehoming Harry will take a special kind of person, one that doesn’t mind a war wound or two during a settling in period, and who understands when things get too much for Harry.
After having another behaviourist come to assess Harry, we are confident that we now have the tools to assist with the transition from shelter to a new forever home.
Harry will need:
~ Experienced owners who are able to read Harry’s body language and act accordingly
~ No other cats or animals in the household or nearby areas
~ No young children/elderly or infirm
~ Free access outside ie. cat flap
~ Adopter willing to speak to Harry’s behaviourist before rehoming
~ A very quiet home, not too many visitors
~ A cat friendly indoor space ie. shelving and cat trees so that Harry can survey and get around a room without having to touch the ground.
Harry is a very affectionate cat, and we think he deserves the chance of living a great, normal life with someone that can see past his flaws and help him through his difficult times.
If you think you have the experience to help Harry and provide him with the ideal home, please arrange an appointment to view Harry, by calling 0114 2724441 between 1pm-3:30pm any day and ask to speak to the Manager. Viewings are at the managers discretion and a home visit will be necessary.