Idlewild Animal Sanctuary – Providing a safe haven and rehoming centre for unwanted and abandoned animals
Idlewild Animal Sanctuary – Providing a safe haven and rehoming centre for unwanted and abandoned animals

PEPPER’S STORY

We were contacted by a lady whose mum had recently passed away leaving behind her cat Pepper. Pepper was very lost without her owner and had been hiding under the bed and not wanting to come out. When Pepper came to the Sanctuary, she came out of her carrier ok and had a fuss of the Centre Manager and all seems well. When Pepper was going to the vets for a check-up, things suddenly changed. Pepper was confused she didn’t know what was happening and her nervousness turned to aggression. When she came back from the vets the staff couldn’t even get her out of the carry box as she was hissing and jumping towards anyone that tried to open the cat box door. Pepper was left in the carrier which was put in her crate and she was allowed time to calm down.

Pepper already had a new owner lined up at this point and as the home check had been passed, the new owner was very keen to collect her. The new owner was made aware that pepper was very upset and still agreed to take her home and let her settle in. He had agreed to a plan for an introduction to the existing cat and planned to keep them in separate rooms and then swap scent between the cats, then swap the rooms so they could get used to each other smells and then finally and slowly introduce them to each other. The staff was confident that Pepper would settle down and the new owner was confident that he could give her the time and space she needed. The following day Kim the Centre manager check in with the new owner to see how pepper was doing. The new owner reported that Pepper was being vicious, she was hissing at him and not letting him walk past her. She’s had also got out of the bedroom and attacked the other cat too. As Pepper was being very aggressive the new owner was questioning if he could cope with her as he felt she was quite dangerous. He was considering returning her and even stated that he didn’t know if he would be able to get her inside the carrier himself and said he would need some help, so asked if we could come and collect her if we had got some gauntlets to try to handle her. He really felt this was not going to work out at all. We were very worried to hear she was so unhappy, and we suggested some steps to put in place and for the new owner to try and give her a little more time to relax as it had only been 24 hours and we felt some more persistence was needed to make her feel more secure. Luckily for Pepper, the new owner agreed to give her more time and he ordered some Feliway to help her settle too. Thankfully over the next couple of days, things began to improve slowly and Pepper began to settle. The owner’s current cat was also trying to make friends with her and was being a gentleman even after the earlier attack. A couple of weeks on we were still getting regular updates every few days and the integration between the two cats couldn’t have been going better the new owner told the Centre Manager that Peppa she has settled in and was now best friends with the current cat and they were always playing together. This story highlights that even the most unsettled and at times aggressive cat, given the right amount of patience and space can come around and thrive in a new home. If at first things seem impossible just step back and think of all the changes the cat has been through and if you stick with difficult starts, even in a short space of time (only two weeks), everything can change. Peppers new owner loves her very much and could not be happier that he stuck with her and his love and attention have given her a new forever home.