In this instance, I have taken the 3 top domestic cat problems as those problems which caused the most relinquishments of domestic cats from homes in the USA. In other words the following three domestic cat problems caused the greatest number of cats to be given up to shelters. The shortlist will surprise you because these are not problems at all really.
- Too many cats at home
- owner allergies
Up to about 10% of the population is allergic to cats to varying degrees and many of these people love cats or would love to look after cats so there is a terrible dilemma for many people. There are things that a person can do to minimise the impact of an allergy to the domestic cat but at present there is no easy solution. The ultimate answer is to not adopt a cat. That sounds cruel almost but regrettably it is the ultimate answer. If the person who is allergic to cats adopts a cat and then relinquishes the cat it is arguably worse than adopting the cat in the first place.
As to abandoning a cat because a person is moving home, I am suspicious of this. I realise that sometimes due to financial reasons some cat owners are forced to downsize and rent an apartment. Many landlords forbid the keeping of domestic cats in their properties. This is common knowledge. However, there are properties that a person can rent in which it is possible to keep a domestic cat because the landlord allows it. It is harder to find an apartment that is suitable for both cat and person but they do exist. Perhaps this is really a question of commitment to keeping one's cat at all costs and prioritising that rather than using moving home is a convenient reason for getting rid of one's cat. The Humane Society provide a resources page.
I might be being too harsh and too cynical but I have a strong feeling that some people, not many, use moving home as a convenient reason to abandon their cat. In fact some people will go further than abandoning their cat to a shelter when they move home. They simply leave the cat in the home they have left, which is locked up with very little food and water in it. That of course is a form of gross cat cruelty. It does happen.
These are not cat problems. In truth, if we are really honest with ourselves, these are people problems which can be resolved with commitment and a bit of perseverance.