Saturday 9 September 2023

Animal shelter is heartbroken at the prospect of splitting up mum and daughter cats but should they be?

The news media reports that staff at an animal charity in Warrington, Warrington Animal Welfare, say that they are going to be heartbroken if a mother and daughter duo, Isobelle and Phoebewho have lived at the shelter for a considerable time, are split up. 

The pair are aged four and two respectively. They say that they are the longest staying shelter cats at their rescue and if they can't be rehomed together there may have to be split up and rehomed separately.

Animal shelter is heartbroken at the prospect of splitting up mum and daughter cats but should they be?
Isobelle and Phoebe at Warrington Animal Welfare. Photos by the rescue.

But if they are rehomed separately the staff at the shelter would be upset. But I question whether they should be upset because in the natural course of events, daughters and sons of parent cats become independent at a certain point in time. 

In the wild, they would leave the natal range and find their own home range and thereby find their own home. They would become independent at a certain age after their mother had shown them how to kill prey and bring it back to the den.

So, my argument is that splitting up mother and daughter is not such a big deal as the shelter staff think it would be. I don't think the daughter would be particularly upset and neither would the mother unless there is a particularly close bond between the two for whatever reason but that, I believe, is unlikely.

You get a similar story with siblings. Some people think that siblings should stay together at the shelter and be rehomed together. But the truth is that if they are adopted by somebody before they become fully independent, when they become independent, they might start fighting each other. You can't automatically presume that siblings will get along well. They might but they might not.

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