Family Returns Cat After A Day To ‘Swap Her For A Kitten’

A family adopted a shy, anxious cat who has been waiting months for a forever home, then brought her back within 24 hours, explaining that they decided they wanted to “swap” her for a kitten.

I’ll pause for a second here to let PITB readers yell a few choice words about the family.

Okay, now that’s out of the way, hear me out: I think the cat, PJ, dodged a bullet.

The staff at the Melbourne, Australia shelter say they went above and beyond to screen for people who insisted they would be patient with the two-year-old Calico, made sure the adopters met her several times, and sent them home with a list of resources for dealing with a shy cat.

PJ Credit: AAPS Victoria

It sounds like they did a pretty thorough job, and the whole situation illustrates how difficult it is for people who run shelters to be sure they’re sending their animals to good homes.

But PJ wasn’t going to a good home. The kind of people who would return a cat after a day to “swap her for a kitten” are extremely unlikely to be good caretakers, and to treat PJ like the thinking, feeling feline she is.

PJ’s back at the shelter after her “forever home” didn’t work out.

I’ve seen cats like that, and they live miserable, bored, unloved lives. Once their novelty wears off or they’re no longer cute kittens, they become background noise, ignored as if they’re basically house plants. They have no way out of those situations, sadly, and no way to express their feelings, which is why it’s so important for us to learn to listen to our cats. But that’s a subject for a different post.

And no, the shelter did not honor the request to “swap” PJ with a kitten, as if the adopters were in Target, bringing back a 44 inch flat screen for a 50 inch 8K model.

Let’s hope a kind soul hears about PJ’s situation and has a home for her. If any of our Australian readers are interested, PJ’s with the Australian Animal Protection Society (AAPS) in Victoria, and you can find her adoption profile here.

Credit: AAPS


23 thoughts on “Family Returns Cat After A Day To ‘Swap Her For A Kitten’”

  1. I hope this shelter gave names of these trash to warn other shelters not to adopt to them. Social media has its good uses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t want to see them shamed or harassed, and if they’re blacklisted from the local shelter network they’ll just buy a cat or find one on Craigslist. I’m not sure what the answer is, but there’s gotta be a way to make sure people really understand that cats have thoughts and feelings, and to understand the responsibility they’re taking on when they adopt.

      I think incidents like this show how difficult it is for shelter staff to find good homes for animals. And don’t forget, people who work at shelters see the worst of adopters as well as the best, so it’s understandable if they get a bit jaded.

      When I was looking to adopt and one shelter in Manhattan required adopters to attend two training sessions in addition to the usual screening, I thought it was ridiculous. Now I understand why they do it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry. I have no problem in shaming. Harrassing? Do not want that. The garbage who dumped cat on me will be shamed soon enough on social media by friends.Friend will be posting letter by vet saying they never called him to release her medical records. And maybe they will send me $1800 they owe me. But i doubt i will see a penny of that. Lawyer says no point in suing them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I will be careful. Couple who dumped her live in Idaho and no one on both sides of family live in N.Y. That is why lawyer said no point in suing. Some of my clients and friends are in law enforcement. They don’ t think i should do this but think i would be safe.


  2. Miserable people, they will have a miserable life, – how on earth these people continue to exist is beyond me. Nature (NOT humans) needs to do a recalibration in our DNA. If I was in Victoria, Australia I would be there like a shot to take her home and it would be her home and forever. I pray the shelter will now be flooded with applicants to home this beautiful soul

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’s a cute cat so I hope that improves her chances, and maybe someone with experience dealing with shy cats can offer her a home. I read a lot of stuff before adopting Bud, including warnings that kittens could dive under a bed or a couch and stay there for hours, days or even weeks, sneaking out only for food and to use the litter box as they slowly get accustomed to their surroundings.

      I had done the usual kitten-proofing and was fully prepared to deal with a scared kitten. Of course I got a feline Genghis Khan who came screeching out of his carrier, conquering everything in sight, but these things would go a lot smoother if people really understood that cats have feelings just like we do, and they’re intelligent, not furry automatons.

      I don’t envy people who make the adoption decisions at shelters, knowing that even if they do their best at screening people, it’s not always possible to screen out the “bad” applicants.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. he hee, feline Genghis Khan ! – I like that! – Bella was similar, when she came home she came out of the carrier with total confidence. Sniffed around the house and then proceeded to demand food, fuss and that her every whim was attended to. I did keep her in for a few days where she stayed in our bedroom with litter, food, water and toys and when it was obvious that she was not leaving us she was out into the Garden exploring.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. My friend is a rescuer. She is SUPER CAREFUL when adopting cats she rescues. She will try and trick people into saying things and good at it. She adopted this cat to what she thought was almost perfect persin. ADOPTER HAD CAT DECLAWED!! And my friend found out by accident. So hard to weed out bad people.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I don’t know how people can be so uncaring. I’m guessing that either they never had a cat before, or perhaps they just wanted a pretty cat to match the furniture, or maybe they were hoping for a tidy-er version of an active puppy. Either way, the poor cat is lucky that they got rid of her. Now that story is known, I’m sure kind loving people will be lining up for her.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. How sad. I don’t believe in harassing people either. Better education on animal keeping is needed. I’ve seen shy cats, and even ferals, sweeten up, with time. I’ve also seen shy cats who never change. My late Mom had one, and kept him. I have one now, and she’ll always have a home with us. Another friend had one, still has him.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sweet PJ really did dodge a bullet. Those “people” were not worthy of her presence, and would not have treated her in the manner she deserves. I hope they are NEVER able to have another pet, they do not deserve the love and affection that a beloved pet brings. Hang in there, PJ, the right family is out there, and you WILL have your perfect forever home soon.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Imagine taking a shy toddler back to the adoption agency to swap for an infant. Such people should never have children at all.

    My sympathies to PJ and to the shelter folks, who clearly were doing the best they could.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such a sweet girl! I’m sure she’ll be a lovely companion for the right person/family. . . . Wish I lived in Victoria, AUS! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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