Do some cat owners introduce a new pet to force the existing one out?

Bad relationship between cat and owner
Bad relationship between cat and owner. Picture in public domain.

Here are some facts about domestic cats and their ownership which encourage me to believe, very speculatively, that some cat owners might introduce a new pet, either a dog or a cat, into the household in order to force the resident cat out to find a new home. This post is provocative but I believe it is fair and reasonable.
  • It is hard to ensure that the resident cat gets on with a new, incoming cat. It can cause stress in both cats, particular the resident cat. It can be difficult to ameliorate this tension. The relationship might never be right.
  • It's a known fact that some domestic cats migrate to a new home for whatever reason. Something is not right where they are living. So they up sticks and find somewhere else, often a neighbour's home.
  • We also know that some cat owners relinquish their cats to shelters under unjustified circumstances. It is done entirely voluntarily. Indeed, some cat owners take their cats to a veterinarian to put them down despite the cat being thoroughly healthy. That sounds ridiculous but it does happen. The point I am making is that the relationship between domestic cat and owner is not always good. There are instances when the relationship is broken or breaking down.
  • We also know that some people do not like to openly relinquish their cats to a shelter. There are numerous instances of people abandoning cats in shelters surreptitiously by leaving them in boxes outside the front door or whatever. They do this at any time of the year including the deepest part of the winter when it is freezing outside. They even do it at night when it's even colder. So, there is a reluctance to advertise the fact that they are giving up on their cat or cats. Perhaps there is a stigma involved.
In order to avoid this stigma some canny cat owners might adopt a new cat or dog in the knowledge that it may force the existing cat out. Perhaps their relationship with the resident cat has broken down. They might be ambivalent about whether they want to continue living with their cat. They set up a situation where the resident cat might decide to leave. They encourage the scenario. It is a speculative action because it might not work. But it might work and this might suit them. 

RELATED: Not sure whether you want a cat? Try fostering first.

You would have to be a poor domestic cat caregiver to dream up that sort of scheme. But, then again, there must be a substantial percentage of homes in which caregivers are rather poor at the job. We don't have data on this. But it wouldn't surprise me that at least 10% of cat owners are average-to-poor in the caregiving that they provide. If that is correct, we are looking at millions of people. Some of them might concoct the kind of scheme that I have suggested.


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