Man Threatening to Rehome the 3 Cats His Wife Loves Dragged—'I'm Over Them'

A man who wants to rehome his three cats because he is sick of caring for them has been slammed online after he shared his dilemma.

In a post on Reddit that has since been deleted, the 29-year-old man explained that he and his wife have been married for a year and have three cats.

"Prior to us being together she was very anti-pets," wrote the man. "I'd always wanted a cat. We talked and with heavy persuasion from me, ended up getting a Bengal from a breeder."

But when the first cat turned out to be skittish and nervous, the couple decided to get her a sibling to try to help bring her out of her shell. Later, because neither cat was very cuddly, they also adopted a calico as a lap cat.

Cats in a shelter cage
A file photo of three cats sitting in a cage at a shelter. The internet has slammed a man for saying that he wants to rehome his three cats. Okssi68/Getty Images

"All of these were joint decisions," he explained. "[My] wife feeds them, I do [the] litter box, water, meds, and google solutions to any issues that come up."

In the U.S., according to the World Animal Foundation, 6.3 million companion animals enter shelters each year, including 3.2 million cats. When it comes to rehoming animals, there are usually two options: private rehoming or surrender to a shelter.

Cat behavior consultant Alice Chau-Ginguene told Newsweek: "Having a pet is a two-way relationship. Just like any relationship, it works only if both sides are happy. Humans not being happy with the arrangement is an absolutely legitimate concern. While it might make some pet lovers uncomfortable to admit, having a pet is a big commitment and it does take effort, money, and time.

"Of course, we get so much in return. Unconditional love, loyalty, companionship. And this is why we keep giving," Chau-Ginguene added.

"If one feels overwhelmed by the care of their animals, I would suggest speaking with a pet behaviorist as I sense there is some underlying reason for this resentment. Is it because of toilet behavior or the destruction? These problems can often be resolved.

"However, sometimes the resentment comes from a place where the humans don't feel they are getting anything in return from this relationship, e.g. cats are being shy and do not interact with humans. There is often underlying cause for such behavior."

The couple recently bought a house, and the issue of cat care had started to become problematic.

"I do most of the cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, etc," the poster wrote. "This was the case when I worked, but more so since I've been unemployed for 4 months."

"I've felt discontent with the cats since we moved because I have to clean constantly to stay on top of the shed hair, the food mess, the litter tracked everywhere," he added. "They randomly throw up on rugs and pooped on the hardwood floor—vet visit showed nothing wrong."

The poster wrote that the cats have also scratched up the furniture, and after some time struggling with their care, he wanted to rehome them.

"All in all, I'm over them," said the poster. "[I] want to rehome them responsibly. The first alone and the last two together. I've mentioned it before and was met with sadness and resentment for bringing them into our lives, her getting attached and now me wanting them gone."

His wife accused him of being "flakey" and told her husband that he struggles with commitment.

As a result, he had backed down on the idea, with the condition that his wife help do more of the animal care.

"I understand how it would hurt my wife to give them up, but all I can see are upsides with less mess, more money in the budget, more space with their cat stuff gone," wrote the poster.

In more than 4,500 comments, Redditors slammed the man's decision to rehome his pets.

"Pets are for life, you can't give them up just because you're 'over them'," wrote one Redditor. Meanwhile, another said: "Nothing puts me off more than someone who gets a pet and then gets rid of it, but 3? Pets are a lifelong commitment."

Another Reddit user posted: "Cats aren't toys you can throw away when they're no longer fun."

"It sounds to me that the husband doesn't really have a relationship with the cats," said Chau-Ginguene. "I would review why. Is it the fact that the cats have some behavior problems or the fact that the cats don't interact with him?

"All of these problems can be resolved by working with a cat behaviorist. I can sense that there might also be some resentment between the couple themselves. I feel there is a lot of unpack here, and they really should speak with a psychotherapist."

If you're thinking about private rehoming, Chau-Ginguene suggests still working with a cat charity that is experienced in screening potential owners.

"There are trolls and animal abusers out there to pretend to be adopters—it is not uncommon," she said. "So, please work with someone who is experienced in screening potential adopters. As for surrender to shelter, check that the shelter is registered and follow best practice.

"The sad fact is shelters might have limited space and if they run out of space, they have to find a solution for the overthrowing cats."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.