Accommodating an independent cat

Fiona is the perfect example of what many people like the most about cats. She’s self-reliant, with an independent streak a mile wide, yet she isn’t a completely aloof or solitary cat. She prefers humans to other cats, but she doesn’t demand affection the moment you walk in the door. Still, she can be loving and sweet, and she sometimes jumps up beside you to lay her head on your hand while you’re reading or working. She’s the perfect mix of self-sufficient and affectionate, and keeping her healthy and happy just takes a little extra accommodation.

A cat who needs her space

Now 11 years old, Fiona came to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary from Kitty Kat Rescue, a Best Friends Network partner in Arizona. She’d been suffering from stomatitis, a chronic and often painful mouth condition and she needed help. After receiving treatment at the Best Friends Animal Clinic, she soon felt much better.

Learn about stomatitis in cats

To keep feeling her best, Fiona needs a stress-free environment. Although she can live peacefully with other cats and doesn’t have to be adopted into a single cat household, she doesn’t particularly enjoy having feline roommates. Having too many other cats around makes her nervous, and with her autonomous nature, she’d be perfectly content as an only cat.

Since most cats are perfectly happy living together, most of Cat World is arranged in group living situations, where cats have multiple roommates. But Fiona’s caregivers knew that she needed more of her own space, so they arranged to give her exactly that. For a while, she stayed in a foster home with only a few other cats. Then, a spot opened in the office of Michelle Weaver, Best Friends’ director of animal care, so Fiona packed her bags and moved back to the Sanctuary.

The life of an office cat

Fiona is enjoying the life of an office cat. Except for her human roommates and visitors who stop by for meetings, she has the large room all to herself. She loves to explore and play, and when she gets tired she hangs out by Michelle’s side in her very own raised, heated bed, or she takes a nap on the desk of executive assistant Laura Rethoret.

Fiona the brown tabby cat lying on a desk next to a laptop computer and mouse

For Fiona, the happiest ending will be finding a quiet home where she has the space to be her own cat. In the meantime, she’s thriving in the office environment, and she’s happier and healthier than ever with no stomatitis flare-ups since her initial treatment. “She’s fabulous and is feeling great,” says Laura. “She does her own thing here and doesn’t feel like she needs to get anyone’s attention. She’s our Miss Independent.”

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Photos by Molly Wald and Best Friends staff