Thursday, December 24, 2009

Video - Cat Does Dog Tricks

Whoever said cats aren't trainable has simply never spent the time with their cat to teach it. Cats can learn many of the same tricks as dogs can, however they require more time, patience and treats than dogs! I've met a few clicker-trained cats and it always amazes me. I hate to admit it but the best I've been able to do with my cat is get him to come when he's called (75% of the time).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Cats - Shelter

It's getting colder out there -- I'm sure you've all noticed. While you are tucked in all cozy in your nice warm homes this week, take some time and think about the stray and feral cats living outside.

While not everyone can afford to feed the outdoor cats, I encourage you to offer shelter to these felines this winter. Your furry feline friends are able to still catch birds (chickadees and other winter birds), raid garbage cans, etc. but if no shelter is available, they run the risk of freezing to death.

IndyFeral has this to say about Outdoor Cat Shelters:

"Unless you operate a managed colony, don't underestimate the number of cats in your may only see one or two, but there are probably more. Try to provide more shelter space than you imagine needing."

"Bedding material typically consists of straw, or wood chips & similar materials. Cedar bedding materials may be added in small amounts to provide flea resistance. Alternately, we recommend a sprinkling of a high quality, veterinarian recommended, cat-safe flea powder in the bedding. Do NOT use blankets, towels, etc. inside the shelter! The inside will be exposed to moisture from outdoors and the cats themselves and fabric tend to mold and mildew. "

Later this week I will write about feeding your outdoor cats, food choices and best practices.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Featured Rescue - Sasha

Sasha is an older gal; though her ad doesn't say her age. She is in Tonawanda, NY at the Erie County SPCA.

For a senior cat at a shelter, being adopted is like winning the lottery. It is rare. Many don't make it out in a carrier ...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups November

Hello everyone! Thought I'd let you know that out of the cats I listed on my blog in the month of November (and in previous months), the following have been adopted:

Featured Rescue - Albert and Onyx both have found homes! (adult)
Featured Rescue - Zombie (senior)
Featured Rescue - Gypsy (adult)
Featured Rescue - Halo (adult)
Featured Rescue - Squeakers (adult)

Congratulations to those cats!

Remember, SPAY AND NEUTER your cats! There are so many out there looking for homes ... many are euthanized every day. I know one shelter in my area that euthanizes 20+ animals per day (cats or dogs). It is an SPCA. There are just too many out there. The numbers are STAGGERING. Sometimes the rescues and shelters have to make that decision for those animals that are more difficult to adopt. When a listing has been removed I always hope that the animal has been adopted and not euthanized.

Monday, December 14, 2009

News Reel - Condo Pet: Born in barn, cat goes uptown

I love this story. It's a nice story for the holiday season ... makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. Please take a few minutes to read it.

Brandy was born in a barn and still loves to play with mice. The fluffy charcoal grey cat likes to line them up in the foyer of the condo while she waits for her owner, Frances Greenwood, to return from her job as an associate investment adviser at Blackmont Capital Inc.

Luckily, the row of rodents only look real (to an imaginative kitty). It's all part of a daily ritual, it seems, for Brandy who has a distinctive, fun-loving personality and likes to wait in the kitchen, lolling on her back and purring, after Greenwood goes into the kitchen to say hello.

"She is an imp,'' says Greenwood, who loves her company and the distraction Brandy provides, especially since her husband passed away in May, 2004.

"Brandy is extremely affectionate and has filled my life with laughter, especially when I thought there was nothing that would ever make me laugh again,'' says Greenwood. "She is such a lady and very, very meticulous and particular ... much like her owner.''

Six-year-old Brandy has plenty of room to exercise in the spacious midtown condo, which has two bedrooms and two sunrooms. Although she is alone during the day, she doesn't appear to get lonely. That may be because she "thinks that her reflection in the mirrored bedroom closet doors is a friend and spends long stretches of time purring at the image,'' says Greenwood. "She also adores any of my shoes.''

When her owner is at home, Brandy expects attention and sometimes gets "very jealous when I talk on the phone and has, on many occasions, pulled the receiver from my hand. So a cellphone comes in handy.''

When Brandy was young, Greenwood would put her on top of the entertainment unit so she could look at her face and say "give me a kiss."

"So now when she wants something she will either jump on the kitchen counter or onto the bed and give me a kiss,'' she says.

A work friend had told Greenwood about a farm cat's kittens who were about six weeks old and available for adoption. When Greenwood said she was interested, her friend's son picked up Brandy and delivered her.

"The reason I adopted her was that at the time my husband was very ill and his Siamese cat, Bambi, was ill as well and I wanted to make sure that when he was at home, he would always have the company of a pet and he loved cats,'' Greenwood said. Bambi died a year after her husband.

"Thank goodness I had my sweet Brandy,'' she says, for comfort and company.

When they are alone in the condo, the petite seven-pound cat who loves hummus, smoked salmon cream cheese and "any French cheese'' purrs constantly.

At bedtime, Brandy has another ritual. She collects her favourite toy mouse – Greenwood calls him Irving – "and brings him to bed every night.'

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Entrecard Top Droppers

The following are Entrecard's top droppers for the last 31 days. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, but unfortunately I can't publish each and every link. Therefore, here are the most frequent passers by from Entrecard:

The Den of the Dogman
The Junk Drawer
Knudism Organization
Rehoboth Beach Delaware Jobs
Authors Webpage
Direct Wholesale Warehouse
Profitable Business
Online Advertising

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Featured Rescue - Squeakers

Squeakers is a senior gal located at the Erie County SPCA in NY. She is a little shy at first but if you give her some space and let her get settled, she is an affectionate cat.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Drowning In Cats - The Shelter Pet Project

The following post has been cross posted from my other blog, Dogs Deserve Freedom ...


"According to The Humane Society of the United States and Maddie’s Fund, of the eight million pets that enter animal shelters and rescue groups every year, approximately three million of these healthy and treatable pets are euthanized due to a lack of adoption."

Good Grief. It's heartbreaking when you see the actual number of animals that go in and out of shelters and rescue groups each year ... 8 million animals enter; 3 million healthy ones euthanized. That is a hell of a lot of animals. Could you imagine what those numbers would be like if people started to spay/neuter their pets??

When you look at numbers like that it is very easy to shrug it off with a "well I can't fix it" attitude. Take that attitude and toss it out the door. While you may not be able to help those millions of animals today, you can make a difference.

The next time you are out at the grocery store and see one of those rescues peddling for coin, drop in a dollar. If each person in your community donated one dollar can you imagine how many pets they could help? Ontario's population alone is an estimated 13,014,000 (as of Apr 1, 2009) ... if each of those people donated one dollar ... well, that's a lot of money!

The next time you are looking for a new pet go to your local shelter. If you are looking for a specific breed, go to a breed rescue. Many breed rescues have puppies/kittens as well as adults and seniors.

If you can't adopt, go spend an hour of your time volunteering at your local shelter. (WARNING ... Don't get into the politics!!) Clean cat boxes, scoop out dog runs or take a dog for a long walk. To those animals you have just made a difference.

Talk to your friends, neighbours and co-workers about adopting from a shelter or rescue. Explain to them that there are some really great dogs/cats out there just waiting for a home. Many people think that the dogs/cats at the shelter have behavioural problems, but most are simply nice animals down on their luck.

And for goodness'sake ... please Spay and Neuter your pets people! I will begin regularly posting low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinics on my blog, Drowning In Cats, so you may be able to find an alternative in your area.

Check out The Shelter Pet Project website and help make a difference. Together we can change the world ... Together we can.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Featured Rescue - Stormy

Stormy is an older cat who is looking for a nice home she can curl up in. She is an owner surrender as the owner's children suddenly developed allergies. Hmm ... another mysterious "allergy" case or is it legit???
If you can offer a home to Stormy, she is located in New York, NY

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ontario Private Bill to Repeal BSL

This is off topic for this blog, but I wanted to cross-post it here as well as on my other blog just in case someone out there reads this one and not my other one *gasp*

Tomorrow morning at Queen's Park there is a rally in support of Repealing BSL in Ontario. Please read below for details ... note that the following is identical to my post on Dogs Deserve Freedom.

I read this on the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC) website. Turn's out an MPP is putting forth a private bill to repeal the breed part out of the Dog Owner's Liability Act (DOLA). I do not agree with BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) and have blogged about both sides of the argument in the past. I feel that there are better ways to manage a DOLA and keep the general public safe however I do understand the need to prevent dog bites/attacks.

Below I have copied and pasted the alert from the DLCC's page. They are asking everyone who can to go to Queens Park on November 18th to show your support. I will be there. Will you?


Private Members Bill to Repeal the ONTARIO BAN

Cheri DiNovo (MPP for Parkdale) has joined a GROWING LIST of other politicians that support REPEALING DOLA.

Cheri is going to put forth a Private Member's Bill forward to repeal the Breed Specific part of the Dog Owner's Liability Act between 10am and 11:30 am in front of Queens Park on November 18th. As a responsible dog owner herself, Cheri understands that this law must be repealed so that more effective measures (which are not breed specific) can be put into place.

Advocates for responsible dog ownership are making their demands known. We will no longer allow laws that make dog owners criminals or at best second class citizens simply because of how their dog 'looks'.

COME TOGETHER. We need bodies at this event. Clayton Ruby along with many other advocates for responsible dog ownership will be there and so will the media. Let's show them that dog owners are barking mad about this travesty.

We are asking that ALL dog owners join together in solidarity and support Ms.Di Novo in her efforts.


Queens Park
at 9:30 am
November 18, 2009

If you cannot be there, please forward your support to repeal the ban to:

C. Smith
Charles Smith Executive Assistant
Cheri DiNovo MPP
Parkdale High Park
Tel: (416) 325-0244
Fax: (416) 325-0305

Dogs Deserve Freedom IN: If you have a blog or website, please cross-post this information with a backlink to the DLCC webpage to spread the word regardless whether or not you can be there or are in Ontario!

Remember ... "Having heard all of this, you may choose to look the other way ... but you can never say again that you did not know." William Wilberforce 1759-1833

Monday, November 16, 2009

Featured Rescue - Cookie

This lovely gal is hanging out with All About Animals Rescue in Eastpointe, MI. Her name is Cookie. If you take a few minutes and read their description of her, you will find that she seems to have very few vices - other than her age.

Older cats are nearly impossible to adopt out unless they are really pushed by rescue (or are in prominent cage locations in a shelter environment). Very few people ever go out of their way to adopt a senior cat. Most people want kittens or even young cats. The rescue I volunteer with told me once that after they hit 8 years old it's nearly impossible to adopt them out - even if they lower the adoption fee to $10!

I wonder if there is a common trend with the way people look at seniors? Senior cats. Senior dogs. Senior humans. Does anyone know if there has been a research study done on this? It would be really interesting to read ...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Featured Rescue - Cinders

This is Cinders. Check out how nice it is to read her ad! In a quick glance, I can tell TONS about her!

Good with cats: No

Good with children: Yes

Good with dogs: unknown

Age: 11 yrs old

There is a section underneath that is for "Notes". Here, the rescue has given some anecdotal details about Cinders. This is the info that the shelter or foster home can gather.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Featured Rescue - Maggie

In contrast to yesterday's post about Zombie, a cat who had far too few details posted about him in his Petfinder ad, here is ... A cat who has way too much listed! It's like verbal diarreah ... it just keeps coming!

I actually stopped reading and had to refocus on the task! This cat has been returned a few times to different shelters and rescues; including the one that has her listed. The ad just goes on and on. Poor Maggie. I don't even know what to say. It's like reading someone's diary entry - someone who is making excuses for the cat and doesn't really believe what he/she is saying (an interesting thought for a topic).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Featured Rescue - Zombie

Ok, this one would have been awesome to feature just before Hallowe'en. Check it out! This is "Zombie".

Now, I know I've gone off on tangent's before when I've run across adoptable animals whose names are not appealing ... there have actually been studies to investigate the most adoptable names. Crazy, no? Anyway, I wanted to say that while Zombie isn't a name I would choose for a cat, the time of year may actually work out ok for this guy!

Zombie has NO information on his Petfinder ad. Literally. I've seen poorly written ads before, but this one takes the cake. Couldn't someone at least spend 5 minutes petting the guy to be able to throw something together for him?? Shame on you Erie County SPCA. I'm sure you could do better.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Featured Rescue - Teena Marie

After doing some thinking for the last week or so, trying to figure out what I will feature for November (and wasting away the days), I have decided that I will feature Senior cats. If you work or volunteer at a rescue and you know of a Senior cat that needs a little publicity, let me know and I will try to include him/her in my lists!

Today's Featured Rescue is Teena Marie. Teena Marie doesn't have her age listed but her advertisement does say that her owner passed away. She is a Domestic Short Hair (DSH). If you are interested in offering Teena Marie a nice quiet home where she can spend out her days, please contact Casper Humane Society. Casper, WY 307-265-5439

Monday, November 9, 2009

Albert goes home

I wanted to share with you some good news. I received an email from a volunteer at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter and she wanted us to know that Albert found a home.

On November 3, S. wrote "Albert found a Home today! Jumped right into the carrier! (Think he did it so they wouldn't change their minds! LOL)"

To read my post about Albert, check it out at Featured Rescue - Albert and Onyx. Onyx is still available so if you're interested in adding a lovely black cat to your home, consider Onyx!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Entrecard top droppers

Wow! This is my first post for Entrecard top droppers. I haven't had the widget on this blog for very long so it is still new. Here are the top droppers for the last 30 days ...

World Linker
Nice Live Inn Panama
Bike in Cyprus
Online Advertising
Founder Greatest High Income
Down Town Gourmet ABQ
Profitable Business
Peoples Deserve to Live in Peace
Something Special About Spike Island
Healthy Lifestyle Journey

Thanks to all those who have taken the time to "drop" by! Thanks also to those who have been advertising on this blog!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Featured Rescue Followups and November Cats

Hello everyone! Thought I'd let you know that out of the cats I listed on my blog in the month of October, the following have been adopted:

Pandora (kitten)
Magic (declawed adult)
Miles (kitten)

Congratulations to those cats! The following cats are still looking for new homes.

Featured Rescue - Deuce ("young")
Featured Rescue - Maude (adolescent)
Featured Rescue - Gypsy (adult)
Featured Rescue - Mickey (kitten)
Featured Rescue - Rosie (adolescent)
Featured Rescue - Halo (adult approaching senior)
Featured Rescue - Gus (adult)
Featured Rescue - Hex (kitten)
Featured Rescue - Raine (adolescent)

Remember, SPAY AND NEUTER your cats! There are so many out there looking for homes ... many are euthanized every day. I know one shelter in my area that euthanizes 20+ animals per day (cats or dogs). It is an SPCA. There are just too many out there. The numbers are STAGGERING. Sometimes the rescues and shelters have to make that decision for those animals that are more difficult to adopt.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Featured Rescue - Albert and Onyx

Today I will post two black cats; Albert and Onyx. These two cats are both located at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter.

Albert is a Domestic Short Hair Hemingway Polydactyl cat. Funny about this guy - he's been sitting in this shelter since April, but he's Polydactyl. There are many cats we end up having around for months or more but whenever we list that they are Polydactyl we seem to adopt them out much quicker. While Albert does not like dogs at all, he does get along nicely with other cats of various ages.
Onyx has been at the shelter since July. If I read that ad correctly, she came in as a kitten and has been slowly growing to adult-hood in the care of shelter volunteers/workers.
If you can offer either of these cats a home please contact the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter at 716-873-7735.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Featured Rescue - Deuce

I posted yesterday about kittens and the high energy they tend to have. If you are looking for a laid back cat who can just hang out with you and watch tv, kittens aren't the best way to go. You may
want to consider an adult cat.

Today's featured rescue is named Deuce. He's a laid back cat who would be best suited to someone looking for a lap-cat; he just wants to cuddle! Deuce is in Warren, MI.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Featured Rescue - Maude

Today's Featured Rescue is a black Domestic Medium Hair cat from Wellsville, NY.

Her name is Maude. She is listed as a kitten, but I'm not sure how old. The ad doesn't say this.
You know, the best advice I can give you about kittens is this. PLEASE be prepared for the extreme energy of a kitten before you get one. Kittens are babies and will act like children. They don't know the rules. They think everything is climbable/shreddable/chewable. They run. They play.
An unfortunate thing I see volunteering with rescue is the family who adopt a kitten after euthanizing their elderly cat, then return the kitten with comments that suggest the energy is too high. They are looking for a more relaxed and laid back cat.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Featured Rescue - Pandora

I'm loving these great and creative names that people call the black cats out there! I've known many and the names for black cats are often really unique.

This is Pandora. She has extra toes which means she is a polydactyl cat. Brought in at 4 weeks old as a stray, Pandora is waiting for her forever family to come and bring her home. She is located in Clyde, MI.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Superstitions - Black Cats

I found this interesting article at The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI). I found it pretty interesting. I have copied and pasted most of the article below.


Black Cats

The cat was worshipped in Egypt and to kill one was considered a capital crime. When an Egyptian family's cat died, the cat was mummified and the family went into mourning. Romans, also, considered the cat sacred and introduced it into Europe. By the 17th Century, however, the cat began to be associated with witchcraft and it's luck turned from good to bad in many areas. A practice that became popular for a time was to burn cats and other animals on Shrove Tuesday (before the start of Lent), in order to protect one's home from fire and other calamities.

Superstitions centering around the black cat are some of the most well-known and popular superstitions today. It is interesting, though, because the good or bad luck they possess is dependent on where you live in the world. In Britain and Japan, having a black cat cross your path, is considered good luck, whereas if you live in the USA or several European countries, it is bad luck to have a black cat walk by.

Good luck associated with black cats include:

Possessing a black cat.
Having a black cat greet you at a door.
Having a black cat enter your home.
Meeting three black cats in succession.
Touching a black cat.

Bad luck associated with black cats include:

Meeting a black cat early in the morning.
Having a black cat turn its back on you.
Scaring or driving away a black cat from your property.
Walking under a ladder after a black cat has walked underneath it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Featured Rescue - Gypsy

I really hate these ads. Check this one out. Poor Gypsy got one whole line ...

"Gypsy is up-to-date with routine shots, house trained and spayed/neutered."

They didn't even bother to specify whether she was spayed or neutered; just a classic copy/paste job with the name inserted. Poor gal - she's probably a lovely cat too. If you have space in your home and you live near Attica, NY then drop by Wyoming County SPCA and visit Gypsy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Featured Rescue - Mickey

This is Mickey ... isn't he beautiful? The first thought that I had when I saw his picture was "Wow." Do you ever run across something like this and just sit dumbstruck for a moment while your brain figures it all out?

Mickey is located in Toronto, ON and is being taken care of by the Toronto Cat Rescue. He was born on May 20, 2009 so he's still pretty young.

I love it when I see an ad like this: "Mickey gets along with anyone, including kids, cats and dogs" but at the same time I wonder why he's in rescue to begin with? Perhaps simply overpopulation is the problem.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Featured Rescue - Rosie

Rosie has been at the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter since April 09. These sorts of stories are so sad, but so common. Here are a few comments the shelter posted about Rosie:

"She has grown up a lot in the last 5 months but would prefer to live out her life in a home. She is very social and loves to play Patty-cake with the cat in the cage next to her. Needs another cat to tumble wtih, someone to play with her a lot."
If you can offer Rosie the home she's been looking for, see her profile below.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Featured Rescue - Magic

You know, there are over 13,000 Domestic Short Hair BLACK cats listed on petfinder. 13,424 to be exact.

Today's rescue is another appropriately named October black cat. His name is Magic. There is little information about him other than the fact that he is declawed on all four feet!

Good grief ... I have issues with declawing. It's a painful procedure and often unneccessary. Google it. Read about it. Here are a few links ...

The Declawing Menu
Article written by Veterinarian Dr. Christianne Schelling

When people take their possessions over their cats it bothers me. I have a coaster that says "Cats are nature's way of telling you that your furniture cost too much".

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Featured Rescue - Halo

Today's featured rescue is named Halo. She is 6 years old and has been in a shelter since May 8, 2009.

You know, I hate to criticize, but if the cat has been around for so long, why haven't they bothered to take better pictures??

Anyways, she is an owner surrender. The post says that she has to find her 'forever' home soon ... I wonder if she is approaching the end of her time limit at the St. Clair County Humane Law Enforcement ... I bet.

If you can make room for a black cat in your home consider a rescue. Consider Halo. She is running out of time. She is in Port Huron, MI.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Featured Rescue - Gus

People just shouldn't post things like this in the Adoption Listings!! There are some things you should post, and others you should avoid ...

Tell me, does the following writeup make you want to go out and adopt this guy?

Gus is 4 year old, neutered, totally declawed and microchipped male cat. He is current on all shots and tested negative for FIV/leukemia. We got him as a tiny kitten found on the side of the road. He currently lives in a household with 2 female cats and 2 dogs. He has been having a problem with peeing outside of the litter box - possibly because he is not getting along with the females or because of a neighborhood cat he sees outdoors. I have had him to the vet to be checked for medical problems and he has a clean bill of health in the urinary tract department. I have tried everything to address this problem: Feliway, kitty Prozac, cat attract litter. Gus is a sweet cat (black long hair), with a quirky personality. He has a loud purr and likes attention and brushing. He gets along well with dogs. I am hoping that this negative behavior will stop if he is in a different environment.

If you are interested in taking this guy on, he is located in Rome, OH.

They are quite probably right - a change in environment would resolve his issues ... but why wouldn't they try things like crating him at home? This would also begin to address the issues to see if there is an inappropriate substrate preference or if there are other causes. I have known cats to use a litter box only if you put plastic bags under the litter (or carpet samples, or rocks, etc).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Featured Rescue - Hex

Keeping in mind that it is October and therefore the month of Hallowe'en, I thought today's featured rescue would fit right in! His name is Hex.

Hex was born on June 24, 2009. He is filled with the kitten-crazies but will curl up and cuddle when play-time is over.
If you are able to offer Hex a home, he is located in Collingwood, ON.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Featured Rescue - Raine

Today's featured black cat rescue is Raine. Raine is a playful DMH black cat looking for her new forever home. She's currently located in Hamilton, ON.
Raine has some gorgeous green eyes. Beautiful. She is still young; estimated to only be about a year old.
If you are in Ontario and can open your home to a homeless black cat, please consider Raine.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Featured Rescue - Miles

For the month of October I have decided to feature black cats in need of new homes. Black cats, like Black Dogs, are difficult to find homes for. Although we live in a technology based world, superstition still runs rampant. I will write a post about this later in the week.

Today's featured rescue is a black cat named Miles. This little guy is still young - 3.5 months ... that's only 14 weeks old. Miles is in Newfane, NY. If you are in the area and have been considering a cat - consider Miles!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - Spay USA

Today's Featured Low-Cost Spay/Neuter clinic is a nationwide network and referral service for affordable spay/neuter services. This site will help you locate a Low-Cost Clinic in your geographical area. The Spay USA site has many different resources you can use in your own community to help spread the word.

Print off a copy of any of the following Spay USA pdf files and post it up around your town

Littermates can Litter
How Quickly Can Cats Multiply
Why Your Cat Should Be Spayed/Neutered

North Shore Animal League Intl.
14 Vanderventer Ave., Suite L-1
Port Washington, NY 10050

Call Spay/USA to get the names, phone numbers, and prices of services that have agreed to provide lower cost spay/neutering for cats and dogs in your local area. Private veterinarians, community programs, and special clinics participate nationwide.

If your area needs additional spay/neuter services, request Spay/USA's packet of materials to distribute to local vets and organizations.

You Can Make a Difference

Thursday, August 20, 2009

World's Best Cat Litter coupon

This is actually a partial crosspost as I originally was informed about this on the cat / dog log. World's Best Cat Litter is offering a promo right now because they just changed packaging on their litter.

I often have intact (SMELLY) cats recovering from neuter/spay surgeries and I love using this litter because it reduces the smell better than any other litter available. It's made from whole kernel corn that traps the ammonia odour well.

Also, the corn doesn't stick to the cats as badly as clay does. The ferals really love to curl up in their litter box (I would assume it offers some form of security feelings) so having something that won't stick to them is super duper important. It's not like you can take the feral cat, pick it up and start rubbing the clay off its belly (and incision) to keep clean.

It is my favourite cat litter. The company is launching their brand new website on August 19th, and they are offering $4.00 off to anyone who places an order through this special link beginning August 19th and ending August 29th. If you're interested in taking advantage of the $4.00 discount, CLICK HERE.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Winter Shelters for Feral Cats

Sometimes to make a difference, all it takes is a rubbermaid container and a bit of straw.

Feral cats are everywhere. This is simply a fact of life and will be for years to come. What many people don't realize is that feral cats control other factors to our life that we don't always think about (like the pest population). They often benefit our lives without us even realizing it so why don't we offer a little support and help to them?

The PACT Humane Society has posted some great ideas for feral cat winter shelter ideas. How neat are they?

Alley Cat Allies also have a few different ideas listed for building shelters for ferals and strays. Check out their page here to see some ideas and building instructions.

I went and checked these ideas out and they look to be some great ways to help stray and feral cats in the area. These ideas are low cost with great returns. Go take a peek!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - People For Animals

Today's Featured Low Cost Spay / Neuter Clinic is People for Animals in Hillside, NJ which was recommended by Laura. Here's a brief overview:

Payment is due at the time of exams. Fees include spay/neuter, rabies vaccinations

Female under 41 pounds:
Female 41 to 60 pounds:
Female 61 to 80 pounds:
Female Over 80 pounds:

Pregnant/in Heat:
Add $10

Male under 41 pounds:
Male 41 to 65 pounds:
Male 66 to 80 pounds:
Male Over 80 pounds:



ADDITIONAL SERVICES (performed only at time of surgery):
Nail Clipping - Cats: $5, Dogs: $10
Cat Heartworm/FELV/FIV test - $25
Dog Heartworm/Lyme Test - $25
Microchip (includes registration) - $35
Wisdom Panel Mix Breed Genetic Testing - Dogs: $100

Saturday, June 13, 2009

CL Rant - Howling Siamese

Here is a case of someone who is at their wits end. I bet you that if this issue isn't resolved in the next week, you will see a posting for a free 15 month old siamese cat.

So this cat howls at 3am. Every night. The owner gets up, feeds him, plays with him and pets him at 3am to quiet him down ... Then he/she takes the cat to bed so he will stay quiet for the rest of the night.
Then she can't figure out why he's doing this ... *headdesk headdesk*
Perhaps because he's spoiled and doesn't know any better? Perhaps because you're rewarding him when you get up at 3am with him? I wonder if he's neutered? Doesn't say. Maybe he's randy.
Anyone want to take a stab at it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - Alaska SPCA

Today's Friday Featured Clinic comes all the way from Alaska!

Alaska SPCA Spay/Neuter Clinic
549 West International Airport Road
#B-2Anchorage, AK 99518

Phone = 907-562-2999

Open six days a week, but call for information first. Also has a mobile spay/neuter clinic visiting other Alaskan communities.

Surgery fees:
Male Cat Neuter - $40Male Dog Neuter - $65
Male Rabbit Neuter - $65
Female Cat Spay - $65Female Dog Spay - $80

Vaccination fees:
Distemper - $10 (feline)
Rabies - $15
Leukemia - $12
Bordetella (injection) - $12
Distemper/Parvo combination - $16

Other Services:
Cat AVID Microchip* - $20
Dog AVID Microchip* - $30
Feline Leukemia Test - $20
Cat Nail Trim - Free
Dog Nail Trim - $10 ($5 with vaccinations)Health Certificate - $40 ($10 each add'l)
Municipal Dog License available


Do you have a low cost Spay/Neuter clinic in your area you would like me to promote? Let me know!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rant - Cat Carriers

Do you know how many cats are lost because their owners didn't bother with a cat carrier?? Every week we get multiple phone calls from people who were transporting their cat to the vet (or groomer). Unfortunately these asshats thought it would be a good idea to carry their cat on their lap. Lo and behold! The cat jumped out when they opened the door! Are you surprised??

Good grief people! Just go get a cat carrier. It would save you so much heartache.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - Worcester Animal Rescue League

The Worcester Animal Rescue League in Worcester, Massachusetts ( does low-cost spay/neuter days several Mondays a month, vaccines and blood tests also available. Following is an exerpt from their website:

WARL is now hosting low cost spay neuter clinics for your cats and dogs. Several Mondays each month, the shelter opens up it's surgery suite for you to bring your pet in to be spayed or neutered. We can also provide blood testing and vaccines the same day. Spaces are limited so call early and make your appointment fast! Learn about the benefits of spaying/neutering your pet.

Fees are as follows:
Male cat $45.00
Female cat $60.00
Mmale dog $90.00
Female dog $150.00
Vaccines and blood tests are additional. Please call for more details 508 853 0030


Thanks go out to Leslie, a reader who sent this information to me about WARL. Following is her experience with WARL:

"We had two of our cats neutered there (the cats do have a regular vet as well, but we were slightly short of cash at the time). These were the cats of our not-so-good tenants, who did not pay rent for a considerable time; we were out of pocket from that and from cleaning up the apartment, as well as taking in their astoundingly sweet unneutered kitties.

Yes, they had an intact tom and brought an unspayed female kitten into the same household when they didn't have the money to get the tom neutered or vaccinated, even after I gave them information about low-cost vet care. (I'm not bitter; the cats are darlings)"

The surgery was done "with good results - the only problem, a minor one, was that they did an interesting job shaving the girl-kitten, in that she had bare belly a good third of the way up one side and nearly halfway up the other. Being a longhaired kitten, she looked kind of silly."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - Project CatSnip

Low cost clinics like this are good for those who don't have the money for a conventional vet or for rescue groups who do high volume. Remember that for the average pet owner, going to the regular veterinarian is the best route. This is because many of the low cost clinics don't have time to take extra special care for your pet, many don't even do vaccinations. My vet always takes a quick peek around, checks to see if there were cists on ovaries and always does a complete checkup on the animals. This can sometimes give you a good understanding if there will be potential problems in the future.
That being said, here's your Friday Featured Clinic:

Ok, so I read the name of this and couldn't help but laugh! Project CatSnip ... that's awesome!

Cat Neuter
Cat Spay

This is a service provided in Atlanta, GA. For those of you who are in the Atlanta area, check it out! Perhaps you will consider neutering one of your own cats? Or if they are already done, why not donate the cost of neutering a local stray or feral cat!?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cat Food Recall

Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care and Nutro Max dry cat foods has announced a voluntary recall of select varieties. If you feed this food, please read the following article for more information.

Popular Pet Food Recall

I posted this entry on my other blog, Dogs Deserve Freedom, as well

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Featured Clinic - Spay Now Inc.

After last week's post about a low cost spay neuter clinic, I thought I'd make this my Friday Feature and I will post one every week. Low cost clinics like this are good for those who don't have the money for a conventional vet or for rescue groups who do high volume. Remember that for the average pet owner, going to their regular veterinarian is the best route. This is because many of the low cost clinics don't have time to take extra special care for your pet, many don't even do vaccinations. My vet always takes a quick peek to see if there were cists on ovaries and always does a complete checkup on the animals (we've found some weird things on some of the cats going in!). This can sometimes give you a good understanding if there will be potential problems in the future.

That being said, here's your Friday Featured Clinic:

Spay Now Inc. is a clinic in Grasonville, Maryland that offers low cost spay neuter. Below are their prices. Please note that shelters, rescue groups and feral groups should contact them for special pricing.

Female $55.00
Male $45.00

0-50lbs $85.00
51-80 lbs $98.00
81 - 129 lbs $150.00
Over 130 lbs $200.00

0-49 lbs $75.00
50-99lbs $85.00
99 - 150 lbs $100.00
Over 150 Lbs $150.00

Male $65.00

Check out their website for more details and contact information.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Feral Cats - Handling 101 Ed.2

If you have not read the first Edition of Feral Cats - Handling 101, I encourage you to do so before reading this post. It may explain a bit.

Ok, so now you have Mr.Feral Cat in a crate instead of in the live animal trap. Now what? Well, now you will have to move him and get him situated in a holding location until you can get him in to the clinic for the good-ol Clip-N-Snip.

Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when working with this guy ...

First off, DO NOT stick your fingers in the cage and say what a cute kitty he is! He is NOT a cute kitty. He is a wild, savage feline who will not hesitate to take your arm off. Keep your limbs on this side of the bars and don't tempt him. This will keep him safe because the more you are close to him, the more stress you put on him. Stress is not good for his health and if you are going to be prepping him for surgery, you want minimal stress.

Secondly, DO NOT try to pick up or move the cage without covering it with a blanket or towel first. You'll scare the crap right out of him (yes, literally). If you have a true feral, he may have already expelled his anal glands at this point from the stress. TRUST ME ... stress is not good for these guys!! It smells. If you ever need to prove that stress is a tangible thing, go get a feral cat and hold him in your arms. You'll see and smell what stress really is. Not to mention that he can probably fit his paws through the bars and get your hands if he chooses to go on the offensive and you are trying to move the cage without the protection of a blanket.

Thirdly, DO NOT open the cage and try to put food/water/litter box in there with him still inside. If you did not think to put one in before putting him in then DON'T try to work around him. Again, trust me. What you do is you move him to another crate first (refer back to Handling 101 for specifics), then put litter box/food/water in and move him to the crate that has these things already fully furnished (unless he's going for surgery within 12 hours, then just put litter box with no food/water).

Friday, May 15, 2009

101 Reasons to Neuter Your Cat

So many times I am asked why people would bother to neuter their cat. Don't you know it costs money? The people sometimes don't care if their cat reproduces because if its not their problem, why should they care? Over the next few weeks, I am going to post 101 reasons to neuter your cat.
Reason # 1

If you don't neuter your cat, he may begin to spray in your house to mark his territory. Neutering will prevent this impulsive behaviour from beginning and it will often stop it from occurring if it is already present.

Sometimes cats will spray in your house (and outside, but I bet you won't mind that as much!!). Did you know that hormones play a big part in the spraying cat? If you neuter him, you may find that he doesn't spray as much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Low Cost Neuter Clinic

Attention Baltimore residents!

The Annaoplis SPCA is holding a low - cost male cat neuter-a-thon on June 27th.

The cost is $40 per male cat.

If you live in this area and are looking for a low cost neuter clinic, I encourage you to look this up! Who knows, give them a call and find out if they will take ferals! If we all paid for one feral to be neutered (at the cost of $40) then there would be so many less cats out there.

I strongly encourage everyone out there to go to this event and have their cat neutered. There are so many benefits to getting him neutered! And hey, if you can afford it, take your neighbour's cat too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

April Showers Bring May ... Kittens?

Well, I haven't TNR lately because of the large amounts of cats having kittens. Too busy trying to work with the nearly popping mama's coming in! There are so many ... and the available homes are so few ...

Available foster homes are even less. We have managed to keep the numbers at our house down to just the one litter but at this point, there are cats with litters in crates at volunteer houses. There just isn't enough room for all of them.

I know of seven cats with litters that are in the care of volunteers right now and there are many more out there that are still living under sheds, behind dumpsters and around town. I don't want to know the exact numbers ... it will just make me depressed. The unfortunate thing is that those cats who are raising their kittens out there ... well, it means the kittens will be feral.
We have a spare room so we keep them in there and keep the door closed so the other animals don't get in. Mama cat can be pretty snarly and has already attacked one other cat who came into her space (not at our house - we tried to have her sent somewhere else so we could take a younger litter).

The nice thing about fostering the kittens is that I get to have a "kitten fix" because I get to play with them each and every day (they need lots of gentle, loving handling to ensure they like people)! Then, I don't have to keep any (including mama cat); they are all adopted out between the 8 - 10 weeks marker and I get to help out in my community in a big way for a short time!

If you can provide a quiet room (perhaps a spare bedroom or a home office?) in your house for a litter of kittens I encourage you to contact your local Humane Society, SPCA or Rescue Organization.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TNR #4 Pictures

So here are some pictures of our TNR #4 who turned into a Trap, stay at our house and have babies, care for babies until they are old enough to go to new homes, Neuter and Release into the care of someone who wants to keep Peaches in their home.

Funny how plans change as you go along, eh? Oh, and by the way ... a momma cat feeding kittens eats a LOT of food and drinks a LOT of water! She's going through almost a pound of kitten food
every day plus two dog bowls of water.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

TNR Adventures - #4 Peaches and Kittens

Well, this one sure didn't go as planned! Sorry for not updating for a while, but I've been pretty busy and have had a hard enough time trying to remember to post to my other blog, DogsDeserveFreedom. Unfortunately, this one has taken a back-burner. Sorry. I will try to remember to post more often (especially now we have kittens)

Peaches was #4. She was the first female we caught. Imagine my surprise when we found out she was not only quite friendly but also already pregnant!

Now, you can spay cats that are pregnant if they are at the beginning of their pregnancy and abort the kittens. This was not an option with Peaches. She was too far along. There's a point in every cat pregnancy where the kittens are so far developed that if you spay, then you would have to euthanize the kittens as they came out. We're not in this game to euthanize newborn kittens.

If we were, we'd just euthanize the cats we caught - that would be cheaper, right?

So, now we have this cat and her kittens living in a spare room at our house. She's orange and white. Her kittens are quite cute - two orange and white, one orange tabby, one calico, and two tortiseshells.

She's thin, you can see her bone structure, and she has tapeworms. You can see the tape segments as they're coming out - it's REALLY gross. We have been told that you can de-worm cats when they are lactating, but have found that if you do that then the milk dries up. Since we're not really interested in hand-feeding the kittens, we have opted to wait until the kittens are old enough to eat solids before deworming Peaches.

I'll post pictures as soon as I get them. When the kittens are old enough, we'll find them homes and donate the rehoming fee to the humane society.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Rant - Cat Grooming

You know, there are all sorts of people out there and some are asshats. There is a groomer in my area who is one.

Most groomers I have met are great people and animal lovers. They do the job because of their love for animals - not because they want to "make-a-lotta-money". However, there are some who push animals through as fast as possible, and these are the ones to beware of.

The one I am thinking of will take your cat and make all pretenses to be nice to the animal. When you leave, however, her demeanor changes. She doesn't make enough time to work with the animal, so she will put the cat into a crate and dunk it into a soapy water bath. She then opens the crate and rubs the cat quickly to work in some of the soap, then closes it again and dunks it into a plain water bath to rinse off.

The cat is in and out of the crate throughout the appointment for drying and containment. She does brush the cat out ... but that is about it. The entire process takes around 1 hour.

Do you really want your cat to go through this?

Please, when you are looking for a groomer, do your research! Get some references. Do other people send their cats to that person? How do the cats react when they are brought in for grooming?

Use your common sense to choose and don't assume that just because the person is operating a business, they should be trusted with your beloved pet.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Trapping 101 - Don't leave the trap outside

So I'm new. Ok. I admit it. Haven't had much training trapping ferals and am sort of flying by the seat of my pants. I learned an important lesson this week; don't leave the trap outside unattended.

I haven't had any problems leaving it in barns, sheds or garages overnight, but do NOT leave it outside in plain view and open to the elements. There are a few reasons for this.

1. If it rains the cat doesn't have any shelter and it will get wet ... that sucks and is not fair for the cat. Do you know how ornery a wet cat is? A cat will go from a 3 on the scale to a 9 in 5 seconds flat.

2. Sometimes you will catch something OTHER than a cat ... that sucks even more than a wet cat. Then you have to figure out what to do about it! (please refer to my earlier entry about trapping the striped ones)

3. If the cat is super feral and it is strong enough to roll the cage itself, you may have a long search to find the trap ... a great waste of time. (Try at the bottom of the hill first.)

4. If some human comes along and finds the trap with a cat in it, you may find it missing the next day. (Call canine control - they may have received a call about this) This is where you will start panicking.

5. If a human finds the trap and you're lucky, the cat was released unharmed and the trap taken. Usually this results in a call to the humane society (or equivalent organization you're TNRing for) where you get to explain to them how this happened. This also sucks and may result in people looking down their nose at you; never a good thing.

6. If you're not lucky and a human finds the trap, the cat may be subject to any number of terrible things including kicking, rolling of the trap; drowning the cat; shooting the cat; etc. This is worst case scenario - I have been told about it but have never witnessed it myself.

In short - don't leave the trap outside unattended. There are too many possibilities and consequences.

Friday, April 3, 2009

What is it? Stray or Feral?

I don't know how many times I've heard about a "Feral" cat that needs to be trapped only to get there and find out that it is simply another stray. So, I thought I'd post a little entry about this.

Is the cat Stray or Feral?

A "Stray cat" generally means one that doesn't live in someone's home. It lives on the streets, fends for itself, often finding someone who will feed it or other food source and so returns to that person/source regularly.

Wikipedia defines a "Stray cat" as the following:
A stray cat (or alley cat), though unowned, still exhibits temperament similar to that of a pet

A "Feral cat" is defined as one that is not friendly to people and is "wild". Wikipedia defines it as the following:

A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to its wild state. Feral cats are born in the wild and may take a long time to socialize or may be abandoned or lost pets that have become wild.


If you walk into an area where you know there are cats and you are able to walk up to one of those cats without it running away, it is a Stray.

If you set a live animal trap and catch a cat who tries to bolt away from you so quickly that the entire trap moves, it is probably Feral.


Stray cats can be Feral, but that doesn't mean that all Stray cats are.

Feral cats are mostly Strays but most Strays are not Feral.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TNR Adventures - #3 Pepper and ... Knight?

Another day another neuter, right? Here we go again. The following cat was the last one we did from our property.

Cat #3 came along ... a 12 lbs black and white DSH guy. The clinic named him Pepper (yeah, I know, not very original, but what can you do?). He was rated at a 6 on the feral scale. Another intact male. No microchip. He was easier to work with than cat #1 (Knight), but not by much. At least he didn't leave as many scratches as Knight did!

Note to self - make sure you always have long sleeves and gloves on when handling strays and ferals ...

He was neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. He stayed with us for two days post surgery to allow him time to recuperate. I know many people push that it's not "major surgery", but I really think it is.

I mean, come on, they're removing his testicles ... how can that NOT be major surgery? Those same people who say it's not a major surgery keep telling me that I really only have to keep the cat overnight (if at all) before rereleasing. I just can't bring myself to this. I continue to keep them for a few days to ensure they are eating and defecating ok before taking them back to the wild unknown.

Anyway, we tried for cat #4, but kept catching Knight (Cat #1)! We did have another cat in mind, but that one doesn't seem to want to cooperate. After the third night in a row finding Knight in the trap, we decided that if the other cat doesn't want to get caught, he won't be. We didn't do too poorly with the ones we have here. It will be time to do the process again in our barns soon enough.

Time to move on to the next colony. Adventure awaits!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Asshat Rant - Drowning Ferals

I find it deplorable that some of my neighbours drown cats. Yes, we have a major problem with stray and feral cats in our area, but that doesn't mean that you have to take matters into your own hands by drowning them!

Some of them trap the cats, then either leave them in the traps or put them in bags. Then they submerge the traps or bags into buckets or ponds. When they are sure the cat is dead, they pull it up, dump the body and reset the live animal trap.

It disgusts and infuriates me. We have a problem with cats, yes. That doesn't mean the best resolution is to drown them. Did you know it is considered Animal Cruelty and illegal? Pffft ... not like my neighbours give a darn about that!

Did you know, barn cats eat your mice? I have heard all sorts of excuses from farmers and I would like to say for the record ... No, the cats don't eat your chickens. No, the cats don't eat your eggs. No, the cats didn't cause your tractor to stop working. Those are the mice, rats, 'coons and fishers! Did you know that most barn cats will actually eat the mice, rats and fishers in the area?

Now, the raccoons ... that's another story. The cats won't deal with them - you'll have to figure that one out yourselves (legally and humanely).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

TNR Adventures - #1 Knight and #2 Smokey

To begin the TNR, I started with the cats in my own barn. I began trapping them, taking them to the clinic and paying for their neuter/vaccinations/microchips (the ones I trap for the Humane Society will be paid for by them, but we started with our guys and it's only right to pay for your own - even if you didn't ask for them to be there).

Each cat is scanned for a microchip when they are brought into the clinic just in case they already have an owner. So far we haven't found any that have one.

We rate them on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the most friendly in-your-face love me now because I deserve it, 10 being super duper feral, expel anal glands, attack and possibly defecate when handled).

Did you know that every animal going under anesthetic has to have a name? Does anyone know if this is a requirement by the OVMA? I was told that it was, but am not sure of the source ...

Cat number one was all black. Beautiful DSH guy. A whopping 9 lbs. He was rated 8 by the clinic on the 'feral' scale. The clinic named him Knight. He was estimated to be 5 years old. A royal little hell-cat. He had some dental issues as well and since he was in for surgery anyway, we said to go ahead and remove the bad teeth since we don't want them to absess. They also cleaned his good teeth at no charge (since he's a barn cat). Since we did so much work on him and he received an AB shot, we couldn't release him right away, so we ended up with him in our garage for five days in a dog crate with food, water and a litter box. Man oh man did he ever stink!

I would like to say for the record that intact adult male cat smells bad. Even days after their neuter surgery. They still stink.

Knight was re-released into our barn on the fifth day after his surgery. In total, we kept him for a week (including the day before the surgery when we trapped him, plus the day of his surgery). He was so happy to be back in his familiar barn - I haven't ever seen a cat move that quick.

Cat number two is 22 lbs of long haired grey. We think he is a Maine Coon mix since he isn't obese and he has the ear tufts. You can see the picture to the left. That is him. We named him Smokey. He is rated at a 1. He is an in-your-face cat that assumes every time you sit down on a chair that you have invited him to sit on your lap.
Smokey was in our barn for 5 months before we caught him. We thought it a shame to put him back out in the barn since he seemed so friendly.
Smokey gets along with other cats, but hates dogs. I mean hates. He looks at them through the window and actually growls at them. He is currently staying with two dogs that he will chase around the house and tackle. It is not a game (unlike a similar one played by the resident cat and said dogs).
The dogs actually fear him and won't walk by him anymore in case he will attack. He is not currently with us, but may come back in the next few weeks (or we will find another home for him). He can not stay where he is - he's causing too much problems with the dogs. Our dogs are more stable and can deal with a cat that attacks (we already have one that ambushes the dogs and one that body checks the dogs when they walk by).
Thus concludes the first edition of TNR Adventures. Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What is it? - TNR

TNR is an acronym for Trap, Neuter and Release. TNR is a program that was developed as a humane method for stray and feral cat population control. As you've heard me say a few times, in my area (as in so many others) we are inundated with stray and feral cats.

When I started volunteering for the Humane Society, I found that the amount of calls that came in each and every day regarding stray cats in our area was staggaring. I began looking at what we could do in our area to help control the numbers. TNR was what I found.

TNR is exactly as it sounds ...

Trap the cats in humane live animal traps

Neuter the cats by licensed veterinarians

Release the cats where you found them

The logistics of it aren't very complicated, but it still takes someone willing to coordinate the efforts of volunteers. There is funding out there too, if you can get your hands on it. We are only able to neuter as many cats as we can afford. There will always be more. There will never be enough money. But we do what we can and hope it is enough to make a dent.

Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

If every person out there neutered their own cats, you would notice a difference in your local community in as little as a few years.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Asshat Rant - Dumping

I was at a local farm this weekend and was discussing their recent acquisition of a barn cat. She's a small, bony rug-rat who absolutely loves people and will sit on your shoulder if you let her. They got this cat because one of their neighbours has a barn full of cats and one day a terrible thing happened. You know how we always say "worst case scenario"? Well, this is what that poor guy got ... the worst case.

Here's how it all went down:

Said farmer has many barn cats. They make kittens yearly (don't get me started). This is normal in most barns. Many farmers will vaccinate the cats they can catch, neuter some of the male cats and send many kittens on their way. They feed them and their children pet them and play with them. Most of these cats become quite friendly little guys. In return, most of the cats help to keep the mouse, rat and fisher population down (see picture to right to see what a fisher is).

One day the farmer went outside and saw all these crates at the end of his driveway. He goes over and finds all these purebred cats! There were 97 cats in all those crates. There were hairless cats, there were cornish rex cats, there were persian cats, there were siamese cats, there were himalayan cats. What the heck is the poor farmer to do?

The only thing he can think of. He takes the crates and moves them to a sheltered location, then puts an ad in the local Buy and Sell to sell all these cats. He was successful selling most of the specialty breeds; the hairless, cornish rex, himalayan and siamese went quickly. He was not able to sell most of the persians. Now he's stuck with all these persians and no one wants them. Have you ever tried to have persians in a barn? It's not a pretty sight.

So, now he's feeding all these cats. The final count after selling many of the dumped cats (plus sending much of the barn kittens to other barns) is 74. That includes all the barn cats that are staying at their place plus the "new" cats that he can't seem to find homes for. I don't know about you, but feeding 74 cats gets to be quite expensive!

To my knowledge, this is a true story. I have many things to say to the person who dumped all those cats. Most of them I'm not allowed to post to this blog if I want to keep it from being put in the "Adults Only" section of most blogs. I will only say this. Asshat.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Feral Cats - Handling 101

When you're out trapping feral cats for the first time, the last thought you often have is ... how do you get it out of the trap? Well, at least it was for me!

When I first started trapping for the TNR program, I was pretty clueless and since we haven't many active volunteers in the area, I was sort of encouraged to learn as I go. Sure, there were people always willing to pick up the phone and talk you through something, but when it comes down to having someone go out and actually show you? THAT'S not going to happen! Talk is cheap.
See this cute picture of Sylvester? Don't expect ANY ferals you catch to be like him (if they are than the cat is NOT feral - it is simply a stray)! Note that I will do a Feral Cats vs. Stray Cats - Identification post later this weekend for those who are still confused.
Have you ever seen the Looney Tunes where Sylvester drinks the tonic in a laboratory in the episode called "Dr. Jerkyl's Hide"?? THAT's what a feral cat is like. (See pic below to the right) I don't know about you, but there was NO WAY I was sticking MY hands in there!

So, once you have successfully trapped a snarling, rolling feral cat ... what do you do? I don't mean the shy ones, or the quiet ones. I mean the real feral ones where the trap actually rolls along the ground because they are just that strong and just that wigged out.

I did the only thing I could think of - I put a blanket down in my vehicle and put the entire live animal trap with the cat in it in! I took him to my house where I proceeded to move him from the trap to a crate/carrier. I thought a contained area would be best. For this particular cat / situation ... that was likely the best choice.
So what you do is you put the two openings up to each other - end to end - than you cover both with blankets and open the doors. If the cat doesn't move from one side to the other, you remove the blankets from the trap (while leaving them on the crate). The cat will go into the crate because it will be looking for a safe place.

Voila! That's how you get it out of the trap. Beware the crazy cats as described above and pictured to the right ... they can be dangerous!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What is it? - Neutering

Since this is only the third post, I thought I'd post about Neutering. I have found that although most people have had a pet during their lifespan, most don't know or understand what Neutering means. Many simply know it as a form of population/birth control for animals.

Neutering is another word for the surgical alteration of your pet that removes the animal's reproductive organs. For females, it is called Spaying which involves the surgical removal of the animal's ovaries (ovario-hysterectomy). For males, it is called Castration which is the surgical removal of the animal's testicals.

One of the most frustrating things I see when working with animals are people who see this surgery as a simple procedure. All sorts of animals go through it all the time, so therefore we see it as normal.

It may be common for the vets and vet techs that are working at the clinic, but it is not common practice to the animal - male or female. Yes, I know that a cat neuter is pretty simple ... I've done them during my job at the vet clinic (let's not get into that). But that doesn't mean that it doesn't cause the cat pain. It doesn't mean that the cat knows that it is a simple procedure. It is extremely invasive

Neutering is MAJOR surgery!

Next time you take an animal in to the vet clinic for neutering, please remember to follow the guidelines that vet sets out for you! They are often things like "keep the animal quiet" and "prevent jumping". They might possibly include "crate overnight to keep calm" and also "feed sparingly for the first 24 hours".

Have you ever seen a spay incision pop open because the cat went to jump onto a counter, missed and hit her abdomen on the corner? It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trapping 101 - Don't catch the striped ones

I'm relatively new at trapping cats. In fact - I've never done it. I have handled many stray and feral cats during my time working at a vet clinic and even some during my work at the Humane Society, but I've never been the one doing the trapping. Because of this, it is quite a big learning curve for me!

For any of you who are also trying to help, I thought I'd post some Trapping 101 Tips / Rules so you don't have to deal with some of the things I have had to deal with. Maybe you could learn from my mistakes!

If you know where the cats are, you just set the trap and come back the next day, right? Well, that's the easiest way to do it; but also the most dangerous. Here's the thing ... I have found that if you leave a trap over night, bad things may happen ...

"What could be bad?" You may be asking ... Well, you never know who or what you'll catch!

You may get a cat, yes. Or, you may get a black and white furry creature that looks an awful lot like a smelly striped cat ... until it starts its "dance".

Did you know that skunks have a little warning dance they do before they spray? Basically they stomp their feet and if you still don't go away, than they turn away from you (still stomping) and lift their tail ... if you still don't get the "hint" than you are ... well, sprayed.

If you leave a trap over night you never know who you will catch. Please remember that here in Ontario it is illegal for anyone without a valid Wildlife Rehabilitator Permit to keep a wild animal for more than 24 hours - you may want to check with your local province/state regulations to see what their laws are about wildlife. I don't even think it's legal to trap wildlife without said permit, but I'm not sure on that one - and my trapping was an accident.

So how do you extract a skunk from a live animal trap? VERY CAREFULLY!

The best way I found (keeping in mind that I only had to do this once - I learned my lesson PDQ) was to hold a big blanket in front of you and approach the trap from the direction furthest away from the door. Drape the blanket CAREFULLY and SLOWLY over the trap so not to startle the skunk.

Then, lean over the trap and open the door from the side opposite to the one he will come out of. That way, if he turns to you to pay you for the lodging over night, you are able to graciously back away and thank him for spending the night, but let him know that you aren't interested in any payment.

If at any time your new skunk friend has had enough play time with you and wants you to get out of there quick ... I'd listen. If you don't listen ... RUN ... RUN FAST and don't look back until you're way outta sight.

Or at least, don't come visit with me for tea later, ok? Wait until after your tomatoe juice bath.

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