5 Christmas Safety Tips for Your Cat

Christmas is a joyous occasion full of laughter, food, and gifts for you and your frisky feline. However, if you don’t take some safety precautions you could wind up in the emergency veterinary clinic with your cat. Many of the food and decorations that make the holiday so much fun for us can actually be harmful to our pet. For your sake here are 5 tips on keeping your kitty safe this Christmas.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat tales

Keep The People Food For The People

  • Rich, fatty foods, like gravy or grease, can cause problems such as an upset stomach.
  • Alcohol can cause serious intoxication in pets, and many pets are attracted to the sweet taste of drinks, especially eggnog. Be sure to clean up and rinse all glasses after Christmas parties.
  • Chocolate, coffee, and tea all contain components called methylxanthines that are dangerous to animals. Chocolate is especially a problem because pets love its flavor. Unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate are the worst culprits, but all chocolate, fudge and other candy should be placed out of your pet’s reach.

christmas cats presents tojo and tojo cat stories

Keep Holiday Plants Away

We all like making our homes more festive for the holidays. We enjoy the green foliage and colorful flowers of plants. Unfortunately, many of the plants we have in our homes during the holidays can be poisonous to pets. Never let your cat chew or eat any of these holiday plants:

• Holly    • Mistletoe    • Poinsettias    • Hibiscus

Please place these plants well out of your pet’s reach, or use imitation holiday plants.

christmas cats presents tojo and nelly cat stories

Careful With Gifts!

Edible items should never be left under the tree, as the smell can be very tempting and your cat could try to tear into the package. Make sure to remove ribbons or ties before you present gifts to your pet. If played with and swallowed, yarn, ribbon, or string on gifts can cause intestinal obstruction, requiring surgery.

Batteries for toys or other gifts can be toxic and cause intestinal obstruction. Keep in a safe place until they are ready to be inserted in the gift.

christmas cats presents

Secure The Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is one of the most enticing places for a cat during the holiday. If you are lucky, your cat may just want to lie on the tree skirt underneath the tree and look at all the lights. If you are unlucky, you may find your cat mimicking your tree topper! To ensure that your tree stays in place in the event that you kitty decides to climb, place your Christmas tree in a stable stand, and attach it securely to a window or wall. And make sure your cat is always supervised when in a room with a tree.

Tinsel’s shininess is attractive. When eaten, it can cause blockages, which often require surgery to remove. This year, think about leaving it off the tree all together.
Chewing on electrical cords can cause problems ranging from burned mouths, to electrical shock to death by electrocution. Unplug decorative lights when you’re not there.
Place ornaments that are shiny, or could be swallowed or broken, high up on your tree. Larger, less intriguing ornaments can go near the bottom.

christmas cats presents tojo nelly cat tales

Give Your Kitty a Pet Safe Present!

When choosing a holiday gift for your special friend, be sure it’s safe – no small pieces that could come off and be swallowed. Choose healthy holiday treats for your pet and give them in moderation.

The holidays are a time of great fun and excitement for everyone. With a little planning and by following these precautions, it can be a safe and fun time for your cat as well.

Piper’s Cold Winter Rescue

piper cat storiesWinter can be a beautiful time of year . . . snowmen, icicles, trees hanging heavy with piles of glittering snowflakes . . But, along with all that beauty comes cold, sometimes frigid weather. The average temperature in Finlay, Ohio in January is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. That may not seem like the coldest place to be in the winter but, when you are stuck in a wet, icy drainpipe with no blanket and no food for a few days . . . then it probably seems like the coldest place on earth.

Susan Orians was passing by Donnell Middle School in Finlay, Ohio on a Wednesday evening in January of 2014 when she heard a noise coming from the downspout on the school’s wall. Upon closer inspection she realized it was the faint meowing of a cat. Susan went home and returned with tuna to try and coax the cat out. Other bystanders had gathered and they also tried to help free the crying cat. One helpful bystander even tried a cellphone app that meowed. But, nothing could lure the cold, scared little kitty out. Finally, the small group of would-be rescuers made the decision to contact the school first thing in the morning. The concerned group disbanded but not before vowing to return the next day and try and help with the rescue.

When the school received Susan’s call early Thursday morning they quickly contacted the Hancock County Humane Society. Employees and volunteers of the humane society arrived on the scene and began working to save the cat.

A hole was cut in to the downspout then food and catnip were placed in to try and entice the cat out. After some time had passed with no sign of the cat, a camera was placed in to the downspout. They soon discovered that the cat was too big to fit through the downspout and gain freedom. After exhausting all their efforts, workers left the scene around 8:30pm on Thursday evening but vowed to return the next morning with a solution to save the poor feline. Early Friday morning the workers returned to the school and began digging out the buried portion of the drainage pipe. By 10am on Thursday, the cat was finally freed from the pipe.

The orange male cat was very muddy and emaciated. He was quickly taken to the local veterinarian where he was found to be suffering from hypothermia. Upon further inspection, the poor cat was found to have a broken leg and other injuries that indicated more trauma than what the drainpipe could have done. Though he was battered and beaten, he was expected to make a full recovery.

The loyal group of volunteers who helped rescue the stranded cat decided to name him “Piper” in reference to his time spent stuck in the drainpipe. They learned that Piper most likely crawled into the pipe through a drainage basin located on a nearby street. Most likely hiding from whatever threat had injured him in the first place.

The positive side of Piper’s story is that his rescue made headlines and garnered much attention. Many people came forward with requests to adopt the cat and give him a forever home. Happily, Piper won’t need to worry about being caught out in the cold, harsh winter any more.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips for your Cat

Thanksgiving is a day where we gather our friends and family together to give thanks for what we have, and we celebrate with a plethora of delicious food. However, while we enjoy our meal, our cats have a high risk of becoming injured or ill due to all of the tasty treats and decorations they can get into around the holidays. Your cat won’t be so thankful if they eat some meat bones or a toxic (to them) decoration. We know you are thankful for the companionship of your cats, but now it is time for you to learn how to keep your kitty safe during this time of thanks. Read through our tips and tricks to keep your cat safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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1. No Candles!

Although candles are lovely, cats are attracted to the flickering flame and could burn themselves or knock them over and start a fire. Unless your cat is locked up tight in another area of the house, do not have real candles lit in your home. Instead opt for LED candles- they are very realistic, and not dangerous like a real flame can be.

2. Avoid Table Scraps

As much as we would love to give our kitties some stuffing, turkey skin, or other tasty Thanksgiving treats, certain human foods are extremely toxic to cats and should be avoided no matter what. Below are some of the most toxic foods that should be avoided:

  • Sage is a tasty herb that is frequently used in Thanksgiving cooking, but it and many other herbs can cause intestinal upset in our pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects many different herbs, and with the exception of cat nip, cats should not have excess to any fresh or dried herbs.
  • Bread Dough According to the ASPCA, when raw bread dough is ingested by our pets, their body heat causes the dough to rise and expand in their stomach. This can then cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, resulting in life-threatening illness that will need emergency surgery.
  • Fatty Foods Any amount of rich, fatty, or unfamiliar foods (such as meat fat, skins, and gravies) can cause intestinal issues; large quantities can cause a condition called pancreatitis, a medical condition that can be very painful and life-threatening if left untreated.
  • Bones can cut or obstruct your cat’s internal organs and should never be fed to them. They can also splinter and become stuck in the cat’s throat or further down its digestive tract.
  • Onions:  Onions and onion powder will attack your cat’s red blood cells, causing your cat to develop anemia.
  • Grapes and Raisins contain a toxin that causes kidney failure in cats.

3. Feed your Cat a Special Thanksgiving Meal

As previously mentioned, traditional Thanksgiving meals are loaded with ingredients that can make cats very ill. If you want your kitty to join in the celebration, prepare their own turkey dinner ahead of time with a slice or two of skinless turkey breast and a small spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling).

4. Keep the Garbage in the Can!

Cats are highly skilled at finding food enticing foods, and although they are not as likely to get into the garbage as a dog is, you still should take care when disposing of leftover foods and packaging. When disposing of any leftovers, it is best to double-bag them and put it in your garbage can outside.

On top of food, items such as aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, tooth picks, skewers, used silverware, and strings that have been in contact with meat or other foods. Your cat won’t know this shouldn’t be eaten because it smells like food, and once ingested these items can cause damage or intestinal blockages.

5. Give Your Cat Extra Love

When you have a crowd at your home, your cats may feel neglected- particularly if your cat is very social or attached to you. If you can, try to set aside 10-15 minutes to spend some quality time with your cat before and during your party. Your cat will be more relaxed after getting some much needed attention from you, and you can enjoy your friends and family without feeling guilty for neglecting your kitty.

6. Give your Cat a Safe Place

While some cats thoroughly enjoy visitors, many cats do not, and in fact, may try to get as far away from new people as possible. For those cats, it would be best to confine them while you have guests in your home. Be sure to provide litter box, fresh water, toys and bedding for your cat. Make sure all windows are secure, but if your cat loves to look out windows, keep the blinds and curtains open so they can see outside. If feasible, set up a nice bed at the window so they can feel comfortable. You can also set up a stereo and play soothing music, or keep the television on low volume.

7. For the Extra Stressed Cat

An overly-nervous cat may need to have a little help calming down and feeling at ease with other people roaming around their home. Many cats are able to calm down with the help of natural remedies; however some cats need a light sedative. If you think your cat may need something to “take the edge off” while there are guests at your home, please call your veterinarian for assistance.

10 Do’s and Don’ts on keeping your Cat Safe This Halloween

hallloween cat care

 

Halloween is a wonderful holiday to celebrate for adults, children and even for your frisky felines! However, just like your human children you want to make sure that your kitties are kept safe during the holiday. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts on keeping your pet safe during Halloween!

 

  •  DON’T- Leave candles or pumpkins with candles in them in areas where your cat can get too. Cats in particular are very intrigued by the flickering flame of a candle, and can burn themselves or risk knocking it over and start a fire. It is much safer to opt for electric or battery operated ones instead.
  • DO- Make sure that your cats’ attire is properly fitted if you decide to put them in a costume. Too tight and it can cut off air circulation and blood flow, too loose and your cat may become irritated and try to rip it off. It is best to do a dry run a few days or even a week before- put your cat in their costume at home in a safe environment to see how they react. If they seem irritated or try to take it off, you may want to forgo the costume.
  • DON’T- Feed your cat candy! Chocolate and xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in most sugar free gum) is extremely toxic to cats in any quantity. Cats in general are not a fan of sweets, but if your cat happens to get into your child’s candy stash, seek veterinary care immediately.
  • DO- Create a calming environment for your cat- if your cat is one of those that is particularly high strung, consider purchasing a calming product such as Feliway, Composure (by Vetri-Science), or Rescue Remedy. All of which are safe, natural products and work wonderfully at calming an anxious kitty.
  • DON’T- If you are throwing a party, do not let your cat roam freely around your home. Unless your cat is extremely social and well behaved, letting them roam through a crowded party where people are coming and going can be a nightmare in the form of your cat getting out or eating/drinking things they shouldn’t. Instead, cordon off your cat in a quiet room with a bed, food, water, and their favorite toy.
  • DO- Be sure that your cat has proper and update identification in case they happen to get loose. Your cat has a greater chance of being returned to you if they have a collar with your up to date address and phone number on the tag. Better yet, make sure your pet is microchipped and that the information on your chip is up to date.
  • DON’T- Leave candy wrappers, ribbon, or any type of dangling, sparkly decoration within reach of your cat. The crinkling sound of candy wrappers is extremely enticing to cats, and if ingested can cause an intestinal blockage. Same goes for ribbon- the rule of thumb is if it resembles string (a cats favorite toy!) then it should not be left alone with your cat.
  • DO- Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween. Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
  • DON’T- Let wires or electrical cords dangle or let them be in an area where cats can get them. Cats can suffer electric burns or shock if they chew on them, and small kittens can get tangled in them and choke.
  • DO- Remember to have fun during the holiday season!

Boarding vs Petsitter

We all know that cats like it hot – cuddling under the covers, napping in toasty beds, and lounging in sunny windowsills. But with all that heat come summer concerns.

First of all, it’s good to know that cats don’t sweat the way we do and it’s its very important to watch for the signs of over exposure to heat. Cats can only sweat through the pads on their paws. This is why it is very important to make sure that in hot weather your cat has a way to stay cool. Here are some tips:

Keep your house cool by drawing the blinds during the hottest times of the day. Use fans and/or air conditioning if you are able.

Make sure your cat has a cool place to be – ventilation or moving air is very important. If the air is very still and warm use a small fan to get the air moving. Often cats will find cool places on their own – tile floors, sinks or bathtubs. Some cats will enjoy a damp towel laid over their favorite sleeping spot. You can also place an ice pack under the towel to provide a very cool spot.

Make sure if the cat is outside they have shade and cool spots in the garden. Make sure they are not able to get trapped in a hot garden shed and/or crawl into a car.

Never travel with your cat in a carrier in very hot weather. Your cat’s body temperature can rise dramatically. If you must travel with them, avoid the hottest times of the day and use the car’s air conditioning. NEVER leave them unattended.

If your cat has a very thick or long coat consider having them groomed. Have you ever seen a cat with a “lion cut”? A lion cut is a charming hair style for cats in which the fur is clipped very short except for on the paws, tail and head. Brushing your cat will also help remove thick and matted fur that traps heat.
Provide plenty of cool fresh water at all times for both indoor and outdoor cats. Add water to your cat’s food to provide extra moisture. This is important for all cats but especially important for cats living in hot and dry climates.

cat stories Boarding vs Petsitter

Do not engage your pet in play or allow them to exercise and possibly become overheated.

Seek veterinary care at once of you notice the following signs of heatstroke:

  • Nervous, distressed or agitated behavior
  • Open mouth breathing and/or heavy panting
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Unsteady walking or staggering

The very first thing you must do, though, is get the cat to a cooler, well ventilated place. If you are not able to get them to the veterinarian quickly, begin to cool them gradually. Never pour cold water over the cat or submerge it in cold water as this may make matters worse. Gently spray the cat with cool water, especially over the head (while avoiding the face.) Seek the advice of a veterinarian and stay with the cat until they are well recovered. Once the crisis has passed, please make a plan to avoid such problems in the future!

Why Your Indoor Cat needs to be Microchipped

Let’s face it, things can happen. When disaster strikes (hurricanes, fires, floods, etc.) your indoor only cat could get lost. Or maybe your cat decided to sneak by you one day as you were bringing the groceries inside and you didn’t realize it until an hour (or more) later. If you think your cat is protected because he wears a collar with an ID tag, think again. Although it is recommended that your cat always wear a collar with an ID tag, you should not stop there since collars and tags can fall off or be removed. Your best bet is to double up by having your cat wear a collar with an identification tag and also have a microchip. In the event that your cat has lost their collar, having them microchipped will help animal shelters and animal control officers reunite you with your cat if they go missing.

You may be wondering, what exactly is a microchip anyway, a low jack for your cat? Not quite, but it is an essential tool to helping you and your pet find each other in the event that you are separated. A microchip is a computer chip about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted with a needle under the skin in between your cat’s shoulder blades. The microchip retains an identification number that is linked to your contact information through one of the various microchipping companies such as Home Again and 24 Hour Pet Watch. For the majority of cats and dogs the microchip will last their whole lifetime.

Microchipped catsA microchip is NOT a GPS or a tracking device, so you cannot immediately locate your cat if they go missing- a special microchip scanner is needed to be able to retrieve your cats ID number. The point of a microchip is to reunite you with your pet once they are found. Unidentified pets who are found or who are turned into shelters or animal control facilities are always scanned to see if they have a microchip. If a microchip is found during the scan, the owner will then be contacted via the information provided through registration of the microchip. Always make sure that your information is up to date! A microchip is useless if it the information attached to it is not updated, or worse, if it is not even registered. It is the registration that links your contact information with the microchip and ultimately to your cat. If the chip is not registered, there will be no way to find you if your cat is located. Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date if you move or change your phone number.

The microchip can be inserted in cats without the use of anesthesia or surgery, and you can have your cat microchipped as young as 8 weeks old. If you have adopted a shelter cat recently, odds are your cat is already microchipped- it is common practice for shelters to microchip cats before adopting them out. The microchip itself is non-toxic and will not cause any discomfort to your cat- they will never know it is there. Inserting a microchip takes less than a minute to do, and it’s just a little pinch as if you were getting a vaccine. Since the microchip is inserted subcutaneously (just under the skin), you may feel the microchip when you are petting your cat. This is entirely dependent on your cats body frame however- you are more likely to feel the microchip on a thin, older can than you are on a fat, lazy housecat!

Your cat may forever live out his or her life indoors, and never set foot outside except to go to the vet or if you are moving. However, would you want to risk it? Make the right choice for your pet and have them microchipped.

The Process Of Getting A Kitten

You may be excited that you have decided to get a kitten for your family. Indeed a pet can bring much joy to one’s home. It is another living member who becomes part of the family and whose care and needs are taken care of by all members of the household. However, there are certain points that one needs to keep in mind when they are planning to get a kitten home. Nowadays people prefer to pick them up from breeders than from animal shelters. Even then one has to follow certain guidelines.

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Getting A Kitten From A Breeder’s Home

You might have received a response to your query for well bred kittens in your neighborhood. The following steps need to be followed when getting a kitten from a breeder’s home:

  • If it is possible it is advisable that one visits the home of the breeder in order to see the kittens.
  • Many breeders who offer their services long distance put up detailed images online for prospective customers to look at and view. Some breeders might be hesitant in allowing strangers into their home. 
  • If one is able to visit a breeder’s home, they should ensure that a clean environment is provided for the animals. The cats need to be without runny eyes or noses that show that they are well kept and taken care of.
  • The cats should look active and not lethargic and they should not be sneezing or showing signs of other infections.
  • Odors of cats are hard to control especially where male cats are found as that is part of their mating process.

Pick Up A Social Kitten

Kittens are by far less social than puppies. When you are about to pick up a kitten, you need to ensure that they have been socialized correctly. There are certain signs that will guide you along:

  • If you have decided on a certain pedigree, they will come with a certain personality or temperament.
  • It is best to look up the particular personality traits of the breed you are opting for
  • Decide on the kind of cat you want, a lap cat or an active one. Accordingly, the breeds need to be decided upon.

Picking Breeds Ideal For Children

When you are opting for a cat for your child, you need to find out whether the breed you have in mind will be playful with children. Some cats do not like to be disturbed while others are more social. The breeders will be able to tell one if a cat is ideal for children. They will also be able to tell if a cat will want to be the only one in a household.

Taking The Advice Of Breeders

It is best to take the advice of breeders regarding the personality of a car or kitten which is being adopted. They will be able to provide enough advice about them and how they should be treated. Sometimes they will also suggest that one takes a second cat or kitten if the first needs company.

 

Summer Tips for Cats

We all know that cats like it hot – cuddling under the covers, napping in toasty beds, and lounging in sunny windowsills. But with all that heat come summer concerns.

silver persian

First of all, it’s good to know that cats don’t sweat the way we do and it’s its very important to watch for the signs of over exposure to heat. Cats can only sweat through the pads on their paws. This is why it is very important to make sure that in hot weather your cat has a way to stay cool. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your house cool by drawing the blinds during the hottest times of the day. Use fans and/or air conditioning if you are able.
  • Make sure your cat has a cool place to be – ventilation or moving air is very important. If the air is very still and warm use a small fan to get the air moving. Often cats will find cool places on their own – tile floors, sinks or bathtubs. Some cats will enjoy a damp towel laid over their favorite sleeping spot. You can also place an ice pack under the towel to provide a very cool spot.
  • Make sure if the cat is outside they have shade and cool spots in the garden. Make sure they are not able to get trapped in a hot garden shed and/or crawl into a car.
  • Never travel with your cat in a carrier in very hot weather. Your cat’s body temperature can rise dramatically. If you must travel with them, avoid the hottest times of the day and use the car’s air conditioning. NEVER leave them unattended.
  • If your cat has a very thick or long coat consider having them groomed. Have you ever seen a cat with a “lion cut”? A lion cut is a charming hair style for cats in which the fur is clipped very short except for on the paws, tail and head. Brushing your cat will also help remove thick and matted fur that traps heat.
  • Provide plenty of cool fresh water at all times for both indoor and outdoor cats. Add water to your cat’s food to provide extra moisture. This is important for all cats but especially important for cats living in hot and dry climates.
  • Do not engage your pet in play or allow them to exercise and possibly become overheated.

Seek veterinary care at once of you notice the following signs of heatstroke:

  • Nervous, distressed or agitated behavior
  • Open mouth breathing and/or heavy panting
  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Unsteady walking or staggering

The very first thing you must do, though, is get the cat to a cooler, well ventilated place. If you are not able to get them to the veterinarian quickly, begin to cool them gradually. Never pour cold water over the cat or submerge it in cold water as this may make matters worse. Gently spray the cat with cool water, especially over the head (while avoiding the face.) Seek the advice of a veterinarian and stay with the cat until they are well recovered. Once the crisis has passed, please make a plan to avoid such problems in the future!

Old Cat Care

Many cats lead long and happy lives due to good nutrition, health care and loving kindness but there are many physical changes that occur in their body as they age. This is why veterinary visits and periodic bloodwork are very important. It is also a good idea to watch for symptoms of common illnesses that affect cats such as increased drinking and urinating, weight loss and frequent vomiting.

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Some of the changes that happen in a cat’s body are:

  • A cat’s ability to regulate its body temperature diminishes. Cold weather is very difficult on them. Precautions should be made for cats left outside and provide cozy sleeping places inside. Many cats love a heated bed!
  • Circulation worsens and causes the skin cells to not receive as much oxygen. The skin may be damaged more easily. Frequent brushing and keeping the haircoat shorter helps cats stay cleaner. Check your cat’s paws to make sure nails are not growing into the pad, as this can be very painful.
  • Smell and taste are duller in an older cat and there are fewer taste buds. This may cause a lack of appetite. In addition, dental problems can make eating difficult. You may need to tempt your pet with warmed foods and find healthy treats to stimulate appetite.
  • Eyesight worsens as thickening of the lenses and even cataracts may appear. This can be very serious for cats left on their own outside. Even for the indoor cat, this may be a reason the kitty is not making it to the litterbox in the middle of the night. Provide lighting at night.
  • Hearing worsens and wax may also build up dulling sounds that can get through. Your vet can examine your pet’s ears to make sure there is not a medical problem causing hearing loss. Be careful to not startle a sleeping pet that may not hear you and with outdoor pets when starting up and moving cars.
  • The digestive system becomes less efficient and may not be able to absorb large meals. Smaller, more frequent meals may be better for your pet.
  • Muscle tone and volume diminishes, making the cat move more slowly and with less agility. Cats can suffer from arthritis. Provide ramps or stairs so they will have an easier time getting on the couch or bed. Cut down the side of the litterbox to make it easier for them to step into.
  • The urinary system becomes less efficient. This can cause more infections and accidents. Pay close attention to litterbox hygiene.
  • The nervous system is slowing down, making cats slower to react or learn. This may cause behavioral changes. Many cats may wander or become lost. Keep identification on them and keep them safely contained and away from steps or dangerous places they may wander.

Many behavioral problems may be medical in origin and undesirable reactions from our pets may be in response to pain. Addressing and treating these issues are very important in keeping your older cat happy and comfortable.

Helping Stray Cats in Your Neighborhood

Stray cats are a problem in every community. Many are born out of doors to wild mothers, become lost or have been abandoned. Many people recognize this as a problem but don’t know how to help. But there are many things that you can do!

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  • Spay and neuter your own cats! If not, they could be contributing to the problem.
  • Keep identification on your own cat, if it goes outside. Microchipping is a permanent way to identify your cat. Collars with tags that have your name and telephone number on them are a must. Identification is your pet’s ticket back home.
  • Consider having an indoor only pet. Many become displaced when left to roam outside and then become stray themselves.
  • Communicate! When a new cat shows up, ask your neighbors if this is their pet. Getting to know your neighborhood pets builds community and keeps you on the alert for any animals that have gotten into trouble. Knowing who belongs where can keep an animal from becoming permanently lost..
  • Place signs and ads when an animal is found. Post signs in supermarkets, post offices, community centers, pet stores and veterinary hospitals, etc. Put a brief description of the animal, location where it was found and your telephone number. Leave out details. If someone calls have them give you identifying features of the animal (crooked tail, spot on forehead, etc) so you know they are not out to get a free cat.
  • When adopting a stray cat, be sure it doesn’t belong to someone! Often cats wander for several days at a time and this is normal for them. Some people will not consider a cat lost until they are gone a week or two. Make every effort to locate an owner first.
  • Feeding stray cats is not enough. Instead of only investing in cat food, invest in having them spayed or neutered.
  • Involve your neighbors! Every neighborhood has a “Momcat” who has litter after litter. She reproduces and her kittens then do. Your neighborhood may also have a resident “Tomcat” who is the father of many and a troublemaker. Neutering him helps stop his breeding and spreading of disease. You and your neighbors can chip in $5.00 to have them fixed. You can even have a bake or yard sale to raise money! The costs of spaying and neutering, veterinary care and food are much less when shared. Another benefit is that no one person feels they are shouldering the burden. Many communities have colonies of healthy feral cats. The responsibility of maintaining these colonies is shared among several caretakers.
  • If you cannot find a home for every stray cat, make it a healthy cat in the meantime. Have them spayed or neutered and provide shelter, food, water, socialization and medical care on a consistent basis. These will greatly help the life of an outdoor animal.
  • Never ignore a cat in trouble. YOU may be the cat’s only chance at being helped.
  • Volunteer with a group that helps cats or start one. You many be surprised that others are doing the same thing as you. This is an invaluable way to share resources and knowledge.