June 8, 2015

Feeding Tubes for Cats?

Cats who stop eating are a cause of great concern, and the problem can be challenging to overcome. Many owners balk when their vet suggests a feeding tube, but the following article from The Conscious Cat gives solid information about how this can be a life-saving decision. We in CAN know of several cats who are here today because of a feeding tube!

From Feeding Tubes Save Lives:

Most guardians will balk at the idea of a feeding tube. “I would never put my cat through that” is a frequent reaction. In human medicine, the idea of a feeding tube has end-of-life connotations. Nothing could be further from the truth in feline medicine.

Read the full article here: Feeding Tubes Save Lives

Posted in: General Information
March 5, 2012

Double (Not So Much) Trouble

People visiting our adoptable cats often ask us why we’re quick to suggest that adopting a pair of kitties might be a better decision than taking a single one. We can honestly tell you that it’s truly the best decision you can make for the benefit of the kitties as well as for you and your family.


Imagine adopting one kitty and being its only source of entertainment round the clock to provide adequate mental stimulation and exercise. Go out for a few hours and you may find yourself coming home to the results of a bored and lonely little “angel” who had no companion to share his time and energy with. With a companion, your kitty will engage in playtime which can involve wrestling, chasing one another, batting toys around together which ensures a happy, well adjusted feline. As an added benefit, you’re provided with hours of endless amusement.

Many of our adult cats have joined us from situations where they grew up with a sibling or other housemate and find themselves in danger of losing that lifelong bond. Being adopted together allows them comfort and ease in making the adjustment to a new home. Happy kitties will make your home a happy, fun place with continuous entertainment.

Just as solitary kittens can feel bored, lonely and anxious, adult cats, too, can experience many of these same feelings. A new survey amongst veterinarians has shown that, contrary to the belief that the cat has a solitary nature, they are in fact very social creatures. Within the veterinary community, it’s understood that many single cats may be suffering from Separation Anxiety Syndrome, much as humans do. Social isolation can actually cause many behavior problems seen in cats today. These problems can often lead to the cat being surrendered at a shelter, where they run the risk of being euthanized, solely due to space limitations.

With the overpopulation of homeless cats in the world today, the single most effective way to reduce their numbers is to adopt more than one. The benefits and rewards are many. The power is in your paws!

Posted in: General Information
September 17, 2010

100 Ways To Help

This list of one hundred ways to help a cat shelter can be found many places on the internet (mostly oriented toward dog rescue – we’re providing the cat version!) Please take a moment to read through and see if there’s any small way you can help us or another rescue group in your area.

  1. Transport a cat?
  2. Donate a cat bed or towels or other *bedding* type items?**
  3. Donate MONEY?
  4. Donate a toy mouse? A sparkle ball? A catnip pouch?
  5. Donate a crate?
  6. Donate a blanket or baby blankets (good size)?
  7. Donate a food dish?
  8. Donate a harness and leash?
  9. Donate a collar?
  10. Donate some treats or a bag of food?
  11. Donate canned food?
  12. Cuddle a rescue cat for the foster parent?
  13. Groom a cat?
  14. Donate some grooming supplies (shampoos, combs, brushes, etc.)?
  15. Go to the local shelter and watch out for needy cats?
  16. Make a few phone calls?
  17. Mail out applications to people who’ve requested them?
  18. Provide local vet clinics with contact information for educational materials on responsible pet ownership?
  19. Drive a cat to and from vet appointments?
  20. Donate long distance calling cards?
  21. Donate the use of your scanner or digital camera?
  22. Donate the use of a photocopier?
  23. Attend public education days and try to educate people on responsible pet ownership?
  24. Donate a gift certificate to a pet store?
  25. Donate a raffle item if your club is holding a fund raiser?
  26. Donate flea stuff (Advantage, etc.)?
  27. Donate heart worm pills?
  28. Donate a feline first aid kit?
  29. Provide a shoulder to cry on when the rescue person is overwhelmed?
  30. Pay the boarding fees to board a cat for a week? Two weeks?
  31. Be a Santi-paws foster to give the foster a break for a few hours or days?
  32. Clip coupons for cat food or treats?
  33. Make some homemade cat treats?
  34. Sign up for eScrip.com?
  35. Host rescue photos with an information link on your website?
  36. Donate time to take good photos of foster cats for adoption flyers,etc.?
  37. Conduct a home visit or accompany a rescue person on the home visit?
  38. Go with rescue person to the vet to help if there is more than one cat?
  39. Have a yard sale and donate the money to rescue?
  40. Be volunteer to do rescue in your area?
  41. Take advantage of a promotion on the web or store offering a free ID tag and instead of getting it for your own pet, have the tag inscribed with your center’s name and phone # to contact?
  42. Talk to all your friends about adopting and fostering rescue cats?
  43. Donate vet services or can you help by donating a spay or neuter each year or some vaccinations?
  44. Interview vets to encourage them to offer discounts to rescues?
  45. Write a column for your local newspaper or rescue newsletter on cats on cats currently looking for homes or ways to help rescue?
  46. Take photos of cats available for adoption for use by the Club?
  47. Maintain web sites listing/showing cats available?
  48. Help organize and run fundraising events?
  49. Help maintain the paperwork files associated with each cat or enter the information into a database?
  50. Hang a poster at the grocery store?
  51. Microchip a rescued cat?
  52. Loan your carpet steam cleaner to someone who has fostered a cat that was sick or marked in the house?
  53. Donate a bottle of bleach or other cleaning products?
  54. Donate or loan a portable cat playpen to someone who doesn’t have a quarantine area for quarantining a cat that has an unknown vaccination history and has been in a shelter?
  55. Drive the fosters’ children to an activity so that the foster can take the cat to the vet?
  56. Use your video camera to film a rescue cat in action?
  57. Pay the cost of taking a cat to it’s new home?
  58. Be the one to take cat to its new home?
  59. Go to the foster home once a week to help socialize a cat?
  60. Help the foster clean the litter pans?
  61. Offer to test the foster cat with dogs?
  62. Pay for the cat to be groomed or take the cat to a *Do It Yourself* Grooming Place?
  63. Bring the foster take out so the foster doesn’t have to cook dinner?
  64. Pay a house-cleaning service to do the spring cleaning > for someone who fosters cats all the time?
  65. Lend your artistic talents to your center’s newsletter, fundraising ideas, t-shirt designs?
  66. Donate printer paper, envelopes and stamps to your club?
  67. Go with a rescue person to the vet if a foster cat needs to be euthanized due to incurable health conditions and suffering?
  68. Go to local shelters and meet with shelter staff about how to identify your breed or provide photos and breed information showing the different types of that breed may come in and the ? different color combinations?
  69. Go to local businesses and solicit donations for a center’s fundraising >event?
  70. Offer to try and help owners be better pet owners by holding a grooming seminar?
  71. Help pet owners be better pet owners by being available to answer training questions?
  72. Loan a crate if a cat needs to travel by air?
  73. Put together an *Owner’s Manual* for those who adopt rescued cats of your breed?
  74. Provide post-adoption follow up or support?
  75. Donate a coupon for a free car wash or gas or inside cleaning of a vehicle?
  76. Pay for an ad in your local/metropolitan paper to help place rescue cats?
  77. Volunteer to screen calls for that ad?
  78. Get some friends together to build/repair scratching posts for a foster home?
  79. Microchip your own cats if you are a breeder,and register the chips,so if your cats ever come into rescue, you can be contacted to take responsibility for your cat?
  80. Donate a small percentage of the sale of each cat to rescue if you are a breeder?
  81. Buy two of those really neat cat-items you “have to have” and donate one to Rescue?
  82. Make financial arrangements in your will to cover the cost of caring for your cats after you are gone – so Rescue won’t have to?
  83. Make a bequest in your will to your local or national Rescue?
  84. Donate your professional services as an accountant or lawyer?
  85. Donate other services if you run your own business?
  86. Donate the use of a vehicle if you own a car dealership?
  87. Loan your cell phone (and cover costs for any calls) to someone driving a rescued cat?
  88. Donate your *used* cat litter pan when you get a new one?
  89. Let rescue know when you’ll be flying and that you’d be willing to be a rescued cat’s escort?
  90. Donate a carrier seatbelt?
  91. Donate a scratching post?
  92. Organize a rescued cat picnic or other event to reunite the other adopters and volunteers?
  93. Donate other types of cat toys that might be safe for rescued cats?
  94. Donate a hairball remedy?
  95. Donate package of brochures on spay/neuter info?
  96. Donate materials for a quarantine area at a foster’s home?
  97. Donate sheets of linoleum or other flooring materials to put under crates to protect the foster’s floor?
  98. Donate an engraving tool to make ID tags for each of the rescued cats?
  99. Remember that rescuing a cat involves the effort and time of many people and make yourself available on an emergency basis to do *whatever* is needed?
  100. Do something not listed above to help rescue?


Posted in: General Information
March 15, 2010

Indoors or Outdoors?

Should You Let Your Cat Run Outdoors?

So, you think your cat needs to go outdoors to be happy. You want him to be happy, but do you want him to…

  • Get hit by a car
  • Be exposed to fatal diseases such as feline leukemia, FIV, or rabies
  • Get stolen by an animal dealer and sold to a research lab
  • Get caught and mangled in the fanbelt of a car
  • Get chased by dogs or other animals and be killed or lost
  • Get poisoned, either accidentally by pesticides or intentionally by cat haters
  • Get shot by hunters or by children with BB guns
  • Get caught in a trap to die a slow, painful death
  • Get parasites such as fleas, ticks, or worms
  • Cause problems with your neighbors when he uses their lawn for a litterbox
  • Get “taken for a ride” by a disgruntled neighbor

Love and protect your cat.

Keep your cat indoors where s/he is safe!


Posted in: General Information
March 15, 2010

10 Commandments For Pet Owners

Ten Commandments For A Responsible Pet Owner

  1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful.
  2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
  3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.
  4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, and your entertainment. I have only you.
  5. Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me.
  6. Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll never forget it.
  7. Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush bones in your hand, but I choose not to bite you.
  8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something may be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I may be feeling unwell, or may heart may be getting old and weak.
  9. Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
  10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say, “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. Remember, I love you.


Posted in: General Information
March 15, 2010

Start Your Cat Scratching Right

Get Your Cat to Scratch Where He’s Supposed To

In a Nutshell:

  • Get a good-quality, sturdy sisal scratching post
  • Get more than one post if you have several cats
  • Play with the cat near the post to get him used to it
  • Make furniture surfaces unappealing to your cat
  • Never reprimand a cat for scratching
  • Don’t give mixed messages — never let him scratch some furniture and not others
  • Know what kind of scratcher your cat is and get the right post

Scratching is one of the biggest behavior problems that keep cats and their owners from enjoying domestic bliss. But there are ways to stop this before it gets out of hand. You just have to understand why your cat does what he does.

Scratching for a kitten is actually just a means of climbing to higher ground. To a new cat owner it may appear that your kitten has Velcro paws as you watch him scale furniture, drapes, beds, and clothes hanging in the closet. Take a deep breath and be patient. This phase will pass. Even though your kitten may do nothing with the post other than climb up and over the top, very soon he’ll discover scratching behavior and you’ll want to be ready.

The training method is the same for a kitten or an adult cat: make it a game. Dangle a peacock feather or other enticing toy right next to the post. As your cat goes for the toy he’ll feel the irresistible texture of the post. With your own nails, gently scratch up and down the post. Often, that scratching sound can inspire him to join in.

If your cat doesn’t have a clue about what to do with the post, lay it on its side and dangle the toy all around it. As he jumps on the post or paws at the toy, he’ll discover the texture. He may then begin scratching the post in earnest. Once he has discovered its true purpose, you can stand the post upright again.

Never force your cat to scratch by taking his paws and putting them on the post. No matter how gently you do it, your cat won’t like the experience and it’ll cause confusion. His attention will be focused on getting out of your grasp and you will have done nothing but create a negative association with the post.

Make the games around the scratching post a regularly scheduled event for a kitten. Keep your training methods consistent so you don’t confuse him. Don’t drag the toy under fabrics such as comforters, chair cushions, and clothing or behind crapes, etc. That could encourage him to scratch there as he claws at the toy. Don’t run the toy up and along furniture. That will cause your kitten to extend his claws and climb. Never send mixed messages.

Oh No! The Furniture!

It can be done. First, though, you must have the right kind of post. Make sure you’ve followed my instructions and purchased or constructed an appropriate one. If you already have a post in your home that has sat for years gathering dust, don’t even attempt to retrain your cat to use it. If he had thought it was acceptable in the first place he would have been using it, so just get rid of the relic. (Or if it’s tall and sturdy enough, recover it using a better material.)

Next, look at the areas where he’s currently scratching. If it’s the sofa or chair, you’ll have to make the object unappealing. If the scratched area of the furniture is limited to certain sections, lay strips of Sticky Paws (available at pet stores) across them. Sticky Paws is a double-faced transparent tape made especially for this purpose. Plain masking tape can leave a residue behind. According to the manufacturer, Stocky Paws has an acrylic base so it won’t leave any residue when removed from the furniture. Sticky Paws is also water soluble.

BlkCat_Scratch_PostIf the cat has been working on the entire chair, cover it with a sheet. Carefully tuck it in all around and tape the bottom so he can’t climb underneath it. Place strips of Sticky Paws or double-faced tape at several locations. Now you’ve turned this great scratching surface into an unacceptable one. The next step is to put the new post next to the covered furniture. That way, when he goes over for is routine scratch and realizes that his usual spot has disappeared, he’ll discover something even better. You can further entice him by using a toy around the post to get his attention. Also, rub the post with catnip to ensure it will get his approval.

If you catch your cat attempting to scratch the furniture during retraining, don’t punish, hit, or yell at him. Scratching is a normal, natural behavior, so you can’t reprimand him. Just make the furniture a little more unattractive by placing something under on corner so it becomes unsteady. (Inform family members before they attempt to sit down!) By making the chair or sofa unstable, it’ll no longer be a secure scratching surface.

Some people have used deterrents such as taping balloons to the furniture, but I’m strongly against that because it’s too frightening. If your cat is timid or nervous, bursting balloons can make him even jumpier. Your cat may become too scared to even use the post. Other animals in multi-pet households can be frightened by the popping balloon sound as well.

Posted in: General Information