Time for a Change

Aw, spring.

A time of birth and growth. While cats and dogs can and do give birth all year, there is always a surge in spring. Unfortunately, this is not a good things for most of these animals. In fact three to four million of these dogs and cats will be purposely killed each year in the US – euthanized through no fault of their own.

The fact is that the world is over-populated with domestic cats and dogs. And shelters are feeling the burden of this over-population. They are full to capacity and cannot find homes for many of the animals in their care.

Where does this over-population come from? We humans are ultimately responsible. We domesticated cats and dogs. It is our responsibility to care for them. Yes, they are following their own animal instincts to mate. But we can help them. We can help them by caring for them. We can help them by preventing them from having all these unwanted litters. Why don’t we?

This is a tough question, but it is one Cats in Tow will explore in the coming weeks, including the myths around spaying and neutering. It is high time for us to help our dog and cat companions!

Friday Fun: Furry, Friendly and Full of Love

What could be more fun than a loving bundle of fur in your life? The mission of Cats in Tow is to find forever homes for cats and small dogs and always has loving animals that are looking for a family. You can come meet them at one of our Adoption Shows which are held Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-4:30pm at Petsmart in Brea, on Imperial Highway and Kraemer Boulevard.

Here are some furry friends currently looking for their forever homes.

With the perfect companion, every Friday is filled with fun!

Hello Briana (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

Briana, a sophomore in high school, volunteers for her love of animals. She has been a volunteer with Cats in Tow since early December of last year.  Briana’s dog has been living with her Grandpa since they moved recently, but she can hardly wait for him to come back home! When asked to share one of the things she has learned since volunteering, she quickly said,”Patience!”.  Briana is holding rescue dog Jack this photo.

Briana, thank you so much. Jack and the other dogs and cats value your love, time and patience!

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Hello Andie & Joe (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

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Andie & Joe are grad students who work as a pair! Andie heard about Cats In Tow through her very good friend Amy, who happens to be our Cage Cleaner Coordinator. Andie came in to help out and fell in love with our kitties. She and Joe have been volunteering with us since the first part of December. Even with a cat and a dog at home, they say they have learned to have lots of patience when interacting with the cats. Because as we all know, nobody tells a cat what to do or when to do it! Their summation: “Cats are great!”

We could not agree more. Thank you Andie and Joe. We and the cats appreciate your patience!

Time for A New Addition, Part 7: Home Sweet Home

I hope you have enjoyed coming along with me as I contemplated adopting a pet. I have contemplated space in Part 2, time in Part 3, money in Part 4, type of animal in Part 5, and where to find my new companions in Part 6.

Part of the reason that we want to adopt two is that it is so much easier to bring new pets into the house at the same time. But this is not always possible, so what is the best way to introduce a new animal?

New pets in the home should always get a safe space that is just their own for the first few days. A smaller, quiet room is ideal. Then they should be slowly introduced to the rest of the home. A great way to do this is to put the animal in a crate in a high-traffic area of the house. They can still feel safe, but get used the sights, sounds, smells and rhythms. Doing this over several days for longer times each time is idea.

When there is already an animal in the house, another tip is keeping the two (or more) animals separate for several days, then trading the spaces that they are in. That way they can get used to the smells of the other animal without having to worry if they will get along right away.

For me, cats should stay indoors. But this is a debatable topic. If your cat will be outdoors, it is important to introduce this slowly and only after many weeks or a few months. We have all heard the stories of cats traveling for miles back to former homes. And of course always make sure the outdoor area is safe from cars, other animals, etc.

Many of you may remember our series on Jeta (photo below), a beautiful black kitty adopted from Cats in Tow last year. Phil and his family did a terrific job introducing Jeta to a home that was already occupied by Lucy, an older cat. Phil’s most important ‘trick’: patience, patience and more patience! Jeta’s story can be found here: More Than Good Luck for Jeta, Lucy Meets Jeta, Brave Jeta, Becoming Family, Making Friends, Love in Many Forms, and Playtime.

I am sure you are hoping to here my decision on cat adoption, but I am sorry to say we are still contemplating. But don’t worry, any furry additions to our house will be grounds for a follow up post!

In the meantime, we would love to hear your stories of bringing pets into your homes. How did you decide? If you already had pets, how did the introduction go? Please feel free to post comments below.

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Feral Cats in Ireland, Guest Post

In honor of St Patrick’s Day, we are sharing an article from Ireland.  This post was originally published by Feral Cats of Ireland. For more information on what this kind-hearted organization is doing for feral cats in Ireland, visit their website or Facebook page.

Ireland Has a Feral Cat Crisis

Feral and stray cats can be found right throughout Ireland in our cities, towns and countryside.  In housing estates, industrial estates, at factories, on farms, at hotels and hospitals, in car parks and derelict buildings.  In groups called colonies, they manage to survive by living on their instincts and with the kindness of humans who feed them daily.

Feral cats in Ireland are more commonly described as ‘wild’ cats. They are the same species as domestic cats, in fact many are former domestic pets that have been abandoned by their owners or left behind when their owners moved house or passed away.  Some have strayed from home and are lost.  Many become wild in order to survive and their offspring will also be wild as they will have had little or no human contact.  All are trying to survive as best they can.  It is not their fault they find themselves homeless and hungry.

There are no official statistics as to the number of feral cats in Ireland but their numbers have been guesstimated at hundreds of thousands.  The reason for this vast number is that the majority of feral cats are unspayed and unneutered and consequently breeding uncontrollably.  One female cat and her offspring can be responsible for a colony of 30 cats in an area in just one year.

Whatever the true number, Ireland has a feral cat crisis.  That such numbers of cats are living in our communities, often struggling to survive in sometimes harsh conditions with not enough to eat on a daily basis, a lack of adequate shelter from the elements and with no access to veterinary treatment for minor or major illness or injury or just the basics such as parasite treatment is unacceptable.

We have created this crisis and it is up to each of us to be compassionate in our dealings with stray and feral cats in our neighbourhoods, responsible and humane when addressing their plight and to educate ourselves on the most effective way to address the issue of uncontrolled breeding which is Trap/Neuter/Return.

Feral cats have the right to live long, healthy, safe and peaceful lives in their territories without the burden of breeding or threat of death.  Trap/neuter/return offers them that opportunity.

With many thanks to Feral Cats of Ireland for allowing Cats in Tow to share this post.

Have you had experiences with feral cats in other countries? We would be interested to hear your stories.

Friday Fun: Bring home the love!

What could be more fun than a loving bundle of fur in your life? The mission of Cats in Tow is to find forever homes for cats and small dogs and always has loving animals that are looking for a family. You can come meet them at one of our Adoption Shows which are held Saturday and Sunday from 12:30pm-4:30pm at Petsmart in Brea, on Imperial Highway and Kraemer Boulevard.

With the perfect companion, every Friday is filled with fun!