Get To Know Us in 2016

We just updated our site and plan to post new info about us every few days.  We want you to get to know our program and our cats. We handle more than the Petsmart Brea Cat Adoption Center. We hope to gain your support as well as help answer cat behavior questions and give helpful product tips.  Happy Holidays to All. Making our list of Sanctuary/Transition Program wishes for 2016:

Monthly Pet Food/Supply Drives to support our kitties & dogs and reduce our cost of care.

A new LG extra large capacity top-loading washing machine with no agitator to better handle blankets and bedding. (Used in good working order ok; current washer is 11 years old.)

A yard/property clean up so we can look as good as we feel.

Get the roof and window leaks fixed before El Nino really hits.

A good whole house deep cleaning — going beyond our 3x per week cat care clean ups.

Finding a sponsor for each Sanctuary Cat so we can update medical and dental care.

 A new house/facility with support with easy access to the Brea Petsmart for our Sanctuary/Transition program and education center.

Adventures in Catsitting, Part 2

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‘Me? Cause trouble? But I am just sitting here in this box being cute.’

As I shared in the last blog in this series (Adventures in Catsitting, Part 1), hosting a friend’s cat for three weeks was a bit surprising. What surprised me was that after a week, I realized I was not enjoying the experience.

I was immediately consumed with guilt over that realization! Me, not enjoying a cat! Unheard of. Never. I love all cats.

So, I had to think this over. And it hit me that it was not the cat, but in that it was some of his behaviors that were frustrating me. Number one, his love of the 4 a.m. wake-up call. (And perhaps the interrupted sleep was leading to a not-so-positive mood).

First I had to have a few moments of gratitude. It turns out that my luck with cats has been quite amazing. Up until now I had never lived with a cat who wanted me up at 4 a.m. everyday.

But really, was that all luck? I decided to do some research into this behavior, and it turns out that it is quite typical. So how had I been so lucky? That answer came to me as I researched. Some of it had been luck. Our last cat was a sleepy girl – she would sit by the bedroom door when it was time for bed in the evenings and many mornings she would stay curled up on the bed long after we had stirred. This behavior had developed over time. When we first had her, she was kept out of the bedroom due to my husband’s allergies. As he got used to her, she got used to our sleep patterns. So in her later years, she slept with us. She would get up in the night, I would hear her occasionally eating or using her box, but then she would just curl up in her spot at the foot of the bed without disturbing us.

But more than that, we had trained her without even realizing it. Again, these were the realizations that I had as I researched cat training. However, some of the information I found in my research was new. Next week I will share more about what I found.

Cuddly Caturday

What makes Caturday even more cuddly? A loving bundle of fur! 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.

Having doubts about adopting a cat or kitten? No arguing with this recommendation:

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!

Time for A New Addition, Part 6: Finding Our Furry Friend

Decisions, decisions. For those of you following along, We are contemplating a new addition to our household for 2014: two cats. I gave a short introduction in Part 1, talked about space in Part 2, time in Part 3, money in Part 4, and considerations of type of animal in Part 5.

As most of my questions have been unanswerable, I am quite happy to announce that this week the topic requires no decision on my part! My cat or cats will be adopted from a shelter or rescue organization.

Reputable shelters are absolutely the best option when adopting a pet. Shelters are overrun with cats and dogs all times of the year. They are always looking for loving forever homes for their furry charges. No-kill shelters and rescue organizations in particular struggle with not being able to take on new animals when they are over capacity. Most of these are run by people who just love animals and want the best for them. Cats in Tow is a case in point! They have teamed up with PetSmart in Brea, California so that people looking for a new animal companion have a place to visit the animals ready for adoption. Or check out our page of currently adoptable pets.

Shelters work hard to make sure each adoption is a success. Many have foster programs where animals that are not quite ready to be in their forever homes stay temporarily in safe places. There could be many reasons why an animal isn’t ready: females who have just had kittens or puppies, puppies or kittens that are too young, illness, shyness due to abuse or abandonment issues, just to name a few. Many people think that shelter animals all have behavioral issues, but that is simply not true.

Shelters also work with veterinarians to make sure the animals are healthy. Spaying and neutering is required to keep the abandoned animal numbers from continuing to grow.

Some of the expenses that most shelters cover before adoption: spaying/neutering $150-300, two distemper vaccination $20-30 each, rabies vaccination $15-25, heartworm test $15-35, flea/tick treatment $50-200, microchip $50. Those expenses would need to be covered by you if you got a free pet from a friend, advertisement or other source.

This article dispels some of the myths around adopting from a shelter.

And most important for me, shelters are not focused on profit. They are focused on the health, well-being and positive outcome for the animals. An animal is a living being and deserves better than to be commodity. If you are still unsure of shelters being the best option, please do some research, talk with a veterinarian, look into the problems of animal cruelty and animal overpopulation.

Finally, we have our new love or loves (well, not really, but in blog land!) The end? Not quite, next week we will wrap up the series with some tips for successful adoption and introduction of new family members.

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Two lovelies looking for their forever home. Thanks to Hugh Mobley (Hugh Mobley Photography,http://www.hughmobley.com/) for the photographs.