Friday Fun: Find Your Next True Love

What makes Friday even more fun? 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.

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

Hello John (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

John is one of our younger volunteers at 14 and is about to graduate from Hutchinson Middle School! He decided to volunteer with us because he needed 30 hours of community service for his language arts project. Although John has no cats at home and limited experience with animals, he is looking forward to learning how to care for animals. John really likes cats but hasn’t been able to have any of his own because he has two dogs already.

In the photo below, John is working with one of our kittens, Sunny D, who is extremely playful! John is very enthusiastic and outgoing. He is great at socializing with people and is building his socializing skills with animals. We are delighted to have him on our team.

Thank you John for choosing the Cats in Tow Program as your community service experience.

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Hello Cheryl (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

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This is a photo of Cheryl and the beautiful and friendly calico Caliope. Cheryl is the definition of a rockstar volunteer. She began volunteering for the Cats in Tow program and Mutts-N-Stuff small dog rescue in July 2012 and is coming up on her two year anniversary with us. At home, Cheryl has three cats and one special needs dog, who needs insulin shots twice a day. One of the cats that lives with Cheryl and her son Mathew is Babygirl. Cheryl and Mathew took Babygirl in for long-term foster care so that Babygirl could leave the shelter environment.

Cheryl is an extremely hard worker! She has two businesses: a cleaning service and a resale business for designer items. On top of her busy schedule, she has four kids and a new grand baby. Cheryl is undeterred by her hectic life, still finding time to volunteer with Cats in Tow. On top of being a cage cleaner and socializer, Cheryl is also in charge of washing all of the laundry that comes from the shelter. Her upbeat personality brings positive energy into the shelter. We are so lucky to have her with us!

Thank you for everything you do, Cheryl!

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!

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!

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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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.

Hello Jazelle (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

Jazelle, a high school freshman, loves all animals but feels that cats relate better to her and vice versa. Her volunteering goal is to win the Mayors Award which is awarded after 150 hours of volunteer service during your four years of high school. She has been volunteering for a little over a month on the weekends. She is learning to understand cat behavior so she can entice them into and out of their cages as needed. Jazelle is a true animal lover with two dogs and a cat at home.

Understanding cats is a valuable skill indeed, Jazelle. Thank you for sharing your skill with Cats in Tow!

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Time for A New Addition, Part 5: Soul Mates

Once we decide we are ready for a new addition, we will need to decide what kind of pet we want. I am not saying we have decided, we are still contemplating space, time, and money. But for the sake of moving this series along, let’s pretend that there has been a decision to adopt.

Then another decision! Our next furry friends will be cats. We are cat people. We like dogs but not to share our lives with. Besides, dogs in a small, city apartment is just not appropriate in our minds. So, there are two decisions down…

Just two though, because there are so many more things to contemplate! Long hair or short hair, kitten or older, male or female? Surely a cat is a cat? Not in my experience! Every cat I have had the privilege of knowing has been special with its own personality. And I had no way of knowing what that personality would be when I knew some of those cats as kittens.

But personality is in part influenced by things like age, breed and gender. So these are considerations for choosing a cat. When I went to adopt my last cat, I was looking for a short-haired, older male. Short-hair and male to combat the allergy suffering mentioned in a previous post. Older because I worked full time and the cat would be on its own for most of the day. I thought an older, more sedentary cat would deal with this better.

Sometimes the cat chooses you. I ended up with an 8-month old female cat. At least she was a short-hair! I just fell in love with her and cannot explain how I knew she was mine and, probably more importantly, I was hers. I suspect that I don’t need to explain it to many of you!

Even though fate had another plan for me, I had considered my options. I was not concerned about breed because I was simply looking for a companion. While certain breeds are known for attributes that can be appealing – I once knew an amazing Maine Coon and would be happy to know more – I just love cats and wanted one in my life.

In the end, there are considerations to be made here. But, to be honest, sometimes you also just have to trust your gut.

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My gut says that I would have to meet this gorgeous pair! This is Buffy and Kobe, who are looking for their new family with the help of Cats in Tow.  They were photographed by Hugh Mobley. Since mid-February, Hugh has been photographing our cats and dogs. He volunteers his time and talents on-site to help our animals find forever homes.  You can contact Hugh at Hugh Mobley Photography,http://www.hughmobley.com/.

Thank you, Hugh!

Hello Brittany (Introducing our Amazing Cats in Tow Volunteers)

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Brittany, a freshman in high school, has given us one month of service so far. A fan of cats and dogs, Brittany chose to volunteer with Cats in Tow because of the opportunities available. Even with her own dog at home, Brittany says she really loves her time here with the animals. She has become aware of the fact that all of the animals have a story and didn’t realize all the hardships that sometimes force people to relinquish their animals. That those hardships are then forced on the animal is especially moving for Brittany.

Thank you, Brittany for being there to care for these animals – you are relieving their hardships with your kindness!