H.A.R.T. - Homeless Animals Rescue Team
Did you know that declawing consists of amputating not just the claws, but the whole phalanx (up to the joint), including bones, ligaments, and tendons? Please consider a humane option such as providing sisal scratching posts, cat trees and regular nail trimming. Kittens especially will learn quickly when raised with appropriate outlets for scratching. It’s important to make an informed decision, so please consider the position of the AVAR (Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights) below and for more information, please click on this link:
The Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) position on declawing cats:
"A major concern that the AVAR has about declawing is the attitude that is evident in this situation. The cat is treated as if he or she is an inanimate object who can be modified, even to the point of surgical mutilation, to suit a person's perception of what a cat should be. It would seem more ethical and humane to accept that claws and scratching are inherent feline attributes, and to adjust one's life accordingly if a cat is desired as a companion. If this is unacceptable, then perhaps a different companion would be in order."
Should I let my cat go outside?
For their health and safety, I keep all of my cats indoors only. One must consider all of the dangers of the outside world that cats face, from traffic and environmental hazards to predators including humans who abuse and/or trap and dump cats far away from home. Would you allow a young child to be out on the street without your supervision or in the hands of a stranger? Cats can do little to protect themselves against many outdoor threats. With a little creativity, you can make your home a fun-filled cat haven and keep your cat safe. The average life expectancy of an outdoor cat is 2 to 5 years, while indoor cats average 13 to 16 years, or longer. Please click on the links below to learn more about the many reasons why keeping your cats indoors can keep them happy, healthy and safe for many years:
Will my cat(s) accept a new cat into the home?
Time will tell, but a slow introduction is key to having your resident cat accept a newly adopted cat, and keep stress levels down. Harmony among cats is important in a multi-cat home, for many reasons. Cats are territorial and may exhibit negative behaviors when a newcomer appears. To minimize any negative affects, introduce cats one sense at a time, beginning with the sense of smell. Sensory overload can result in a very unhappy cat. Do not do a face to face introduction until the cats have been introduced to each other’s scent first. To learn more about proper cat to cat, and dog to cat introductions, please click on the links below:
Is it safe to bring a stray into the house if I have other cats?
If you find a friendly, stray cat in need of help and decide to bring it inside your house but have other pets, it's important to keep the stray isolated away from your pets and provide the stray with its own food, water and litter box. Check for signs of fleas, ear mites and ringworm, which could infect dogs as well as other cats. Take the stray to your veterinarian for a thorough examination and testing for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). These two diseases are not zoonotic and can only be spread from cat to cat. If you are adopting from a shelter or rescue group, make sure you receive medical paperwork that shows that the cat has been tested for infectious diseases and intestinal parasites and received a FVRCP vaccine. To find out more about infectious diseases such as FeLV and FIV, click on the link below:
How old should my cat or dog be when they get spayed or neutered?
For many years, veterinarians were taught that cats and dogs had to be a year old to be spayed or neutered. Later, they were taught that six months was the appropriate age. Today we know that kittens and puppies can be spayed or neutered at the age of two months or two pounds. Shelter animals are altered at this age so that kittens and puppies can be sterilized prior to adoption. Feral kittens can also be sterilized at this age and will usually be much easier to trap when they are young, than if you wait until they are older and wiser. You also take the risk of pregnancy if you wait, as cats can go into heat as early as 4 months of age. The American Veterinary Medical Association endorses this practice which is referred to as “Early Age Neutering.” Kittens and puppies recover more quickly from surgery when they are young. The average age at which pets are spayed or neutered is four months. To read more about the appropriate age for pet sterilization, please click on the links below:
Why does my cat do that??
Ever wonder why your cat tries to "bury" its food, or drops toys in the water dish? Learning about a cat's natural instincts and why they display sometimes what seems like odd behaviors, can help you to better understand and have a more harmonious relationship with your cat. As the saying goes....."A cat is a cat, and that is that!" To learn more about why your cat does something, please click on the links below: