Rescue Cat Day

March 2nd is International Rescue Cat Day! We’re more than happy to give Fluffy a turn in the spotlight. Many of our feline patients were rescued. And while they may have gone through hardships, several of those cute kitties are now living the luxurious lives of pampered pets, spending their time napping, exploring any boxes their humans bring home, and generally being adorable. Giving a rescue kitty a second chance is a small act of kindness that can have a big impact on both your life and Fluffy’s. A local London, ON vet discusses rescue cats in this article.

What Are The Statistics On Rescue Cats?

The numbers concerning rescue cats are quite sobering. No one can get an exact count on the population of homeless cats here in the U.S., but estimates range from 60 million to 100 million. Unfortunately, those numbers seem to be growing.

Many of those kitties end up in shelters every year, but that doesn’t always mean a happy ending. About 3.4 million cats are admitted to shelters annually. About 1.3 million are adopted. Roughly 1.4, sadly, are euthanized.

Do Rescue Cats Have Issues?

There’s no universal answer to this question. Our feline friends are all very unique! Some rescue cats will stroll calmly into their new homes, plop down on the middle of the living room floor, and act as though they’ve lived there all along. Others may need more time to settle in. Some kitties may require special care. 

If you fall for a rescue cat that is recovering from illness or has special needs, talk to your veterinarian and the animal shelter about Fluffy’s care requirements.

Keep in mind that many kitties have a hard time with major changes. It could take Fluffy quite a while to settle in and feel safe in her new domain. Be patient, and give your cute pet time to adjust. Time, love, and patience can make all the difference in the world here!

Why Are Rescue Cats So Loving?

Many people insist that their rescue cats are extremely loving and affectionate, even more so than the average kitty. While this isn’t something that is easy to get hard data on, it certainly does make sense. Cats have pretty good memories, and they definitely know when someone has helped them. Even wild animals are often known to recognize and show fondness for people who have helped them. It’s not out of character for Fluffy to look at her savior with complete adoration.

What Is The First Thing You Should Do When You Adopt A Cat?

Contact your vet! Your kitty will need a full nose-to-tail exam. It’s also crucial to get Fluffy caught up on any vaccinations or parasite control products she needs. If your feline friend hasn’t been spayed or neutered yet, that should be on the agenda as well. Don’t forget microchipping! 

Aside from scheduling that appointment, a trip to the pet store is definitely in order. You’ll need to pick up some things for your feline buddy. Fluffy will need toys, dishes, a litterbox and litter, a scratching post, a carrier, and a comfy bed. We would also suggest getting a cat tower, though that doesn’t necessarily have to happen on day one.

What Happens If I Find A Cat That Needs To Be Rescued?

While there are some general rules of thumb to follow here, there is also room for variation, as the answer would depend on the situation.

Sometimes kitties find their humans via the Universal Cat Distribution System. This is when cats randomly appear in people’s lives. For example, sometimes Fluffy just shows up on someone’s porch, or at their workplace, or even by the side of the road, melts a heart, and gets herself a human. 

If you find a cat on their own, you don’t have to keep the kitty. However, Fluffy may need your help anyway.

If you find a cat that is hurt or sick, then we would recommend getting Fluffy to your vet clinic immediately. This may entail going to an emergency clinic, but if it’s after hours, and/or the kitty doesn’t seem to require immediate emergency care, you can bring Fluffy home first. Set your feline pal up in a quiet, comfy place, with bedding, food, water, and a litterbox, and bring her in the next day. 

We would strongly advise quarantining her from any other pets, and from children as well, until your London, ON veterinarian gives you the all-clear.

How Do You Bond With A Rescue Cat?

The old song title You Can’t Hurry Love certainly applies here. Don’t force attention on Fluffy: it’s important for her to feel safe, and to know that she can trust you. That may take some time. 

Again, this will vary from kitty to kitty. Fluffy may immediately decide that you’re the bee’s knees, and want to snuggle up to you every second she gets. Or, she may be more timid.

Here are a few tips:

  • Talk to your rescue cat. Use a friendly tone.
  • Hold your hand out to Fluffy. If she approaches, let her sniff your hand, and then try to gently touch her ears or forehead.
  • Offer small treats.
  • Always let your cat decide when snuggle time is over. If she walks away, don’t force her: just let her be.
  • Providing kitty luxuries, such as beds, boxes, cat towers, scratching posts, treats, and catnip will help your feline pal start to feel comfortable and safe.
  • If you have young children, other pets, and/or your home is a bit loud or chaotic, give your kitty some safe places she can hide if she feels scared. Kitty condos are great, but you can also offer a comfy box.
  • Play with your new pet! Holding a laser pointer or wand toy is a great way to break the ice and get that motor started.
  • If your cat likes being petted, by all means indulge her! 

Ask your London, ON veterinarian for more advice. We’re also happy to offer tips on Fluffy’s diet and care needs.

What Are Tips For Adopting A Rescue Cat?

Adopting any pet is a lifelong commitment.  That said, there are some things to consider before adopting a rescued cat.

Consider Getting Two: If you don’t have any other pets, you could consider getting two furballs. If you adopt them at the same time, neither will feel that your place is already their territory. Many kitties benefit from having buddies. Fluffy and Mittens can share many of the same things, such as toys and furniture, so you won’t necessarily be doubling your expenses. 

Consider The Rest Of Your Household: That includes other pets, your children, and any roommates you have,  as well as your schedule and finances. Make sure you are ready, willing, and able to care for Fluffy for the rest of her natural life.

Give Fluffy A Quiet Place To Settle In: This is especially important if you have other pets! Keep them separated until your vet gives you the all-clear.

Petproof Carefully: Kitties are very playful! Unfortunately, that can backfire. You’ll need to address any potential hazards.

These include:

  • Small or sharp objects
  • Ropes and strings
  • Plastic bags and ties
  • Toxic plants
  • Chemicals, such as cleaning agents, fertilizer, pesticides, and automotive products.

We would also recommend making sure that your windows and doors close tightly. Ask your vet for more information. 

Don’t be surprised if your heart melts the first time Fluffy snuggles up with you or starts purring when you pet her. Rescuing a kitty can be a very beautiful experience. It’s also a great way to find your feline pal! 

Schedule An Appointment At Your London, ON Animal Hospital 

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your local London, ON pet hospital, today! We are always here to help. 


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