FIRST THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
A Commitment of 12-20 years
Potential pet owners must consider whether they can dedicate themselves to their pet cat for this period of time.
Family agreement is important because pets often are the first to go when there are major life changes, e.g. cats are often surrendered when there are pregnancies or newborns in the family.
Though thousands of people care for their cats (and dogs) throughout their pregnancies and raise children successfully alongside them, we still see tearful expectant mothers who bow to family pressure to surrender their cats.
If there are cat allergies in your family, the decision to own a cat and strategies to manage the allergy must be discussed.
A residence that allows cats
Though cats are allowed in most residential areas, there are still buildings that do not allow residents to keep cats.
if you open your windows and live on the 2'nd floor or above, please make your house cat safe: put up sturdy window netting (or bars) that allows your cat to enjoy the view from your window but allows you to have peace of mind.
Our inspectors are often called to rescue pet cats that have trapped themselves on window ledges and are unable to get back to their homes.
Sadly, we also encounter many "flying cats" - cats that have managed to get out of apartments and fall to their deaths.
Download our Cat Care Booklet
TO KEEP YOUR CAT HAPPY ON A DAILY BASIS - YOU WILL NEED YOU TO PROVIDE:
Cats like their own space and should have an area in a room where they can feel safe and rest undisturbed. Some owners with allergies find it helpful to have a cat-free room as well, where they can retreat to.
Litter box area
Cats like a clean and private toilet too! The litter tray should have absorbent cat litter. This must be cleaned regularly and many different types of litter are available to suit your cat's requirements. For multi-cat households, it is recommended that each cat has its own litter tray. Keep its tray clean and locate it somewhere quiet, where your cat can do its "business" in peace. If not, you may find that your cat will choose a place on its own, usually one not be to your family's liking!
Cats are carnivores and will do well on a quality commercial diet. Cats do well with small, frequent meals. Some cat owners leave food out the whole day for their cats to nibble. However, the amount should be monitored carefully as cats can easily become obese. Ensure that your cat also has a constant supply of fresh water.
Cats use smell to communicate and have scent glands on their face and paws for this purpose. They will often mark their territory by rubbing against objects or scratching. Provide your cat with several securely anchored scratching posts. Place these in your cat's preferred areas to encourage their use (instead of your furniture).
Cats may be considered unobtrusive pets but benefit greatly from stimulation and human interaction. Provide your cat with a variety of cat toys for your cat and play with them often.
Cats should be groomed regularly to reduce the amount of hair shed in your home, especially for long hair breeds. Many cats enjoy grooming. Grooming builds trust and makes them more amenable to handling. With prolonged gentle handling, you should be able you to check your cat's ears, mouth and paws.
YOUR CAT'S LONG TERM NEEDS INCLUDE:
A typical surrender at SPCA.Cats should be desexed by 6 months of age. Undesexed cats have particularly anti-social mating behaviours - yowling, marking territory with pungent urine, resulting in complaints from family members as well as neighbours. They will also make attempts to escape to find mates.
Many cat owners surrender cats at the SPCA when they get overwhelmed by the offspring of their un-desexed pets. Consult your vet -
get your cat desexed as soon as possible!
Given the contagious nature of common cat diseases such as cat flu, cats should be vaccinated against Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP) at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and have a yearly booster vaccination. More information: FVRCP vaccination
Preventative health care
Cats should also receive preventative health treatment, especially if they go outside. More information on preventing: Fleas and ticks, Worms
Cost of Long term health care
Please bear in mind that as your cat ages, it could develop diseases that may entail high veterinary bills. Particularly if your pet is a pedigree it maybe prone to specific illnesses or conditions which might require long term veterinary care. Non-pedigree cats, having stronger genetic makeup, in general tend to be healthier long term.
ADULT CATS MAKE GREAT PETS!
Many people have the misconception that adult cats are not as lovable or trainable as younger animals. For this reason, they stay much longer in our Homing Centres than kittens.
In fact, adult pets make excellent companions, simply because they are older, more mature and easier to manage. Many have already lived in a home and thus are more socialized than a kitten.
Most importantly, adult cats will love you just as much as a kitten!
Benefits of an adult pet
- Has reached full size
- Stable temperament
- Any health issues should be evident by adulthood
- Not as high energy as a kitten
- Already desexed - anti-social reproductive behaviours are already reduced or eliminated.
An adult pet is especially suitable for:
- First time pet owners and
- Adopters who are looking for a calmer, more stable companion
Kittens are usually re-homed at the SPCA after they reach 8 weeks and have received their first vaccination. Some may have graduated from our foster parent programme.
- Have had experience raising kittens
- Will not leave the animal alone for many hours in a day - close supervision at this stage is very important. Young animals need to be fed often and observed closely for illness, lack of appetite and mischief!
- Are patient - prepared for "accidents". This is part of every young animals' (humans included!) learning process. This may include pooing and peeing in the wrong places.
- Will provide a safe environment: Young animals are very playful and can get into everything and anything. A safe environment is thus very important. Other "accidents" (such as furniture scratching) may happen when they explore their new world by playing and climbing.
- Will get their pet desexed.
THERE ARE MANY WONDERFUL CATS WHO NEED SOME EXTRA TLC
"Special needs" cats may have health or behavioural tendencies that require extra attention but still deserve to be in a loving home. Please let our homing staff know should you be interested in meeting some of these special pets.
Beautiful Hector has only one eye and would qualify as having special needs.If you are interested in adopting one, our veterinarians and trainers will explain their special needs and requirements to help you with your decision.
Examples of what these "special needs" might include:
- Shy animals that may need more socialization to help them come out of their shells
- Hyperactive and playful individuals who need a high energy owner and playmates
- May not be suitable for all households e.g. timid cats may not be suited to busy households and some friendly cats do not tolerate excessive handling
- Recovering from recent surgery or other medical procedure
- On short term medication
- Manageable long term health issues (e.g. breed related defects, past injury)
Many adopters who have special needs cats have found they make just as wonderful pets!
As a Homing Centre our objective is to help as many animals as possible, and in order to do that we aim to find homes for animals within a 2 week period. Any animal that has been with us for longer than 2 months is considered to be a Long Stayer.
Long Stay Cats
Most of our Long Stay Cats have come to us already fully grown. Kittens and younger cats usually find homes quickly. Adult cats may have been surrendered by their owners or friendly cats rescued from the streets by our Inspectors or members of the public or Cat Colony Care Programme volunteers.
We do our very best to keep our cats in the best possible conditions while they wait for new homes, however, a kennel situation is not the best environment for a cat. For example at night, the staff go home and the cats do not see anyone until the next morning, which is far from ideal. Cats need to be in a loving home and SPCA is committed to finding our cats the loving homes that they so deserve.
If you are looking for an adult cat, do ask about our Long Stay Cats!
Your adoption will mean the world to them!