Thursday, April 27, 2017

Declawed Cats Cannot Protect Themselves

 Cats from the neighborhood frequent my yard because I am in the woods, have a fresh water pond and I grow catnip.  So a new cat visiting is not a big deal, but a declawed cat should not be in my yard because it cannot defend itself or climb a tree when predator; aggressive feral cat, coyote, hawk or stray dog approaches.

For the last month a large Maine Coon cat has been hanging out in my yard, this cat is very friendly but has no claws.  It does not hiss and is not aggressive.  Very laid back but should be in its yard and not be hanging at my house in the woods.

My friend lives a block away and I asked her about this cat.  She told me that the cat's owners were down the street about five houses and that the cat lived outdoors. She did not realize that it had no claws.  She went on to say that this cat spent a lot of time in her yard and she suspected that it slept on her patio chair because she would see it there in the early morning.

Pet owners are funny, and I suppose they just assume that no harm will come to their cat because he is so laid back, he gets along with other cats, but getting along with dog or coyote?  This cat would be in danger.

Early this morning my husband heard loud meow's coming from our side door.  He went out to investigate and found the Maine Coon cat.  The night was cold and rainy, and cats fur was wet so my husband picked him up and put him in our shed.

I went outside to the shed with a cat bed, litter box, and food and water bowls and when I got there I saw that my husband was examining the cat.  There were bite wounds under each ear, with fresh blood.  At three in the morning, we were cleaning this cat's wounds and closing the door to the shed so he would be safe for the rest of the night.

This morning my husband went to see about locating the cat's owners, he found the house and they were not home, so he left a note on their door to call him about their cat.  Know that if the cat owners were responsible their declawed cat would have lived indoors and not permitted to go outdoors unsupervised.  This cat seems to live outdoors and has no claws to protect itself and this is why he has two bite wounds.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sewers are Not a Safe Shelter for Cats

Outdoor cats will go into the sewers when the weather is rainy, cold or hot. The sewer provides cats with a comfortable temperature and they feel safe under the ground. However, the sewers are not a safe shelter for cats.

This week the weather forecast is calling for a dip in the temperature which means the mild weather will cease. The weather forecast is calling for a light freeze and heavy rainfall. The temperature dip will come first so the cats will go to the sewers, then the hard rain. There is one wide opening sewer that has a ledge where the cats go to lie, then there is a wide mouth drain. We worry about the cats if the rain water from gutter rushes the sewer, these cats could get swept into the drain.

Neighbors have petitioned the city to put a grate over the opening of this sewer but they city said they would prefer to have animal control come out with traps to remove all stray cats. Well, that is not the solution because even neighborhood cats, small dogs or a child that is curious about the opening could fall into this sewer. Since the city will not install a grate covering my neighbors and I are watching the sewers and will do our best to rescue any cats.

One of my friends lives across from the large opening street sewer and he recommended that we all open our garages to welcome the outdoor cats to a warm and dry shelter. The thought is that the cats would go into our garages instead of the sewer. That if we all install a kitty door that the cats will know that our garages or storage sheds are their safe place.  
We have also opened up the shed. Both the garage and shed have cat beds with self-heated pads if the weather is cold. We are hoping the outdoor cats have the good sense to come out of the sewers and go into the neighbor's garages. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

What to Do When Cat Opens Carrier / Crate



In the photo, you view a sweet 7-week old kitten that we rescued with his four siblings when they had been put in cardboard box and taken to our woods. All kittens are developing their personalities however this little orange and white cat is like Houdini, he can escape all crates, cages, carriers and slides under the safe room door. Keeping this cat confined has been a challenge but we did find ways to keep in his crate, cage, and carrier.
We keep the kittens is a safe room away from the other pets in the house. This room we have all that they need including toys, beds, litter boxes, cat tree with a scratching post, pet crates and kitten food and water bowl. The room is 9 x 14 so the kittens have plenty of room to play. All of the kittens are adjusting to their new surroundings except the orange and white one, he does not play with other kittens because he is too busy trying to get out of the room.
At night we put all of the kittens in a large cat cage that has a bed, water, kibble food, hammock, and litter box. The latch to secure the cage works properly, but we discovered that no latch was going to keep the orange and white kitten inside the cage. He broke out of that cage in no time and all the kittens followed him. Now we must tie the cage shut with rope.
When I say nothing keeps this cat in one place I mean it. We put the orange and white tabby cat in the carrier to go to the veterinarian's office, then put the carrier in the car, covered it with a pet blanket (to keep kitten calmer while riding in car) and I have no idea how he got out, but he was out of the carrier and running all over the car.
Thank goodness the Amazon.com sells soft sided carriers that zip open and close as he has not figured out how to get out of them. As for the cat cage at night, we keep the kittens in with the latch and we used twine to tie it closed with a double-knot.

This kitten will be a good match for a family with kids because he will have them laughing constantly. We will be putting the rescue kittens up for adoption in 2 to 3 weeks. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Therapy for Cat with Behavior Issues



My husband rescued an older cat that had been abandoned in our woods a few months ago. This cat is a nice with people but is not crazy about any other animal. The veterinarian confirmed that this cat has arthritis and suspect that this is the reason for his bad behavior as well as the anxious behavior from being abandoned.

Know that it is difficult to find adopters for mature cats with health concerns and bad behavior. This cat will undergo therapy for its behavior, then be placed with a animal foster or we will keep the cat.

We tried the usual therapy for cats with behavior issues; feliway diffusers and rescue remedy treatment for drinking water. They helped some but this rescue still suffered from not being able to go outdoors. (Meowing loudly, scratching on the side door and becoming aggressive when not let out of the house)

The cat wants to go outdoors and we have been reluctant due to the coyote that reside close to our home. Fearful that this rescue cat would become an afternoon snack for the predators that cross our side yard to get to the pond in the woods.

I decided to teach rescue cat to walk on a leash. I bought him a cat harness and a leash and took him outdoors. Talk about a happy cat, he rolled around in the grass, did his nails on the bark of the oak tree. Marked his territory and yes walked me around the yard.

Know that taking a cat for a walk does take practice. I presently walk this cat 4 times a day. I also walk him on the leash to my greenhouse. I do not have to worry about the cat in the greenhouse as he has his routine and the door is shut so he can not go outdoors. He stays with me while I garden.

The outdoor activities has greatly improved the rescue cats behavior The cat seems to get along with our cats and dogs. His territorial behavior is under control thanks to outdoor exercise. By allowing this cat to go for walks and be outdoors was the right therapy.

Note: We are still using the feliway diffuser as it is a good way to lessen cat stress overall.


Here is a video of cat walking on a leash.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Cat House for Outdoor Usage




Where I reside the winters are long, cold and windy. The stray cats in my area go into my shed to sleep in plastic and cardboard boxes that have thick layers of straw. The cats rest well during the daylight but at night they all leave my shed. I decided that they must be cold and that the straw is not keeping them warm during the night hours. To remedy this situation I decided to buy a heated or insulated cat house.

Here is a photo card that I created that will show you a stray cat sleeping in straw bed in my shed.

Feral Cat Sleeping in Winter Shelter Post Card


While shopping at Amazon.com I saw a heated outdoor cat house by K&H and read the customer reviews. They were very good however, I did learn that the house was not intended to be freestanding, it had to be kept either on a covered porch or in a garage area as it would not withstand rain or snow and would need to be tied down if left on the porch and weather was windy. My needs for this house met the requirements because it was intended for my shed.

The cat house came with a heated pad or without I bought the heated pad with an electrical cord because it would only add warmth when the cat was lying on the pad. (The pad would not heat up if there was no cat in the house.) The cat house was easy to put together all pieces connect with Velcro. It is heavy cardboard with a plastic cover that is water resistant.

Set up for cat house was in the back corner of the shed where there was an electrical outlet. The stray cat's food and water bowels were to the front of the shed and the stray cat arrived to eat right on time. When cat went into the shed I ran to the side window to watch the cat. The cat did see the house and went to investigate, the house was not met with cat approval, the stray hissed at it and left the shed.
Stray tabby cat in my garden

I decided to unplug the electrical cord and put a self-heating pet bed on the floor of the cat house. This bed was sprayed with catnip and so were the interior walls of the house. There is a plastic door flap on the front and back. I removed the front flap because I thought that it might scare the cat.

When the stray cat went into the shed an hour later he did not come out. When I looked in the window I could see the stray inside the cat house lying in the bed.

I sprayed the bed daily with the catnip and the stray cat comes to the shed and sleeps in the K&H cat house nightly. Eventually, I was able to replace the flap on the door and this was a way to keep the cat warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

When the temperature dipped bellow zero I did add a layer of straw to the interior of cat house for extra insulation. The self-heated bed was set in the middle and straw was like a cocoon around the bed.

The heated pad was never met with the approval of the stray cat. I tried several times to plug in the pad for the cat but each time the cat hissed at the pad and left.


I am satisfied with my cat house purchase because The heated/insulated house will keep outdoor cats cozy and comfortable throughout the winter months as long as it is located in an area that is protected from wind, heavy rain or snow.

Here is a photo of the cat house set up on my covered porch.  I needed to move it indoors because the windblown rain was damaging the top of it.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Providing For Your Cats in Your Will

Over the years my husband and I have rescued many cats, some we found adopters for others we paid for their vaccines and spay or neuter and released them to a colony. Then there are the FIV cats and the older cats that nobody wanted that we provide a home for. We share our home and our life with animals that depend on us but what happens to the cats if we die?


Many people will provide for their children and church but omit long term care of their pets. Pet owners assume that their loved ones will take in their cats but unless there is a provision in their will chances are family members will change their minds and take that cat to a shelter.
If you died tomorrow what would happen to your cat?
Many cats become strays when their people die. Nobody wants them.

Have you made arrangements with a family member to take your pet? If so did you make it in writing and have their signature on file with your will? It is no guarantee that they will care for your pet but it is a contract. You can go one step further and provide for your pet in a trust.
Who will love and care for your cat when you die?

I have friends who have a provision in their will that states that specific people will reside in their home to take care of their cats. Generally, a contract is drawn up by an attorney and this document is motorized by the person who is to inherit the house and the taking care of the cat.
A cat we took after a tornado, Cats people never found.

Presently I have a mature cat in my home that I agreed to care for when my neighbor passed away. My neighbor had a trust set up and monthly I am compensated for his care. Also, money was provided for his medical care and all I need to do is make the appointment at the veterinarian and all of the cat needs is provided at no charge.
When a pet owner adds a provision in their will for their animals, it shows that they love the animal and are responsible.
Week old kittens rescued when their person passed away,
no provision as to who would care for them. 

One cannot assume that your beloved cat will be adopted by your family or friends. Even if they said yes they would take your pets, a verbal contract cannot be enforced after you die.
This is Leo, his people died and he was left in the house.  2-weeks of meowing neighbor left him out, He was lost, confused and suffering from the death of his person.
We rescued him


Who will care for your cats if you die tomorrow? Have you made provisions in your will for your cats?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Abandoned Cat Gets Forever Home

A handsome tuxedo cat was abandoned. His person left him in our woods nine months ago. The cat was put out in a box that my husband thought was trash.
Original photo of Cat Abandoned 



My husband observed a man parking this car at the end of the street then walking down the hill with a cardboard box. The man returned without the box and my husband yelled at him, thinking he had just dumped trash.



Trash was not dumped in our woods, nope that man abandoned an adult tuxedo cute that was terrified by his new surroundings. Cats that are abandoned do not respond well to strangers. So when my husband tried to coax the cat to come to him The cat was fearful and ran when my husband approached him.



Immediately we let our neighbors know what the cat looked like and that it was abandoned. It is a nice looking cat and a few of my neighbors said that the would take it in. But this abandoned cat was so afraid of people that nobody could get close to him.



Trapping was not something we considered because the cat was stressed out, we wanted the cat to come to us when it was ready. That did not mean that we did not leave our garages open, provide the cat with warm bed food and water. The cat would enter our garages but ran when people tried to befriend him.



I always said that a cat will choose who he wants to be with. My friend that told me that she loved this cat and that she had been socializing the cat for the last 8 months. She was trying to get the cat to trust humans again and it worked. This cat got a second chance at having a forever home.



This stray cat will sit on the woman’s porch every morning at 5 AM to eat at her feeding station. Then he will rub on her legs and she is allowed to sit close to him and pet him. She loves this tuxedo cat and he loves her.




We are happy that the cat that was abandoned in the wood now has a forever home with an adopter that loves cats. It does not happen all the time but when it does it is always nice to know that an abandoned cat gets a second chance.