ADOPTING A RESCUE CAT
HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE BRINGING YOUR NEW FELINE FRIEND HOME:
You will need it first to collect your cat, and afterwards it will be useful for any trips to the vet, such as for neutering, vaccination boosters, etc.
If you place a blanket in it, the carrier can double up as a dark, private and safe space for your cat, their very own cat cave.
Top tip for the future – take the carrier out the night before any trip you have to take. This way your cat can get reacquainted with it and it won’t be a surprising ‘new’ thing in the morning just before you have to place them in it.
FOOD AND WATER
Be prepared and knowledgeable about the food you will be giving your cat. Whether it will be a combination of wet and dry food, or dry food only. Don’t be afraid to ask the fosterers what they’ve been feeding your cat, to aid adjustment.
Have a water bowl and a food bowl ready for your pet. Clean the bowls regularly and make fresh water constantly available.
Treats are nice now and again – who doesn’t like a treat sometimes! But it doesn’t have to be food, a little quality time with you might really hit the spot!
LITTER TRAY, LITTER AND SCOOPER
Kittens must be kept inside until they’re neutered, and therefore it is important to have them litter trained.
Litter trays should be kept clean (ideally cleaned at least once a day, depending on how many feline friends are using it). Cats really appreciate a clean environment!
It is recommended to have one litter tray per cat.
Clumping cat litter is not recommended for kittens, as they tend to eat it and it can be harmful to their intestines. The same goes for scented cat litter.
TOYS AND SCRATCHING POSTS
Cats are very playful by nature and they will need toys. The toys can be shop-bought or home-made.
Be ready to play with your cat, as it will help you bond with them and get to know their personality and help them to learn yours. It’s important to have fun with your cat, especially when you’re just getting acquainted – fun makes fear disappear!
Scratching posts are very beneficial to have around the house – especially if you would like to save your sofas and curtains from being clawed😉
A scrunched-up paper ball can bring hours of fun to your feline family member!
Do not leave your cats unsupervised around any toys on a long string.
ADJUSTING YOUR CAT TO THEIR NEW HOME
Have their space set up (a bed, litter tray, food, water, etc ready), and if possible, keep them in one room for the first couple of days till they’ve bonded with their new space.
Be quiet and gentle with them, and, importantly, let them explore the new surroundings by themselves.
Be patient with them – some will come out of their shell immediately, while others will need some time.
If there are other pets in the household, monitor their interactions with the newcomers and introduce them slowly to each other, making sure all pets have a safe space to retreat to.
Pheromone diffusers or sprays can also be used to help your new pet adjust to your existing furry friends – these imitate the ‘non-threatening messages’ that cats would give each other naturally by rubbing their faces against furniture, for example. When these pheromones are present in the environment, they can be comforting for the cats.
Monitor young children’s interactions with their new pet.
Remind them to be gentle and keep in mind that kittens are fragile and young, which can mean that they may bite or scratch if they feel threatened.
From a kitten’s point of view, even a small child is a giant! But that doesn’t have to be scary, if we are gentle😊
Kittens reach sexual maturity around the age of 4 months. In order to avoid your kitten becoming a parent, they need to be kept indoors until they’re neutered.
Talk to your vet about the age at which they are prepared to neuter/spay cats. Some vets perform early sterilisations, while many do it at 5-6 months.
Neutering is usually NOT covered by KLAWS.
Neutering is NOT OPTIONAL – it is absolutely necessary to prevent any unwanted litters, and to avoid any unwanted behaviours, such as spraying or straying, for example.
If you are concerned about neutering potentially leading to obesity, talk to your vet, they can advise you on how to keep any weight issues in check. (It might take as little as simply not overfeeding your cat and giving them plenty of exercise.)
VACCINATIONS AND PARASITE CONTROL
When you adopt a cat, you will receive a vaccination booklet, so you can keep records of all of their boosters in the future.
Cats will have at least one vaccination prior to being adopted. On occasion, some cats will have had the full initial vaccination (two injections).
If your cat’s only had one injection before adoption, KLAWS will not cover the second vaccination (but we’ll tell you when it’s due).
The cats in KLAWS’ care are also treated for parasites, such as fleas, ear mites, and many types of intestinal worms.
Please keep worming your cat throughout their life. It is recommended that they are wormed once a month for the first 6 months, and every 3 months thereafter.
Consult your vet on all these matters – they can advise you on your cat’s specific needs (they probably need to be treated for fleas/ticks if they spend some of their time outside, for example).
*Sometimes rescue cats can have health issues that require some medical intervention during their stay in foster care. This may lead to your adoption date having to be changed, or your new pet requiring continuous treatments at home with you.
We would like to thank you for your patience in this regard and for seeing past any ‘imperfections’ that rescue cats may have!
AND A FEW FINAL WORDS
The KLAWS adoption fee goes towards various things: first vaccination, worming, food, litter, vet visits. It is also used for other cats in KLAWS’ care – to cover the vet bills of those that need more medical attention, or to help the hard-to-rehome cats.
We are here for any questions you may need answered, and we also love getting updates on your adopted pets!