So, You've Adopted A Kitty!
Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of pet guardianship. This pamphlet was designed to answer some of those questions you wish you'd asked while you were at the shop. Please note, this is not meant to replace veterinary advice. Any animal should be inspected by a veterinarian ASAP. Check the Yellow Pages of your phone book to find the veterinarian closest to you. Please note that veterinary fees vary from clinic to clinic so you may want to call around. Thank you.
Your new kitty has been fixed (spayed or neutered), had its first vaccination and possibly a booster shot depending how long it has been in care. Your new kitty has been checked and treated if necessary for fleas, ear mites and worms.
1. Vaccinations: While only the rabies vaccination is required by law, a full set of vaccinations are an important part of preventative medicine. Kitty has received its first vaccination and possibly a booster shot depending how long it has been in care for four common upper respiratory illnesses. These vaccines will not prevent cat flu, but should reduce its severity. Once you are satisfied Kitty is working out in your home you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian on or about 30 days after the last vaccination was administered. Please check the attached record and bring this with you to your first appointment.
2. Parasite control: Kitty has been checked (and treated, if necessary) for fleas, ear mites and worms however you may want your veterinarian to perform a stool, coat and ear check to ensure a complete clearing of parasites, and get your pet on a parasite control program.
Neither Small Things C.A.T.S. or the Rainbow District Animal Shelter will reimburse you for any veterinarian’s fees you may incur while Kitty is in your care.
3. Return Policy: If Kitty becomes sick or is not working out within two weeks, you are welcome to return it for a full refund of your donation. We will take back Kitty for up to 30 days for no charge. We do not keep cash on hand at the store, so you will be issued a receipt and our Volunteer Treasurer will send you a cheque; please allow 2 weeks for delivery of your refund.
If the Shop is closed you can contact the Rainbow District Animal Shelter at (705) 673- 3647. Staff at the shelter are available 7 days a week from 8:30 am to 6 pm and are located at 411 St. Agnes St. W. in Azilda. If you return Kitty to the shelter the shelter staff will let the Treasurer know and you should receive your refund within 2 weeks. If for some reason you do not receive your refund, please contact the Store. Please return all of Kitty's paperwork.
4. Nutrition: For optimal health, your Kitty requires premium kitty food. Since canned food is 80% water, consider dry food as the primary source of nutrition. If your Kitty turns its nose up at the dry food you can add a little warm water. If that does not work, usually stirring in a little canned food will do the trick. Kitties should always have access to dry food and water. No cow's milk please; it gives some kitties "the runs".
5. Litter box: Kitties are easily litter-trained. I recommend that, initially, you keep the litter box in the same room as the food and water dishes and kitty-bed, and that you put Kitty in the litter box frequently. Talk to your pet food store regarding options. It is normal for Kitty's stool to be a little loose for the first day or two after you take it home. Make sure Kitty gets lots of rest and does not get over-handled. If the feces do not firm up within a day or two, contact your veterinarian.
6. Kitty-cat colds: It is common for kitties that have been in a shelter or multi-kitty situation to get an upper respiratory tract infection. Normally, like a human, Kitty will have sneezing episodes and may develop canker sores, but will be otherwise healthy. You may need to wash its face frequently because it cannot blow its nose. Canned food will stimulate its appetite.
Your Kittyhas been in a multi-cat situation and has been exposed to cat flu viruses. You need to keep it separate from any other cat for two weeks. If Kitty is not eating and drinking, has persistent vomiting and diarrhea, becomes lethargic or develops an eye infection, please contact your veterinarian right away!
7. Licenses: These are required by the City of Greater Sudbury, the Town of Espanola and are available from the Rainbow District Animal Shelter for residents in other areas. If Kitty gets lost a license is its ticket home. Kitty cannot speak for itself and cannot tell someone where it lives. Call the Shelter at 705-673-3647 to renew your license or drop back by the shop (we retain a commission on licenses we issue that supports the work we do). After January 31st a $10 late fee applies.
8. Indoor cats: Kitties kept indoors live longer and so does the area wildlife. If you want Kitty to go outside, please tether it or build a screened kitty run for it. In Greater Sudbury and Espanola kitties are prohibited from running at large or trespassing and can be impounded or you can be fined for failing to comply.
If Kitty becomes lost call the Rainbow District Animal Shelter right away at (705)-673-3647, or place a lost report on their website at www.rdshelter.ca .
7. Claws. Every kitty comes with them and they will use them. Please get Kitty a scratching post and rub the post with a little catnip to attract it there. Rub Kitty's paws on the post and tell Kitty what a good kitty it is. If Kitty scratches something you do not want it to, spray it with a little water. You can also buy a “no scratch” spray for furniture. Later, move Kitty back to the post & rub its paws on it, telling it what a good kitty it is.
Declawing is a last resort to control scratching because it is comparable to removing a person's finger tips down to the knuckles. Please do not declaw Kitty. Thank you.
8. Grooming: Kitties should have their fur and teeth brushed daily. (I confess I am not very good at this with my own animals and it leads to higher veterinary and grooming bills for me, and less health and comfort for my animals.)
9. Travelling: With few exceptions, kitties hate to travel or change location. If you go away, you will need to have someone empty your mailbox and water your plants, so, why not pay them a little extra and have them visit, on a daily basis, to play with Kitty. Kitties need fresh water and food, and their litter box scooped. Pet Sitting services are listed in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under that title; Kitty Boarding facilities are listed under Kennels.
The volunteers at Small Things C.A.T.S. wish you all the very best in your new life with kitty. More detailed information about kitty care is available at your local library and on the web. Other good sources of help are The Rainbow District Animal Shelter, the staff at your veterinarian’s office and your pet food store; or give us a call to speak with one of our volunteers, we just might have the answer you are looking for!
Saying good-bye to Kitty
All good things must come to an end, but with good genes and good care, Kitty can easily live to be 15+. But when life for Kitty becomes a daily struggle, be kind and arrange for your vet to provide a painless barbiturate euthanasia (kind death) for your pal.
Old age is not the only reason why people must part with their kitties. Allergies, unexpected moves, lack of finances and other situations occur. If Kitty is 6 years of age or younger, spayed / neutered, healthy, friendly, and has no bad bathroom habits, you should be able to place her through family, friends or co-workers. If this isn't possible, try well-written ads in your local newspapers, Kijiji, and at the pet food stores. Your veterinary clinic or groomer may offer a no-kill shelter for a reasonable price and will most certainly post a picture and description of your kitty on their bulletin board.
It is my opinion that it is better to have Kitty painlessly euthanized by your veterinarian than it is for Kitty to go to an unsuitable home or to a shelter that has a very limited holding time. This is not a criticism, but a statement of fact -- there are far more pets who need homes than there are people who want animal companionship.
It is also my opinion that if you have an animal with an unchangeable behaviour or health problem, you should not pass it off to an unsuspecting new guardian. Have the animal "put down" by your vet. The new guardian may become vexed with the animal and mistreat or abandon it.
I wish you all the very best in your new life with Kitty. More de▪tailed information about kitty care is available at your local library and on the web. Other good sources of help are the people who work at your vet's office and your pet food store. Sincerely, Jan “Cat” Steven