Author Archive

Indoor Kitty

Indoor Kitty

Ninth Life Cat Rescue insists that all cats adopted from us be kept as indoor pets. It offers the best chance for a long, healthy life for your pet. Additionally, many cities such as Mississauga and Oakville now have by-laws stating that cats cannot run loose outdoors.

Keep your cat(s) safe from communicable diseases, suffering injury from dogs or other predators such as coyotes, injuries from cat fights, avoid problems with neighbours, and your cat getting lost or possibly hit by a car.

From Purina: Indoor vs Outdoor Debate

From Petplace: Seven Summer Dangers for Your Pet Cat

Some of the cats and kittens we offer for adoption have always been indoors and know nothing different. Others might have been living outdoors short or long term. Once you get them home, they may or may not want to get outside again. Here is some information to help with transitioning your pet to staying indoors.

Training Your Cat to Not Meow to Go Outside

Some people have successfully trained their cats to walk on a leash outside. Never use the harness and leash to tie your cat outside. You must stay with kitty at all times. 2019 Cat Life Today review of cat harnesses.

Walking Your Cat

Another option to allow kitty some outdoor time is an outdoor catio of some kind. There are many types available and/or plans for do-it-yourself versions.

Lost Cat?

Lost Cat?

Lost Your Cat?

It can happen in a blink of an eye. Suddenly your indoor cat is outdoors and has disappeared. Time to act. Most cats, especially indoor ones, will not go very far but they will hide.

Here are some things you should do, the sooner the better.

—Assuming your cat has a microchip, check that your online information is up to date. If your cat is not chipped, that is something you should do as soon as your cat returns.

—Make a poster with your cat’s picture and details and include your contact phone number. Photocopy to post in your neighbourhood. Having one or more photos of your cat is always a good idea. You can make your own poster or some sites (check the Lost Pets of Ontario link at the bottom) will create a poster for you.

.—Call your local vet and animal shelter to let them know the cat has disappeared and leave your contact number.

.—Ask neighbours to check garages and sheds in case kitty is trapped inside and let neighbours know you are looking for kitty. Show them a photo (preferably in colour) of your kitty.

—If you live in a house, trying leaving your garage door ajar and kitty may sneak back in there.

Be absolutely sure kitty is not hiding somewhere inside. He/she may have made a dash for the door and was scared back inside and is now hiding.

—Once it starts to get dark, start walking your street calling for kitty. Don’t call frantically-use your normal voice as if you were calling kitty at home for attention. Shake kitty’s treat jar. Don’t forget to look up in case kitty climbed a tree or is on a fence. Keep listening for sounds of your cat meowing outside.

—If you have moved recently, check your old neighbourhood too in case kitty returned there.

Put out food (the stinkier the better) and water for kitty and monitor to see if the food is eaten (also keep an eye on the food as it might also draw racoons and other critters).

—You might borrow a humane trap and set it in your yard.

—If your cat does not have a microchip, visit local humane society and rescue shelters and look for your cat. Vets and shelters will always check for a microchip.

There are many online lost and found websites, including kijiji and Facebook – Lost Pets Ontario in an example. Search for sites in your area and post there. Don’t forget to search “Found” cat reports on these sites as well. Post to your personal Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.

Do not lose faith because cats are resourceful and have been known to return after very long periods of time.


Article & Photo: Grace Robertson
Former Stray Cat: Harry

Feline Immunodeficiency Disease (FIV) in Cats

Feline Immunodeficiency Disease (FIV) in Cats

Ninth Life Cat Rescue does not routinely test for FIV, however, in cases where we know a cat is FIV positive, we indicate that on the cat’s condo card. There might be situations where the cat has tested positive on an ELISA test, but has not had confirmation through a second Western Blot or PCR test, which would be six months later. The first test could have been a false positive, especially if the cat is young. FIV attacks the immune system leaving the cat vulnerable to other infections although they may appear normal for years.

FIV should not be confused with FeLV, feline leukemia, which is a more serious and lethal disease.

According to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in their April 2018 article, the disease is rarely life threatening and the average lifespan of a cat infected with FIV is not significantly different from that of an unaffected cat.

Cats cannot give feline immunodeficiency disease to people, nor can cats develop human AIDS.

Cat bites must be deep enough to draw blood and so disease transmission risk is low between indoor cats who get along well.

Also, a January 2017 article from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine:

Unfortunately, there is currently no definitive cure for FIV. It is important to realize, however, that while it is impossible to predict the survival of a given cat infected with FIV, cats infected with FIV can live ostensibly normal lives for years if managed appropriately.

FIV infected cats should see a veterinarian for a wellness checkup every six months and should be fed a nutritious diet. They should be spayed/neutered and kept indoors (all our Ninth Life cats are neutered and our expectation is that all cats be kept indoors).

And, from Maddie’s Fund – How Long Do FIV-Infected Cats Live?

In a retrospective Canadian study, 39 FIV-positive cats were compared with 22 FIV-negative cats over approximately 8 years. The survival time of FIV-positive cats after diagnosis was not different from FIV-negative cats.


Article & Photo: Grace Robertson,
–Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteer

Rescue Cat: Pip