Category: “Learn”

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Black Cat Appreciation Day

August 17 is designated as Black Cat Appreciation Day, launched to show people that a black cat could be the perfect cat for them, and help raise awareness about black cats in general.

Black cats are the most overlooked felines in shelters and it usually takes much longer for them to be adopted, about 24% longer.

There are many superstitions surrounding black cats. In Scotland, black cats are linked to prosperity. In the UK and Japan, they bring good luck. Sailors, fishermen and Egyptians all worshiped black cats. Sadly, in the US and other countries, black cats are considered unlucky.

Definition of superstition: a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, or a practice based on such a belief.

If you are looking for a cat, please take the time to really look at and get to know the wonderful black kittens and cats you will see in shelters.

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Make it a Double

Make it a Double

Ninth Life Cat Rescue insists that kittens under six months of age be adopted in pairs if there is no other cat or dog in the new home.

Again and again we are asked, why? We think you will find this article answers that question. Cat behaviour expert, Pam Johnson-Bennett, is the best selling author of ten books.

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Your New Kitten(s)

Your New Kitten(s)

Kittens are adorable but they require special care. Weighing as little as two pounds, they are fragile, even though they might not appear so. If you have young children, always supervise time with the kitten(s).

If you already have a cat, here is a procedure for introducing your new kitten:

How Not to Make the Fur Fly

If you are planning to adopt a kitten, be aware that Ninth Life Cat Rescue has a ‘two kitten rule’. If there is no other cat or dog at home, then we insist that kittens be adopted in pairs, or a kitten plus an older cat. The kittens do not need to be from the same litter. Here are our reasons:

The Two Kitten Rule

Here are articles that will help you get started:

Surviving Your First 30 Days

Twenty Things Your Cat Wants You to Know

Getting to Know Your Kitten

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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

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Don’t Fear the Diabetic Cat

Don’t Fear the Diabetic Cat

Just like humans, cats can develop diabetes. And diabetes can be managed in a cat as it can be in a human. Diabetes can strike at any age but is more common in middle aged obese cats. Diet changes may help a cat with diabetes or they may require insulin. Some cats go into remission short or long term. They will often live into their teens, a normal life span for a cat.

From the Canadian Veterinary Association:
From Cornell Feline Health Centre:

Kenny

Kenny, a friendly black long haired adult cat, was surrendered to Ninth Life along with his companion, Dexter. As beautiful as he was, the volunteers noted that Kenny’s coat appeared greasy but assumed he simply needed a good brushing. The coat, however, remained greasy and Kenny appeared to be losing weight and drinking too much water. A few days later, they discovered Kenny sitting in his urine soaked bed. And it happened a couple more times. Kenny was taken to our vet and diagnosed with diabetes. One of our foster moms, agreed to take him even though Kenny would be her first diabetic cat. The foster mom admits she was terrified when Kenny first arrived. If that was not enough of a challenge, ten days later she took on a second diabetic cat, eight year old Charlie!

Kenny is given an insulin injection twice a day (every 12 hours). He, and his buddy, Charlie, also are given a B12 injection once a week as the foster believes it is helpful. It may sound like a lot, but giving the injection is quick and routine (often easier than pilling a cat). B12 is inexpensive. Both insulin and B12 are available in a regular pharmacy. Vets usually recommend human grade insulin as the veterinary version, Caninsulin, although appropriate for dogs, metabolizes too quickly in cats.

At first I really didn’t like all that poking with needles, but I am used to it now and I am way better than in the beginning. Just have a treat or two and I will let you do anything as long as you are quick. I said I am getting used to it, NOT that I like it, so you take too long then I will run. I come with instructions, my foster mom’s info and a link to a great diabetic support group that my foster mom found for us. You will not be alone. There will be lots of help for you. Please give me a chance and take me into your family. I do know what it feels like to be in a family and be loved.

Charlie

I’ve been diabetic for many years now, I have been passed on to so many homes that I forget if there was ever anyone that ever loved me? I was pretty much a messed up fur ball of emotions, not knowing what I did wrong, for so many people to NOT want me. I know my foster mom does, she tells me and shows me every day how much I am loved now. Mom has explained to me that if she could she would keep me but there are so many other cats out there that need her help, also I would get so much more attention in my own home. She has to juggle many cats and kittens each day, finding time for each of us. We all know she has loads of love but just not the space. She promises that she will make sure I am loved for the rest of my life once they find me my furever home. My foster mom already had her hands full with my diabetic buddy Kenny, when she agreed to take me on as well. The stories were that I was this vicious attack cat and it took two people to do my insulin and tests. If you just say NO to me and BE NICE Charlie, I will drop my attitude and you can finish what you were doing. Oops I guess I can’t fool her anymore. I guess if I’m telling you all my secrets I won’t be able to fool you either. Oh man!!

Every cat needs to have a veterinarian but it is especially important with a diabetic cat. Your veterinarian will monitor your cat and support you both when needed. It is daunting taking on your first diabetic cat but you will learn how to inject and monitor insulin and very soon you and kitty will be into a comfortable routine. Cats like Kenny and Charlie are worth it!

For more information, Kenny and Charlie are both featured on our Adoption page.

 

Article written by: Grace Robertson, with input from Carole-Anne Hughes.
Photos: Grace Robertson and Carole-Anne Hughes
Ninth Life Cat Rescue Volunteers
Feature image rescue cat: Kenny

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