Have you heard the “mews”?
On November 28, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will match up to $2 million raised on Facebook. All fees for donations on Facebook this #GivingTuesday are also waived. What a MEOWY BIG day for the rescue cats and kittens! Will you help make it a life-saver for the kitties? Here are some quick actions you can take:
- Create your own fundraiser: tell your story, spread awareness, and rally support for the kitties!Starting at 8:00 AM ET (5:00AM Seattle time!), on 11/28, every dollar your Facebook friends give for the kitties will be DOUBLED until matching funds run out. And no processing fees all day long! Starting your own fundraiser is easy. Here’s how!
- Share one of the rescue’s posts on #GivingTuesday. With your help spreading the word, we can save lots of homeless felines.
- Add a donate button to your kitty posts. When you tell the world about your favorite kitties, with a simple click, you can also add a “Donate” button to your post. Here’s how!
Together we can help homeless cats and kittens who otherwise might never have a chance find warmth, comfort, and happy families this winter. Thank you for looking out for the less fortunate kitties of the world!
Thunder is hard to miss! At 17 pounds, he is an extra large boy, but what makes him stand out most is his adorable, oddly human-like face. He came to Seattle Area Feline Rescue from a shelter in California on September 2nd. Incredibly matted, Thunder enjoyed every grooming session we gave to him and quickly became a rescue favorite for his adorable looks and sweet nature.
Thunder had been diagnosed FIV+ at the shelter he was transferred from in California. FIV translates to Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and it simply means that Thunder is immune compromised. FIV does not affect a kitty’s lifespan, but it is a lifelong condition. It is transmitted through harsh contact like bite wounds so it is seen more among previously unneutered male cats fighting. However, it is not easily transmitted between cats living peacefully in the same house and it is considered very manageable.
Thunder was also diagnosed with a treatable infection called ringworm shortly after coming into our care. Having ringworm in a shelter can be very risky for a homeless kitty: because ringworm is contagious, some organizations will euthanize for ringworm, even though it’s extremely treatable. Fortunately, Thunder was very “SAFe” here! We placed him in one of our dedicated ringworm foster homes, and after 3 weeks of treatment Thunder was ready for adoption.
Thunder faced one last obstacle on his journey to a home: He was continually being overlooked for kittens, until right before closing time on a Friday night. Thunder’s perfect person had seen him before, and just couldn’t get him off her mind. She wasn’t put off by his FIV status, and came back to see him and learn more. After getting educated on it a little bit, and spending some time with Thunder, she was won over by his charm and lovable personality.
It has been 10 days since Thunder’s adoption, and we received an update that made our hearts soar. Thunder is thriving and his new family thinks he’s PURR-fect. “He is settling in and doing well. We adore him!” It is definitely a warm, fuzzy tale for Thunder!
This is an especially exciting time for Seattle Area Feline Rescue: we are preparing to hire our first Executive Director. Adding this leadership position to our current staff is a significant milestone for our growing organization, and will bring opportunities to build upon our current work and to help more homeless felines.
For most non-profit organizations, the Executive Director is the first staff position to be filled. Our grass-roots organization evolved along a different path, adding staff positions one-by-one and waiting until now to create and fill the role of Executive Director.
The Board of Directors and staff members here are looking forward to hearing applicants’ vision and inspiration for the future of the rescue, and to taking this important step for the cats and kittens who need our help!
You can read the full job description and details on how to apply in the Executive Director Job Description, Seattle Area Feline Rescue.
The rescue cats and kittens are doing a happy kitty dance: they just found out that Seattle Area Feline Rescue is receiving a “Monkey and Moses” grant!
The Monkey and Moses Fund was created by two local animal lovers and advocates who believe that all animals deserve a loving forever home. This project is named after Mieshka (fondly known as Monkey), and Moses, a senior FIV kitty. In their memory, the Monkey and Moses Fund helps the animals that most need help to find forever homes, like seniors, bully breeds, and the ones who just need that paw up.
Mieshka, AKA “Monkey”
Thanks to the Monkey and Moses Fund, senior kitties here at SAFe Rescue will be able to have sponsored adoption fees. 15-year-old Minnie, who has been waiting for a home the longest of all the rescue kitties, is especially excited for this opportunity to reach more potential adopters!
The Monkey and Moses Fund also helps with spay and neuter efforts in central Washington state, where access to low cost services is desperately needed to keep the unwanted pet population down, which will save more lives. What a beautiful legacy for a special kitty and doggy friend!
(Interested in adopting Minnie? You can learn more here!)
If Your Kitty Starts Thinking Outside the Box…
When you come home to the frustration of a kitty “Oops,” your first thought might be that your companion is just acting naughty… or intentionally trying to annoy you. But what is your friend really trying to tell you with those litter box accidents? And how can you get kitty back on track and back into the box? Start by asking the following questions:
Does Your Kitty Have a Health Problem?
If your feline suddenly starts going outside the box, it’s time for a visit to the vet! Some conditions, such as urinary tract infections, can make elimination urgent or painful. Your kitty’s bad behavior might be a cry for help. Let your veterinarian know about the litter box accidents, and ask them to screen for potential medical causes.
Is Your Feline a New Family Member?
If you recently brought a furry family member home—only to discover that kitty is having litter box accidents—it’s time for (re)confinement. Young kittens need to stay in a bathroom or other small room until they can remember where their box is and practice getting back to it in time. Adult cats find change stressful and may need even MORE time in confinement than kittens. (A cat who is at ease and relaxed is much more likely to use the box appropriately.) New kitties should only come out of confinement after they’ve earned a gold star for their litter box habits. For more tips, see “Why to Confine Your New Kitty.”
Is the Litter Box Clean?
With some cats, you may be able to get away with scooping now and then… but other kitties are neat freaks by nature. If your cat starts having accidents, try cleaning the box thoroughly every day. If that solves the problem, those “accidents” were really a plea for a cleaner potty.
Is There a Problem with the Box, Litter, or Location?
Just like humans, felines are individuals! One cat’s favorite kind of litter might seem yucky to another, so try switching up the type. Some cats find covered boxes claustrophobic and scary, so try taking off the lid or getting a different box altogether. Skittish kitties may even become startled by the noises self-cleaning boxes make. Some cats don’t like to share: make sure to have as many litter boxes as you have cats, plus one additional box. Cats may also become frightened by the location of the box. Loud noises, lots of foot traffic, and spaces that are too difficult to access can all cause problems.
Is Your Cat Declawed?
Studies show that declawed cats have a significantly higher rate of inappropriate elimination. Declawing is an intensely painful procedure. While recovering, kitty may have learned to associate scratching in the litter box with painful paws. (If there were complications from the procedure, kitty might even still be in pain.) If your kitty isn’t declawed, save yourself a lot of frustration and your kitty a lot of pain—say no to declawing!
Could Changes in Routine be Causing the Litter Box Accidents?
Cats are creatures of habit: adapting to change is not their favorite activity. Changes in living space, additions to the family, absence of a loved one, shifts in schedule… any disruption could become a behavior-changing source of stress. Kitty may need some extra attention and love from you to adjust to the transition.
Is it Time to Consult an Expert?
If kitty’s litterbox problems are behavioral, not medical, a professional behaviorist can help you determine the cause of kitty’s “outside the box” thinking and find a solution. You can find a behaviorist working in your area. (The ASPCA’s “Virtual Behaviorist” tool, is also a free and easy way to get further information.)
FIV-positive cats can lead healthy lives
A Misunderstood Condition
The concurrence of the discovery of FIV and HIV in the 1980’s—and the relatively frighteningly unknown nature of the latter—caused confusion and had a negative impact on cats diagnosed with FIV. Before more extensive research was done, shelters and veterinarians often euthanized FIV-positive cats without giving them any chance to find loving homes. Even to this day, despite the fact that this condition is entirely manageable, many shelters across the country do not have programs devoted to finding homes for FIV-positive cats.
What is FIV?
FIV stands for “Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.”
Can humans, dogs, or other species catch FIV?
No, FIV only affects cats.
FIV-positive Scarecrow found a loving home
Is FIV fatal? What are the symptoms?
The most common cause of death in cats with FIV is old age. FIV-positive housecats rarely show any symptoms of the disease and usually live long, happy lives. When complication do arise, it’s generally in cats who have been fending for themselves outdoors over a long period of time and are not in good overall health.
Is FIV contagious?
FIV is transmitted from one cat to another by deep puncture wounds. It is NOT spread by casual contact. (In other words, kitties can’t catch FIV from grooming each other, sharing food bowls, sharing a litterbox, etc.) Unneutered males are most at risk for catching FIV since they are more likely to fight with other kitties. Studies have shown that friendly, altered FIV-positive cats are highly unlikely to spread the virus to other kitties in the home.
Can FIV-positive kitties live with cats who don’t have the virus?
That depends on the situation. As mentioned above, a kitty that gets along with the other felines in the household is unlikely to transmit the virus. When introducing FIV-positive and FIV-negative kitties, make sure you give them a careful, slow introduction to prevent any serious fighting or biting.
How do I care for an FIV-positive kitty?
There is usually no medication or special treatment required for FIV. You can take the following steps to help your kitty stay healthy and happy:
- Keep FIV+ kitties indoors so that they can’t get into fights with other neighborhood kitties.
- Feed your FIV+ kitty a healthy diet of high quality food
- Keep your FIV+ kitty up to date on vaccinations and veterinary check-ups
Akando, an adorable FIV-positive cat currently available for adoption
Do you have FIV-positive cats at SAFe Rescue?
We often take in FIV-positive cats. In some cases, these kitties have no other place to find safety and would otherwise be euthanized. We have been able to find loving homes for many FIV-positive cats who are now leading long, happy lives!
Has it every crossed your mind what it would be like to foster a cat or kitten? If you have visited the Rescue to adopt or visit, or if you follow us on social media, you are only seeing part of the story of cat rescue. Each of these cats and kittens were brought into the Rescue after careful consideration. We have only so much room and only so much staff to give each one the care they need to be ready for adoption. Every time a cat or kitten moves into a foster home, another space opens up for an animal in need.
I foster, and as a matter of fact, I think I just reached #40. Believe it or not, that pales in comparison to some of our most dedicated foster parents. Some of these 40 felines were kittens that went into foster care because they were too young and small to be adopted. Fosters like these just need a warm confined area to grow a bit and practice being a cat. Once they are 2 lbs, they are spayed or neutered and are ready for adoption. I have also fostered grown cats that have lost owners and are confused and scared. These just need to have a quiet place away from the Rescue to calm down and realize there are other people they can love. Then there are the semi-ferals: older kittens that may have lived outside with little or no human contact. They’re hissy little things that do everything they can to hide. You touch them and feed them, and then one day you realize they are purring.
The Rescue has a program called Adoption Ambassadors. If you find an adopter for your foster, you can adopt out of your home. All the paperwork and payment is done online. This is not required with fostering, but it is surprising how easy asking around work or on Facebook works for finding someone that is looking to adopt. I have done this several times.
People always ask me the same question, how can I give up these cats and kittens? Well, no doubt it is hard, I do get attached. But then I get the photos and emails and see how loved and happy these cats and kittens are in their new homes. I also have two older cats that are not interested in a new kitten, so I also keep that in mind.
Why this post? Stopping by the Rescue one night last week, I found Amy, the Rescue’s Operations Manager, working late making sure each cat and kitten had everything it needed before she went home. All the enclosures were full. When I asked about new foster families, she said only one person had shown up for the latest orientation.
What is the greatest need right now?
- Foster homes willing to take in ringworm
- Foster homes with experience giving sub-cutaneous fluids
- Foster homes with experience feeding bottle babies
- Foster homes with experience socializing semi-feral kittens
That said, don’t be discouraged if you can’t give this specialized care. Start slow and see how fostering works in your home. I had to work up to semi-feral kittens, but they are now the most rewarding. And frankly, I love cats and love spending the one on one time with cats and kittens in need.
Seattle Area Feline Rescue will supply food, litter and all medical care. All you need to in order to foster a cat is a secure place in your home; a bathroom is a great space if you don’t have an extra room. Please visit our Foster page for more information and to fill out the “Foster Information” form to get started.
SAFe Rescue Board Member and volunteer
Dig out your old bellbottoms and bring your nicest platforms… it’s time for “Caturday Night Fever“! Will you join us at Nine Lives Gala this fall for a groovy evening to help homeless kitties?
Our annual Nine Lives Gala will take place on Saturday, September 23rd at 5:30PM at Shoreline Conference Center. With dinner, dessert, drinks, auctions, and entertainment—featuring celebrity host Pat Cashman—it will be a night to remember!
You can get your tickets today with special Early Bird pricing, or become one of the Table Champions for kitties! You can also preview some of the great auction items here. (We’re adding more items every day!)
For more info, or to donate an item to auction, please email Auction@SeattleAreaFelineRescue.org. We’d love to hear from you.
See all you “Cool Cats” at the Gala!
You are Your Kitty’s Best Advocate!
1) If you or someone you know becomes unable to care for a feline companion and must rehome a cat, start by contacting your own networks. Try reaching out via email and social media to your family members, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Your kitty’s new home may be closer than you think. Share, share, share!
2) If you find that you are not able to rehome the cat by reaching out to people you know, try widening your search to include the public via online posting, flyers, etc. Share, share, share!
- This guide to rehoming your pet from Best Friends offers tips for writing pet profiles and taking appealing photos, screening potential adopters, and more.
- Neighborhood-specific social networks (E.g. Nextdoor.com) and cat-specific social media groups can be a great place to reach your local community.
- You can reach an even wider audience by posting your kitty’s profile online. For example, Adopt-a-Pet’s “Rehome” database makes it possible to post a bio of your kitty for prospective adopters to browse.
- Be sure to have your cat’s medical records available and make sure kitty is up to date on vaccines.
3) Try going back to the person or organization who originally gave you the cat. Even if they are not able to take the cat back, they may be able to reach out to their own networks and help spread the word.
Rehome a Cat: the Shelter Option
If you have tried all other strategies to rehome a cat but have had no success, consider surrendering the kitty to your local public shelter or to a rescue group.
NOTE: Taking a cat to a shelter does not mean it will automatically be euthanized. In the Puget Sound area, we benefit from a high number of adopters and a strong network of cooperating organizations. (Here at SAFe Rescue, for example, we take in many felines from other shelters). As a result, the “save rate” for healthy, adoptable animals in the Puget Sound area is very high.
If you surrender your cat, your local municipal or private animal welfare organization can make sure that it gets spayed/neutered and vaccinated before it goes to a good home.
For cats that become withdrawn or aggressive when confronted with change, for elderly cats, and for cats with chronic health or behavior issues, entering any public or private shelter environment should not be your first choice. Play up your kitty’s positive qualities, take some adorable photos, and keep reaching out to your networks. Share, share, share! Going straight from your home to a new owner will be the least stressful option for your special feline.
We’re here to help. Even if we’re not able to take in and rehome a cat right away, we may be able to offer advice on behavior, suggestions for finding a new home, or a spot on the wait list until we are able to find kitty an adopter. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: Many organizations take in surrenders by appointment only as space for that age/type of cat becomes available. Thinking ahead and contacting multiple organizations as far in advance as possible will help avoid a last minute panic!
If You Find a Stray Kitty
Helping a stray kitty is a different process from rehoming your own kitty. Stray animals can only be surrendered to your Municipal Shelter. In each area, there is only one shelter legally authorized to take in stray animals. That makes it easier for their owners to find them, since there is a central place to look for their lost pet. But before you bring the animal to a shelter, you can ask yourself:
1) Does the kitty have a microchip? Take the cat to a local vet or rescue group for a free microchip scan. If they detect a microchip, you may be able to locate the owner directly.
2) Is the kitty lost? Try putting up fliers and posting on local social media groups and networks.
NOTE: Even if the kitty has been wandering in your neighborhood for a long time, there might still be someone missing it. We have seen reunions where the owner had been searching for months! Removing a lost or stray cat from the area without trying to find the owner first may actually reduce the kitty’s chance to be reunited with a loving family.
3) Could the kitty be a “community cat”? Sometimes homeless felines live outside but are fed and looked after by neighbors. Try asking around to find out if anyone nearby knows about the cat. (If the kitty has a collar, try attaching a note with your contact information so that other caregivers will see it.) Is the cat altered? Community cats that have been spayed or neutered may have a visible ear tip.
By answering these questions, you can help the stray kitty have the very best outcome. Thank you for looking out for animals in need!
German has the biggest purr—the rumble starts as soon as he sees you coming! Abandoned by his original owners, he seemed grateful to find safety at the rescue. At the Adoption Center, though, this outgoing orange and white kitty sometimes became suddenly irritable and his left ear seemed to bother him. A veterinary exam revealed the cause of his behavior: he had a large, painful tumor growing inside his ear.
German needed a complex operation to remove the tumor. A procedure like that is not easy to afford—but thanks to a special grant from Petco Foundation*, German got his surgery! After his big operation, German took some time to recover… as you can see, his fur is just starting to grow back.
Now, we’re happy to say he’s ready to find his furr-ever home. It is likely that his benign tumor will grow back at some point, so German needs to find a very special adopter: someone who will love him, take him to regular check-ups, and commit to taking on his future medical needs.
This sweet, active 7-year old boy has been through so much. It’s time for him to find a family at last! To learn more about adopting German, please email us at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to share his medical records and information with you and answer any questions you may have.
*German’s adoption fee is sponsored by Petco Foundation.