Pet Retention Help and Resources

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Adopting a pet should mean a lifetime (theirs) commitment with the best quality care you can provide. Sometimes life throws a curve ball and it may feel like you can’t keep your fur baby anymore. We hope these suggestions and resources can help pets stay with their loving owners.

Local Resources
https://211ventura.org/
https://www.vcas.us/pet-retention/
https://www.hsvc.org/food
https://www.hsvc.org/vaccines

Financial Help
There are ways to get help with food, spay/neuter surgeries, and vaccinations. Check the links above for help.

Allergies
Purina sells a food called LiveClear that can be purchased without a prescription. It can help reduce allergic reactions in people living with cats. Other suggestions: HEPA air filters (clean them regularly) and vacuum rugs, carpets, and furniture. Keep cats out of the bedroom of the allergic person. For mild to moderate allergies talk with your doctor about possible daily medications to help.

Scratching
Cats naturally want and need to scratch. Keeping their nails trimmed will minimize damage and injuries. Ask your vet or your local rescue to show you how. Providing scratching posts and other options gives them places to scratch without damage. There are things you can buy to protect furniture like these and these.

Wild Behavior
Accept that younger cats will have bursts of energy, and some may be more energetic than others. It is something that they will grow out of. Put away fragile or precious items temporarily. Consider replacing expensive drapes with less expensive options. Cover cords and charging cables with covers specifically made to protect them from biting. Engage in active, vigorous play sessions multiple times a day, including before bed, to help give your cat what it needs. Offer sturdy/substantial toys for biting and scratching and not your hands or feet.

Litter Box
Make sure the litter box is kept clean. If you decide to change litters, do so gradually. Strong smells can keep a cat away from its box so be careful what you choose for cleaning. If your cat is peeing outside of the box get it in for a vet exam to make sure there isn’t a urinary tract infection, crystals, or some other medical issue.

Pet-Friendly Rentals
Sites like apartment.com and zillow.com have search filters and one of them allows you to search for places that allow pets. Talk with your doctor about the possibility of having your cat designated as an emotional support animal (ESA), which landlords must reasonably accommodate.

Some of Our Favorite Products

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We thought putting together a list of some of our recommended products might be helpful for current cat owners as well as prospective adopters. We have a list of suggested items in a wishlist at Amazon, too.

Scratchers and Towers

The Wharf (downtown Ventura) carries an excellent selection of cat trees in various sizes. They are sturdy and very well-made. Highly recommend taking a look at their selection. As pieces sell they get new items in so you never know what you’ll find!

This scratcher from Target has been very popular with kittens and adult cats alike, including some of our bigger cats like Jacob.

Our tall scratching posts get a lot of use both as scratchers and perches! This gives even the biggest cats a stable place to fully stretch out while scratching.

This medium-height tower is popular for sitting in the front window and watching the world go by.

Toys

Almost all of our cats can be coaxed into playing with a wand toy, but certain toys seem to be more popular. Da Bird and Da Bee are huge hits, as is a very simple toy with a long ribbon of fleece.

When it comes to chasing toys, little pom poms, springs, and “cat crazies” are perennial favorites with the kittens.

Kickers! We love kickers in all shapes, sizes and textures when it comes to giving feisty kitties a healthy outlet for that need to bite, scratch, and bunny kick. We sell some in our lobby and in our online shop. The Yeowww catnip brand of bananas and rainbows are huge hits as well.

From the Field makes appealing catnip toys as well as selling dried catnip. We love their catnip oil spray and carry their products in our lobby shop.

Food

We prefer to feed the cats and kittens wet food without “meals” and “by products” when possible. We want the first ingredient to be whatever meat is supposed to be in the food. There are many excellent brands to choose from now, including Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Weruva, Fussy Cat, Merrick, Purina Beyond, Instinct, and many more. Read the labels and look for quality ingredients. Same goes for dry food, and we do offer kibble to the cats but feed them wet food twice a day.

For food dishes stay away from plastic as they can harbor bacteria.

Water Fountains

Moving water is often more appealing to cats and staying well-hydrated is important for their good health. Different cats have different preferences. We’ve had good luck with several styles at the lounge including this one and this one.

Litter

We stay away from scented litters at the lounge. There are many good litters out there including litters other than clay.

Carriers

Carriers that can be loaded from the top and the front can be very helpful. Two we like include this one from Petmate at this one from Sherpa. A backpack-style carrier can be useful if you have to travel with your cat. And a large enclosure like this one can help on road trips.

The Cost of a Kitten

“Kitten season” is the time of year when kittens are being born and in Ventura County it’s nearly a year-round. Mild winters with little rain mean unaltered males and females are roaming and finding one another. Along with every other rescue and shelter in the area, we have been bombarded with requests to help with kittens for the last 5 months. Requests come both within and outside of Ventura County, as the problem of overpopulation is widespread and challenging.

When we are able to say yes to taking in kittens we do. We’ve taken in 20 since March: Monte, the Seinfeld kittens, the Schitt’s Creek kittens, Mia’s 4, Luna’s 4, and the I Love Lucy kittens. This is happening in foster homes, on top of running the lounge and taking care of the young adults and adult cats there. Just running the lounge and looking after the health and well-being of the cats there costs a certain amount of money month to month. Kittens add on a whole new level of expense that adoption fees barely even begin to cover. Let’s break it down…

Spay/neuter and other medical: Each kitten in our care will be spayed/neutered, microchipped, and tested for FIV and FeLV. On average this costs us $90 per kitten. We can do vaccinations in-house and that typically runs about $14/kitten for two doses. Dewormers, antidiarrheals, probiotics, and other treatments add on to those totals.

Food: from about 5-6 weeks on, kittens are weaning. It’s fair to assume that we will be feeding a kitten wet food and some kibble for 5 weeks while in foster. This amounts to roughly $90 in wet food and $27 in dry food.

Litter: one 20-pound bag of non-clumping pellet litter runs about $10.

Adding that up, we come to approximately $231+ per kitten when they are weaned and we have them for about 5 weeks. Each additional week adds another $23 in food. Our adoption fees are $150 for one kitten, $225 for a pair.

In order for us to say yes to helping kittens, while still running the lounge and caring for our adult cats there, we simply must do more fundraising. Please know that when you shop in our lounge, donate to a Facebook fundraiser, pay the entrance fee to visit, or simply make a contribution you are helping us say yes. We have to say no way too often, and we appreciate being able to say yes when we can. You can donate here. Thank you!

Adopting a Cat or Kitten

posted in: Adoptions, Education | 0

Kittens: Kittens are social creatures and enjoy the company of other friendly cats and kittens. When kittens are adopted in pairs they teach each other limits for rough play, help each other burn off all of their kitten energy, and keep each other entertained when the humans aren’t around. We will usually try to send our kittens to homes where they will have another young, playful cat or kitten to play with.

Cats: As cats get older their personalities emerge more clearly. It is usually clear if a cat likes to be held or not, sleep on laps, have its tummy rubbed, etc. It’s also clear how strongly they attach to humans and how well they get along with other cats. When you adopt a cat rather than a kitten you’ll have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to be like, although as they relax into their safe and loving home they will often become more loving, more playful, and more confident. Adopting a rescue cat gives them a second chance at a lifetime of love and stability.

Seniors: Like people, senior cats can be set in their ways and they may start to have medical issues. Adopters who open their hearts and homes to seniors are special indeed. They know they won’t be molding the cat’s behavior but will be inviting another fully-formed personality into their home.

Regardless of the age, all cats and kittens deserve regular healthcare and exams, a safe home with respectful humans, and a family that will consider what the cat needs and make sure its health and well-being are looked after for the entirety of its life. Responsible cat owners will research what they need to do if they’re going to introduce a dog, keep house plants, travel frequently, etc. They will embrace the idea of an indoor-only cat, providing plenty of stimulation and enrichment and recognizing that their cat is a family member and not an expendable commodity to be replaced as needed.