Tag: shelter cats

California Shelter Is Out Of Cats: Adoptions At Record Highs

A shelter in Orange County, California, reached a milestone on Monday after it adopted out the very last of its cats.

“It’s really weird. We have five rooms for cats to roam free, and they’re all empty,” WAGS Pet Adoption’s Cortney Dorney told the Orange County Register. “Normally, we hang out with the cats while we eat our lunch, and now there’s none to hang out with.”

A brown and white tabby named Sphinx was the last kitty to go, scoring a home with a 27-year-old IT specialist who works from home. When he found out all the others were gone, adopter Jairo Granado said he was “glad to be the one who ended up with” Sphinx.

Staffers say they know the reprieve will be short-lived as there are always cats who need homes, but what they’ve seen reflects a much larger trend across the US and UK since the pandemic began forcing people to shelter in place and practice social distancing.

Shelters are setting new adoption records, and in some areas the “supply” of adoptable cats and dogs currently exceeds demand.

“It’s a great time to have a buddy in the house,” Dorney said.

And it’s a great time for buddies to find homes.

Unfortunately, the unprecedented surge in adoption is also a major factor in the pet food shortages currently impacting both countries now. A lack of materials to manufacture cat food packaging, especially tins, is making it more difficult for brands to meet demand for wet food, and disruptions to links in the supply chain — like COVID outbreaks in meat packing plants — are exacerbating the problem.

Companies like Royal Canin, FreshPet and Purina have either apologized or have tried to ease concerns by saying they believe the shortage will ease in May.

Stories about the shortages have me glad I started rotating as many different kinds of food as possible when Buddy was a kitten, so he’d never get picky enough to pass up food as long as it’s decent quality. Some people and their cats haven’t been so lucky.

One story details the frustrations of a Massachusetts man, 49-year-old David Saltz, whose cat Tiger will only eat one type of food from one brand: Fancy Feast Classic Tender Beef Paté.

“I tried literally every other variety of soft canned cat food in the store — including a few cans of some way overpriced, niche, microbrew, small-batch, all-natural, wild-animal-approved, non-GMO, grass-fed (did I mention ridiculously overpriced?) canned food,” Saltz told AARP. “Almost all were turned down. Only occasionally would she eat a bit of a particular flavor, and I would go buy more of that kind, but she was having none of it.”

Bud’s always got a rotation, and it usually looks something like this: Turkey, chicken, salmon, turkey, tuna, beef, turkey, seafood entree, chicken and liver, turkey, and so on. The Buddy-approved ratio is turkey every third meal. And it’s not just about making sure he eats his food: He seems to really enjoy his meals thanks to the variety and good quality (but not outrageously expensive) cat food.

Bomb Squad Opens ‘Suspicious Package,’ Finds Kittens Inside

Authorities dispatched a bomb squad after they received a call about a suspicious package left outside an Ohio church on Wednesday, but instead of a ticking counter the explosives experts heard another rhythmic sound — a female cat purring to keep her babies calm.

After confirming via x-ray that the bag contained cats and not a catastrophe, deputies from the Butler County Sheriff’s Office contacted Animal Friends Humane Society and put the mom and her kittens in the care of the shelter staff.

Kittens found abandoned in bag
Six day-old kittens were found inside the bag along with their mother, whose constant purring kept her babies calm. Credit: Animal Friends Humane Society

A note provided some information, but didn’t say why the writer abandoned the cat and kittens.

“The note inside the bag said the mom’s name was Sprinkles, and she began giving birth at 2:00 pm on Wednesday,” Animal Friends Humane Society staff wrote on Facebook. “Sprinkles and her newborns were immediately brought to Animal Friends for care late Thursday afternoon. They were all soaked in mom’s urine and needed gentle baths when they arrived. Sprinkles, purring throughout it all, received her vaccines and blood test and appears to be in good health. She’s doing a fantastic job nursing and caring for her babies.”

Sprinkles and her little ones were transferred to a foster home, where they’ll remain while the kittens grow.

“Last year, we provided care to over 1,300 at-risk kittens,” shelter staff wrote in their post. “This was only possible thanks to support from our community.

“Volunteer foster families take on the burden of caring for orphaned kittens in their home until they’re ready to be adopted. Many of them getting up every 2 hours in the middle of the night for feedings. All needed supplies and medical costs are offered for free to these foster families, and this is thanks to our generous donors who give monetary donations or donate supplies from our wish lists.”

Animal Friends: Mom and Kittens Found Inside Bag
Volunteers remove Sprinkles the cat and her kittens from the bag in which they were found on Feb. 17. Credit: Animal Friends Humane Society

If you’d like to help the busy shelter and cats like Sprinkles, you can donate directly to Animal Friends here or purchase supplies for the non-profit via its Chewy wish list. The shelter needs cat food, litter, wipes, collars and treats, among other essentials for the animals they care for.

‘New York’s Fattest Cat’ Relinquishes His Title

Remember Barsik, the cat who was so extra-chonk he had to be wheeled around in a baby carriage because he couldn’t fit in a cat carrier?

The former “Fattest cat in New York” has melted the pounds off in the year since he was surrendered to NYC’s Anjellicle Cats rescue and adopted by 35-year-old Meredith Adams.

When he was surrendered, Barisk tipped the scales at 41 pounds — dangerously close to the Guinness record 46 pounds for a house cat. He was so big, the sight of him getting wheeled into the shelter prompted an amused visitor to snap a smartphone pic and quip: “Did he eat another cat?”

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Slow news day: Barsik made the cover of the Post’s late edition back in April of 2019.

Barsik’s having the last laugh, as he’s down to 22 pounds and enjoying life in his new home.

He’s well on his way to his ideal weight of 16 pounds according to Adams, who says she’s been controlling Barsik’s dry food intake while feeding him wet food.

“He does pretty much everything regular cats do — jumping around, at night he gets the zoomies,” Adams told the New York Post. “He is a regular cat now.”

The Post notes Guinness stopped taking new entries for heaviest cat out of concern that misguided owners would over feed their chonksters to pursue the crown. Himmy, the Australian kitty who set the record, died at just 10 years old from complications associated with his obesity.

Barsik has settled into his new life, diet and all.

“He has a big personality. He is very demanding, he is very vocal, but he is also really friendly,” Adams said. “When I come home from work and get into the building, I hear his meowing all the way down the hall. He wants his food, but he also wants to say ‘hi’ to me.”

barsik
Barsik shortly after he was surrendered in 2019 and was living in a foster home.
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Adams and the newly-slim Barsik.

This Cat Looks Like An Angry Drill Sergeant

A scowling street cat dubbed Giggles has found a new home thanks to his mean mug.

The tabby cat with an unforgettable glower was found roaming in Streetsboro, Ohio — a small city about 20 miles northeast of Akron — and had ticks as well as a wound from a cat bite, according to staff at Riggi Rescue.

After a good Samaritan brought the little guy in, the rescue fixed him up, then snapped a few shots which quickly went viral.

giggles2
“Private, you’d better unf– this situation right now before I…you know what? Get down and give me 50 pushups. NOW!”

Despite Giggles’ fixed expression, the golden tiger-striped tabby is friendly and affectionate, shelter staff say.

“He’s not mad, he’s actually quite happy, sweet and charming,” Giggles’ rescuers wrote on Instagram. “If he’s angry about anything, it’s because you aren’t petting him.”

As expected, adoption offers poured in, and Giggles already has a home lined up, presumably to someone who’s going to make a fortune on Instagram from his mug.

Screenshot_2020-11-13 Riggi Rescue ( riggirescue) • Instagram photos and videos
“Unhand me, human, or face my eternal wrath!”

Then Keep Your Cat Inside!

Iris the cat tips the scales at 7.5kg, which equals 16.5 pounds in the Proper American Way of Recording Weights and Measures™.

The fluffster has become so rotund that she can no longer fit through her cat flap. But her humans, who live a few miles south of Exeter in the UK, think the problem is their neighbors, so they’re “pleading” with people in their neighborhood “not to feed the overweight feline,” the Daily Mail reported.

“She’s getting bigger and bigger,” Sheena Wilson, Iris’ human, told the newspaper. “We cannot keep her indoors. Her diet, as you can see, is not going very well.”

Photographic evidence confirms the Russian blue does indeed love the snacks:

Screenshot_2020-11-13 Pet owner pleads for people to stop feeding one-stone cat

Iris can only manage to get her head through the cat flap now, “so she can only use it to play peek a boo and can’t fit the rest of her in it,” Wilson said.

But Wilson also told the newspaper Iris is a “diva” who demands attention, so we’re left to draw the obvious conclusion: Wilson and/or other humans responsible for Iris are letting her out every day, since she can’t get out on her own.

Iris “pretends to be neglected” and fools neighbors into thinking she has “an empty tummy,” Wilson said.

As much as Wilson may want to outsource supervision of her cat’s diet, it’s hard to believe anyone thinks Iris is underfed.

We sympathize, and we also know there’s a simple solution: Keep the cat inside. You can’t control your snack-dispensing neighbors, but you can cut off your cat’s access to them — and keep her safe from traffic and all the other dangers of the outdoors.

We wish good luck to Iris and her owners.

Study Confirms Cats Are Set At Ease By ‘Slow Blinks’

I’d been in Japan for almost two weeks last year when I dialed back to the States on a Facetime call and my mom — who had been taking care of Buddy in my absence — held Bud up to her iPad.

“Someone wants to say hi to you,” she said.

Buddy looked at me, then tentatively blinked with one eye. When I returned the blink, he meowed excitedly, reaching a paw out to the screen.

Aside from making me feel bad about leaving my cat for so long, the exchange between Bud and I seemed to confirm the importance of the slow eye-blink in feline-human communication. It also confirmed that he missed me.

Now there’s a formal study that, for the first time, shows cats are more relaxed and more likely to approach humans — even strangers — if they’re greeted with a slow blink. Cats also like to reciprocate with a slow blink of their own when greeted that way, the study found.

blinkingcat
Credit: u/sol-aurum/Reddit

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication,” said Karen McComb, a psychologist from the University of Sussex and co-author of the study. “And it is something you can try yourself with your own cat at home, or with cats you meet in the street. It’s a great way of enhancing the bond you have with cats. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

Why does a slow blink put cats at ease?

Tasmin Humphrey, a Ph.D. student and study co-author, said it’s “possible that slow blinking in cats began as a way to interrupt an unbroken stare, which is potentially threatening in social interaction.”

The researchers say their results could help people communicate more clearly with their cats, and could be useful in shelters, where staff and volunteers are often tasked with trying to calm scared cats.