Tag Archives: Rescue

Rehoming your Cat Responsibly

Today’s blog has been written by Sheryl Leonardi, our founder. Amongst other things she deals with all of the rehoming requests for the group, so spends a lot of time advising people on how to rehome their cats safely and responsibly. Please note that if you want us to take your cat into rescue, you need to contact us. Why not read this first and get some tips?

Having to re-home our cat/s is never something we think we may have to do when we add one to our family and is always a heart-breaking decision to make. Every month I read hundreds of e-mails from people who need to re-home their cat for one reason for another. At Lina’s we have a policy which assures people they will never be judged when asking for help for their cat, we will also never ask questions on the circumstances although advice will sometimes be offered if the circumstances are voluntarily disclosed to us.

Unfortunately our waiting lists are long and it is unlikely that you will be offered an immediate space unless the cat is what we would consider to be an emergency.

STEP ONE – IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN DO TO HELP MY CURRENT SITUATION?


Do you really need to re-home your cat? Are there any changes you can make which may mean you can keep your beloved furry family member? The most common reasons for re-homing a cat is as follows:

We are moving house and due to our landlord we are not able to take the cat with us
– If you are dealing with a letting agency, see if you can speak to the landlord directly. Sometimes letting agencies have a blanket policy which is not changed unless the landlord requests it, the landlord may infact be happy for you to have a pet.
– Offer to pay a larger security deposit. A landlord’s primary concern is damage to the property which may be caused by the cats. Offering a larger deposit gives them more security and assures them that it will be able to cover any damage which is caused.
– Suggest the landlord visits your current property for reassurance that your cats are house trained and that you take care of your home.
– Be honest and upfront from the beginning about the fact that you have cats and how many you will be bringing to the property. The landlord is much more likely to come round to the idea of cats in the property if permission is asked for, rather than the discovery that you have broken your contractual agreement by having undisclosed pets in the property.

I/my partner/my child is allergic to the cat
The first step is a visit to your GP to have the allergy diagnosed. There may be medication you can take which eliminates the symptoms, that alongside daily vacuuming may be enough to control the allergy.

I am pregnant and I am worried about toxoplasmosis and the risk to my unborn baby
There is no need to reduce contact with your cat if you are pregnant. Statistically speaking cat owners are not at any more risk than non-cat owners and you are more likely to contract it from raw meat or unwashed vegetables.
The parasite which causes toxoplasmosis is shed in cat faeces but ONLY becomes infectious after a week. This means if you wear gloves, scoop every day and thoroughly disinfect the litter tray every week then you are ruling out all chances of catching toxoplasmosis from your cat.

We just don’t have the time to give her the attention she deserves anymore
Cats are self-sufficient, independent animals. Although they are all different generally (especially in older cats) they will be content with being fed twice a day and a bit of attention after work or when the kids are in bed. If you live in a safe area, allowing outdoor access to your cat via a cat flap can give them free range to come and go as they please throughout the day. They may also appreciate a companion to play with, or perhaps toys that they can play with alone (such as cat trees/climbers, a “Cats Meow”, rotary tracks and cat nip toys).

My cat is toileting outside the litter tray and I just can’t take it anymore!
First of all take your cat to the vets with a fresh urine sample, they will be able to check your cat over and test the urine for any medical causes such as UTI’s, cystitis, etc.
Once this has been ruled out, turn your attention to the cat and your home.

Not enough litter trays is just one of the reasons your cat may toilet inappropriately. Read more about inappropriate toileting here: http://www.catchat.org/urination.html

STEP TWO – OK, I’VE THOUGHT LONG AND HARD AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO WHICH WOULD RESULT IN BEING ABLE TO KEEP THE CAT. NOW I NEED TO CONTACT AS MANY RESCUES AS POSSIBLE


The first port of all in any re-homing situation is to contact as many cat re-homing rescues as possible. Here’s the link to our email so that you can contact us. All will have waiting lists and most of the time will not be able to offer immediate space. Even if you think you may try to rehome the pet yourself first, please contact the rescues anyway. We often have people contact with very short notice because they had made a private arrangement with a friend or family member who have pulled out at the last minute. No rescue will mind if you need to remove your cat from the waiting list because you have found an alternative!

STEP THREE – MY CAT IS ON WAITING LISTS BUT I DON’T REALLY HAVE TIME TO WAIT FOR SPACE TO BECOME AVAILABLE. I WOULD LIKE TO TRY AND RE-HOME THE CAT MYSELF


If you choose to privately re-home your cat, there are steps you can take which will mean you have tried everything you can to make sure your cat goes to a responsible, loving home who is fully committed to the lifetime of your cat. The following steps are very similar to the procedure Lina’s follow when cats are adopted, as the last thing we want is for the adoption to fail.

State a price
Asking a price for the cat is a very important factor in making sure the cat goes to a good home. Putting a price on will discourage impulse buys and spontaneous decisions, it will discourage the less desirable, illegal activities such as dog fighters looking for free “bait” and it will also help to prevent people taking a free cat to sell on for profit.

If you do not want to profit from re-homing your cat then you can donate the money to a charity of your choosing.

Be honest about the cat’s temperament/behaviour
No matter how quickly we need the situation resolving, we have a duty of care to pets we are responsible for and we must make sure that the home they are going to are willing to take on-board any behavioural or medical issues they may have.

Neuter your cat before re-homing
Neutering your cat is the responsible thing to do and will prevent unwanted litters should she escape from the home. It will also in most cases stop males from spraying which is a huge deterrent for people who want to have a cat. Many charities will help with low cost neutering or you could use the cost of the operation as the price to sell your cat for if costing is an issue.

Ask for interested parties to visit the cat in the home
A chance to meet the cat in his home environment will ensure that people are happy with the cat and that the cat is happy with them! It will also give you a chance to talk about the cat and discuss his likes/dislikes and to ask questions about their home and lifestyle to see if it would suit the cat.

After they have visited the cat, ask to visit their home so you can see where the cat will be living
It is best to mention that you would like to visit the home from the off-set so that people are prepared for this and know that if they want to buy your cat they will need to have a home check. It is a great deterrent for anyone who has something to hide or may want the cat for something other than a pet! Consider your own safety first and if you can’t take someone with you make sure you always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back by. If you do not drive, many rescues may know someone who can go on your behalf using the rescues own home checking procedure.

Things to check/look for during a home visit:

Surrounding area – If the cat is to be let outside check that they do not live near any main roads. Are there any hazards in the immediate area? For example garden ponds?
ID – Are they who they say they are?
Other pets in the home – Ask to see them if they are not visible. Do they look happy, healthy and well looked after? Do they envisage any problems when being introduced to your cat?
Condition of the home – We all have clutter and our kids rooms are always a bit of mess. Dust on skirting boards or mantel pieces shouldn’t bother us, but is the home generally hygienic and are there any hazards that may be a risk to a cat?
Have they re-homed any other pets in the past and why – There are genuine reasons for re-homing our pets, but asking this question will help to reassure you that your cat will not be re-homed for a trivial reason.

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More Homes Needed as ‘Kitten Season’ gets Underway

The sharp rise in the number of kittens this time of year is known as ‘kitten season’, and is the busiest of the year for Lina’s.

SnowyKittens Scarlett and Babies4 Scarlett and Babies5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tilly and kittens

SnowyBlaze

Tolly (M)

Tolly- reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Although the post-Christmas rush emptied many of our foster homes, they’re quickly filling back up again with mums and kittens found on the street. All are cold, miserable, and would not have survived without Lina’s stepping in to help them.

We desperately need more foster homes to take in these new cats and kittens, and ask that anybody who can find a temporary space for a little one gets in touch with us.

We’re also hoping that many of our kittens get adopted quickly so that we can take in even more. Please take a look at our ‘Adopt a Cat or Kitten’ page for more information

And if anybody can help in any way, no matter how small, we ask you to make a donation through Paypal (linascatrescue@gmail.com). Almost all of the £20,000 we raised last year was spent on veterinary treatment for ill and injured cats coming into our care. You can also give donations of food or equipment so that we can fit out our foster homes and get these little ones inside as quickly as possible.

This is the busiest time of year for us and we are very grateful for anything that we receive.

 

Slug Pellet Warning

Our latest blog has been written by Joanna Woodnutt, who takes time out from her veterinary student life to help with fostering and administration of the group. She has an interest in feline medicine.

 

As the weather is getting warmer, many of us are starting to head out into our gardens. Winter rubbish is cleared away, fences are painted, and seeds are sown. Inevitably, the slugs will come out of hibernation just as your seeds are beginning to grow, and it’s easy to be tempted to resort to slug pellets, but beware!

Slug pellets containing metaldehyde are extremely toxic to cats. Most of the common ‘blue pellets’ that you see on the shelves in the shop contain metaldehyde- a quick look on the back of the pack should let you know! Unfortunately these pellets are mostly made of something a little like cat biscuits to attract the slugs, but this can also tempt hungry cats to eat them.

Photo by Amelia Hunt

Photo by Amelia Hunt

If you suspect your cat has eaten metaldehydes, please take them straight to the vets and tell them what you’re worried about.

Ways to prevent your cat becoming ill:

The best way to stop your cat becoming ill is to not use metaldehyde slug bait. Try copper tapes or picking them off by hand. ‘Nemaslug’ is a fantastic product that contains slug parasites- these attack and kill slugs and snails but not other animals, so are completely safe.

If you absolutely must use metaldehydes, or you suspect your neighbours are, other options to help to prevent them getting ill are:

  • Try to keep your cat indoors during late spring
  • Don’t let your cat out whilst hungry
  • Give your neighbours some cat-repellant granules to use to try to keep your cat out
  • Give your neighbours some ‘Nemaslug’, and ask them not to use metaldehydes

Nemaslug

Signs to look out for:

Please note your cat may not exhibit all or any of these, but these are the most common signs.

  • Incoordination- unable to walk properly
  • Fast breathing
  • Vomiting and Diarrhoea
  • Noisy mewling and other signs of anxiety
  • Over-reaction to loud noises or touch
  • Twitching or jerky movements
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Tremors
  • ‘Fitting’ or convulsions

Remember: If you suspect your cat has eaten slug pellets, take them to the vet’s immediately– do NOT wait for these symptoms to appear as the sooner the vet can see the animal the better.

What your vet will do:

There is no antidote to metaldehydes, but your vet will do their very best to get the metaldehyde out of your cat’s system. They will have to give many different drugs and will usually admit the animal to be put onto fluids. Providing it is caught quickly enough, it would be unusual for an otherwise healthy cat to die from metaldehyde poisoning.

FIV+ Cats- Debunking the Myth

Written by: Helen McCallum
Helen is a third year veterinary student at the University of Nottingham. She has an interest in feline medicine, has recently completed a dissertation on FIV in cats, and would like to go into small animal practice when she graduates.


 

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a virus which infects domestic cats worldwide. A cat that is infected is FIV positive (FIV+), and non-infected cats are FIV negative. Unfortunately, FIV positive cats can be overlooked at adoption centres, or are put to sleep unnecessarily because of health concerns or a lack of people looking to take them on. Lina’s is proud that we accept FIV+ cats… but what does that mean for you?

How is the virus spread from cat to cat?
The virus is spread by biting. Generally, FIV is regarded as a virus of fighting cats, with stray and male cats having a greater risk of contracting the virus.


What happens after a cat is infected?
It’s difficult to determine exactly what happens as FIV can cause an array of conditions, which may affect many parts of the body. The majority of the disease course has no symptoms, lasting a long time (often the majority of the cat’s life). Overall, the virus causes immunosuppression, so infected cats are more likely to suffer recurrent health problems, especially later in life.

When the terminal stage is reached clinical disease is seen, which may include dental disease, skin conditions, cancer, neurological disease, renal disease, gastrointestinal disorders, upper respiratory tract and urinary infections. However, as can be seen from this list, these could be experienced by any cat, FIV+ or not!  A cat can’t be cured of the virus – it is there in the body for a lifetime.
How do I know a cat is infected?
A SNAP test carried out by a vet will be able to tell you if a cat is infected or not. These SNAP tests often test for Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) as well, which is not to be confused with FIV. Vets will often test stray, male cats they may come across, as these are at higher risk of being positive.


How long do FIV+ cats live for?
No one can predict the lifespan of an FIV+ cat, just in the same way that no one can predict the lifespan of a healthy cat. However, studies have found that FIV infection does not adversely affect lifespan when compared to FIV negative cats. This means FIV cats can live to similar ages to non-infected cats.

 

So what do I have to do with my FIV+ cat?
Health Monitoring
Health monitoring is important as FIV+ cats are more likely suffer recurrent health problems. Taking them to the vet at the first sign of anything out of the normal is crucial. A vet may prescribe medication for any conditions the cat is suffering, or carry out any procedures that are required, like dentals in the case of dental disease.
Practicalities of Keeping FIV+ Cats
FIV+ cats should be kept indoors to stop them spreading the virus to outdoor cats through biting. This will also keep them safe from anything which could infect them, such as parasites they could pick up from hunting, or indeed viruses they may contract from other cats. Some say that FIV+ cats should be kept as a single cat or segregated from any other cats in the same household, to prevent the virus spreading. However, as the virus spreads via bites, some say that FIV+ and negative cats can mix in a household as long as they get on and do not fight. However, bear in mind that FIV+ cats should be isolated if an infection is present amongst any other household cats. This is because an infection could pass to the FIV+ cat, causing further complications.

So having an FIV+ cat is not the end of the world- in fact, people often don’t even know they’ve got an FIV+ cat! This disease usually only causes problems towards the end of a cat’s life- when all cats become more likely to get diseases! FIV+ cats make fantastic pets, just like any other cat, so please don’t pass over them!

 

Lina’s accept FIV+ cats, and do an FIV/FeLV check when we first get an at-risk cat brought in. We will declare whether a cat is FIV+ on enquiry or during your home visit.

Diary of a Fosterer

For those of you who aren’t sure whether or not to foster, read this ‘Diary of a Fosterer’, which has been written by one of our new foster-carers this year.

15th November
We picked our foster cat up today! He cried for the whole car journey, and disappeared as soon as I let him out. I don’t know where he hid, but within the hour he was nervously exploring- he found me waiting with a bag of treats! He’s found his litter tray and is already using it- yay! He seems to be eating well and I get the feeling he won’t let me forget when it’s mealtime!

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16th November
He’s already settling in, sleeping on my lap or right next to me. He lets me pick him up too! He doesn’t seem interested in playing though, and he still jumps if somebody walks past the road outside, or if the door opens! He’s got several hidey-holes that he goes to, but he’s spending more time out of them than in them!

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24th November
Caesar had to go for his second lot of vaccinations today. He didn’t want to go in his carrier and cried the whole way to the vets. The vet reckons he’s healthy though, and he didn’t even notice his vaccinations being done! I asked about his teeth as he seems to be drooling a bit, but the vet said they’re fine! I also had to flea treat him when we got home, but that was easy enough!

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26th November
He had a very busy day today, as somebody came to view him for adoption. I picked him up and explained that he’s very gentle, but he’s such a big boy I think they were put off. I boiled him up a little pheasant and he devoured it, and he’s now showing how much he loves me by sitting on my feet!

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10th December
I’ve been doing a lot of wrapping on the floor and Caesar seems to love it! He’s started playing with the ribbon or climbing into my lap when I’m cross-legged! He provides us with so much entertainment, especially as he’s started ‘hunting’- watching him pounce on his toys and wrestle with them makes us so happy!

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18th December
We’re going away for Christmas, so Lina’s have organised somebody else to have him whilst we’re away. She came over to collect him this afternoon. He didn’t want to leave, but I’m sure he’s going to have an amazing Christmas and be spoilt rotten! We miss him already though- it’s going to be hard to give him up when somebody adopts him, but at least we’ll have another incoming cat and we get to help more!

28th December
We picked Caesar up from his Christmas foster home. He’s had a lovely time and has been very well looked after- he didn’t want to leave! He’s home now and back to lying on the sofa- that didn’t take long! He had to have his flea treatment as well, which he didn’t enjoy- I’m now not the favourite parent!

20th January
Caesar had another visit today, and this time he got lucky and was reserved! I’m so proud of him but really sad that he’ll be leaving us soon. His new owner seems lovely though, so I’m sure he’ll be happy!

30th January
Caesar’s new mum has passed her home visit. Now all that’s left to do is to organise his vet check and collection. I’ve come around to the idea that he’s leaving now- I’m looking forward to seeing who my next ward will be!

 

2014 Figures Show Excellent Progress

Lina’s end-of-year figures have now been released, and they show just how much hard work has been done by everybody in 2014. Here is a statement from the director, Sheryl Leonardi.

313 cats and kittens successfully adopted.
57 cats neutered through our new neutering scheme which only started in September.

Annual income £26,845
£21,111 spent on vet bills which includes just under £1,500 on the neutering scheme.
Remaining spent on flea/worm treatment, food and various other things such as advertising, equipment, etc.

We never have over £600 in the bank which I make sure we always have for emergencies, our income is spent almost as soon as it comes in.

It’s amazing to think that such a small charity, which works entirely through volunteers, has rehomed 313 cats this year! These cats have been rescued from the street, from ‘free to a good home’ ads and as private rehomes from owners that can no longer keep them.

Our new neutering scheme was only begun in September, and enables anybody to get free neutering, regardless of whether they are on benefits or with a low income. This is unique among local neutering schemes, and all we ask in return is as much as you can afford to give towards it. And since September, this scheme has contributed to the neutering of nearly 60 cats- thats one every two days for the time it has been running!

We would like to thank all of our fosterers, fundraisers, volunteers and friends for all of their support, and to remind you how you can support us in 2015.

Fostering: We are always looking for new fosterers as we work entirely through foster homes. Please see the ‘Foster For Us’ page for more information.

Donating: We are always extremely grateful for any donations you can give.
Money can be donated through:

  • Paypal by using the email address linascatrescue@gmail.com
  • Giving cash to any fosterer
  • By BACS to Miss S Leonardi, Santander, Account no 88092680 Sort code 09-01-26
  • By phone St Leonard’s Vets, who will be able to take card payments directly onto our account.

We also love donations of food or equipment, which are shared between fosterers as fairly as possible. Please contact us to arrange pick up or delivery. You can also buy us something from our Amazon wishlist, which is available here.

We also take donations of unwanted gifts, toys or bric-a-brac which we sell at various events to raise money for Lina’s. Please contact us to arrange this. Of course, attending our table-top sales and buying from us is great too!

Facebook:

Join our Facebook group (here) to show your support and join our community of cat lovers. We post regular updates about all our cats and offer advice to struggling cat owners.

As always, thank you for your support for 2014, and we look forward to working with you all in 2015!