Thursday, April 13, 2017

Adopting/Rescuing a kitten

We are doing a series of articles about kittens since it's spring and there are kittens everywhere. Our first articles covers if it's the right time to get a kitten and where to get them from. Adoption is always the way to go.

 In saying this I want to emphasis BCR is a lifetime sanctuary.  We do not do adoptions or foster.  We get our cats from animal shelters, mostly high kill shelters and sometimes from our local vet and occasionally from someone that might have found a FELV or FIV cat and can not keep it. Many of our cats have had more than one home or their owner after several years decided they did not want them anymore and just dumped them. When they come to BCR, Alana promises them a forever home and that is what they get. So again we do not adopt our cats. They live here even when they go to the rainbow bridge. We have a outside memorial garden where they are laid to rest.

The photos I am going to use for this article are actual kittens that came to us at BCR. I am going to post a picture of them when we got them and a picture of what they look like today. In doing so I hope to encourage you to always *Adopt don't shop* even if you are looking for a dog and not a kitten. Call your local animal shelters in your area or look online. Most have online sites now which they update with pictures of their new kittens and cats.
We only take 90 cats. That is all we are have space for and Alana is very adamant about this. This is what NC law says we can have per the size of our 2 buildings.   

Mandy Cooper 
Rescuing will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do but think carefully first. It is a long term commitment, much like a marriage, for better or worse, in sickness and in health. The average life span for a cat is 12-16 years but many reach 20+ years.

Vet bills and cattery fees should be considered. Taking out a good pet insurance plan is also a good idea. It is also a wonderful way to support your local rescue. Adopting a rescue will save their life and give them the much needed TLC to help them overcome any issues. Imagine how great it would feel to know you have given a pet a 2nd chance, a chance of a happy, safe and comfortable life? I personally can't think of anything better.

For some reason, pets that are adopted know that they have been given a 2nd chance and they return that to you in bundles of unconditional love. Any time you adopt, you are saving lives and giving other animals a chance who need rescuing. All they need is your love and patience to adapt and adjust to their new life and once they do, you will see the benefits of your patience and unconditional love. Your cat will be eager to please you and will cherish you always.

Through adoption, you can find the perfect fit and some shelters may offer options to return if your chosen pet doesn't work out and are then rehomed. Everything is in the best interest of the animal. Adoption is very cost effective as they have had all the necessary checks prior to adoption. The adoption fees are nothing in comparison to the price of buying a pet. The adoption fee is also to help other rescued animals so your money is used for a good cause. There is nothing more important for shelters than happy adopters and happy pets. They will go the extra mile to keep you together. Adopting also serves as a great example to kids.

You are teaching your kids about compassion and there is nothing better than the feeling of having saved a life. It could be the last chance these animals have. Not only can you fulfil your new pet's needs but they can fulfil yours as well. It's about encouraging people to adopt so they can have the amazing feeling of seeing the change in their new pets and how they were before and after adoption.

Top 10 reasons to adopt/rescue

• Rehoming centers put the animal's health and welfare first, not money
• Kittens and cats will have already been vet checked
• Rehoming centers take a lot of care to match the right animal to the right home
• A rescue centers will offer you cat care advice and support even after adoption
• If the home doesn't work out, the rehoming center will take the kitty back for rehoming
• Many rehoming centers help with neutering costs if you are on a low income or include it in the         price of the adoption fee

• Kittens will only be homed when they are weaned and old enough
• Rescuing helps ease and not add to cat overpopulation
• You are helping 2 cats by freeing up the rehoming center for another cat in need
• By rescuing, you are giving a home to an animal who really needs it

Adopting in the UK
Adopting in the UK can be a lengthy process but it's necessary to ensure that both kittens and caregivers know all the right things to do to ensure that the bond and relationship between cat and owners is a long and healthy one.

There is a fee to adopt a kitten in the UK but this is so they can get all their checks and their 1st lot of vaccinations as well as the best possible care before and after they are adopted. Most rescues offer free pet insurance for the 1st month until you can get something sorted. The fee also makes sure that the rescue you adopt from can carry on caring for cats and kittens in their care.

There are various shelters, rescue centres and adoption centres to choose the right rescue kitten for you. In the UK, kitten season is from April to November so this is the best time to consider adopting. Most rescues in the UK carry out home visits to make sure your home is suitable for a new kitten. A rescue centre's main priority is the health and well-being of each animal. Kittens from rescue centres are vet checked prior to adoption, de flead and de wormed.

You are also offered advice and support after the adoption to make sure everything is going well. In the UK, the best places to go to for information on adopting, support and advice are the RSPCA, Cat's Protection and the Blue Cross. You can search for local shelters in your area for ways to adopt, foster or help out too so they are very informative.
*Always be sure that you get your new kitten spay or neutered. Female kittens can have kittens at 4 months of age. *

Rescue and shelter guidelines in the US
You can rescue from a shelter or a rescue such as the Humane Society and local rescues or animal controls near you. Pets adopted from shelters and rescue groups typically cost less than pets purchased. Once you add in the costs of vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, de wormer and other extras included in the adoption fee, you'll be amazed at what a bargain an adopted pet really is.

Most shelters and rescue groups conduct thorough behavioural checks of each pet to make sure they are the right fit for your family. Shelters and rescue groups can provide advice on making your relationship with your pet the best it can be for the rest of their lives.

A typical process of a humane society adp├ątion includes filling out an adoption questionnaire to find out your family's situation as well as specific questions about the care needs of the pet you are adopting. This is to make sure that you are a match to your chosen pet. You will then speak to an adoption counsellor to find out a little more about you and about care and behavioural training as well as seeing if you and the chosen pet will be happy together. If you are a good match, you are then introduced to the pet and if everything goes well, they will finalise the adoption. Remember that adopting is the perfect way to support your local shelter. Good sources of information include the Humane Society and the ASPCA. I have included links for your reference.

From May to October (or even later), shelters are inundated with unwanted kittens. Find a local shelter through the APSCA's directory or Pet finder. Pet smart and Pet co also support local shelters by sponsoring adoptions through their stores.

There is a unique way that some shelters help their kittens get adopted. They live stream their mums and kittens from birth to the time they are ready for adoption and it's a great way for people to watch them, support their work and fall in love with the kittens. Who wouldn't? You get to know their personalities and quirky ways through the camera and it's a great way of getting to know them before they are ready to go home. 

Sometimes seeing the kittens every day and watching them play and sleep helps raise awareness to the viewer and they can see how that kitten will be around other cats and human interaction. They still go through the same process of adopting and they have everything you need to know on their websites regarding adoption and other useful information. The links to those are just below for your reference.

In the US every state has their own rules regarding how they handle the animals that come into the animal control facilities. Sadly N.C states that any animal that is sick can be put down upon arrival. Many of the kill shelters have volunteers that work hard in trying to place any of the animals that can be treated for their injuries or sickness. That is how BCR got many of their kittens when they first started through volunteers trying to save their lives before they were euthanized. 

Today since we do not adopt we rarely have a spot for a Blind cat and if we do we take a older cat because people do not usually want older cats. Our FELV/FIV rooms however sadly do see more kitties go to the rainbow bridge, because of FELV. This does give us the opportunity to help another kitten/cat for as long as they have.
Again let me stress we do not adopt or foster. We are a lifetime care sanctuary. 

Also once again please make sure you spay or neuter your kitten which can be done as early as 4 months old. We will cover this in a later article.
BRC runs several fundraisers each year to help spay and neuter cats in their area.

I have also included links to other places with informative information from other countries that you may reside in so you know where to go to get help and advice if you wish to adopt.














South Africa




The danger of buying kittens
Some people advertise on the internet with no details of previous history, current medical conditions or the parents background. The details are being falsified. Some cats or kittens that are bought from unreliable dealers are often ill, ignored or poorly socialised. Some other risks include health issues caused by poor welfare, kittens being taken too early from mum to early leading to behavioural problems. Some cats are bred over and over until they can't take anymore and no support is offered following a sale like you would get from a rescue.

You could be buying a kitten from a mill where cats are confined to cramped, dirty cages with no human interaction or the proper care. They are often malnourished and are bred over and over for money. Kittens are taken from their mums too early causing severe behavioural problems.

You could be buying your kitten from a backyard breeder where cats are continually bred to make money and the cats are left emotionally and physically damaged.

You could be buying a kitten with bad health, severe behavioural problems, no socialisation and you may not get what you see.

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