I thought writing a blog on adoption would be a great topic as I’m sure many of you have already done so yourselves or are considering it! I hope I can help give you some new information that you maybe didn’t know along the way.
I personally have a 12 year old cat ‘Alley’ who I adopted from Calgary Humane at 8 weeks old. She is my best buddy and a hilarious part of my life! Alley had a best friend that we lost a few years ago and we had considered getting her a new friend. But for us it took a while to be ready to add a new feline into our life. The grieving process is different for everyone and that is completely ok.
When I started working here at Killarney Cat Hospital (almost 2 years ago) I made a promise to my husband that I would NOT start bringing home kittens…I guess it was kind of a lie, but an unintentional one.
Shortly after I started working here I decided we should team up with a rescue organization and so started what has now become a great relationship with AARCS. We started fostering a litter of kittens at a time, (doing their spays, neuters, vaccines etc.) and having them in our clinic until they were adopted out. So basically I lasted until the second litter we fostered… we adopted 2 kittens. HA!
I am in LOVE with ALL of my fur babies! But this brings me to the next part of this little ‘story’. How do you make a 10 year old established cat and 2 kittens become friends?
TIME and PATIENCE! I started out with the little ones in our spare room. This gave Alley the freedom to smell them through the door, hiss at them, paw under the door etc. At night I would take Alley into our room with us and let the little ones roam free in the house so that their smells would get around. Sometimes I would take the babies in with us and let Alley roam around the house at night and in their room too. I also used Feliway diffusers and spray a LOT!
This went on for a couple months. Eventually I let them all out together (supervised) and I did not rush it. I’d say after about 3 months I saw something amazing! Betty our little kitten was obsessed with Alley and one day Alley decided to clean her…my heart melted! To this day Alley and Betty are best friends and little Elvis is as cool and as a cucumber, he just likes to hang out.
Getting 2 kittens was such a great recommendation from AARCS. At first we had only wanted one, but they suggest 2 with a senior cat. This is great for Alley. When she has had enough of the young ones, they go off and play with each other. She takes her leisurely naps and all is happy in our household.
I highly recommend adopting from a rescue as opposed to other avenues. I have heard comments over the years such as ‘why would I pay to adopt a cat when I can get a free one off kijiji’. Well here are a few of my reasons why.
- Your cat from a rescue organization will have been seen by a vet, likely more than once. That’s saving you those trips and money.
- It will already be spayed or neutered depending if it is male or female this is a savings of likely between $200-500 plus or minus a bit
- It will have some or all of its vaccines done (kittens require a series of 3 vaccines with an exam) this is saving you likely between $80-$100 for each vaccine
- They need to be dewormed at least twice as kittens this is roughly a $25-35 cost each time
By paying an adoption fee of say $175 for a kitten as opposed to a ‘free’ kijiji kitten you are actually saving HUNDREDS of dollars. And the rescue groups quite honestly are just trying to help cover their costs and find happy homes for these little loves. Food for thought anyway!
As for me and my little petting zoo we have recently added a new friend into the mix. We had the sweetest little AARCS kitty in the clinic one day for a dental surgery and she stole our hearts. She has become a foster at our house…but I think she wants to apply for permanent residency.
“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” ― Colette
Clockwise from top left: Sally (our newest addition) estimated 12-24mths, Alley 12 years, Betty 20mths, Elvis 20mths, Dolly (don’t tell her she’s not a cat) 4 years.
Written By: Julie Osiowy