Adopting a pet is a life-long commitment, and cannot be rushed into or taken lightly. Many owners surrender pets for issues that can be solved with a little bit of time, patience, and love. Local Animal Control centers and rescues are full of cats and kittens that have been surrendered, and many times these are among the first to be euthanized. Since many centers are required by law to accept any animal brought to them, most are consistently unable to keep up with demand and euthanize dozens of animals each day that are deserving of a forever home. Happy Paws Kitten Rescue does not accept owner surrenders, but we can give you tips on dealing with behavioral issues and avoiding surrender.
If you adopted your cat from a shelter or rescue, contact them first about possible avenues to return your cat to their program. Friends and family may also be able to adopt the cat from you, and they are a great tool for spreading the word to others who may be interested. Remember, adopting a cat means taking responsibility for their health and life from adoption forward. Below are some common issues cat owners experience, as well as more information on what to do.
Pet Allergies: Just like with flowers and bushes, some cat owners experience allergies that may vary in intensity throughout the year. For many owners, these are manageable with guidance from your doctor. If you think your allergies might be cat-related, make an appointment as soon as possible to speak with your primary care physician about how to keep your allergies under control.
Pregnant or New Mothers: Many women are counseled about Toxoplasmosis, a zoonotic disease that is passed by fecal-oral transmission--which means you must ingest cat feces to be at risk. This disease leads to concerns over the safety of pregnant women or new mothers owning cats. However, studies have shown that the risk of getting Toxoplasmosis from gardening is higher than the risk of getting it from your cat. Simple solutions are to wear gloves while cleaning the litterbox or enlist the help of your family.
Litterbox Related Issues: If your cat is demonstrating unusuallitterbox behavior, you need to first rule out a medical condition. Cats frequently express physical discomfort or illness through a change in habits or behavior, and what might be an annoyance to you could actually be a sign that there is something medically wrong.
http://www.preciouscat.com/litter-box-solutions/ This is an excellent litter and easily available.
Behavioral Issues: Of course, not all behavioral issues are related to medically-induced. Cats act out for a variety of reason, but cat behavioralists can help you determine stressors or address bad behaviors. World-renowned cat behavioralist Pam Johnson-Bennett lives right here in Nashville. Johnson-Bennett has written several books and has her own television show dedicated to helping owners understand theircats behavior, and she does both phone and in-home consultations. http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/
If you are experiencing other types of issues with your cat or kitten, please contact your vet or local rescue before considering surrendering your pet.
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sAVE a LIFE
How to avoid surrendering you cat
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I NEED HELP REHOMING
This information is to help you to re-home your current cat or what you need help with. Happy Paws gets 100's of calls a month and we are just not able to take in all of the cats. Tho we wish we could. This page was created to help you to the best of our ability. Follow these steps and you will have good success in finding your cat a home. One of the first things you need to know is that there are NO no-kill shelters in the East TN area.
*It must be noted that Young Williams policy is any found cat that is taken to the shelter will be fixed and release back where it was found or in a colony of cats. They will not take the cat and put on the adoption floor. It does not matter if the cat if wild or not. It will be returned outside. If you can rehome the cat it will have a much better outcome and life quality then living on the streets. Please look for the cat after you have turned in a few days later cause they will let if out some were in your neighborhood.
The first thing you need to do is get a vet Reference for the cat your trying to find a home for. This keeps the cat safe when it goes to its new home. This is how you do a vet reference. 1. Get person's name that wants to adopt a cat and vet they use. 2. Call that vet and when they pick up and say Hello, Thanks for calling________ How can we help you? Say; yes I'm calling to do a vet check for an adoption. Ask them these three questions... 1. Do they spay/Neuter their pets? 2. What are the vaccine records like? 3. Do they bring them in for sickness and maintenance? You will have a very strong idea if they will take care of the pet or not. People lie vet records do not. Period!
You can also go to Zillow or google their address to see the home they will live in. If it's an apartment check to see if they are even allowed to have pets. It should be posted on the website of the complex if pets are allowed. We do all the above and also run personal references. Don't be afraid to ask questions. People that are truly good people will understand that you only want the best for your pet. If they become agitated or act fishy you should not adopt to them.
Now that you can safely check for the safety of the pet the next step is advertising. There are numerous places to advertise. The key to advertising is CONSISTENCY. No one reads yesterday's newspaper and they are not going to read your one-time ad you posted two days ago. Just not going to happen. The key is to consistently post ads. It's the only way to find them homes. One resource is Facebook. If you're not on, get on. Join all the pet sites. Knoxville Cat Lovers is a good place to start. Sometimes when you join one group it will ask you to join other pet groups. Do it! Ask others in the group what sites are good to advertise pets needing homes. Rember to always post pics with ads and a phone number for them to contact you. Bump this up or repost it daily for the highest success on the pet site pages.
Other places are the Knoxville News Sentinel. They let people place free pet ads and it cost nothing! Take advantage of this. It runs for three days. On the third day call back before 10 am and tell them to rerun it. IT'S FREE and reaches thousands of people. A good start to your ad is Family friendly or Kid-friendly, or Super sweet. If you have long hair cats always say Fluffy. Folks love fluffy....You have your vet check to keep cats safe. Other will use craigslist as well. Some are leery but crazy people are everywhere. That is why you have to do the vet check. I use craigslist to find a home for our cats in the rescue but I would not dream of doing it without a vet check.
Happy Paws does not work with feral cats, unfortunately. There are many resources out there tho. Young Williams will fix feral cats for FREE. They will even lend you a trap to catch them. This is called TNR work. If you leave a feral at the shelter it will be TNR and released back outside. TNR is encouraged as feral cats fair well as they are wild but will no longer reproduce. This is the key to population control. Killing them is especially cruel and shame on you if you do. Also, a group in Knoxville " Feral Feline Friends" can offer some assistance as well. They will NOT do everything for you but if you assistance them they are more than likely to help you.
ASSISTANCE WITH FIXING AND VETTING
There are many low-cost options for fixing your pet in the area. Ppaws in Greenback offers very low fixing fees. Even at $20 per cat or kitten! Planned Pethood in Roane County, as well. Many County Shelters can give you ideas on places within the area that will give vouchers or low-cost fixing. Monore and Loudon Counties to name a few do vouchers. Check to see what is available to you in your area. Young Willimas works on a sliding income scale. I know folks that have gotten free or $5 fixing. Talk with them if you have financial difficulty. They are eager to help you and your cats get fixed. They will help. For vet service, we recommend Butler Animal Clinic in Powell. they are very affordable. Also, they accept Care Credit. Apply for Care Credit if you can, It can be life-saving for your pets. The Emergency vet we recommend is Knoxville Pet Emergency Clinic on Ailor Ave. They accept Care Credit as well. They are the cheapest after hours vet. Don't forget about Banfield in Petsmart in Knoxville. They are usually open till around 6-7, as well. One important thing to note is if you find a stray that is hurt then you may take it the vet at the University of TN. It is free to have these animals seen under the good samaritan policy they have at the school. They will receive excellent care FREE of charge they are open 24 hours a day. Most animals are then given to Young Williams after treatment.
TIPS FOR REHOMING!
Some things you can do to ensure adoption success is to take great pictures. No one will read what you wrote if their attention is not grabbed. To make easy professional looking pics take a sheet or very pretty light colored clean blanket. Place a blanket over your entire couch both sitting and backrest area of the couch. Put the cat on cat couch. You have created a beautiful professional backdrop. Put toys or stuffed animals at their feet for added interest. People do not like pics of outdoor or cats or dirty homes. Whatever the backdrop make sure it is clean and neat. Not in a garage. People think that they are unkept and could be sick and will not adopt from you.
If you have other questions please feel free to contact us via email is best. Do remember we can't always take everything in. It is ultimately your responsibility to rehome your pet. And even if you have just found it, it is still your responsibility. Don't be an "I pass the buck type of person". The "I have two cats already" does no play well with us as we have foster homes with many and work so very hard 365 days a year. Follow the steps, Heed the advice, be a responsible person and give up the excuses. It's inconvenient sure, but we are talking about a living breathing creature that God made.