Answers to some of our most frequently-asked questions:
We primarily work with the high kill L.A. City shelters to pull animals who are in danger of being euthanized but are totally adoptable. Many of our cats were on medical alert for minor and easily-curable issues like eye infections or ringworm. Others were marked as “feral” because they were hissy or took a swat at someone (a pretty natural behavior for a cat who is scared and confused!).
We also sometimes rescue cats from the streets, when we hear about animals who’ve been abandoned or dumped.
Unfortunately, adult cats have a higher risk of being euthanized in shelters. Many new adopters only want to consider kittens, so the adults get overlooked. But we know how great adult cats are and we believe they deserve a chance at finding a forever home that doesn’t view them as disposable!
Many of our adult cats can be adopted alone, but we urge you to consider the pairs. We understand that, logically, it seems like it would be more work, but it’s actually easier!
With kittens, adopting a pair means they will direct their hunting/playing behaviors toward one another, rather that at your legs/furniture. They’ll also be able to comfort one another. When they grow into adulthood, you’re less likely to see the behavioral issues that can result from the loneliness and separation anxiety a single kitty can sometimes experience.
When we have a bonded pair of adults, we always look for a home where they can stay together. Sometimes a bonded pair is obvious — they’re always snuggled up next to each other and forming their own little kitty pile. But not all bonded pairs are physically affectionate toward one another. More important is the emotional bond that they share. Being together helps reduce their stress and keeps them (and their human family!) happy.
We understand that sometimes life takes a turn and you have to give up your feline family member. Unfortunately, as a foster-based organization, we don’t have anywhere to put surrendered animals.
Depending on the situation, we can help promote your cat to find him a new home, and we might have room to let you show your kitty at our adoption events. And if the reason you’re looking to surrender your kitty is behavioral, we might be able to offer some tips to help alleviate the situation and regain some household harmony.
Before reaching out for help, try to determine if the cat is tame or feral.
If he’s friendly, he’s probably someone’s pet that just got lost. Try taking photos of the cat and posting on Nextdoor.com. If you’re able to get the cat into a carrier and take him to a nearby veterinarian’s office, they can scan for a microchip (for free) to find the owner’s contact information.
If the cat isn’t friendly, check to see if the top corner of one of his ears has been cut off. When Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is performed on community cats (strays and ferals), they are “eartipped” so everyone can see that they’ve already been fixed.
If the cat is not eartipped, then you’ve either found a pet cat who’s so scared that he’s acting unfriendly or a community cat who still needs to be fixed. Getting community cats spayed and neutered is vital in reducing overcrowding at shelters and moving Los Angeles towards being a No Kill city. To do your part in achieving No Kill, please go to the FixNation website to find out how you can borrow a trap and get that kitty fixed, at no cost to you!
Pregnancy on the streets is challenging for a cat. Sure, she might have a smooth delivery and a litter of healthy kittens. But it’s also possible that there will be complications. The kittens could die in utero, and if she’s unable to expel them it can be fatal for the mama cat. She might not have a safe place to give birth and if she loses track of her kittens or abandons them after delivery, they will starve to death on the streets. It’s also possible that she’s not pregnant at all — that it’s actually a uterine infection (potentially fatal!).
The bottom line is, unless you’re a veterinarian, you probably can’t make the decision about whether or not that cat is healthy and able to deliver her kittens. She needs to see a doctor!
FixNation will loan you traps and train you on how to use them so you can get the strays in your neighborhood fixed, all at no cost to you. The veterinarians there can also decide what’s best for the health of any pregnant mama cats. Getting stray cats spayed and neutered is vital in reducing overcrowding at shelters and moving Los Angeles towards being a No Kill city.
Here are a few of our favorite things:
Details about the low-cost programs available in different parts of Los Angeles can be found on the NKLA website.
If your pet is prescribed a medication that’s available at a regular pharmacy (like Walgreens or CVS) you can use an internet drug coupon to reduce the cost.
Of course we’d prefer to have no-kill shelters. But until that day comes, these Los Angeles area shelters give your kitty the best chance at survival if you absolutely must surrender your cat:
Check the websites for each to see what areas they service.
And if you know anyone who lives in San Diego, that city’s shelter system is low-kill and a much safer place to surrender an animal.
We wish Los Angeles had more services available for its millions of stray and feral cats. Here are some of the ones out there:
FixNation will loan you humane traps and teach you how to use them so you can bring in community cats to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated (at no cost to you!).
Not all vets work with feral cats. Before trapping a feral who needs medical attention, call around to make sure the vet will be able to treat the animal!
If you have a feral cat in your care who needs medical assistance, you may be able to work with GreaterGood.org to fundraise reimbursement for the costs of treatment. Download an info sheet on that Gift That Gives More™ program here.
Hear kittens meowing in the storm drain? See a cat caught in the currents of the LA River? The Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team (SMART) is a division of LA Animal Services specifically trained in tactical rescue of animals.
As if cars and coyotes don’t give cats enough to worry about on the streets of LA, they also have to watch out for human predators. If you observe animal cruelty, please report it to the Animal Cruelty Task Force! This includes dog fighting (where kittens are often used as bait), poisoning, and anything else that should be confined to your nightmares.
They will require details and whatever evidence you can gather (like photos).