Herald's Address
This page is still a work in progress and even when it's done there will likely be things to add from time to time. It includes answers to
questions I get asked often and things that I think people may find useful or interesting. Subjects range from adoptions to behavioral
problems, to diseases, so please be aware of this when reading or allowing children to read.
Adoption fees:Why? How much?
        I have heard many people lament that adoption fees are too high or that they shouldn't exist.
Adoption fees exist because a ton of money is put into these pets and adoption fees usually don't
come anywhere near covering it all. The amount they do cover, helps us rescue more animals. Even
organizations that get "a lot" of donations and/or make payments to their vet, are usually in the red.

     The rescue is funded exclusively by me and the few gifts we get (average of about $20 a month)
If I didn't charge anything, I would be forced to stop rescuing completely. My average cost for each
cat is above what the adoption fees are IF they don't need anything additional. It's not uncommon to
drop an extra few hundred on a cat that is injured or sick. I'm fairly lucky, I think my top amount so
far has been $800 on a cat. She's now a happy, healthy adult.  
     The cats are dewormed on intake and then every few months. They get flea treatment monthly.
They are FIV/FeLV tested after initial quarantine. They are spayed/neutered, have their distemper
vaccines (3 for kittens, 2 for adults), and their rabies vaccine.  Since we focus on strays, many
come in with an illness.

     Food and litter costs about $500 a month alone. This may vary if we have fewer cats,
malnourished cats coming in, young kittens, or any number of things. It's never gone below $350 a

     I am not 501c3 which means I can't get grants or any other help. I pay my vet bills when I get
them, for things like litter & food, I pay what you do.   I keep my adoption fees as low as possible,
as my priority is homes, but I need to be able to help the next kitty that needs a helping hand.

     The other argument for fees is that often those that get a free animal don't understand what
goes into their care.
Kitten or Adult: Which is best for my
     My personal opinion is adults are the way to go, but I know they aren't for everyone!

     Kittens are cute and fluffy little babies(who doesn't love babies!) They are rambunctious and
fun. You get to watch them grow and learn.

     They also have more potential to get into things and make trouble just like the young of any
species. Kittens also don't have formed personality yet and some people love that, BUT keep in
mind, sometimes it doesn't matter you do, that cute kitten who loved to snuggle as a baby, might
develop into an aloof adult. You may end up with a kitty for life who isn't the social butterfly you

     Kittens are always the life of the party. They romp and play and go from cute little fluffies to
gorgeous kitties. They even have an awkward teenage stage. It's very cute.

     An adult aren't as cute as little babies. Their personality is already formed for the most part
although things can change some. (I've only seen them get MORE friendly in homes) If you go to a
rescue and find a lap cat, chances are that cat is going to stay a lap cat.

     Some people say adults are set in their ways and have bad habits. This can be true too, although
I haven't yet met an adult yet who couldn't learn. It's also more likely that if they DON'T have any
bad habits, they won't develop them(although not a guarantee) Adults also take a lot less work and
time. They are less likely to find homes than a kitten as well. We have a few that have been waiting
for four years!

     I always recommend adults or older kittens for small children.
     A kitten scratches to play! It  climbs and swats and wrestles. They don't yet know that they need
to be careful. Adults aren't as rambunctious. You can find an adult who is a patient kitty who will
tolerate more, although of course any cat doesn't like to be harassed too much.

     Also, although all cats are small animals and therefore fragile, adults are less so than kittens.
So if Susie does accidentally sit on kitty's foot, it's less likely to do permanent damage.  I also
recommend adults or older kittens for folks with large dogs. I love big dogs myself but they tend to
be unaware of where they sit or gallop and a small kitten can get injured easily.
     It's rewarding to adopt any age animal, but there is something special about the joy of giving an
adult what may be his/her only chance at love. Watching a shy kitty blossom into a loving lap cat is
even more amazing.  I have a special bond with my own cats, who I got as kittens (before I started
rescue) but I often wish i had more room for the adults that come in.

     Ultimately the decision is up to you! What are you looking for in a companion?

     If you do decide on younger, remember, two kittens are better than one! They tend to be less
destructive in pairs.  This is because they wrestle with each other rather than say, your curtains. It
helps them "learn" to be a cat, and keep them company while you are away. Adults also often do
better with a companion but it's not as necessary. I always have a few that would prefer to be the
only pet in the house, or just the only cat.

     These are my opinions and suggestions ONLY and just something to think about when
considering adoption.
I personally am not in support of declawing. I know some people will be very strongly against what I'm
saying, but I hope they take the time and read the information and the links I've posted.  If people
choose to do it, that's their prerogative, but I think vets should tell people the risks.

Declawing is cutting off the tip of the toe, not just "removing" the nail.

Cats are not humans, but do we really believe that this doesn't hurt the cat?

There are behavior issues associated with declawing including biting and inappropriate urination
(litter box issues)

Is all this worth the risk when there are several alternatives to declawing?

Since I would rather see cats have declawing homes than no home at all, I do allow it on kittens
ONLY. It is just too much for adults to go through. They have a longer healing process and more
issues. In fact, most vets in the area do not do declawing after a year of age.

Many countries are against declawing, in fact 25 countries have outlawed it or declared it inhumane.
England                       Scotland                        Wales                         Italy                       France
Germany                      Austria                          Switzerland                Norway                  Sweden
Netherlands                Northern Ireland            Ireland                       Denmark                
Portugal                      Belgium                         Spain                          Brazil                     Israel
Japan                           Australia                       New Zealand              Yugoslavia            Slovenia             
...and even parts of California.

Even the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA) who seems to often do what benefits vets
the most, has changed their stance on declawing.
"Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the
cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s).

The AVMA believes it is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat owners with complete education
with regard to feline onychectomy..."
(more at website below)



One question I have for the AVMA, Why do they say AGGRESSIVE pain managment is required if it's
not painful for our cats?
One question I ask people to ask themselves, "Is the possibility of a lifetime of pain worth it for a
Adoption Fees

Adults vs Kittens  

Declawing: What It Is & Alternatives

Innappropriate Urination

What's in your pets' food!

If your landlord or a medical condition requires declawing, rescues often have cats that are already
declawed looking for homes.

     If for some reason this isn't an option and you still want to declaw, then there are a few things to
know. Do not declaw an adult cat, get a kitten. Allow a few months to see if your new friend is going
to be destructive.  The problem that arises for me with this is that as a kitten matures, it uses it's
claws less, yet for health reasons you don't want to wait until they are an adult. 9 months is the
recommended age for declawing.

     If you still want to declaw, please do just the front claws. Back claws are not used for scratching
very much, and in fact most vets won't declaw them.
Always have things to scratch on.  Different cats prefer different materials, carpet, sisal rope, wood,
or cardboard are the main things used for scratching.  Every cat I've ever met LOVED cardboard,
although they get destroyed fairly quickly:-) 3 of my cats use the carpet and one just has to have
wood, If I don't have something wood for him to scratch on he WILL scratch my door frames. I've only
made that mistake twice! (I should have learned after one!)

Clip your cat's nails every few weeks. I used to have to clip every week and a half to two weeks
because I hesitated to clip very much. Now that I have more experience and can clip a little higher, we
go three weeks. My cats have been clipped since kitten hood, I have four so I do everyone's left front
foot, then right front foot, etc so that no one gets too antsy.   I have even taught a stray who probably
never had her nails clipped,  tolerance to it. She HATED her feet touched. I got out wet food that she
was crazy about and every day or so I'd get it out.  I'd put it down and wait for her to start eating, then
I'd touch a foot. If she didn't allow me to, I took the food away. After 10 tries the first day, she was
allowing me to touch her paws. I proceeded to picking up the foot, then when that was comfortable,
extending the claws, then finally clipping. It took about 2 weeks to be able to get all her feet done, and
then I started doing the feet first, THEN the wet food. By the end of the month, I no longer needed
the wet food! It CAN be done!

Soft Claws- These are plastic caps that you glue on, kind of like fake nails for people:-) They come in
lots of colors :-) Just like with the clipping you'll have to train them, but it's worth it! They make me
almost wish I needed to do it for my cats! I do want to note that they say they last 4 to 6 weeks. I'm
told by users that at about 2 weeks they start to lose one here and there, but they fit for about 4

Spray Bottle- A very small percentage of people I've talked to, think this isn't good to do. I trained my
cats to stay off of counters, not to run outside, and what not to scratch, by giving them a little squirt
when they did something they weren't supposed to. Some cats don't care if you do it, but most hate
it. Whatever you do, don't squirt in the face (eyes) or the hind end (this is for you more than for
them..whenever I've seen this happen, the cat then drags it's rear across the floor)
A can full of pennies or something loud to startle your cat is another type of aversion training for
cats.  In both situations, you don't want the cat to see you or they may just resort to doing the
behavior only when you are gone.

Some people don't support this for cats, and here's a link to positive training

Surface trainers- There are a lot of things you can put on surfaces you don't want them to be on or
scratch on. I prefer double sided tape for scratching. Other options are aluminum, plastic sheeting, or
another one I found effective for counter tops and flat surfaces, plastic carpet runners or car mats
upside down so the points are up
Where do look for a pet?

Well, hopefully you'll look at shelters or rescues. It's difficult to estimate how many animals are euthanized each year because not everyone reports these
numbers, but it's at least 3 million a year. That's the minimum of dogs and cats euthanized each year simply due to lack of homes!

All shelters vary in price and vetting, depending on the area and if it's a no kill shelter, but rescues, especially in the same area are usually in the same
range and all responsible rescues, do the same vetting.
The price estimates I put down are for our area.
TNR is pretty self explanatory. We trap feral cats, get them spayed/neutered, and then return them
to the location they came from.
Two points. Ideally friendly cats(strays) are put up for adoption, but sometimes, especially if you
are doing large amounts of TNR, this isn't possible. Sometimes the location they came from is not
safe, then we try to relocate them. This isn't as simple as just driving someplace and putting the cat
out. You have to confine them for a minimum of two weeks, some say as many as four,  so the learn
it's their home and even then, there's no guarantee they will stay there. It's best to do this in pairs.