We’re taking a break from our usual Wednesday adoption spotlight on adult cats to focus on kittens. Last week at the shelter they mewed from every corner. Tabby kittens, tuxie, tortie and ginger kittens. Smoke blue, gray, bi-colored, male, female, shy, blind or bold, tiny fluff balls to young teens. The only thing they share, besides being cute is their need for homes. The cold, hard reality is: more than half of kittens in shelters won’t be adopted. Some end up growing up in a shelter and some are euthanasia. Euthanasia rates have dropped but even no-kill shelters do their share of euthanasia. Orange cats seem to have to more luck, like Bob, of A Street Cat Named Bob fame,
Please share and give these ginger boys a chance. If you know anyone in the NYC area or would like to see more kitten photos visit NewRochelleHumaneSociety or the latest pics at the NRHS Facebook Page.
Might a kitten or two being your future? I always recommend adopting two siblings to make an easier transition and alleviate separation anxiety from their mother.
Remember our bonded pair Pa and Babe who were up for adoption last week?
I was surprised to find out Babe would have nothing to do with Pa and were separated. Even the most bonded cats need to have their bonds reinforced with the scent of chemical messengers called pheromones. They emit a musky scent from scent glands located It’s why bonded cats routinely greet each other with a sniff and rub. It’s not only a hello, but a passport into the other’s territory which is marked invisibly by scent. For cats who share an indoor-only home, their territory is divided in micro regions, a corner of a room, a certain chair which may or may not be shared. The more scent-sharing the greater chance of harmony. One of the best ways is allo-grooming, when cats lick or groom each other.
Cats sharing a cage don’t have the luxury of scent-marking the same way and it adds to their stress. What I suspect happened to Pa and Babe is a case of non-recognition aggression. Pa was removed to have dental surgery, recovered in another cage and by the time he rejoined Babe, he must have smelled or acted different with the classic “vet smell” cats hate. It can happen after bathing or a trip to the groomers. If the scent bonds aren’t re-established aggression or disinterest can ensue. In those cases, it’s best to keep the cats separate and gradually reintroduce scent swapping until the “recognize” each other as being part of a group or family scent. Scent swapping is done by wiping the scents gland areas above the eyes, cheeks and base of the tail with a clean sock or cloth and leaving it by the other cat to smell. Then repeat the swap with the other cat.
I’ll be seeing Pa and Babe today and will report back. Apparently Babe wasn’t aggressive, she just had no interest in Pa anymore. For now both are available for adoption separately. Who knows what is at the core. These two cats were caged together at a hoarder’s and the shelter tried their best to keep all bonded pairs of cats together. Maybe the odd couple was thrown together by circumstance and now are adapting differently to shelter life. Have your cats experienced “vet smell” and what was the outcome?
Thanks to everyone who has been diligently voting for us in the Pettie Awards. A win for us is a win the the New Rochelle Humane Society. VOTE here