Friday, September 25, 2009

COUGARS & SILVER FOXES: Celebrate the senior cats

Right now, at The SF/SPCA Maddie’s Adoption Center, we’re overflowing with feline faces. Sure, we have the requisite young kittens, but down these halls there’s another group of cats – our Cougars…and our Silver Foxes... These guys and gals have been around a little longer, been waiting a little more patiently. These folks have seen a little more life, experienced a few more sunrises and sets than our younger residents. Day after day, they see their younger, bouncier counterparts make a love connection and head out the door to their new life. We’d like to introduce you to a few of these on the prowl for love guys and gals, and ask that you take some time to get to know them. Each of these gorgeous cats has years left to love, and is over the brim with purrs and affection. Take a look… You may just find the love you’ve been looking for all along.


Kincaid (A05717165)10 year old male This total dude enjoys being by your side and goofing around with his human companion. Playing and chilling out are his main objectives, although he prefers to so this without the company of other cats. A great choice for an active household without any other animals. Kincaid has been with us since May of this year.


Mitten (A07175268)10 year old female
Stop right here. We have found your purring companion. This gentle lady appreciates the finer things in life. A peaceful home, a soft scratch behind the ears, perhaps a relaxing sunny spot on the couch. Mitten is a dignified lady (she in fact, asks to be addresses as Her Royal Majesty Lady Mitten…but that’s a mouthful for us) and she wishes to lead a dignified, peaceful life in a palace of her own. Mitten has been with us since February of this year.


Thomas (A05705372)
10 year old male
Thomas is a handsome, outgoing kitty who loves playtime and laps with equal enthusiasm. Despite a heart condition, currently controlled with medication, this 10 year old boy has energy galore and loves to be the center of attention—he adores people and would prefer to be the one and only kitty receiving your affections. Thomas has been with us since March of this year. Video:

Roxanne (A08058602)
10 year old female
Do you find yourself chatting with yourself a little too much? Roxanne can help with that – she loves to talk! In fact, given half a chance, she’ll follow you around, commenting on most each and every move. Tired of all the chatter? Not to worry – this zaftig lady is happy to settle down on the couch and allow you the pleasure of scratching behind her ears while you watch television, or read a book. Roxanne has been with us since July of this year.


Tony (A07578434)
5 year old male
What a guy! Tony is an acrobatic, fly through the air; entertain you with his antics kind of fellow. He can’t figure out why he’s still here – folks keep coming through snatching up these kittens, but hey! He’s got just as much spunk and fun as a kitten, without all that young, unsure about the world stuff. This fella knows exactly who he is – the perfect wing man! Tony has been with us since May of this year.


Sharyn (A07456590)
10 year old female
We don’t know about you, but in our book, there’s no better quality chill time than with a kitty that purrs in your ear and rubs up against your fingers for some scritchie scratchies. She’s not interested in joining the band, or debate team, or spending much time out in the quad – this graceful lady is content to work on her studies (she has a masters degree in advanced purring and scritchie accepting….she’s working on a doctorate in muffin making) and filling you with that peaceful feeling kitties are made for. Sharyn has been with us since April of this year. Video:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Life and Hard Times of "Kitty Gaga", formerly Jennyanydots

By Daniel Quagliozzi


Wow, sometimes it just boggles the mind that a cat so great, and so full of personality and so young (3 years old), sits in a shelter, just waiting for the right person to come in and take her home. Is it just that the stars have not been aligned? Is it her name? Is there some cosmic reason a unique beauty with spunk, admirable energy and a zest for playing hard is just spending her days looking out the window, as if to say, " my life partner is out there somewhere!"


Kitty Gaga. formerly Jennyanydots is not your average cat by any means. She does require a little guidance along the road of feline/ human partnership. What does that mean, you ask? Well, this is a cat that pretty much owns the room when you are with her. She commands her space like a captain is in control of a huge navy vessel. She calls the shots and demands proper attention on her terms, not yours. Sometimes, she communicates her needs & dislikes with her mouth. " PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!" She's the perfect cat for someone who can give her the space to be herself, provide her with outlets, not only for play but also for visual stimulation and someone able to read her signals before she has to go to such extremes. Jennyanydots will be a much happier cat if she can get out of the confines of shelter life and on to some new adventures.

Cats like Kitty Gaga are challenging to place because we like to be completely honest about their needs and to some people, that can be a tall order. It's not impossible to work with a play aggressive cat. You just have to be consistent with training and give them alternatives to focus on. Our special kitty Gaga just wants to play by her own rules. There's no reason that you can't interject some of your own with a little finesse.

We hope that by posting this blog about her, we can finally get her out of the shelter she has called home for six months. Calling all cat lovers. This Rock star deserves your special home.

If you are interested in adopting this special cat, please call 415 522-3500 for more details. Act now before we change her name!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Oops I Did It Again...Avoiding Accidental Eliminations

By Daniel Quagliozzi

Seriously, I could devote my entire career in cat behavior to diagnosing litterbox avoidance problems. It seems that cats miss their litter boxes more often then any other behavior issue and it's apparent that we humans are having a hard time trying to figure out why this is happening in such sacred places as our bathroom sinks, tubs , beds, couches or kitchen floors. What motivates a cat to suddenly designate your back pack as the place to leave a present? Look to the litterbox. All of the answers lie in your environment.


Let's talk about expectations first. Is it just me or do we all just EXPECT a cat to enter our home and know where to poop? Technology, human convenience and laziness on our parts has made it almost an assumption that if you put a litterbox in your home, no matter what size, shape, type of litter or location...the cat will go there. This is obviously not true.

Cats are picky and vulnerable when it comes to dropping their guard and going to the loo. They look for safe and easy places with no complications. Most likely, your litterbox located in the far back washroom, tucked under the sink, filled with colorful, scent fighting crystals will not be as attractive to your cat as it is to you. Kitty is looking for a basic bathroom with an easy entrance, no frills. un-scented, sand-like substances to cover up with and an escape route. The more complicated the picture, the less likely a cat is to be successful in your home environment.


Cats are sensitive to change. They can react to sudden changes in environment by making some adjustments of their own. Ever go away for three days and come back to find that your cat pooped on your bath matt? Discovered a smelly gift on your pillow? When routines suddenly break, cats fall apart at the seams. Some adjust and roll with the punches, while others tend to just go south. What can you do to avoid such surprises? Don't ever leave your home! Just kidding. No seriously, it's all about keeping things consistant. Try to have a friend check in and maintain your routines. Sure it's a lot of work, but no one ever said having a cat was going to be a low maintenance partnership.


Don't be fooled by gimmicks! No offense to the manufacturers of automated litter boxes, but cats don't generally want a robot to clean up after them. That's your job! Cats need efficient housekeepers that are ready to clean up on THEIR schedule.
Keep you litterboxes simple. Have more than one! Clean them like it's an OCD of yours. Your cat doesn't want to sit on a dirty toilet and neither do you.

Ok, lets review:

  • Find a litter that is appealing to the cat. NEVER use scented litter. Perfumed, chemical scents repel cats. Use a mild dishwashing liquid or hot water and vinegar for cleaning—not ammonia or other harsh chemicals which will leave an odor.

  • Texture is important, too. Generally speaking, the clumping type or gravel type of litter is most acceptable. The sand type is very popular, but as a health precaution for kittens under four months old, it may pose a problem as they may ingest the litter.

  • Cleanliness is absolutely essential! The single most common reason for a cat’s refusal to use a litterbox is because the box is dirty—no one likes a dirty bathroom. Clumping litter should be scooped daily, and the litterboxes washed weekly. Non-clumping litter should be scooped daily and the box emptied and washed every other day.

  • How many litterboxes do you need? Having one box per cat in the household, plus one extra is the best formula for success. Being the individuals they are, some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in another. Some cats will refuse to use a box that another cat has already soiled.

  • Litterbox liners—they are often irritating to cats because their claws catch in the plastic. Covered litterboxes, or ones that are too small for the cat, may cause litterbox avoidance.The best location for litterboxes is a quiet, private place where they will not be disturbed by people or other pets. Noisy areas near washing machines, furnaces or under stairs may frighten the cat away from the box. Never place the litterbox close to food and water dishes.