News & Advice

Taming the furry beasts!

Nov 20, 2016 | Cats, Pet Health

2 years ago, 2 approximately 14 week old kittens (siblings) who had been waiting around in clinic for weeks trying to find their forever home finally managed to attract the attention of a client who had recently lost her special cat. These kittens were surrendered to the clinic completely feral – they had been trapped in one of our humane cat/possum traps at the Ngarunui beach carpark at about 10 weeks of age, and had been living out of the rubbish bins. Over the weeks in clinic they had progressed to tolerate some small interactions, but were very short tempered when it came to being handled (hissing or cowering). Luckily, our caring client Teresa had decided she was up for the challenge, so she adopted both kittens on the spot giving them the second chance they so deserved. As we explained to Teresa, feral or semi-feral kittens at any age over three to five weeks can be extremely challenging to turn around and tame, however with plenty of patience, love, and perseverance, it is possible to turn them into happy, smoochie cats as adults. These cats will often only ever trust their owner(s) which can actually prove to be a good thing as this makes it much less likely for the cats to wander the neighbourhood and make a nuisance of themselves, or put themselves in danger. So with that in mind, Teresa was on her way with her two new projects. Every few weeks for the first few months, our Nurses were given regular photo updates and stories of progression from Teresa. It became obvious that Teresa was doing a great job and making significant progress. This also allowed the Nurses to give helpful tips and tricks along the way. Within only a few weeks, Tammy and Angel had begun to feel more confident in exploring the house and were no longer taking refuge under the bed 24/7. Soon after this, the friendlier of the two kittens (Angel), was comfortable enough to climb onto her owner’s lap for cuddles!
Over the space of only a few months, the two sisters went from being shy, nervous kittens to being explorative, tree climbing, ankle attacking, happy cats with their caring and dedicated owner.

Approximately one year later a neighbour of Teresa’s fostered two older kittens through our clinic. Teresa met these shy, timid kittens and immediately fell in love with one in particular, who she named TK. So that was a done deal in Teresa’s mind, and off she went with her newest addition to the fur family. Only weeks later, with Teresa’s awesome caring, patient nature and dedication, TK came out of his shell and began to enjoy his owner’s company and attention.
Two years following the adoption of the first two kittens, Teresa is now blessed with three loving, smoochie, playful adult cats who are content at home and are less inclined to roam or wander due to their uncertainty with unknown people – this means less chance of being hit by cars on the road, fighting with other cats, or being adopted by new families by accident! You can now find these sweet cats sprawled out on Teresa’s bed, soaking up the sun.

As you can see, adopting a stray/feral cat or kitten (the younger the better) can be a great learning experience, and the end result can be extremely rewarding. By adopting a stray cat or kitten and giving them that second chance at life, you are effectively taking one more cat off the streets, and to put it simply, saving a life! Not to mention, breaking the reproductive cycle of unwanted pregnancies. These cats can also end up being the most loyal, loving of cats.

The Nurses at the Raglan Clinic run a Stray Animal and Wildlife Fund under the umbrella of Anexa FVC. Through kind donations from members of the local community, and through fundraising of various sorts throughout the year, the Stray Animal Fund is able to give many animals of various descriptions a second chance at life. The fund mostly sees cats and kittens through the doors, but it also deals with dogs, puppies, rabbits, wild birds (injured or sick), seals and gannets, and the list goes on! Animals that come through the clinic are assessed for health and temperament, and rehomed where possible. Some cats/kittens are feral, dumped or stray, and other animals have had a change in owner situation and have required rehoming. An adoption fee is required for rehomed animals (i.e. cats, dogs, rabbits) which covers the cost (at a highly discounted rate) of de-sexing, microchipping, flea and worm treatments while in clinic, and vaccinations plus other medical care that is required.

Just to show how necessary organisations like this are (in small towns especially), in the past year alone we have found homes for 3 cockatiels, 1 duck, 1 finch, 3 canaries, 2 budgies, 10 chickens, 1 goat kid, 1 pig, 4 rats, 8 puppies, 8 dogs, and 167 cats and kittens.
When you are next looking for a new pet, there is no better way to enhance an animal’s life and support your local community than to adopt an animal desperately in need of a loving home.

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