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At Cat Depot Sarasota, cat lovers young and old are quickly adopted. On average, the shelter accepts 1,300 to 1,400 per year. In 2020, 1,393 cats were admitted to the shelter and 1,311 were successfully adopted. New cats are added every month, 22 of which are currently up for adoption.
Since February is National Cat Health Month, we’ve gathered some tips from Lisa Voigt, Adoption Manager at Cat Depot, on how to keep your kittens happy and healthy.
When you first adopt your cat, maintain their diet with high quality food recommended by a veterinarian.
Slow transition to new foods to avoid upset stomach. Cat Depot sends kittens home with a small bag of Hills Science Diet, but any food recommended by the vet is good.
Keep string and small objects off the floor, and don’t let your kitties play with ribbons or twine, which can be dangerous.
“It’s always thought that cats can play with tape or thread, but it’s actually very dangerous,” says Voigt. Cats can choke or get caught on the string. “If you have string toys, save them when not in use,” she adds. She suggests plastic feather toys that cats can safely chew on, as well as many scratching posts.
Cats should never be scratched.
To de-scratch a cat, a portion of the paw must be removed that resembles a human’s ankle, causing growth problems and pain. To keep your cat’s claws healthy, encourage them to scratch certain toys. “If you want them to stop scratching furniture, put double-sided tape on it. Cats hate the feeling of stickiness on their paws,” says Voigt.
Introduce new cats to other pets slowly and keep them separate for the first 10 days.
Then slowly introduce them by letting them look at each other through a glass window or by sniffing each other. “Owners can always call us if they need advice on how to do this,” says Voigt.
Give new cats time to adjust / have their time alone.
Many cats are independent beings and like to explore on their own. Although the owners are much more at home now, it is important that a cat has its place. “Look for postures that suggest you want to be alone – hissing, pulling ears back, and so on,” says Voigt. “Never pick up a cat until you are sure that it will enjoy being touched and cuddled.”
Take cats to the vet annually.
“We strongly recommend that owners bring cats to the vet annually or as needed,” says Voigt. “During these annual check-ups, tests can be carried out and important vaccines administered.” Many cats suffer from diseases such as kidney and thyroid failure in old age. Therefore, it is important to see a veterinarian regularly.
During the height of the pandemic last year, Cat Depot ran into a shortage of adoptable cats because so many people wanted a new pet to keep them company. One hundred cats were adopted in April and May alone, and during the statewide shutdown, approximately eight cats were available in the shelter’s adoption area, as opposed to the typical 20 or more.
“Nobody wants to be alone during this time,” says Voigt of the rise in adoption.
Voigt has also seen a significant decrease in the number of cats returned to the shelter, suggesting that owners are connecting with their newly adopted friends on a deeper level.
Before the pandemic, people could meet and adopt a cat on the same day. Now you have to fill out a questionnaire that describes your ideal cat and the current life situation.
“This ensures that the right cat comes to the right home,” says Voigt.
For more information on Cat Depot takeover, please visit here or call (941) 366-2404. The Cat Depot is located at 17th St. 2542 in Sarasota.