A NEW BEGINNING ANIMAL RESCUE  

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  A New Beginning Animal Rescue is a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of  the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

 

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Here we try to answer some questions you might have.  If this section does not help, please send us an e-mail and we'll be happy to respond.

 

1.

DECLAWING

This is a very cruel and totally unnecessary procedure!!  Only two countries in the world (US and Canada) are actually practicing this horrendous procedure and many states in the US have now Animal Cruelty Laws against it.

A widespread misconception is that during this procedure only the nail is removed, when in reality everything is amputated up to the first joint.  This means that tendons are also cut. Sometimes these tendons don't retract far enough and therefore will result in lifelong pain for the cat. Some defenders of the procedure will state that the cat receives anesthesia during the surgery, however - anesthesia will wear off and then the pain of 10 amputations will set in!  Pain Control for cats is very tricky especially if it is for several weeks or even longer.  Cats will hide their pain so not to appear weak but that does not mean that the pain is not there.

Claws are not just for climbing but are also a defense for an animal.  If one takes away this defense, many cats will become either “hiders or biters”, in other words, some become very shy while others will start to bite for their defense.

One other reason why a cat needs to scratch is to shed the upper layer of the nail when new nail has grown underneath. 

There are many options to prevent a cat from clawing furniture or scratching people.

We can teach you how to clip the nails, which is done every 3 to 4 weeks and takes about 30 seconds to do.

There are also “Soft Paws” available which are basically soft nails that are glued on to the cat's real nails.  They come in many colors and it is pretty funny to see a cat with pink or green nails!  "Soft Paws" can be purchased at any pet store or online at softpaws.com.

Easiest however is to provide a good scratching post for your cat.  The scratching post needs to be tall enough for the cat to stand on his/her hind legs and be able to totally stretch. Also, when you get a scratching post, make sure it is one with the rope and not with the carpet. Carpeted ones just don’t “challenge” the nails enough and since the carpeted areas resemble carpeting found on staircases and floors in the home, some cats may not make a distinction between the carpet on their scratching post and that in the rest of the house and so they often pull at carpeted stairs and floors. 

WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT ALLOW THE DECLAWING OF ANY OF OUR CATS!!!


 2.

TAIL AND EAR-DOCKING ON DOGS

These procedures don't fulfill any medical necessities and are only done for visual purposes.  It originated and is still done in the unfortunate world of dog-fighting to prevent an other dog from being able to latch on to the tail or ears.  

WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT ALLOW ANY ALTERING OF A DOG'S EARS OR TAIL!!


3.

MY CAT IS SUDDENLY GOING POTTY OUTSIDE THE LITTERBOX

Please understand that the cat is not doing this to make you mad!!!

If this has just started and the cat was using the litterbox without any problems before then this has either an underlying medical problem or it is a psychological problem.

First you should take your cat to the vet and have the cat checked for a Urinary Track Infection. This is most likely the problem and the cat is associating the litterbox with pain caused by the infection.  Therefore the cat will go all over the house to find a spot to go potty that does not hurt - which of course won't work.  

A course of antibiotics for 10 days will take care of the infection.  After the treatment it might be necessary to "retrain" your cat.  This is done by gently putting the cat into the litterbox and encouraging him/her by guiding the paw to dig and praising the cat every time after using the litterbox.

If there are no underlying medical conditions, it is important to distinguish whether the cat is marking or urinating.  When urinating, a cat squats and releases a large volume of liquid on a horizontal surface.  When urine marking, a cat usually stands upright, with his tail erect and quivering, hind legs shifting from side to side spraying urine onto vertical surfaces.  A marking cat can occasionally squat and deposit urine on a horizontal surface.  Marking is most done by male cats that have not been neutered but there are some female cats that also mark.

Urine marking is considered a normal communication behavior among cats.  It's simply one cat's way of notifying (via PEE-MAIL) other cats of his or her territory.  Although any cat can exhibit marking behaviors, intact male cats are by far the biggest culprits.  Ninety percent of male cats stop urine marking after being neutered.

Inappropriate elimination can also occur because the cat is experiencing stress or anxiety related to other pets, children or recent changes in the household or the litter.  

Here are some recommendations:

  1. Create a safe haven for the cat that is off-limits to other pets or children.
  2. Provide high perches where the cat can escape from stressors.
  3. Use a synthetic pheromone product (e.g. Comfort Zone Feliway) which can have a calming effect (it can be purchased at any pet supplies store).
  4. Provide an enriched environment for the cat (e.g., toys, scratching  posts).
  5. Discourage neighborhood cats from approaching doors and windows.

JUST BE PATIENT AND TRY TO ASSURE YOUR CAT THAT EVERYTHING IS OK.  If this sounds a bit weired please understand that animals DO experience anxiety and stress and will react to it in the very limited ways they can.

Creating a Cat-Friendly Litterbox

Try different types of litter:

  • Most cats prefer fine-grained, unscented, clumping litter.
  • Start with a litter depth of one to two inches and adjust to the cat's preference.

Use the right size and type of box:

  • Litterboxes should be 1.5 times the length of the largest cat.
  • Provide kittens and older, arthritic cats with boxes that have lower sides.
  • Covered boxes may restrict movement and trap odors, so consider offering an uncovered option.

Clean litterboxes frequently:

  • Remove feces and urine balls at least once a day.
  • Change clumping litter at least once a month and clay litter at least once a week.
  • Wash litterboxes with mild dish soap when changing litter.
  • Avoid cleansers with ammonia or strong fragrances.

Choose a private but accessible location for the box:

  • Do not place litterboxes near noisy appliances.
  • Provide at least one litterbox for each floor of the house.

Discourage use of previous elimination sites:

  • Thoroughly clean them using an enzymatic cleaner.
  • If necessary, block access to area.
  • If all else fails, place a litterbox in that location and after a while start moving the litterbox a few inches every other day into the direction you would like the litterbox to end up at.

4.

HOW TO INTRODUCE A NEW CAT

Be patient and please know that a successful introduction usually takes about 4 - 5 days.

If you already have one or multiple cats, it is very important to introduce a new cat a certain way.  If you bring in a new cat and just put him/her with the first one(s), you will have war on your hands.

The best way to introduce a new cat is to put him/her into a different room (bedroom) with the door closed for  2 - 3 days.  This will allow all cats to sniff each other under the door and get used to the idea that there is someone else.  We recommend the bedroom, because this will give you and the new cat a great chance to bond. If your first cat is used to sleep with you, the new addition would have to go into the bathroom during the night (with food, water and a litterbox).

Take the carrier you used bringing home the new cat and leave it unlocked in the other room for the first cat to smell it.  Filled with the scent of the new cat, the carrier serves as a subtle introduction to the newcomer. Leave it there for several days.

After two or three days, give the cats the opportunity to swap living spaces for a while. The new cat can investigate the new kingdom and the cats can immerse in each others scent. To further build up pleasant associations, once they are back in their respective spaces, place food bowls on both sides of the room door.

After three to four days, leave the door ajar and go on with whatever you normally would do. It is now up to them to take the next step.

Please understand that they still will go through the "chasing, hissing and smacking stage". This is how it would be done if they were out in nature and is just the way they establish a ranking order.  It's natural and will pass.

Stages the first cat(s) see(s) a new addition:

1. Intruder!!!

2. Seems that I get even more love since you came into my territory.

3. I'll just ignore you!

4. Well I guess you're here to stay, but I still don't have to like you!

5. Maybe you are not so bad after all and I could possibly like you!

6. Been waiting for you for a while, just didn't know it!!!! Lets play and take over the house!