you will find important information about cats. This section
is updated regularly, so come back often!
How can I make sure never to lose my animal?
If you let your cat go outside, you must follow several
rules to make sure she never gets lost!
sure that the neighbourhood is safe for your cat:
no large, busy streets, no neighbours who don't want cats
on their property, etc. If that is not the case, if you
are not sure that your neighbourhood is very safe, get
a harness for your cat and always take her outside with
you (if left alone in a harness, your cat could get tangled
in the leash and accidentally choke to death).
cat should always wear a collar and i.d. medal, on
which you can engrave your phone number and address (ex.: X Street, corner Y Street). This will
allow anyone who finds your cat to realize whether she
is lost (far from home) or if she simply went out for a walk.
This will also prevent someone from thinking that your
cat is homeless and take it.
not let a kitten go outside.
let a cat who has not been vaccinated go outside. It could easily catch any number of diseases which could
outside with your cat the first few times, starting
with the balcony, and then the backyard. Don't let your
cat out too long at first.
- Never let a cat who has not been sterilized go outside. Such a cat can easily run away (several kilometres away!),
get into fights and become exposed to several diseases
(such as FIV - feline AIDS) for which there is no vaccine
and no cure. Finally, don't forget
the horrible situation of cats who reproduce rapidly and
are condemned to die of hunger, disease, and cold. It
is your civic duty to make sure your animal is sterilized (unless you are a duly registered breeder).
- Never let your cat go outside if you have just moved
to a new home. Your cat will need several weeks to
get used to a new environment and a new neighbourhood
otherwise she could easily get lost.
- Do not let your cat go out at night, even if your
cat likes to. Most cats who are lost were let out at night.
Since there are fewer cars on the street, many cats will
venture out further than they would during the day and
won't be able to find their way home.
be certain that your cat will come back home at the hour you
want (early evening is the best time), always feed
your cat at that time (a bit of canned food for cats
who usually eat dry food during the day, or some treats).
A cat is wired to feeding times like clockwork and it
will quickly get used to the routine that you choose.
your cat has been declawed, it would be best not to let her go outside, since she won't be able to climb somewhere
to escape danger. It would also not be a fair fight if
she has to defend herself from another animal; her only
defence would be to bite, leading to a much greater risk
of contracting a disease.
not forget that a cat is a territorial animal,
and when it meets other cats, there is a good chance that
a fight will ensue to claim the right to share the territory.
sure that your cat is always wearing an i.d. tag every
time you take her somewhere.
What can I do if my animal is lost?
wait several days, you know your cat's habits and
if she doesn't come home, then something has happened.
have a recent picture that you can print and distribute
copies of in your neighbourhood: poles, alleys, veterinary
clinics, convenience stores, grocery stores, pet shops,
internet sites (see our Links section), newspaper ads
the SPCA, Berger Blanc, or any other animal rescue organization
in your area. Call them everyday, because if your
animal is brought to one of these organizations, it will
be euthanized within 3 to 5 days, unless it's a kitten
and even then, it depends on the time of the year.
sure you leave a description of your pet with every
veterinary clinic in the area.
are by nature very curious, and they might have been checking
out your neighbour's basement or garage, or holes in the
ground. They can then become stuck or locked in. They
can also follow another cat over great distances. Go out
to look for your cat early in the morning (at dawn), with
a box of her favourite treats, and you will be able to
hear its meows if she is trapped somewhere.
What should I do if I find an animal?
- Contact the SPCA, Berger Blanc, local veterinary clinics and other
organizations quickly. Leave a description and your phone
It is better to keep an animal with you until you find
her owner rather than taking her right away to the SPCA
or to Berger Blanc, where it will probably be quickly
- Be on the lookout for an ad in your neighbourhood: poles, alleys, veterinary clinics, convenience stores,
grocery stores, pet shops, internet sites (see our Links section), newspapers
- Place an ad at every one of these places saying that you
have found an animal (see our Links section).
you have not found the animal's owner after a few days,
contact an animal rescue organization (see our Links section).
They will try to find another permanent home for the animal.
are some homeless cats in my neighbourhood, what can I do?
A considerable number of cats are abandoned each year on
moving day, or by people who simply don't want them anymore.
Also, some people who never bothered sterilizing their cat
simply abandon the kittens after their cat has given birth.
If you are sensitive to such animal suffering, but you cannot
give them a home yourself, you can still help! So if you
often see a cat near your house without an i.d. tag, she
probably is an abandoned animal. To make sure it doesn't
belong to anyone, try to gain her trust, and if you can,
put a collar with an i.d. tag around her neck. You can make
the tag out of a piece of thin cardboard, on which you can
write "Does this cat belong to you?", along with
your phone number. If you don't hear from anyone after a
few days, call an animal rescue organization and explain
IMPORTANT: If the animal
is a female cat who is not yet sterilized, or who
is pregnant or in heat, you must quickly contact an
animal rescue organization (see our Links section), to make sure she won't give birth on the street
to her litter, who will in turn grow up, reproduce and create
even more abandoned animals
Bond Foundation can help you cover the cost of sterilization.
You can then bring the cat to the animal rescue organization
of your choice.
Why and when should my cat be sterilized?
You have adopted a cat and you love having it around. The
question of sterilizing your pet is an important one. People
often wonder why a female cat should be sterilized, because
it seems a bit more obvious to have a male cat sterilized
(an unsterilized male cat will spray to mark his territory,
a rather unpleasant odour inside a house!).
For a female cat
Many people wrongly think that sterilizing a female cat
is a form of mutilation and will make the cat unhappy. It
is absolutely false to say that a cat needs, for health
benefits, to have been in contact at least once with a male
cat or to have had one litter. The main advantage of sterilization
is to prevent unwanted kittens from being born only to be
abandoned. As well, a female cat who is in heat will constantly
meow rather unpleasantly, will rub herself everywhere and
will take advantage of the smallest opportunity to run away,
because hormones just take over! She would therefore be
more at risk of contracting a disease such as FIV or feline
leukemia (transmitted by copulating or biting). Also, serious
hormonal problems related to ovaries are common (cysts,
ovarian or breast tumours
). Therefore, a female cat
must be sterilized even if she lives indoors, to ensure
that she will stay healthy, and live longer! The
ovariectomy is a simple surgical procedure practiced
by all vets, which will solve behavioural problems, as well
as problems related to reproduction and to diseases caused
by active ovaries. The female cat can come home on the day
of the surgery; she will probably sleep a little more than
usual for a day or two, but should eat normally. You can
have your cat sterilized without any worry whatsoever, and
with a clear conscience!
note: a female cat can be in heat for the first
time as young as 5 months old! The recommended age for sterilization
is between 5 and 7 months. Don't wait much longer!
Ask you vet for advice.
For a male cat
Many cat owners do not see the advantages of having a male
cat sterilized (from a medical and behavioural point of
view). Castrating a male cat is a simple surgical procedure
and your cat will generally be able to come home on the
same day. The following day, he will be eating and playing
normally! As well, this surgery can positively affect the
behaviour of a male cat, who often becomes more affectionate
afterwards. This surgery will also prevent the cat from
marking his territory, which he does by spraying a strong-smelling
urine, and it is really difficult to get rid of this smell.
Also, it will help make sure that your cat doesn't run away
(an unsterilized male can travel several kilometres to find
a female and is almost sure to get lost), therefore not
getting involved in fights or becoming at risk for diseases
which can be contracted by copulating or by fighting.
Castrated males can be more prone to urinary problems (such
as urolith - urinary calculus). High-quality food will prevent
such problems by providing balanced minerals (notably for
phosphates). To make sure your cat doesn't suffer from urinary
problems, make sure your cat drinks plenty of water and
The recommended age for sterilization is between 5 and
7 months. Don't wait much longer! Ask you vet for advice.
Top of page
Sterilizing your cat is your civic duty, to make sure that
there aren't more abandoned animals. There is no point in
letting your female cat give birth to a litter, people looking
to adopt a cat can easily do that through an animal rescue
organization. Hundreds of thousands
of animals are abandoned in Quebec each year! And there are over 2 million homeless cats in Quebec alone!
Yes, these numbers are correct, just check out the SPCA's
web site if you're not convinced.
out of respect for animals, don't contribute in any way
to feline overpopulation.
Top of page
Why do you forbid cat declawing?
Cats claws and the bones and cartilage that hold them
in place allow cats to balance properly, climb, and defend
themselves, among other functions. Declawing, which removes
these claws, bones, and cartilage, is a painful
and permanently crippling procedure that should never be
Declawing involves 10 separate, painful amputations. It
is a serious surgery, not just a manicure. Declawing a cat
involves general anesthesia and amputation of the last joint
of each toe, including the bones, not just the nail. The
following are possible complications of this surgery:
Adverse reaction to anesthetic
Gangrene, which can lead to limb amputation
Permanent nerve damage
Reluctance to walk
Scar tissue formation
Sequestrum (bone chips), requiring additional surgery(2)
surgery, the nails may grow back inside the paw, causing
pain but remaining invisible to observers. Declawing results
in a gradual weakening of leg, shoulder, and back muscles,
and because of impaired balance caused by the procedure,
declawed cats have to relearn to walk, much as a person
would after losing his or her toes.
Without claws, even house-trained cats may urinate and defecate
outside the litterbox in an attempt to mark their territory.
Declawed cats may be morose, reclusive, and withdrawn or
irritable, aggressive, and unpredictable. Many people think
that declawed cats are safer around babies, but in fact,
the lack of claws, a cats first line of defense, makes
many cats feel so insecure that they tend to bite more often
as a means of self-protection. A study published in the
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA)
reported that of those observed, 33 percent of declawed
cats developed at least one behavioral problem and 80 percent
had more than one medical complication.
Banned by Countries and Cities and
Condemned by Vets
Nearly two dozen countriesincluding England, Australia,
France and Japanban or severely restrict declawing
surgeries.Catalonia, Spain, prohibits declawing under its
Law of Animal Protection. Declawing is prohibited in West
Hollywood, California, where one city council official explained,
As guardians of animals, we have a relationship of
respect, that the animal not be amputated or subjected to
techniques that create harm. On the heels of that
precedent-setting legislation, the San Francisco Board of
Supervisors adopted a resolution condemning
declawing and urging veterinarians to drop the procedure.
With a little effort and patience, you can protect your
furnishings and preserve your cats claws at the same
time. The following hints will help:
your cats nails regularly. When the cat is relaxed
and unafraid, gently press on the toes until the claws
extend. Use a pair of nail clippers and cut only the tip
of the nail, taking care not to damage the vein or quick.
The nail hook is what tears upholstery, so removing it
virtually eliminates damage.
or build two or more scratching posts. They must be sturdy,
tall enough to allow the cat to stretch (3 feet or taller),
and properly placed. Bark-covered logs, posts covered
with sisal, or posts covered with tightly woven burlap
work well. Soft, fluffy, carpeted scratching posts dont
workthey are one of the greatest causes of declawing
because cats dont like the posts, and frustrated
human companions resort to surgery. If you use carpet,
secure it to the posts with the rough backing on the outside;
soft carpeting will not satisfy a cats need to claw.
Place one scratching post where your cat is already clawing
and another near the area where he or she normally sleeps
(cats like to stretch and scratch when they first wake
cardboard or sisal scratching boxes that lie
flat on the floor. These are inexpensive and small enough
to scatter around the house, allowing your cat easy access
to an approved scratching spot at all times.
They do wear out fairly quickly, however, and will need
to be replaced every few monthsotherwise, cats may
get frustrated and revert to using furniture.
your cat where to claw and where not to claw. Place your
cat on the new scratching post and move his or her paws,
or pretend to scratch it yourself. This will scent the
posts and encourage exploratory clawing. Make the post
a fun place to be. Play games with your cat
on and around the post, and attach hanging strings, balls,
and/or bouncy wire toys to it. Try sprinkling catnip on
the post, too. (A once-a-week or so refresher application
will keep your cat interested.) When kitty uses the post,
reinforce this behavior with praise, but be careful not
to startle or frighten him or her. When your cat claws
furniture, discourage this behavior with a firm voice
or other loud noise, but never with physical force. Directing
lukewarm water from a squirt gun at the animals
back is often successful. During the training period,
you may need to cover upholstery with plastic or other
protection (cats dont like the slippery feel and
will quickly learn to stay away).
placed double-sided tape, such as Paws Off also discourages
the clawing of furniture and upholstery.
Will my cat become overweight after being sterilized?
You must keep an eye on your pet's nutrition and provide
a sufficient quantity for its well-being. Some cats have
a tendency to overeat, while others can be picky eaters.
If you think your cat is eating too much, feed him his daily
portion separately (2-3 times per day) instead of all at
once. The cat will quickly get used to a feeding schedule
and will therefore not gain too much weight. If your cat
still seems hungry, you can leave out diet food to be eaten
at will. A cat will usually prefer regular food, but can
eat diet food when really hungry - it's all really simple!
I have a cat who is used to going outside, will it become unhappy if I keep it inside from now on?
This is another false notion. Obviously, if you cat has
known the joys (and the dangers) of going outside, it will
ask to go out. But don't forget that a cat can understand
"No!". Just because a cat is looking out the window,
it doesn't mean that it is unhappy about not going outside.
After a few days, the cat will understand the new rules
and will accept them. However, you can get your cat a harness
and take it outside with you on the balcony or on the deck.
A cat is always happy to be lying in the sun!
Too wild to be adopted?
We have saved a lot of homeless cats, of all ages, who were
very fearful at first. After a while, and once sterilized,
they become affectionate and consider their new owner as
their "saviour". It's as if these cats want to
prove their gratitude. All you need is a bit of patience,
and once they trust you, they become completely transformed.
At Project Sphinx, we socialize our cats by having them
live in foster homes first, where they quickly understand
that they no longer have to fight to survive. The change
is radical and very surprising!