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Neko Trouble

While doing some training in England, I observed that at places like Cat Protection and Battersea, cats are usually placed one to a cage, the reason being that cats are intrinsically solitary by nature.

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Here at ARK, we have a large number of cat houses scattered around the facility. Depending on the pen size, type of food given and compatibility between cats, each pen usually houses anywhere from 4 to 10 cats.

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We even have a lot of cats living in small spaces designed to house sick cats, even though they’re healthy – there just isn’t enough space. While we feel bad about keeping them in such small enclosures, we always do our best to try to couple cats that are compatible with each other together.

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At ARK, finding suitable homes for cats is a much more severe problem than finding homes for dogs. It has reached the point where we almost always have to refuse new cats at the door. There are far fewer people looking to take care of cats than dogs, which quickly leads to some crowded kitty pens. Even cats like Maro here, who don’t get along well with other cats, have to put up with roommates.

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For cats, these kinds of conditions can often lead to increased stress and even sickness. Not only that, but because there aren’t many staff members available to take care of the cats, keeping them clean and healthy becomes much more difficult.

Cats are often irregular eaters compared to dogs. Unfortunately, we can’t always be around to watch them eat either, so we frequently leave their food dishes out so they can eat when they get hungry.

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Some time ago, I read on some vet’s page that leaving cats’ bowls out like that can lead to obesity or urinary tract infections. Sadly, even though we know it’s true, there isn’t much we can do.

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The staff here are always thinking, “if we could just put them by themselves…or even get away with just three or four to an enclosure – how great would that be!” Unfortunately, it’s not a problem that can be fixed overnight, no matter how much we want a solution. It’s not just a matter of increasing the number of cat pens either, as that would lead to a greater need for volunteers to cover them. And we don’t even have the space to do that anyway! In the end, we’re always left asking ourselves the same question, “If we could just find even one cat a new home…but what’s the best way to do that?”

| Cat | 11:49 | comments:0 | trackbacks:0 | TOP↑

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