After Adoption FAQs

Do You Give Refunds for the Adoption Fee?

When choosing to Adopt, your contract that was signed states that

I understand that I am saving a life and not purchasing a product.
I understand that SFoF does not offer refunds, but that I may choose another kitty within 60 days.

I agree to allow this new kitty at least 30 days to properly adjust to its new home and family.

I will contact SFoF if I need advice on helping my new kitty adjust.”

The Adoption Included Free Insurance, What Do I Need to Do?

24PetWatch Pet Insurance Information

CONGRATULATIONS!!​
Your new Kitty has a gift of FREE 24PetWatch insurance for 30-days.

  • If you have opted in for the free insurance and provided your email address at the time you adopted your kitty, we have already confirmed your enrollment so that your insurance can start as soon as possible.
  • Coverage will begin on the second midnight following activation.
  • Example: If you adopted on Saturday, coverage begins on Monday at 12:01am.
  • To view your policy Terms and Conditions and get a claim form you can go to
    www.24PetWatch.com
    . Your gift insurance is called the “Peril Policy”.
  • To extend your policy for an additional 15-days OR to get “Renters Insurance” ($500 endorsement offering coverage for damage done to the interior of a rental unit by a newly adopted pet), call 1-866-597-2424.
  • You will receive an email from 24PetWatch when your free gift policy is close to expiring, it is at this time you would provide your credit card or checking information if you choose to enroll your kitty.

You are eligible for a credit of $8.95 towards the purchase of a long term policy.

My New Kitty is Not Eating or Drinking, What Should I Do?

Not eating is a very serious problem for all cats. Loss of appetite can be normal for the first day in a new place while the kitty adjusts.

Not drinking water is a serious problem in both cats and kittens. Consuming lots of water can mean health issues in adult cats.

Food and Eating is Important!!

Always make sure that your new kitty is eating and drinking. When a cat is not eating or drinking, this can be the first sign of an illness.
Do not let this go on for more than a day, call your vet! 

Kittens can become ill very quickly. Do not assume that they will eat when they get hungry. 

We recommend that you feed your new kitty canned food at least two times a day in addition to dry food & fresh water being available. If the kitty does not eat the canned food or cuts down on how much it is eating, contact your veterinarian right away.

My New Kitty is Sneezing/Has a Runny Nose, What Should I Do?

The nose should be clean and free of discharge. Crusty or runny noses, coughing or sneezing indicates an upper respiratory infection.

Upper Respiratory Infection (URI or cold) – It is very common for your new kitty to get a runny nose or eyes within days of coming into your home. The transition into a new situation puts stress on the body and can allow them to get a cold. You only need to be concerned if the discharge from the eyes or nose starts to turn yellow or green. Just like with a human cold there really is no treatment, however, the color change indicates that the kitty may be developing something more serious.

  • If the discharge starts to get color to it, please take them to the vet immediately.
  • A kitty with a serious cold may also stop eating and drinking which is dangerous.

My New Kitty is Vomiting, What Should I Do?

Vomiting can be a very serious condition, especially in kittens, as they can become dehydrated very quickly. If the kitty vomits up food two or more times, vomits bile (yellow liquid), or is vomiting frequently it is serious!

Call Your Veterinarian for an Appointment!

My New Kitty is Hiding; is There Anything I Should Do?

To allow time for the new kitty to adjust to you, and its new situation, keep the kitty in a small room with a litter box, food, water, scratching post, toys and a bed for several days to a week.

Always make sure that your new kitty is eating and drinking. 

Spend time with the new kitty in the space it is being kept. Move slowly and talk in a calm relaxed voice. Offer treats and food. Read out loud to the kitty so it becomes used to your voice. Don’t bring other animals in during these sessions and bring in children slowly and show them how to be quiet and slow, to help the kitty become used to their presence as well.

Feed your resident pets and the new kitty on each side of the door to this room, so that they associate something enjoyable (eating) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that the animals are too upset by each other’s presence to eat. Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can calmly eat while standing directly on either side of the door.

Try to get the pets to interact with a toy. Take a piece of string and tie a toy to each end and place it under the door with a toy on each side. Hopefully, they will start batting the toys around and maybe even bat at each other under the door. Be sure to spend plenty of time with your new kitty in its room, but don’t ignore or yell at your resident pet during the process.

My New Kitty has Runny Stool, What Should I Do?

This is not uncommon when you bring home a new kitty. The stress of changing homes and diet can affect their tummies.

If this lasts longer than two days or is very liquid, causing dehydration**, then it can be a very serious condition, especially in kittens. Call Your Veterinarian for an Appointment!

If the stools are soft but not watery, monitor the box, if there is no improvement after 2 days call your veterinarian for an appointment.

** To test for dehydration, pinch the skin gently. If the skin springs back slowly (takes more than 1 second), the kitty is dehydrated.

My New Kitty Has Watery, Goopy or Red Eyes, What Should I Do?

Eyes should be kept clean & free of any debris and you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

My New Kitty Has a Scabby Dry Patch on Its Skin, Should I Worry?

Your kitty has come into contact with a lot of things in its life, these things are normal, and if taken care of will not pose any threat to you or your kitty. This condition is totally treatable, and is not something we consider to be cause for alarm.

Ringworm – This presents itself as bald, silvery white scaly patches most commonly found on the ears, face and paws. This is actually a fungus (just like athlete’s foot) and is transmittable to other animals and humans.

It generally lasts several weeks in an animal with fur, but for a much shorter time in humans.

It is transmitted on the shed fur, so regular vacuuming helps control the spread.

Your veterinarian should do a test on the kitty to verify this is the condition it has and they may wish to prescribe an oral medication or lime dips. Please consult with your veterinarian about a course of treatment. This condition will go away on its own in several weeks, but you should always consult with your veterinarian.

My Kitty is not Using the Litter Box, Why?

It is most important to introduce your cat to where their litter box, food and water will be kept as soon as you get them home. You may need to take them to each location many times so that they know exactly where it is. You should keep kittens in the room with their litter box for several hours or days.

Don’t make changes to where the litter box is kept too soon after your new kitty has learned where it is, as it will cause accidents. If you change where the litter box is kept, then you will need to work with your kitty to train them to go to the new spot. Many cats are afraid of the noise from the washer and dryer. If the litter box is placed in the laundry room, they might not want to use it and then “potty” somewhere else in your home.

If there is another cat in the home, make sure it is not keeping your new kitty from getting to the litter box. If you have multiple cats, it is recommended that you have one litter box for each cat plus one extra one. The boxes need to be placed in different areas around your home for easy access. Some cats like to protect “their” litter box, so having multiple boxes can help to keep your kitty from finding their own spot to go. Keep the litter box clean – many cats will not use a dirty litter box. Most of all you need to be calm and patient with any issues involving the litter box.

Covered litter boxes may also be a problem with some cats. We recommend using an open litter box in the beginning. Make sure you use a good sized litter box that your new kitty fits in – going up in size as the kitty grows.

If another pet has urinated in your home, your new kitty and the other will be drawn to that location. We suggest using an enzyme cleaner that is made specifically for cleaning up pet stains and odors; you can find these in your local pet store. You can also use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water to clean up the spot. Make sure to always clean up any spots right away, as pets will return to the same spot and use it, creating a habit and bad habits can be difficult to break.

FACT: 
There is probably nothing more frustrating to a new cat owner than litter box accidents.

Habitual litter box accidents are the number one reason why cat owners give their cats up to animal shelters. When your cat refuses to use the litter box, there is usually an underlying reason. Before you become exasperated by your cat’s inability to make it to the litter box, here are some common causes and solutions to the problem.

Is the Litter Box too Dirty?
One of the main reasons why a cat begins to refuse to use the litter box is because it is too dirty. Many cats are extremely fussy about the condition of their litter box, while others will use it no matter how full it looks. If your cat has an accident, the first place you should check is the litter box. Some cats prefer that their litter box is cleaned out after each use. You should start a daily routine of cleaning out the litter box and you may find that this will solve your cat’s problem.

Are there too Few Litter Boxes in the Home?
Another common problem relate to the litter box is there are not enough litter boxes for the number of cats you have. The rule of thumb is: one box per cat, plus one extra (example: 4 cats need 5 litter boxes). Cats like to have their own space and this is especially true when it comes to their litter boxes. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that even if you have only one cat, you should have two litter boxes if the cat has frequent accidents.

Is it the Type of Litter Box or Type of Litter that Your Cat Doesn’t Like?
Look closely at the type of litter you are using and the size and shape of the litter box. If you have a tray litter box without a lid, maybe your cat would feel more secure in a covered litter box. If you have an older cat or a young kitten, it may have a difficult time getting in and out of the litter box, so consider getting a different type of litter box. Also look at the type of litter you use. Your cat may be fussy about the smell or texture of the litter. Many people prefer using the clumping litter; however, some cats will not use this type of litter because it sticks to their paws. You may also find that the litter you use causes a lot of dust that is displeasing to your cat or contains a scent that the cat doesn’t like because it is too strong. Remember a cat’s sense of smell is 14 times better than us humans, so what is pleasurable to us is too strong for a cat.

Is it a Health Issue Causing Accidents Outside the Litter Box?
Your cat may be refusing to use the litter box because of health related issues. If you have tried all the above tips and nothing seems to be working, then it is time to visit your veterinarian. Cats that have bladder problems, urinary tract infections, kidney failure and diabetes are more prone to litter box accidents than healthy cats. You need to take your cat to the vet and have a thorough health exam performed to find out if your cat is suffering from a urinary health problem.
For more tips, tricks and information, visit
www.littlebigcat.com
& See “Article Library” Tab

My Kitty is Sleeping a Lot, Should I worry?

Most cats sleep around 16 hours a day, with kittens and seniors snoozing even longer than that.

There is a difference between sleeping and being Lethargic
and not wanting to be active.

If your kitten has no interest in being active and playful at times and would rather lay around sleeping or being inactive, then there is an underlying problem that needs addressing by a veterinarian immediately.
Call Your Veterinarian for an Appointment!

How Should I Introduce My New Kitty to My Current Pets?

Have Realistic Expectations

First, is recognizing and accepting that you can’t force the pets to like each other. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict whether or not your pets will be friends, but we do have techniques for you to use that will increase the chances of success.

Most importantly, choose a kitty with a similar personality and activity level to your current pet. For example, an older pet might not appreciate the energy and playfulness of a kitten.

You need to move slowly during the introduction process, don’t just throw the pets together in a sink-or-swim situation and hope that they will “work it out”.

The Nature of Cats

Cats are territorial creatures, and in general they don’t like to share. A cat that is unhappy about a newcomer may express its displeasure by hissing, growling, or marking its territory by urinating outside the litter box.

Cats also dislike change. A new kitty or pet in the home is a HUGE change. These two character traits mean you could have a tough, but not impossible road ahead. Always supervise any interaction time with your new kitty and your current pets.

If you have a dog, make sure that the new kitty has a safe and secure “dog free” area that they can easily get to if the dog decides to chase the kitty. The best way to do this is to put up a child gate that is too tall for the dog to get over, but that a kitty can get under or easily jump over.

Being Social

Some cats are more social than others. Slow introductions help prevent fearful or aggressive behavior from developing. Below are some guidelines to help make the introductions go smoothly. Be aware that the introduction process can take a few days to a few weeks, or even a few months in extreme cases.
Be patient.

Confinement

To allow time for the new kitty to adjust to you, and its new situation, keep the kitty in a small room with a litter box, food, water, scratching post, toys and a bed for several days to a week.

Feed your resident pets and the new kitty on each side of the door to this room, so that they associate something enjoyable (eating) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that the animals are too upset by each other’s presence to eat. Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can calmly eat while standing directly on either side of the door.

Try to get the pets to interact with a toy. Take a piece of string and tie a toy to each end and place it under the door with a toy on each side. Hopefully, they will start batting the toys around and maybe even bat at each other under the door.

Be sure to spend plenty of time with your new kitty in its room, but don’t ignore or yell at your resident pet during the process.

Just remember, it takes time and patience. 

What Kind of Food Should I Feed My Kitty?

We recommend feeding a high-quality dry food, which is high in nutrients and low in magnesium and ash. Dry food helps to clean teeth and if nutritionally complete, can be the bulk of your kitty’s diet.

Read labels. 
The first few ingredients listed should not by “by-products”, they should be meat. By-products are not muscle meat, which is what your kitty needs. By-products are organs and bones. Many foods also list corn, wheat or some other grain as one of the first 5 ingredients. These types of things are considered “filler” and have little to no nutritional value. Many cats are allergic to corn and other types of grain.

Place food and water dishes in a safe, quiet place so that the kitty can eat without being disturbed. Make sure that these dishes are as far away from the litter box as possible.

What Should I Do About Clawing/Scratching?

Scratching is a normal behavior and should be redirected to an appropriate place if your kitty is scratching on your furniture, carpet or walls. Your cat scratches not only to clean its nails but also to mark its territory.

Provide your cat with a scratching post or other scratching alternative that you can buy at your local pet store. Some cats like to stretch upwards (vertically) as they scratch so a tall cat tree would be best, while other cats prefer to scratch across (horizontally) a surface like the carpet. For these types of cats a coco-fiber doormat can make good cheap scratching surface.

Declawing – Alternatives

  • Wait. Kittens tend to scratch a lot, but as they grow into adult cats they typically scratch much less. Because kittens are learning what behavior is appropriate, this is the best time to train them to scratch the scratching post rather than the furniture.
  • Environmental Conditioning is a way to make your furniture unattractive for scratching and train your cat to use more desirable areas (such as a scratching post). You can find these and many other options at your local pet store or on line.
  • Double-Sided Tape (cat’s don’t like sticky things).
    www.stickypaws.com
  • Tinfoil or Plastic Wrap – most cats find both surfaces unpleasant and avoid scratching these surfaces.
  • Scat Mats – use a mild static shock also useful for training cats to stay off inappropriate furniture, counters, etc.
  • Citrus Sprays – might not work with all cats.
  • Slip Covers – can be both an attractive decorating option and protective of the furniture beneath.
  • Pheromone Sprays – Feliway is one popular one available, but it doesn’t work with all cats, but when it works it is extremely effective.
  • Train your cat. No, seriously! Most cats can be trained to scratch only in appropriate locations. Training is easier if started when cats are young, and patience is required (we are talking about cats, after all!) Not all methods work with all cats, so experiment and, if needed, consult with a veterinarian who has expertise in feline behavior. Try:

In a stern loud voice say “No, No! Or Bad Kitty!” just as you would with a toddler doing something they are not supposed to do. Hand clapping, a can full of pennies you can shake or another method of helping the cat associate scratching with a negative experience.

  • Check out great ideas at www.littlebigcat.com
  • Get your cat some fake fingernails. Actually, they’re nail caps, but whatever you call them, your cat will feel oh so stylish. One brand that is available is SoftPaws. They are vinyl nail caps that are glued onto the cat’s nails. The blunt ends of the caps prevent the cat from damaging furniture or human when scratching. They need to be replaced periodically as the cat’s claws grow out. Some veterinary clinics will put these on for you, or you can do it yourself.
  • Trim the cat’s nails. Most veterinary clinics will do this for you or can teach you to do this, or you can learn to do it yourself from the following web site
    www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/cat_nails.asp

For more tips, tricks and information, visit
www.littlebigcat.com
& See “Article Library” Tab.