Introduce a New Cat to Your Old Cat Like a Pro!

 

Thinking of adopting a second cat?  The following tips can increase your chances of establishing a peaceful, multi-cat home.  Any pet requires weeks or months to adjust to changes in their environment and lifestyle.  For that reason, first impressions are extremely important when meeting other household pets.

 

Let them throw in their two scents!

 Like any other time you are training a pet, positive re-enforcement works best.  Your goal is to have your pets associate good things with the other feline.  The first time they meet, it should be through scent alone.

  • Keep you new cat in a separate room that has all the things she needs – food, water, her own litter box, somewhere to scratch, some toys and places to climb. This is her private, safe, feel-good space!
  • Feed your cats a few small meals a day, a few feet from either side of the door.
  • Each day before mealtime, rub a small towel around the cheeks and chin of each cat and place it near the feeding bowl of the other cat. They will pick up the scent of the other cat at a time that makes them happy – supper time!  Again, good things happen when the other cat is around!
  • If they seem ok with this set up, gradually decrease the distance between the bowls and the door.

 

Time to see eye to eye

Once your cats are eating beside each other on opposite sides of the door, its time to let them see each other.

  • Move the bowls back a few feet again and let them see, but not access each other. This can be done with a baby gate or some other barrier that is transparent, but that they cannot breach.
  • Continue with the “scented” towels.
  • Again, slowly decrease the distance between the bowls so long as both cats eat without much hesitation and neither shows signs of fear or aggression. If they do, offer a treat or give them a rub on the ear, reinforcing once again that good things happen when the other cat is around.

 

Try a supervised “Hello”

Once both cats are eating directly on either side of the door with visual contact, without showing signs of fear or aggression, you can try some short, supervised interactions.

  • Distract your resident cat with food, some play or petting in a relatively large room.
  • Allow your new cat to enter the room, but try to keep her occupied with food, play, or petting as well, but on the other side of the room.
  • If your cats interact in a relaxed or friendly manner, that’s ok. If you start to see indications of fear or aggression (this can include extended periods of staring at each other) try to distract them from each other and end the session
  • Gradually increase the length of the sessions each day so long as neither cat seems overly fearful or anxious.

 

Graduation!

As these sessions grow longer and if everyone seems comfortable, you can let your cats roam the home freely.  It’s a good idea to continue to monitor them for any signs of trouble, but, hopefully your patience and methodical approach to their introduction has paid off, and you can look forward to a lifetime of peace and quiet and with your two felines as the best of friends!

Regina Humane Society Receives Property Tax Exemption

 

The Regina Humane Society would like to acknowledge that it received a property tax exemption for the 2021 tax year, for the site of the its planned new facility at 4900 Parliament Avenue, Regina.  The Society qualified for the exemption under the City of Regina’s Community Non-Profit Tax Exemption Bylaw.

The exemption allows the Society to direct its resources fully to programs and services that will benefit the community.

Kevin – Alone and Freezing in the Snow and Cold

 

A young kitten was found in late November by a grid road outside of Regina. He had been abandoned in a dog carrier with just some kibble randomly tossed in to survive on. Trapped in his plastic prison, he could not seek life-saving water or shelter. It appeared he had been there for at least a day, maybe more, huddled in a corner trying to stay warm as the snow accumulated around him. He was slowly freezing, and barely moving when he was found. He had just about given up.

When he arrived at the RHS, Shelter staff began the slow process of warming him and encouraging him to eat. His long fur was terribly matted causing agonizing tension on his skin and an emergency groom was given, relieving his discomfort. When the fur was shaved, several painful wounds were revealed – the result of the pulling of the mats on his tender skin.  If that wasn’t enough, his delicate ears and tails had suffered frostbite from the devastatingly harsh winter cold. Ultimately, he would lose most of his beautiful tail and parts of both ears. Shelter staff named Kevin after the Home Alone character who was also left on his own during the Holidays.

Within a couple of days, Kevin was showing good signs of improvement, and following the amputation of his tail and parts of his ears, he was placed in foster care to rest, heal and ensure his recovery continued.

Finally, after two weeks in foster care, Kevin was all healed and ready to take the next step in his journey – finding a new home.  As it turns out, that journey was very short!  Within an hour of going up for adoption, a week before Christmas, Kevin was heading home with his new Dad!

When found, it appeared a tragic end was in store for little Kevin.  Because of you, and your support of the RHS lifesaving services, Kevin has received the most precious gift of all this holiday season – a second chance to find love and happiness.

 

Shortly after arrival at the RHS

Following emergency grooming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After tail amputation

After surgery

Heading home

When Legend Needed Help, You Were There

 

When he arrived on the first day of September, Legend was a sad-looking soul. His head and face were covered in scars and his nose was full of porcupine quills. He was missing part of one ear and had a painful abscessed tooth that had caused an open sore on the top of his snout. We were told that he had spent most of his seven years tied to a chain. His eyes showed the toll each day of those years had taken on him.

He was taken into the care of the RHS Veterinary team who removed the quills, tended to his wounds and extracted the tooth that was causing so much pain. He then moved to one of our foster homes to rest and to heal.

As the days passed, Legend began to reveal his true self – a happy-go-lucky pup who, in spite of what he had lived through, loved nothing more than a scratch on the chin and to be near people.

After over two months in our care, Legend was finally well enough to start looking for a new family.  He was a little older, could still see some complications from his wounds and it seemed that it was too much for some adopters.  Legend waited and waited for his hero to come to the Shelter.  Two weeks passed and he was still waiting.  The RHS featured him on all of its social media channels and local media visits, with one post being shared over 1,500 times and reaching over 97,000 people.  Our supporters and followers were called upon to share his story far and wide until it reached that one person or family who would look beyond his past and see Legend for who he truly was – a sweet soul who loved to be with people. Then, on what would have been Grey Cup Sunday, it finally happened.  That person came through our door alone and left with his new life-long pal.

We cannot thank you enough.  You came together and rallied behind this pup so he could realize a happy life that he so much deserves.

We never gave up on this boy and neither did you.  Thank you.

Legend on September 1, 2020

Legend after treatment and recovery

Legend on his way home, November 22, 2020

Abandoned in a Box – Billy, Bobby and Bandy

 

Sadly, it is a scenario that the Society sees all too often. . . cats abandoned in vacated homes, in crates in back alleys, or as in the case of Billy, Bobby and Bandy, left taped in a cardboard box with no food or water.

That is exactly how RHS staff found the three 7-week old kittens earlier this month on a frigid Saturday morning – in fact, it was the first day of snow in our city this year.  The three were dumped by the Shelter door, without their mother, just feet from warmth and safety.  Luckily, they were found after a relatively short period of time. Because of your support, the RHS is always there to help abandoned animals, just like this tiny trio, 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Now, just two weeks later, their story has changed from abandoned to adopted!  Billy, Bobby and Bandy will now experience winter from the great indoors, cuddled and loved in the arms of their new families.

Thank you for being there when they needed you most.

Finding the three abandoned kittens

Bobby as found in the box

 

 

 

 

RHS Animal Protection Officer with Bandy

 

 

RHS Animal Protection Officers with Billy and Bandy

How the Love for One Pet, Helped Change the Lives of Others

 

When newlyweds Jack and Joanne Aldcorn visited the Regina Humane Society back in the 1980s, they not only changed the life of a 9-month old spaniel named Sparky, the visit ignited a passionate desire to help as many other animals as they could.

Jack and Joanne Aldcorn have been proud PAW Plan (pre-authorized withdrawal) monthly donors of the Regina Humane Society for nearly 20 years.

It was their mutual love of animals that first brought Jack and Joanne to the Regina Humane Society in the 1980s. The newlyweds had both grown up with dogs and decided their new home would benefit from having a pet. Upon their visit to the Shelter, they came across nine-month-old Sparky, a terrier/spaniel mix, who quickly became a very important member of their family. He was with the couple for 16 years and grew up alongside their three children.

Sparky was not the only take-away for Jack and Joanne after visiting the Shelter that day. After seeing how many animals were awaiting adoption, they had a strong desire to do what they could to help.

“We were so impressed with the quality of care and level of effort – with very limited resources – that was provided by the RHS that we decided to both volunteer and donate to the ongoing care of the animals,” says Jack.

Over the years, Jack and Joanne have continued to support the RHS and eventually became PAW Plan monthly donors, providing a donation on a monthly basis. They have also committed to leaving a bequest to the Regina Humane Society in their Wills.

“Giving monthly is a great donation method that is feasible for just about anyone. Every little bit adds up to make a big difference in the lives of the animals,”

We want to thank the Aldcorns on behalf of the thousands of animals whose lives they have saved through their kindness and generosity.

Join Jack and Joanne in donating to RHS on a monthly basis by signing up to be a PAW Plan donor, HERE.

Jack and Joanne Aldcorn

Sparky

 

Got a New Kitten?

 

There’s no greater feeling than when you decide to bring a new furry family member into your home with dreams of cuddling on the couch, companionship and love that knows no end.  But, like any new relationship, there are bound to adjustments and even a few bumps along the way.  However, with a bit of patience and planning, you and your new kitten can start your new life together on the right paw…

Make Playtime Fun for Everyone! – Everyone knows that kittens LOVE to play and it can be one of the more cute and entertaining aspects of a kitten.  Yet, sometimes they can be a little too exuberant, especially if they don’t have another kitten to play with.  Often, you will become the focus of their playfulness, but that can be a problem as they get older, so it’s important to instill good play habits early:

  • Always use toys during play rather than your hands or feet. If your kitten tries to play with them, freeze and look away, then wait a few minutes before giving them any more attention.
  • Have a variety of toys available and rotate their use so your kitten doesn’t get bored and playtime is always interesting.
  • Always allow your kitten to “catch” a toy a few times during play…maybe even offer a treat as a reward.

Have a Few Places Where Scratching is Allowed – Cats love to scratch – and they will!   Scratching is a natural behaviour that allows your cat to spread its scent, stretch and remove old and frayed layers from its claws.  To preserve your furniture, you can pick up several scratching options for your cat at the local pet store, such as carpeted cat posts and trees, sisal ropes and corrugated cardboard or wood scratcher.  Place them strategically in areas that you kitten loves to scratch and provide desirable items in the vicinity of the new scratching post. By doing this, you create a positive association and make your cat feel that being near the scratching post has positive rewards. This can be achieved by playing interactively around the scratching post (i.e. with a feather wand, laser pointer, etc.), providing treats when the cat is around the scratching post, or by placing a small amount of catnip on the scratching post to encourage their use of the post. If you catch your cat in the act of scratching furniture or in an area where it’s not allowed, it’s important not to scold them or get angry or squirt water at them. Cats need to scratch. It comes naturally to them, so if you see them scratching, don’t tell them they’re naughty, but interrupt the behaviour by distracting them with another toy.  Once they’re distracted, you can offer them a treat as a reward for leaving the furniture alone.

You can also make the wrong place to scratch less desirable by placing double-sided tape on the area your cat used to scratch to effectively deter her from scratching there over time. Another option would be to place a hard plastic covering over the area the cat should not be scratching. This prevents the cat from scratching there, and as a result, they will be more likely to use the scratching post instead.

Trim Those Nails – Trimming your cat’s nails is easy and the sooner you get them used to it, the better!  Many kittens won’t mind at all, but if your kitten hesitates, start by touching one front paw, then offering a treat. Work up to extending the nail, always following any handling with a favourite treat to keep the experience pleasant. If the kitten tries to pull away, let her go, give her a break, and try again later.  Be sure to just clip the tip of the nail without getting too close to the nail’s quick.  You can learn more about nail care for your cat here.  https://reginahumanesociety.ca/programs-services/municipal-services/alternatives-to-admission/cat-behaviour-tips/nail-care-cats/

Make the Carrier a Happy Place – You may have heard that cats hate to travel in a car.  Well, some don’t, but getting your kitten used to being in and around their carrier will make trips to the vet and other travel much easier as she gets older.  Try setting the carrier in a spot that your kitten likes to be and keep it there as much as possible.  Keep the door open and be sure to have some comfortable blankets or a bed inside.  For extra measure, pop a treat in there once a day so that she associates the carrier with great things!

The key is to have patience and to keep working at your training even if some days it feels like you’re getting nowhere.  Remember – keep the experience positive for your kitten and she will respond!

 

Tips for Recalling Your Dog

 

It’s a scenario many dog-owners dread…your dog sneaks out of the house or the leash slips from your hand while on a walk.  Suddenly, you are competing for the attention of your dog with so many other distractions – a squirrel, other dogs, smells – you name it.  You may be fighting a losing battle if you don’t do a little pre-planning and practice recalling your dog.

Recall, a technique where your dog comes back to you when called, despite other distractions, is important for you and your pet’s safety, especially in public parks or places you and your pet are unfamiliar with.

Here are a few tips to get you started…

  • Start your training in less distracting areas. It’s hard to compete against too many distractions early on. Instead, once you have mastered a quieter area, take your training somewhere a bit more difficult.
  • When training, reward your dog every time you call. Not most times, every time! It can be treats, a toy or whatever is of high value to your dog.  Your dog should always consider that going to you when called is AWESOME no matter what!  If you wish, you can use a sound or other trigger word as the sound your dog responds to, other than their name.
  • Call your pet once. Do not repeat the call or scold them if they don’t respond the first time.  Repeating your call and then rewarding them teaches that they can wait to hear your call several times before responding.  Getting mad at them with an angry voice is not something they will be drawn to.  Would you?
  • Do your training on leash so your pet cannot get away from you before the behaviour is learned.

Remember that consistency is key for your pet to learn the desired behaviour.  In a dog’s world, the stomach rules, so make sure great things happen each time they come running to you calling their name. Just like us, dogs love things that are rewarding!

The RHS has several reward-based dog training classes available, including Recall classes, to help you and your pet enjoy every moment together.  You can get more information here:  https://www.reginahumanesocietytraining.ca/

Cass – Found Zipped in a Backpack

 

Each animal that arrives at the RHS has its own story. When RHS Animal Protection Officers were alerted to a distressed cat in a back alley, the sad story of Cass began to unfold.  When they arrived, Officers did not find a cat but rather a backpack with desperate cries coming from inside.  As they unzipped the bag, two green eyes blinked back at them. The severely dehydrated and malnourished 6-month-old tabby began to purr as they gently lifted him from his tiny prison.  One of his hind legs had been broken and, without treatment, the tiny bones had fused leaving him with a twisted, stiff and useless limb.

Back at the Shelter, Cass devoured his first meal in a long time before moving into the care of the RHS Veterinary Team to begin his long recovery. Sadly, his leg could not be repaired and amputation was the only option to give young Cass the mobility he deserved. Once his surgery was completed, Cass moved to a quiet foster home to regain his strength, heal and look forward to the day he could find a home to call his own.

When he was ready, Cass was placed for adoption at PetSmart Quance, one of the Society’s 6 satellite adoption centres. Cass did not have to wait long to find his special someone and was adopted the same day he arrived.   As he cuddled close to his new dad that night, with a full tummy and a full heart, he had you to thank.  Because of your support of RHS lifesaving programs and services, together we are re-writing the sad stories of thousands of animals like Cass to end with happily-ever-after.

Cass arriving at the Shelter

During surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post recovery

Cass and his new Dad

Scoot – The Tiniest of Patients

 

The “trouble” that kittens can get themselves into is legendary.  Most often, their playful antics cause little more damage than a tipped over vase or water dish.  When Scoot arrived at the RHS in mid-June, it was obvious this little fellow had run into some real trouble.  In the course of his short 4 weeks of life, little Scoot had managed to suffer a badly broken hind leg.  While we don’t know what caused the trauma, the break was serious enough that RHS Veterinarians felt that amputation would be the safest and best option for Scoot to help him on the road to a good quality of life with as little discomfort as possible.  So, at just 5 weeks of age, he became the youngest amputation patient our clinic has ever had.  The RHS Veterinary Team took wonderful care of Scoot from start to finish, and within hours he was up and about like nothing had ever happened (see the video below!).  He spent several weeks with a wonderful foster family before beginning another journey – to find a new home.

Having become a bit of a social media star during his time with the Shelter, Scoot found his new mom in no time, and it was off to more, and hopefully safer, adventures.

It is only your support of the Society that makes happy stories like this possible.  On behalf of Scoot, all the other animals who are safe and loved because of your support, we thank you.

Getting Ready for Surgery

Post-Surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Hours After Surgery