Gus feels safe in his new home
Gus feels safe in his new home.
It’s due to a lot of patience and giving the 10 year old feline the space “to feel safe so he can enjoy his days” said his Forever Home Owner, Paul. “It has been a slow process. One must respect that any fast movement will scare him.” Gus will never be a lap cat but he will take treats from Paul’s hand and trusts he is safe. Over the last year Gus has evolved into a very talkative kitty informing Paul he’s used his litter box and chirps for treats accompanied by a short growl. “It makes me laugh and he is so serious”, Paul smiled.
Gus was put up for adoption.
After the Volunteer Caretaker of his cat colony rescued and took him for treatment when he fell ill. Normally, a cat is treated and returned to the colony but this option was rendered impossible since he needed daily medication to keep him in optimal health. Adoption was Gus’ only chance of getting the full time care he needed. Today, he resides with his new brother and two sisters, all rescues. It’s a “pretty quiet household”, Paul remarked.
“I’m so glad Gus has found such a wonderful home with Paul!”, Jennifer said.
Jennifer became quickly aware of Gus’ timid and crusty temperament fostering him. But, she discovered Fleur, another foster kitty helped Gus transition from a feral cat in a colony to living indoors. As Fleur warmed up to Jennifer, Gus followed suit and would follow Jennifer quietly around the house and chirp like a bird when left on his own.
But Jennifer’s heart melted when she caught Gus playing with a toy.
“Gus had the persona of a cat who didn’t know how to trust, but deep down he loved doing all of the things that regular house cats get to experience”, she said. And when Gus claimed his spot on the couch after Fleur found her forever home, Jennifer knew Gus was ready to be adopted too. “It’s those small moments that make fostering a feral cat so rewarding”, Jennifer said. And, by the time Gus was adopted by Paul he had gone from a hissing kitty to a sunbathing feline on his favourite perch. “I truly felt like he picked us by the end of his stay”, Jennifer said. She still thinks about Gus and misses him all the time.
Paul has been following ACR’s work in Toronto after he adopted a “20 year old little one named Bear”. His decision to adopt “little ones young and old” make him feel like he is doing what he can to give abandoned cats a deserving home. Paul understands it takes a big commitment to rescue cats. “You need to be absolutely sure it’s what you want to do”, he said. But, Paul assured the rewards are immeasurable. “And don’t forget the senior’s they need love and homes just like the cute kittens”, he added. Paul said his routine hasn’t changed with the addition of Gus. But, Paul has noticed his heart has opened wider to love a little more.
Feral Cat Facts
(Edited from Annex Cat Rescue)
What are feral cats?
Feral cats are the “wild” offspring of domestic cats who live outdoors, separate from humans, and usually frightened of humans.
Why do cats become feral?
Feral cats are the offspring of domestic cats abandoned by their owners who failed to spay and neuter them. They may have also gotten lost or run away from their abusive owners. Like domestic cats, feral cats multiply very quickly. In five years, an unspayed feral female can have 20,000 descendants.
Are feral cats solitary?
No! Feral cats tend to live in colonies, or groups. Often, as many as three or four generations of a family will live together. Females help in raising each other’s young.
What is a feral cat colony?
A colony is a population of feral cats. The term is used primarily when a noticeable population of feral cats live together in a specific location and use a common food source.
Where do feral cats live?
Feral cats are common in urban areas, and can frequently be found behind shopping areas or businesses, in alleys and parks. They also shelter under porches or in abandoned buildings.
Can feral cats ever be domesticated?
Feral kittens can make excellent pets if they become accustomed to humans before they are about six to eight weeks old. Older feral cats sometimes adjust to living with humans. Most feral cats, though, resist domestication. If you are thinking about taking a feral cat into your home, consult a veterinarian beforehand.
Why bother about feral cats?
Like any living creature, feral cats deserve respect. Feral cats also help to control mouse and rat populations.
How can we help feral cats?
Feral cats can be humanely trapped, spayed/neutered, and vaccinated against rabies and other feline diseases. The cats can then be released back into their colonies. Spaying and neutering feral cats controls their numbers, enabling people to care more effectively for those feral cats that remain. Feral kittens are placed in foster homes and eventually, adopted out as pets.
Does the Annex Cat Rescue have a program for feral cats?
Yes! Annex Cat Rescue routinely traps, spays/neuters, and vaccinates feral cats. Daily, volunteers leave water and dry food at designated feeding stations. Small feral kittens are temporarily housed with foster caregivers and eventually adopted out as pets.
Many people believe that cats will survive if abandoned. Most cats don’t! Animal shelters euthanize thousands of stray cats a year, and many more die slow, miserable deaths from starvation, disease, accidents, abuse or attacks from predators. The ones we take in are lucky.
Read more about feral cats and how to care for them @ Community Cats Toronto.
Adopt a rescue cat in the City of Toronto @ Annex Cat Rescue
Read another cat rescue story @ TravelCatScribe Marla aka Diva