Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Medical Questions

Behavioral and Socialization

Other Questions

Where did my kitty come from?

LCAR rescues cats and kittens from over 25 shelters in five states. Most of the shelters do not or are not allowed to release personal information about the previous owners. The only information shared is the cat’s medical history.
Shelter cats may have been strays or they may have lived a pampered existence and been given up. Rescued kitties are often exposed to starvation, neglect and in some cases, physical abuse. While extensive medical care is provided prior to adoption, it’s up to you maintain the kitty’s health. Continued veterinary care is crucial to the well being of your new pet. Regardless of their past, their future lies with you.

How old is my kitty?

Ages are approximated. The cats are aged by a vet when they arrive at the shelter. The arrival date is the date listed for deworming on your LCAR contract. The age is printed on your contract in the medical history section.

I lost/didn’t get my kitties paperwork or my paperwork does not match my kitty. What do I do?

Contact LCAR savinglives@lastchanceanimalrescue.org. Please provide as many available details about the cat such as age, color, date and location of adoption.  If you have the cat’s file number available we can send you duplicate paperwork.

What food has my kitty been eating?

While at LCAR your kitty ate Hill’s Science Diet Cat/Kitten food. Upon adoption you received a sample bag of the same food to take home with you. While in PetSmart they ate Purina Pro Plan kitten or cat food.  On your first visit to the vet, seek advice on how to switch your kitty over to a different food without getting an upset tummy. Feeding your kitty high quality canned kitten food assures that your kitty gets the vital nutrients and protein required to stay healthy.

Medical

When should my kitty go to the vet?

Your kitty needs to go to the vet within three days of adoption. Take your cat’s file with you. It includes the medical history and shot records including the rabies vaccine. The vet will set up a shot schedule, monitor the cat’s general health and resolve any unforeseen issues. A fecal test will be done to check for parasites.  Please take a fecal sample with you to the appointment. For more information, check out:

First Vet Visit
Feline Vet Policy
Wellness Clinic

I don’t have a vet, what do I do?

It is very important to establish a relationship with a full-service primary care veterinarian.
 
The veterinary clinic you choose should be clean and odor free. Vets, staff and technicians should be polite, helpful, and happy to answer your questions. If they are not, try another clinic. Write down any questions that you have for the vet before your visit so that you do not forget anything. While the vet is talking, it’s a good idea to take notes as there can be a lot to remember.
 
If you have adopted from Last Chance Animal Rescue, your new pet will have been spayed or neutered, dewormed, tested negative for feline leukemia and feline AIDS and had a series of vaccinations. They will also have been treated for fleas, ticks and ear mites.
 
Because all Last Chance animals are rescued from high kill shelters and may have been exposed to contagious diseases,
it is extremely important that your new pet be quarantined from any other animals for a period of two weeks after adoption.
When you take your new pet home, your initial veterinary office visit should be to establish a shots schedule, check for any unforeseen issues, and address any residual parasites. The visit should include a full head to toes physical examination. The cost will likely range between $40 and $85.

Your new feline pet will also need a fecal test and it is extremely important to bring a recent stool sample on the first veterinary visit. The vet will examine it microscopically for parasites and worms. The fecal test may cost between $15 to $35.

 Depending on the results the cat may need additional deworming. This is not unusual as deworming is an ongoing process rather than a single event. The cost is generally between $10 to $25.

 If the cat is sneezing or coughing it may need antibiotics. Rarely will your kitty need x-rays or blood tests, which can be expensive. If this is the case please call us and we can get you in to see our vet.

 If your cat is not eating or drinking you must get immediate vet care. You can call the emergency number on our office recording and the number is also listed on your contract. Please do not call the emergency number with routine questions.
 
We can often help you with advice and we also have our own veterinary clinic that you can visit.

Feel free to call Waldorf Well Pet Clinic (301) 885-0263.  Friends and neighbors are also a valuable resource for vet referrals. If additional assistance is required feel free to contact Last Chance via email: savinglives@lastchanceanimalrescue.org

My kitty is sneezing, what should I do?

A sneezing kitty may be having a reaction to an intranasal vaccine or have an upper respiratory infection. The best way to tell is to take the kitty to the vet. If it is an upper respiratory infection, the sooner the kitty starts treatment the quicker it will feel better. If your kitty has already been to the vet and is taking antibiotics, make sure to complete the course of meds. Also, make sure that your kitty is eating and drinking. Contact your primary care vet for additional information.

My kitty has diarrhea, what should I do?

There are several reasons your kitty may experience diarrhea (loose stool). The most common causes are change in diet and stress. However, the possibility of a medical reason should not be overlooked.  Contact your vet for additional information.

Why can’t I declaw the kitty I adopted?

Declawing is prohibited in the contract you signed.
Ninety percent of cats turned into shelters for urinating and defecating outside the litter box are front paw declawed. The procedure is not a manicure but an amputation at the first joint of kitty’s “toe”. Regular nail trimming, scratching posts and in some cases SOFT PAWS (kitty nail tips) help to prevent unnecessary scratching. Please refer to http://www.declawing.com
for additional information.

What is FeLV/FIV?

FeLV (Feline Leukemia) and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) are transmitted through contact with other infected cats. They are both very serious and can drastically affect the health of your kitty. All adoptable LCAR cats/kittens are tested for FeLV/FIV, and the results are negative as noted in the cat’s medical record. However, since recent exposure may not show, we encourage you to have another test done at your vet in three months. Contact your primary care vet for additional information.

What is Panleukopenia a.k.a. “kitty distemper”?

Panleukopenia is a potentially fatal feline disorder caused by the parvo virus.  Symptoms can include lack of energy, diarrhea, vomiting, high temperature, dehydration and lack of appetite.

The virus is especially hard on the very young and the very old and has a very high mortality rate. The Panleukopenia virus is common in shelters. Although all kitties available for adoption appear healthy, as with any cat there is a chance they have been exposed to a variety of viruses.

The distemper FVRP vaccine guards against the virus. It is important to complete the series to ensure your kitty is protected. LCAR administered at least one vaccination in the series. Contact your primary care vet for additional information

What is FIP?

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a cat disease caused by the mutation of the corona virus. The disease presents in two forms: wet or dry. The wet version is easily diagnosed by the presence of a distended (swollen) fluid filled abdomen, anorexia, vomiting, lack of energy and dehydration. There is no preliminary test or proven vaccine available for FIP.  Contact your primary care vet for additional information.

What is deworming?

All animals are at risk for intestinal parasites (worms). There are several kinds of worms a kitty can harbor.  All LCAR kitties have been treated at least once with a medication called “Strongid” to eliminate the parasites. However the deworming medicine is not always a one-time event. Your kitty may need a second dose of the anti-worm medication. A fecal analysis at the vet is the only way to check for parasites. Intestinal parasites can be as detrimental to your kitty’s health as any virus or bacteria. If kitty parasites are not treated, serious illness or even death can result. Contact your primary care vet for additional information.

Has my kitty had a rabies vaccine?

All cats 13 weeks or older have receive a rabies vaccine. Unless otherwise noted, it is a one-year vaccine.  If they had a rabies vaccine prior to coming to our rescue, the rabies certificate will be in your file. Typically rabies tags are not issued for cats.  To board or have your cat professionally groomed, a rabies certificate is required.

Behavioral/Socialization

Is my kitty litter box trained?

Cats/kittens typically use a litter box instinctively. If your kitty doesn’t seem to get the concept or seems defiant about using the litter box, there are several things to be considered. Primarily, you need to determine: “Is it behavioral or medical?” Make sure the litter box is readily available and clean. Sometimes kitties don’t feel like long hikes to use the potty. If your kitty is eliminating outside the box make sure the box is cleaned on a very regular basis (at least daily). Most cats seem offended if you expect them to use a “dirty” litter box. If you have more than one cat or more than one level of your home it is recommended that you have at least one litter box per cat per floor. (2 cats + 2 floors = 4 litter boxes) There are “special” litters and sprays you can purchase to encourage kitties to use the litter box. If after trying simple “at home” solutions the problem persists, you will need to schedule a vet visit. Improper elimination may be caused by urinary tract infections. Contact your primary care vet for additional information.

How do I introduce a new kitty to existing kitties?

We require a two week quarantine period when you first bring kitty home. This is for two reasons. One is a medical issue.  Kitties from shelters and adoption centers may be exposed to various diseases that can be transferred to your existing cat.  Two, kitty psychology! Your existing cat can be territorial.  You need to give existing and new kitties some time to “get to know each other” in a nonthreatening manner. Put the newcomer in a separate room with its own food, water, litter box and toys. Do not let them sniff or otherwise see each other. They will get to know each other from under the door. Instead of the kitties thinking “Who the heck is this intruder?” They should think “Hey Mom, there’s another KITTY in there” Then you can gradually let them interact AFTER, we repeat AFTER the two week quarantine is over.

During the third week, you may switch the bedding so the kitties can get used to each other’s scent. If there is no intense hissing, open the door an inch or so and let them meet through the inch opening. Prop the door open only an inch and you should be able to judge from their reaction if you should continue the introduction.  If intense hissing occurs (open mouth hissing), you can and should extend the introduction period.

Make sure both kitties continue to eat; an adult cat may stop eating from stress. Please check with your vet immediately if your kitty stops eating. Most cats will adjust to living in a multi-cat household and enjoy it. Do not get discouraged! It is not unusual for the kitties to take a few months to get along although usually they will only take two to three weeks.

Is it okay to let my kitty outdoors?

No, all Last Chance rescue cats must be strictly indoor cats. The average life span of an outdoor cat is less than five years, while the average lifespan of an indoor cat is 15-20 years. Cats are fascinated by the great outdoors, but we are not doing them a favor when we let them out to roam where they face a myriad of dangers: cars, foxes, dogs with prey instincts, rabid animals, some not so nice people, diseases and more. The natural prey instinct in your cat could harm or kill birds and other small mammals. It is easy to keep a cat entertained inside with the simple toys and stimulation, including a great view of the outside world. At the rescue, we go to great lengths to ensure that our animals get a chance at a long and healthy life. That is why we put it in our adoption contract that Last Chance cats must be indoors only.

What are the Asilomar Accords?

In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders from across the nation convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California, for the purpose of building bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States.” We use the nationally recognized shelter statistic gathering and reporting methods as set forth in the Asilomar Accords. (2012 Asilomar Statistics)

Are rescue statistics available?

The non-profit organization Maddie’s Fund offers grants to rescue organizations to support community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S.

The organization tracks animal rescue and shelter statistics to measure success rates and help establish rescue goals.

Here are the Last Chance Animal Rescue statistics as collected by Maddie’s Fund:

2015 Maddies Fund LCAR Statistics

2014 Maddies Fund LCAR Statistics