We know you have questions, and we want to answer them.
Catnip Casa Cat Refuge provides narrowly focused care, to a small population, to provide rehab or pawspice care for cats suffering from age, disease, or disabilities, that do not allow them to remain in their home due to medical or behavioral challenges, make them unadoptable in most shelters, or in the case of community cats, unable to function in their natural environment. The cats we accept have the potential to live well with specialized care. We strive to keep their environment as safe and normal as possible while addressing their unique needs, including rehabilitation and caregiver training and support to place them in loving homes whenever possible.
To that end, we pledge to educate owners, caregivers, professionals, and the public, about caring for cats with challenges caused by aging, disease, disabilities, or terminal illness. We also strive to develop a network of persons, services, and resources, that benefit the community by keeping special needs cats out of shelters.
A select few cats may be community cats that develop special needs. Some had long-term caregivers and are quite manageable, due to a consistent human presence or having lived with a family in the past. Still, we know and understand most are not happy confined. That’s the last resort when they need care, due to age, disability, and/or medical needs, that can’t be addressed without control over their environment and only when there is potential for long-term success–possibly even adoption.
What do we do?
Ideally, we want all cats to be indoor only, but some cats that have been put out due to behavioral issues or that lived as outdoor pets don’t adapt. We give it a try, but we won’t force it if they don’t eat or become severely depressed. We provide living quarters for these cats in a safe outdoor environment where we can care for them. Our outdoor catio enclosures are airy, in a yard that is green and sunny, provide opportunities to climb and den, and offer mental stimulation, such watching birds and squirrels.
Alternately, cats that aren’t totally attached to an outdoor environment must be able to comfortably and happily exist indoors in a household with other cats or in an indoor room, preferably with a friend or in small groups. We also place cats in foster homes. Many foster homes turn into permanent homes when people realize they can handle the needs of these cats. We always work to expand that network. In addition, some cats that have been abandoned and lived among feral colonies are not feral. They clearly began life with a family, though they may or may not be adoptable at this point, due to their special needs.
Whenever a medical and/or behavioral condition can be resolved, or managed in a home with our training and support, those lucky cats will be offered a chance to be adopted into a new family, after demonstrating good social skills and appropriate litter box habits.