An average cat owner has two cats, but some have many more. This isn’t a problem as long as the cats are loved, well fed and receiving appropriate veterinary care.
However, sometimes people who collect cats (or other animals, though well over half of hoarding cases involve cats) have a mental condition known as compulsive hoarding disorder; this is an issue for both the owners and the cats.
Animal hoarders (such as the stereotypic “crazy cat lady,” though a quarter of them are men) collect animals and find it extremely difficult to give them up. As the numbers increase, it becomes impossible for the owner to provide even minimal care for their animals; the animals’ health begins to suffer and the home may become filthy with animal waste. Hoarders are often in denial about their condition and genuinely believe that they are doing what is best for the animals. Sometimes they recognize that they have a problem, but don’t know how to deal with it.
Warning signs that someone may a cat hoarder include:
The person has numerous cats who may be sick, dirty or malnourished; may be living in a home that is in disrepair and may smell of urine or feces; fleas and other vermin may be present; the person insists the cats are fine, even when it’s obvious they are not.
Clearly, it’s essential to report potential cases of neglect and ensure that cats are taken out of an unsafe environment and relocated. It’s equally important that the hoarder gets treatment for the condition and is monitored in the future. Only by addressing both parts of the hoarding issue can we be sure that the situation won’t continue to recur. Over the years, People for Cats has worked with the animal control officer on a number of cases to ensure that cats are removed from hoarding situations, receive medical and nutritional care, and are placed in loving homes.
Our cat of the week is a big, handsome boy named Hunter. This 9-year-young orange tabby with white is an absolute sweetheart. It’s hard to figure out why he is still with us, but lately he seems a bit depressed. It is probably because he yearns to be in a loving home. Usually, Hunter is very charming and is all love and affection, purring up a storm to say he’s happy. This boy really craves being with a human of his own and would be happiest with someone who can give him the attention he needs. He has a tendency to develop crystals in his urine, so he is on a prescription diet that he readily eats. We suspect he would do best as the only cat in the household. Why not come in to make his acquaintance and see if you might be just the person this fellow is looking for?
Our adoption days have continued to be very active and our census is way down, with our available kitties rapidly finding new homes. We do have a few cats waiting for vet appointments and we are hoping they will be available soon. Our population changes frequently, so check in with us often to see if your next feline BFF is waiting for you.
The PFC shelter is at 44 Beagle Lane, Teaticket. Our mailing address is PO Box 422, West Falmouth, MA 02574.
The shelter is open for adoptions and visitors Wednesdays from 4 to 6 PM, and Saturdays from 10 AM to 1 PM. If you need to get in touch with us when we are closed, call our hotline at 508-540-5654. Press #0 if you have cat-related issues, questions, are interested in volunteering or for additional information about People for Cats. Press #2 if you need financial assistance for veterinary care or spay/neuter assistance. Press #3 if you have a cat or kitten to surrender and be sure to leave your name, telephone number and a brief description of the cat. All calls are returned as quickly as possible.
Check us out at www.peopleforcats.org, look for our available cats on Petfinder and like us on our Facebook page.
All for the love of cats…