How You Can Help
Adoption is the first way to help because it’s the ultimate goal of rescue, to find homes for every rescue animal, which in our case is cats! Only adopt if you know you can provide a loving forever home to the animal in need. If they’re unhappy, over-crowded, or may eventually have to find a new home, don’t adopt that kitty. There’s a perfect cat for everyone who wants one, and there’s a perfect home for every cat who wants one.
If you want to adopt a kitty from us, you can stop in any time we’re open to see who’s here, or you can check our Adoptions page for a list! We post regular updates about our adoption cats when we can to our Facebook page.
If you can’t adopt, Foster. Foster homes extend the resources of rescue groups and allow us to save more lives. Some kitties need foster because there isn’t enough space in the shelter right now, but there may be in a few days or a few weeks. Some kitties need fosters because they’re too young for adoption: 1. Kittens under 8 weeks or under 2 pounds can’t be spayed and neutered so they legally and morally can’t be adopted out by shelters. 2. Their immune systems aren’t strong enough yet even for the indirect exposure to germs that traditional shelters have. 3. Kittens that young also need to eat more often, and shelters don’t have the resources to keep people on site overnight.
Foster is a great alternative to adoption if you take a lot of trips, if you’re not quite ready to commit to a cat, or if you just want a really rewarding way to give back. It’s important with foster to have a plan and be committed to that plan:
- Goodbye is the goal. If foster parents adopted each of their charges or adopted one kitten of every litter in their care, they’d quickly have too many pets to foster.
- I’m fostering to find the PERFECT cat. You’ll know them when you see them, and you’ll stop fostering when you have found the right kitty or kitties to fill your home. This is especially common with families who already have another cat or dog who need to be a part of the decision of who to add to the home.
We’re always accepting new foster parents, even if there’s not immediate need.
To foster for The Whole Cat and Kaboodle, please download, fill out, and return this form:
If you can’t foster, Volunteer. Volunteering also extends the resources of shelters. By not having to pay even just one person for an 8 hour shift, that saves them over $100. That money can then be directed to low-cost spay/neuter clinics, TNR, and healthcare for their charges. Depending on the shelter, shifts can even be as short as 30 minutes.
For volunteer opportunities at our Redmond store, please fill out the following paperwork and contact our Volunteer Coordinator Kayla with the contact information at the top of the form:
Can’t volunteer time? Volunteering time is the most traditional, but it’s not the only way to volunteer. Here are more options for how to volunteer:
– TNR. Trap, Neuter, Return is an effort to go around to the local colonies of feral cats and trap, spay/neuter, and return the cats to their colony. Why trap them? Because feral cats see humans as predators. A cornered feral is very dangerous, so it’s a really bad idea to try to get ahold of them any other way. Trapping is also less stressful than being chased down with a net. Why neuter them? To help slow down the exponential growth of an unchecked colony. Cats breed very quickly, and even just one unaltered female and her subsequent female kittens can mother as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years. Why return them? Colonies collect where they do because of food sources. When the colony is removed, the vermin that they were feeding on multiply, be those mice, rats, or any other pest animal. If the food source of the vermin can’t be or isn’t removed, eventually, a new colony of cats will build around the food source again and get them back under control, but in the mean time, the vermin population can get unsightly causing damage, be it physical or reputational. Additionally, the practice of euthanizing feral cats is considered inhumane by many, including us, and is financially inadvisable. It costs more, cat per cat, to euthanize than to neuter and release.
Transport. Transporting cats for shelters gets them to the places they need to be for vet appointments, fosters, and moves to and from adoption relay locations, like The Whole Cat. The more people willing to make those trips, the faster those trips can happen, and the more quickly those kitties can find homes. You don’t usually need your own carrier, even. Just donate your time and the gas to make the trip.
Events. Volunteer your time to go to events for the shelter. It could be trying to spread the word, trying to get adoptions off-site, trying to solicit donations, trying to sell small things to raise money for the shelter, or trying to get pets relicensed, depending on the shelter.
Veterinary volunteers. If you’re a licensed vet tech or veterinarian, you can still volunteer! You probably already know this, but there’s always need for volunteered vet services, even for specialty medicine, such as eye appointments for kitties going blind or physical therapy appointments for kitties recovering from an injury.
If you can’t volunteer, Sponsor. Sponsorship is a way to add to the resources that shelters and adoption relay locations have. Shelters need money for vet care, food, paying staff, lights, electricity, transportation, and a plethora more! Adoption relay locations sometimes accept donations as well. Sponsorship means that you’re paying to help a specific cat. This is especially important for kitties with special needs. Amputees, kidney disease sufferers, and elder cats are some such kitties, but the vet bills getting any kitty ready for adoption are always expensive. If you can’t foster or adopt that kitty, but you want to help them find a home specifically, sponsor them!
If you can’t sponsor, Donate. Donating does much the same thing as sponsorship, when it’s monetary, but it usually just goes to the area with the greatest need, even if you don’t know right then what that need is. But, money isn’t the only thing you can donate! Food, litter, toys, paper towels, wet wipes, and disposable gloves are always in need! Check with your local shelter about their wishlist if you want to check off a few things there, or just donate things you know they can use when you don’t need them anymore!
If you can’t donate, Educate. Educate your friends and neighbors! Helping the shelter sometimes just means convincing one person to spay or neuter their pet. Inform them about the risks to their own pet and to other animals when there are more animals than there are homes. For every kitten born, a shelter will have to pay over $200 to either euthanize another kitty to make space OR fully vet or euthanize the kitten. Even just providing information that could keep a cat in a home helps the shelter!
– Inform people of the risks of declawing! Declawed cats are one of the biggest groups of cats turned in to shelters across the country, and they tend to have the lowest chances of adoption of any group because of the aggression issues, litter box issues, and health problems that cats can, and usually do, develop as a result of the unnecessary amputation. If the aggression issues are too bad, the shelter will have to euthanize because there are no other options for a declawed dangerous cat, whereas aggressive cats who are not declawed can go to colonies and sanctuaries where they don’t have to be around people.
– Further more, inform your vet! The number one reason that vets give for continuing to offer declawing is, “If I don’t declaw this cat, they’ll give up the cat to a shelter.” Shelters and rescues will tell you time and again that they’d rather find a home for the kitty now, while they still have their nails, than to try to find a home for the poor thing in 3 months when they’re turned in anyways. If you can convince your vet to stop offering declawing, you’re saving the lives of cats and the resources of shelters all in one go! Even if you don’t convince them today, if enough of their customers switch from them for offering it or ask them to stop offering it, maybe we can convince them tomorrow.
– Inform people of the risks of dry food! Dry food is a slow acting perpetrator of most of the issues cats find themselves with from obesity to urinary tract diseases to kidney disease. Read the writings of Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins and Dr. Lisa Pierson for a vet’s reasoning for never giving a cat dry food. If we can avoid these all-to-common health problems, kitties with these issues won’t be relinquished to shelters just because their humans can’t afford to care for them anymore.
If you can’t educate, Network. Networking means sharing the story of specific kitties and specific shelters with your friends, family, and even coworkers! Can’t adopt or foster or afford to sponsor that kitty? You can still help them find a home by just letting people know they’re looking for one! Bonus points: If a friend, family member, or a coworker adopt that kitty, you get to be their aunt or uncle and still see them!
If you can’t network, Crosspost. Crossposting means sharing the story of those kitties and shelters on your social media. It can be as involved as networking, but usually, it means sharing every social media story you can from the shelters and rescues you follow to get their rescue charges in front of as many people as possible! It doesn’t take as much work as advocating for a specific cat, and it helps the shelter get the word out there all the more!
Have Any Questions?
We will answer all the questions you have. Contact us today!