Nov 17 2017

The Importance of Play in Cats

Contrary to the adorable picture above, playtime is not just for kittens! Adult cats enjoy and benefit from playtime as well. Even senior cats like to get in on the fun! This blog post is meant to educate our readers on the importance of play in cats, and how it can answer many questions you may have about your cat’s behavior!

When kittens first start to play, they are very young, and they learn social skills, and mimic hunting behavior. The next time your cat is playing, pay attention. Does your cat wiggle its butt before pouncing on a toy? Cats do this to steady themselves before they pounce on their prey (or toy). Are your cat’s eyes dilated or constricted?  Before they pounce, their pupils might be dilated. This is to take in a larger surrounding area and it means they’re excited. Once they have caught their prey (toy), their pupils might be more constricted to focus on the one object. What do they do with the toy? Toss it in the air, carry it around, paw at it, scoot it across the floor to chase it around more, or hold and kick it. They might not want to share their prey/toy with others, including their human! Some toys are so valuable, and if you interrupt your cat, they might swat at you or growl.  Let them have their prize!

It’s all about the hunt. The best way to play with your cat is to mimic a cat’s hunting sequence. Following this sequence fulfills their need to hunt. Starting with a wand toy, move it around to entice them. Move it around the way bugs or birds flit around, or a snake slowly moves around objects. Lead your cat around furniture, through a tunnel, up and over the sofa, etc… Some cats prefer slow movements and others prefer fast movements. See what your cat prefers most! Mix it up a little even; allow your cat to catch the toy often, otherwise they might become frustrated and lose interest.

Some cats will play for a few minutes, others will continue to play for 20 minutes or more. Once you have an idea of how long your cat usually will play, slow the movements down during the last 5 minutes of the play session, and then completely stop all movement (in other words, the cat has killed its prey). Once it’s “dead”, cats often leave the toy alone. Give your cat a few treats, or feed your cat its meal immediately afterwards. This makes the cat feel fulfilled, in that they have hunted, caught, killed and is now eating their prey. Their natural instincts should take over, and after a good meal, they will likely groom themselves and then take a nice, long nap.

Cats tend to play more often in the early morning and early evening. That is because cats are crepuscular; meaning, they tend to be more alert and playful during twilight hours. Because cats are both a predator and a prey animal, this is the best time of day to hunt, but also to be on the move to avoid their own predators.  This is often the reason guardians are woken up by their cat running around around the house or asking to be fed at this time of day. Providing mental and physical enrichment can help to alleviate any stress a cat might be experiencing. A fulfilled and tired cat is a good cat! If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your cat, please consult with your veterinarian first.

Types of Play:

  • Individual play – leave cat toys lying around; rotate toys weekly or as needed so they don’t become bored; kongs with treats or some canned food inside; strategically place toys as if they are hiding (keeps cat busy when you are out)

  • Team Play (person & cat) – increases the bond between human and cat, as it is a positive experience; for cats that are very exhuberant and are high energy, it provides safe distance so the cat doesn’t grab or bite anything except the toy; wand toys should never be left out unsupervised since cats could ingest the wire, string or feathers; depending on cat’s energy level, play session should last 10-20 mins. per session; some cats need several pay sessions throughout the day.  Cats at Wayside Waifs highly recommend Da Bird, the Cat Dancer or the Cat Charmer wand toy.

  • Playing with another cat (or dog!) – some cats love to have a buddy of their own to play, chase, and wrestle with.

The following is a video where Mercury, a shy and fearful cat, is using play to reduce stress and build trust with people. Mercury came in two days ago, and was untouchable. Now look at Mercury! It truly shows how important play is in helping cats relax, and enjoy their time at the shelter, and more importantly, in their homes! Click on the link here to enjoy!

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So, don’t just leave toys out for your cat to play with, but take the time to play WITH your cat. They will love you for it!

Meet some of our fun feline friends, and canines, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Edited by Teryn J. Written by guest Bonnie Still-Wayside Waifs’ Feline Care Manager, and certified Cat Behavioralist.


Nov 15 2017

Waif Wednesday

It’s time to meet our Waifs of the Week; Captain Jack, Thomas, and Misha!

**Captain Jack is currently staying in a foster home.  If you’d like to schedule a time to meet him, please contact Wayside Adoptions at (816)986-4426. Thanks!**

This is the lovely Captain Jack, a handsome three year old Terrier mix. He is cute and such a character!  His journey has been a challenging one, but he has made some real progress. He will still need help with that journey, but he is ready to find that perfect family! Wayside Waifs is unsure of his full past, but we can tell he has experienced some unfriendly situations, but he is building his trust! Jack is looking for a patient home with people who understand his needs. He was originally brought to Wayside Waifs because he was wandering the streets of Grandview, Missouri, and animal control picked him up. He was very scared and anxious when he first arrived. Based on his past, Jack decided he would love a nice family that understands his quirks and challenges, and will work through them with him. He has really hit the jackpot here as well, because he was put into foster care to get out of the daily stresses of shelter life. He is so lucky, that he had TWO foster homes! His  foster families love him so much, despite the fact that he can be ornery at times.  They stay calm and patient with him and they praise him when he is a good boy, so that he learns what is expected of him as he gains confidence at the same time. He is not fully housebroken yet, but he is making excellent strides in learning and keeping up with each family’s schedules. Jack can be a talented escape artist, but Foster mom has crated him along with another dog, and having company really made him feel better. He sleeps in the human’s bed or his own bed undisturbed, quiet as a mouse. He loves to ride in the car, and snuggle with you! He is also really good at entertaining himself with toys. He really enjoys being in the kitchen when Foster Mom is cooking, because she is fun to watch, and maybe he can get a snack! Once he warms up to someone, he becomes their best friend. He is an excellent walking companion, and will walk right by your side. He loves to greet the other dogs with a bark, or “Hello!” Because of his escape artist tendencies, he does need to be leashed at all times when he is outside. He is able to chew, dig, and wiggle out of almost anything, so he does like to keep you on your toes! Definitely keep an eye out for him when he is outside. He is still learning what a true home life is like, so he gets a little curious and sniffs his way into things he should not. However, once he bonds with you and your family, he will not want to escape as much. He just needs that initial time to learn that he can trust you! He is very nice to all the dogs he meets, and he has learned from them as well! He does so well with them, he would prefer a canine companion in his forever home. He even does well with cats! Because of his timidness, kids tend to intimidate him. He asks that he goes to a home without kids under the age of twelve. Captain Jack is truly sweet as can be, and he has learned a lot from both of his foster homes, and being at Wayside Waifs in general. He has blossomed into a loving dog, and we are so happy with his progress, and cannot wait to see him continue to grow. Call our Adoptions team and ask for Captain Jack, and you will never regret it!

You can learn more about Captain Jack here.

Please welcome Thomas, a handsome five year old Domestic Shorthair mix. He was originally surrendered to Wayside Waifs as his old owners had a change in lifestyle. That is okay though, because Thomas is ready to find his people-and that might just be you! Thomas has some striking features, such as the nice blue-grey coat and pink nose. He was a little timid when he first came to Wayside Waifs, but he has made some friends with the staff and volunteers, and quickly became a favorite. Thomas is all about being with you all the time, and he would make a great sidekick! He also loves to talk with people, so he would love to have a great listener in the family. Honestly, Thomas is fantastic, and is ready to settle into that forever family lifestyle, and he hopes it is with you! Come check him out!

Learn more about Thomas here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

Meet Misha, a pretty eleven month old American Pit Bull Terrier mix. She was originally brought to Wayside Waifs after she was picked up as a stray, wandering the streets alone. That is just fine, because she is ready to find her people! She has some wonderful brown and white markings, and is a slim forty pounds. She knows several commands such as sit, down, come, shake and roll over. Roll over happens to be her favorite command….because that means she can get a belly rub out of it too! Belly rubs are the best!!! Misha is a leaner; meaning she loves to be against you and just sit next to you. She is a social butterfly and loves meeting new people. She would be a great addition to your family! She does ask that you bring in all your children and canine friends to meet her-to make sure you are the right fit! When visiting our adoptions campus, please ask for Misha!

You can learn more about Misha here.

You can meet all of our wonderful animals, including our Waifs of the Week, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Nov 8 2017

Waif Wednesday

Please welcome our Waifs of the Week: Wanda, Myrtle, and Altair!

This is Wanda, a beautiful four year old Beagle mix. She was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs from her previous shelter after they ran out of space for her. Not to worry, because she is so looking forward to finding her forever home, and that home just might be yours! Wanda is a happy, energetic girl, so she will do best in a home that can play and go on regular walks and runs! She is quickly becoming a staff and volunteer favorite because of how expressive she is. She is also super friendly and affectionate, so you get the best of both worlds. She has not learned any basic obedience yet, but she is ready to! She is treat motivated, so present her with yummy treats and she will know basic commands in no time! She has met other dogs at Wayside, and she did okay. She can try and lead the playing and socializing, so she may need a dog that matches her play style. If you have any other dogs at home, it would be great if you could bring them along to meet her, to make sure they are a good pair!  In fact, bring the whole family so they can all get acquainted. She is ready to go home, and she hopes it is with you!

You can learn more about Wanda here.

Please welcome Myrtle, a gorgeous ten year old Domestic Shorthair mix. Myrtle is experienced in life, and is a sweet and cuddly cat. She was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs after her previous shelter ran out of space for her. That is just fine, because she is ready to find her forever home, and maybe that is with you! Her Felinality rating is Party Animal, in other words, she is the life of the party! She loves to be around people, and seeks out attention and love! She enjoys your company best, but she also loves to play with any cat toy. Honestly, it is the best of both worlds if she can play with you! When coming to Wayside to visit Myrtle, she is in Kitty City, with her friend Pringles! Front and center, you will not be able to miss her!

Learn more about Myrtle here.

Meet Altair, a handsome, seven year old Australian Shepherd mix looking for a place to call his own. He was originally transferred to Wayside Waifs after his previous shelter ran out of space for him. That is okay though, because he has quickly become a staff and volunteer favorite here, and is enjoying his time before he finds his forever home! He was quickly adopted out, but brought back because they did not have a safe yard for him to romp in. They did provide some wonderful information on Altair though! He is an easy-going and social guy. His favorite thing is to hang out with humans of any kind. He loves long walks, and is an excellent walker with his leash! He enjoys staying fit after all! He is also really smart, so he is ready to learn new things with you. He is treat motivated, so present him with yummy treats and he will be trained in no time. After a play session, he would love to cool down with snuggle time. Honestly, Altair is a lovable guy with a big heart. When you visit Wayside, ask for the sweet Altair, and you will not be disappointed!

Learn more about Altair here.

You can meet all of our adoptable pets, including our Waifs of the Week, during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn J.


Sep 8 2017

Lottie: Happy Tails

Being employed with Wayside Waifs is a very rewarding experience, and volunteers have the same feeling. Sometimes you get those special cases with cats or dogs and you cannot help but root for them. Lottie is one of those cases. Pictured above is the day Lottie came in, with a staff member holding her for a picture and then receiving her shots.

Lottie’s intake name was Sassy, I’m assuming because she was very vocal! She was given updated flea, tick, and worm treatments along with appropriate vaccines. They were roughly two or three weeks old at this time. She had five other siblings who were rescued from a hoarding situation. Our vets examined them on intake and noticed they had ulcers on their tongues, meaning they were suspect for Calicivirus.

Calicivirus is a common respiratory disease in cats. If a cats unvaccinated, or living in poorly kept conditions, they are more susceptible to the disease. Lottie’s litter was unvaccinated and leaving in a hoarding situation, so it is no surprise they developed the disease. The infection can occur in a cat at any age, but the most common age for cats is a kitten six weeks or younger. There are vaccines for the prevention of calicivirus, but it hasn’t been proven to protect it from all cats. The symptoms are flu-like, so once you catch those you would take the animal to a vet and get a proper diagnosis, and get antibiotics to treat it.

Lottie and her siblings were placed in our foster care program with veteran foster mom Annie Hughes. Annie has housed several fosters, and her specialty is litters upon litters of kittens. Annie recalls that Lottie’s siblings “were one of the cutest litters I’ve ever fostered. Three calico girls, and three spotted ones. And they were all sweet and cute!”

Here’s one of Lottie on her own!(Or two)

 

After approximately a week of antibiotics, their tongue ulcers were healed and their upper respiratory symptoms were gone. They were placed on one more week’s worth of medicine just to be safe. After they were fully healed, it was time to wait to be of age and weight to be altered and put up for adoption!

As mentioned above, I had worked at Wayside during this time and fell in love with Lottie’s pictures. I spoke to Annie directly and she was very excited that I found a kitten I liked. Normally I was able to withstand the power of cuddly kittens, but she wore me down. She offered to set up a time to come meet the litter and see if she was truly the right fit. After the meeting, it was over. I definitely wanted to adopt her, and I did!

While most of the time she does her own thing, she does like to cuddle every now and then. Our vet is terrified of her and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has two older sisters-a dog Cleo and a cat Sahara. She enjoys playing with Cleo, but Sahara doesn’t necessarily enjoy Lottie. That’s still a work in progress! I can’t imagine life without her, and I know that if it wasn’t for Wayside, Lottie and her siblings would still be in that hoarding situation getting sicker and sicker. I’m happy to report she has a clean bill of health and is enjoying her eventful life so far at a year+ old. Thank you Wayside!

You can find your own buddy at Wayside Waifs during our adoption hours!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 12pm-8pm
  • Thursday: 12pm-8pm
  • Friday: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


Aug 11 2017

FIV: Fabulous, Invincible, and Valuable

FIV(Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) is a complex retrovirus that causes immunodeficiency disease in domestic cats. In non-fancy jargon, basically the cat’s body is unable to properly protect the immune system. As a result of immunodeficiency, most infected cats do not show symptoms and have a normal life expectancy, but they are prone to developing other infections and certain types of cancer. We adopt out FIV positive cats, and I just want to showcase how great they are, by explaining their unique quality.

A retrovirus, such as FIV, is slow-moving and can lay dormant in the body for months and even years. That is why most infected cats do not show symptoms right away and live a normal life expectancy. Many people compare it to the human virus HIV(Human Immunodeficiency Virus.) Genetics may or may not play a role in if a cat is more susceptible in getting the virus. The average age is five years at the time of diagnosis, and the likelihood of infection increases with age.

FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through deep bite wounds, the kind that usually occur outdoors during aggressive fights and territorial disputes-the perfect reason to keep your cat inside. Another less common way is if the mother of a litter is FIV positive. She may pass that down to one or more of her kittens, which is where genetics comes into play. FIV is more common in males because of the more aggressive tendencies males get in terms of defending themselves in the outdoor territory, but female cats can get it as well. Cats who live indoors are the least likely to be infected. The most common cat that will get FIV is an un-altered, free-roaming, outdoor male cat who fights.

People cannot catch FIV, only from cat to cat. As mentioned above, symptoms take years to develop, but some of those are fever, weight loss,  anemia, dental disease, and sneezing, to name a few. If you think your cat has FIV, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to get them tested. FIV infection is determined through a blood test, and sometimes they require another test be done later on for confirmation.

At this moment, there is no cure for FIV, but it is very manageable. There is a vaccine, but it does not protect all cats. Keeping your cat indoors is one of the most important things, so they don’t get sick, and they don’t infect others. By spaying and neutering your pet, the chances of getting the infection decrease. A vet might prescribe medicine to combat and secondary infections your cat may get. Monitoring your cat is really the most important way to stay one step ahead of this disease. If FIV continues to stay un-treated, the secondary infections they already develop can lead to life-threatening diseases/conditions.

As mentioned earlier, here at Wayside, we adopt out FIV cats because we believe they provide a unique quality to someone’s life, including ours! We have five FIV positive cats currently looking for their forever home. I figured I would take this opportunity to introduce them.

This handsome man is Blackbob. You can learn more about him here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

This dashing orange man is Jaws. You can learn more about him here. He also has a video, which you can watch here.

This chatty dude is Captain. You can learn more about him here.


This little guy is Edison. You can learn more about him here.


This cuddly boy is Carter. You can learn more about him here.

These are all of our lovely FIV boys. I personally met all of them today, and they have two things in common; FIV and being complete love bugs! What is really nice is this sign is on the back of all of their kennel cards to explain to potential adopters what FIV is. 

Along with this note, our staff and volunteers are always so helpful if anyone has questions. I recommend giving any of these boys a try, they are all so sweet!

We are closed this week due to our Mega Match event during the weekend. I’ll post those hours below.

Monday-Thursday: Closed

Friday: 10:00-7:00

Saturday: 10:00-7:00

Sunday: 12:00-6:00

Written by Teryn


Aug 4 2017

Back-To-School Tips

When August comes around, we start thinking about school. Either the back-to-school sale, school supplies list, making sure everything’s ready, or just dreading the upcoming semester. What we might not always think about is how our furry friends in the home might understand what August means. I’m going through some tips and explaining what our pets feel like during those different schedules after summer.

Not all animals will feel this way when people start going back to work and school, but some will experience sadness and loneliness. They might mope around or sleep more. Maybe your dog starts chewing on things they shouldn’t, or maybe your cat becomes more vocal or pees in the litter box. Many people will not connect this to back-to-school time. Like some people, animals like having routine because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, if kids are playing with them all day, and suddenly they go away for long hours, it can cause confusion and stress.

There are so many ways that we can prepare for to curb this anxiety your pet might feel, and it is a great teaching moment for your children! Here are some tips that can get you through this transition.

1. Transition Time

If you prepare at least one week before school starts, the animal can mentally prepare for your absence. This could be leaving your dog inside during the early hours of the morning by themselves. Only for about thirty minutes or so, and that should help simulate school time. Another good trick is to start breaking out lunch boxes or school supplies that your dog would see when you leave them. They can get used to the items and desensitize them around it, making for an easier transition. 

2. Come up with a routine.

As mentioned above, animals are all about routine, and without it they can have severe depression or separation anxiety. To avoid that, you can start a new routine for all year round, that can benefit the children, you, and your animals. The schedule should include but is not limited to feeding, bathroom breaks, walks, and exercise/play time at set times each day. You could plan for a morning walk before or after school, and cuddle time in the evening, depending on what your schedule looks like. Coming up with a routine will reduce the stress on your animal.

3. Turn on the TV/music before you leave.

I do this with my animals, because I think they worry more when it is completely quiet. We used to turn on the radio, but now we turn on the TV for them. I usually put it on cartoons because they make the most noise and they can hear happy music. Human voices or calm music helps them adjust from seeing and hearing you all day to just nighttime.

4. Prepare special toys for the environment.

With you and the kids gone, the animals have lost their favorite playmate. If you provide toys throughout the day, and switch them out to make it fun, they will be able to transition. You can also provide food puzzles so they have to play and think while eating their food. We personally hide treats around our living room so they can have that to do as well. Some people will fill a puzzle feeder or Kong toy with peanut butter or cream cheese for an extra treat. Save those “favorite” toys for when the kids come home so they can enjoy it a little more.

5. Think about Daycare.

Sometimes dropping your dog off to daycare will help them make new friends and be busy all day. Cat daycares are few and far in-between, but you can always check to see if someone does that, but cats will not be as upset as dogs will. This will allow your dog to expend some energy, while being in good care and the company of others.

6. Quality Time

It is important to re-connect with your pet at the end of a busy week. With school back in session, your dog may not get as much time playing with your family as during the care-free days of summer. Remember that even though your pet wasn’t at work or school all day, he still needs time to unwind. Consider activities like: Long walks at the park, Lounging around on the couch, Daily walks, even as the days get shorter, A weekend picnic, A weekend hike, A visit to a restaurant or establishment that allows dogs, and A special weeknight brushing.

There aren’t that many tips for keeping your pet calm and collected while going back-to-school, but this is really all it takes. August can be a stressful time for you and your family, but don’t forget about your furry friends!

Come visit Wayside Waifs!

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


Jul 14 2017

Poe: Happy Tails

Being employed with Wayside Waifs is a very rewarding experience, and volunteers have the same feeling. Sometimes you get those special cases with cats or dogs and you cannot help but root for them. Poe is one of those cases. Pictured above is the day Poe came in, with a staff member assisting her with snuggles.

I work in our Admissions department, and I was working the day Poe came in our shelter back in February. She was an owner surrender who originally was found as a stray, and the surrender socialized her so she could be brought in for our adoption program. Below is a photo of Poe when she first came in.

I know what you are thinking. “Awe she is adorable with her stocky legs and big eyes! She must be a Munchkin cat!” Actually, Poe is a regular Domestic Shorthair, but her looks provided a different kind of answer. Every animal is required to have a blood test taken unless it has already been done recently. We drew Poe’s blood, and we noticed something different.

First, there was concern with potential neurological disorders. Our veteran foster Annie Hughes fostered her for a few days to test her vision, hearing, brain power, and litter box usage. The results were positive, as she could track and follow objects with her eyes, she listened well, had a very quirky personality, and she was going just outside of the litterbox, but that wasn’t a huge concern because she was only a kitten. At that point the relief vet decided to draw blood again, but this time, for thyroid issues. She tested positive for Hypothyroidism.

Hypo- or Hyper- thyroids can be in people and animals. Poe has Hypothyroidism, which is an under active thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is in turn an overactive thyroid. Hypo is where the thyroid gland is not producing enough of the hormone that effectively produces iodine. Without that, it can cause a number of symptoms, such as poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of tiredness, constipation, depression, and weight gain. Most people and animals with hypothyroidism symptoms and confirmed thyroxine deficiency are treated with a synthetic long-acting form of thyroxine, known as levothyroxine. Poe looks the way she does because her body is gaining more weight than it should be. With those results, she was put on levothyroxine and sent to foster again with our outstanding volunteer Annie Hughes.

After four doses of her medication, Poe transformed into a different kitty! According to her foster mom, “She runs, jumps, climbs, plays, takes toys to her lair, uses the litterbox every time, covers her poop, covers her uneaten food, communicates normally, grooms herself, solves problems, lounges around, gets picky about food, and expects me to do things her way.” Here are some pictures of her thriving in her foster home. 

 

 

 

 

 

Poe’s foster mom even included a video to showcase Poe’s funny walk. Because of her shape, she had a special kind of strut. You can watch the video here.

She continued to do well in her foster home, and they rechecked her thyroid levels on the twenty-first of March, and everything was back to normal. Poe’s body started to regain it’s normal shape and she started to grow more. Originally there was concern of a hernia that needed to be repaired, but they later dismissed that as her body filled out and she exhibited no pain. After tests confirmed there was no hernia, she was cleared for adoption. However, there was a twist. Her foster mom wanted to adopt her. The picture below was Poe’s ‘gotcha’ day with her new mom! Annie does a lot with our shelter. She fosters, she is in charge of our Waif Runner program, she works with our energetic dogs, and she assesses our cats’ personalities. She does a little bit of everything, and we are eternally grateful. She also fostered my current kitty, and is always happy to cat sit for me, which is amazing. Poe is a lucky girl, and so is Annie! Here are some pictures of Poe now, in her forever home!

 

 

Poe is thriving, and it is stories like this that makes what we do worthwhile. Please send us updates of your furry friend, we love seeing them in a home!

You can meet others like Poe during our adoption hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Thursday: Noon-8pm
Friday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

We have a special going on until Sunday, learn more about that here.

Written by Teryn

 

 

 


Jul 7 2017

Inside Scoop: Feline Care Department

I have worked at Wayside for almost three years now, and something I’ve noticed is whenever I speak to the general public about working here, they are interested in the animals, but they are also curious about the inside jobs of staff and volunteers. Today, I’ve decided to highlight the Feline Care Department. Kitten Season is a time when shelters see an increase in pregnant adult cats and many young kittens who need extra care. During the summer months, kitten season is at an all-time high, but the feline care team are prepared for anything.

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This is Sarah, a previous adoptions counselor who switched departments because it worked better for her schedule. Here she is pictured caring for Ford, who is sick with a mild upper respiratory infection. We were discussing her favorite part of the job, and as soon as she opened Ford’s door, he went in for snuggles.

“This. This is the best.” Sarah went on to say that, “In Adoptions, we knew the big picture of taking care of the animals, but I didn’t know there was this much that goes into it. It’s nice to see their journey and to help them along the way.”

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I asked Sarah what the feline care team is doing to prepare for kitten season.

“Honestly, we are going with the flow for now. We have space still, so we are always prepared for something different everyday. We also are watching for illness more than the usual amount. With moms and kittens, their immune systems are weakened, so I look for signs of illness immediately.”

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This is Lauretta, another previous adoptions counselor turn feline care technician. Lauretta switched departments for a full-time position, and is enjoying the new job. Here she is getting a fresh litter box for some kittens in our Kitten Nursery ward. That room is usually designated for pregnant or nursing mothers and kittens. Lauretta typically worked in cat adoptions, but she enjoys seeing their journey throughout their stay.

“I honestly like seeing how they grow throughout their stay here. They either need help with their shyness or they need medical treatment, or maybe they just want cuddles. I like seeing their progress.” She also thinks cats in general are pretty great!

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This is less than half of our other feline care technicians. We also have team members Shannon, Chris, Sheila, and the feline care manager Bonnie. They are all fantastic in what they do and give 110% in caring for our cats. Bonnie had some insight as to what it is like managing such a wonderful department, and what her favorite part is!

“I would have to say when staff thinks outside the box or takes initiative to do more or to find a way to improve a process. Growth for them.”

Many shelters are already full, but kitten season promises to be as lively as ever. Consider brushing up on your city’s animal control policies and contact shelters to see their availability. Be cautious if you have a raised deck, and check under your car before driving and around the tires. Mother cats often try to find hard to reach places to protect their litter. Most importantly, stay cool out there!

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Adoption Hours:

 

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: Noon-8pm
  • Thursday: Noon-8pm
  • Friday: Noon-8pm
  • Saturday: 10am-6pm
  • Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


Jul 6 2017

Black Cat Fever

At Wayside, we currently have 28 black cats and kittens available for adoption. That may not seem like a big number, but they take up a majority of cats here. Black cats have the stigma of being unlucky, and they also tend to not stand out in the eyes of adopters when looking at a different colored cats. It really is nothing personal, it just always happens that way. We have decided to showcase our black feline friends because of how fantastic they are! The following are some reasons why black cats are so awesome!

1. Ancient Egyptians valued black cats so much, they worshipped one as a goddess. 

Bast was one of the most popular goddesses during ancient times, and she was thought of as a feline goddess. She personified the playfulness, grace, affection, and cunning of a cat as well as the fierce power of a lioness. Her name implied that she was sweet and precious, but that under the surface lay the heart of a predator. So adopting a black cat could mean inviting royalty in your home!

2. They always look clean.

Just like a black car, or black furniture, black cats do not really show dirt or grime that well, so they always look clean. The cat will not care if it is raining, or if it is muddy or dusty outside, they know they will still look good! Adopting a black cat means always having a spotless looking companion, and having the bragging rights to go along with it!

3. They go with everything.

Black is a color that goes with everything and never clashes. Are you wanting a selfie buddy that will not ruin your look? Black is a very slimming color, so they aim to show off your best! A black cat is the way to go. Are you changing the decorations in your house to a new style? No worries, your furry friend will continue to go with the new patterns. Bringing home a black cat means never having to worry about color clashing.

4. They have famous cats in their community.

As pictured above, Salem in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, is a very popular black cat in pop culture. Also famous is Sylvester from Looney ToonsFelix The Cat, Binx from Hocus Pocus, The Cat from The Cat In The Hat, and Lucifer from Cinderella. Black cats are kind of a big deal. Adopting one will probably lead to movie deals and recording contracts. Probably.

5. If they shed, as long as you wear black, it blends in. 

If you have that little black dress on, or black pants, the hair will not show up as much. That is always a positive versus having to use a lint roller all the time minutes before leaving the house. Black cats want love too, they just know you want your clothes hair free as well. Wearing black never seemed so nice right?

6. They have their own day, or days!

Because black cats are so amazing, countries gave them their own day of celebration! In the United Kingdom, October 27th is ‘Black Cat Day’ which encourages people to adopt those furry friends in hopes of sharing their uniqueness. Here in the United States, we have a ‘Black Cat Appreciation Day’ that encourages people to adopt and share photos of their beautiful black cats!

7. They look like Toothless from How to Train your Dragon.

It is like having your own personal dragon! Black cats blend in with the exception of their mesmerizing yellow or green eyes. Because of that interesting look, they have been compared to that popular character Toothless. If you adopt a black cat, you can brag to everyone that you actually own a dragon.

8. They are your own personal paranormal investigator. 

Granted, if you do not believe in ghosts, this one will not pertain to you. However, if you love watching shows like Ghost Adventures and going on ghost hunts, black cats are for you. They come with superstitions, as they were known to be the cats in the Salem Witch Trials. If you hear things that go bump in the night, black cats are for you!

9. You have the best mouser around town.

Black cats are nearly invisible at night, making them the perfect hunter for their prey. If you have a mouse or bug problem, they will be solved with the addition of a black cat. Cats have that predator tendency to hunt, and enjoy a challenge. If they present it to you, it is a sign of respect and they mean to give it to you as a gift, so be courteous!

10. They are like mini Panthers.

Have you ever wanted a jungle cat but being afraid and laws prevented you from owning one? Black cats look like mini panthers, and that is kind of adorable. They have that sleek black coat with those piercing eyes, and they strut like they own the place. Besides bragging about having a cat in general, you can brag about owning a panther!

I think black cats are fantastic, and I think this list proves they are even more. As I said earlier, our shelter is full of these black beauties, and we hate to see them get overlooked as they do. Consider meeting one of our furry friends during our adoption hours! Here are some of our featured black cats and kittens!

This is Lucky, a two year old male black and white tuxedo cat. Learn more about him here.

This is Merida, a four year old female black cat, with similar looks like Toothless! Learn more about her here.

This is Jon, a one year old male black and white tuxedo cat. Learn more about him here.

This is Oat, a four month old female kitten. Learn more about her here.

These are the Ninjas. They are a litter of five black kittens, three girls and two boys. This is their dojo, and they train in here. Always have a buddy when entering their room, as the Ninjas are escape artists. Their names are Aspen, Cherokee, Ruffles, Zazzle, and Fuzzball. Come and meet them today! Or watch them on our Kitty Cam here.

Adoption Hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Thursday: Noon-8pm
Friday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn

 


Jun 23 2017

Fourth of July Safety Tips

It’s the time of year to celebrate Independence Day! It is an annual Federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence and registering as a country, the United States of America. We typically celebrate with family, friends, fireworks, and good times. However, our furry friends don’t enjoy the holiday as much as we do, so we here at Wayside thought it would be helpful to provide tips on Fourth of July safety for our four-legged family members.

1. Have updated ID and photos of all your pets.

This goes without saying, but sometimes the animals get so nervous and scared they might try to run off and find a safe place. Having proper identification and updated photos greatly increases their chances of coming home sooner. At our store Whiskers & Wags, we sell a variety of collars and ID tags that you can purchase on campus.

2. Leave your pets at home.

To avoid something like a lost pet happening, and to ease your furry friends’ stress, consider leaving them at home for the celebration. Most pets do not want to be near fireworks when they are set off, and find the most comfort at home. Please do not lock them in the car either, because they could suffer from heat stroke and/or brain damage.

3. Don’t put insect repellant on your pet.

This also should go without saying, but if your family is having a get-together and you would like to take your pets before the fireworks show, do not put insect repellant or sunscreen on your pet. There are certain ingredients in both that are poisonous for animals, and will have effects like neurological disorders and lethargy.

4. Never leave alcoholic beverages unattended to where your pets could reach them.

Dogs and cats are naturally curious, and if a beer or cocktail is left on the ground, they might consider knocking it over and drinking it. If consumed, the animal can get intoxicated and very weak, and could even go into a coma. Put those drinks on coasters on a high-rise table so they are unable to reach it, and provide fresh water for them to drink instead.

5. Keep your pet on their normal diet.

This is the time of year when people are barbecuing more and more because the weather is nice. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pet severe indigestion and diarrhea.

6. Don’t give your pet access to glow jewelry. 

Glow jewelry is that super popular item that people put in freezers and wraps around your joints in place of bracelets and necklaces. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

7. Don’t force your pet into a costume for the holiday. 

It may seem cute to dress them up in the red, white, and blue, but unless your dog (or even less likely, your cat) loves to play dress-up, don’t push the issue. If they have a medical condition, some sort of loose clothing is definitely acceptable. Also, if your animal shuts down during the fireworks, consider purchasing a thunder shirt, which can be found at our store Whiskers & Wags. They are proven to help make animals feel safe and secure, while keeping anxiety levels down.

8. Do keep matches and lighter fluid out of the animals’ reach.

Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. Keep those items on a high-rise table out of their reach, and all will be well!

9. Consider getting calming treats and Adaptil collars

Calming treats and Adaptil/anti-anxiety collars are both sold in our retail store Whiskers & Wags, and they have been helpful to ease stress for our animals here. The collar mimics the dogs’ natural pheromone that helps ease tension, and can help them relax during a fireworks display, as long as they are indoors. Calming treats will help do the same things, and will taste good as well!

10. Brush up on flea/tick treatment.

Ticks and fleas are more abundant than ever because of the mild winter we had. They will find a host environment in dogs and cats, and during a celebration it might go unnoticed. We also sell seresto collars which help battle unwanted visitors for up to eight months. They will help during that barbecue and high heated areas! They can be found at our retail store Whiskers & Wags.

These are just some tips that help our furry friends, and you, prepare for the celebratory holiday! Enjoy, and be safe! Our retail store Whiskers & Wags is open during our adoption hours, provided below.

Adoption Hours:

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: Noon-8pm
Thursday: Noon-8pm
Friday: Noon-8pm
Saturday: 10am-6pm
Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Written by Teryn


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