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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified veterinarian who is familiar with your pet(s). Also, mentions of product or services do not necessarily imply endorsement by Furrever Friends Rescue & Volunteers.
A: Although we will strive to find a home for whatever animal crosses our path, cats are our specialty. We have rescued dogs on occasion; also, we can provide references for rescue groups specializing in other types of animals. Our PetSmart Adoption Center in Deptford, NJ, hosts only cats.
(By the way, we have no relation to a small dog rescue called "Furrever Friends" in Erlanger, Kentucky. That rescue, which used to own the furreverfriends.org web site address and is still listed on some online directories, is no longer in operation.)
At this time, we are unable to take in any more animals. We are overwhelmed with requests. We hope to have space available in the near future.
Please see more info found on our page: How To Find a Home For a Cat
Anyone interested in adopting a Furrever Friends cat must complete an adoption application, either online or at one of our adoption locations. Once received, our application processing team will get to work, checking references, contacting your vet (if applicable), and verifying that you are allowed to have pets on your property if you rent. Finally, an application processor will contact you personally for a brief interview. If approved, the processor will work with you to make arrangements for the adoption. The length of the process depends on how quickly we can verify your information; it can take as little as a few hours or as long as a couple of weeks. Unless an application can be processed very quickly, we do not do same-day adoptions.
We also charge a $90 adoption fee ($135 if adopting two cats) that covers the costs of basic vet care, vaccinations and spay/neutering (on some of our cats we must spend far and above this amount). At the time of adoption, adopters are asked to sign a legally binding contract stating that they will provide the cat with optimum care, not declaw, keep the cat indoors, and abide by other Furrever Friends policies.
We have a discerning adoption process in place to ensure that the cats in our care go to loving, caring homes where they will truly be a part of the family. We also want to ensure that potential adopters have the best of intentions, have thought through the implications of adoption carefully, and are in a position to care for an animal that may live for up to 20 years.
(In addition to our standard collection, our website also includes "courtesy posts" from individuals not affiliated with Furrever Friends who are trying to find homes for animals. Furrever Friends adoption policies and fees do not apply to these animals; adoptions are handled directly between the adopter and the foster home. Each courtesy post is clearly marked as such on the website.)
That's a reasonable question, as there are so many cats out there in desperate need of good homes. But the $90 adoption fee you pay when you adopt a Furrever Friends cat covers its vet care (and ONLY its vet care, as we make no profit from the fee), including the treatment of any illnesses or injuries it may have suffered. Many of our cats previously suffered from neglect and abuse -- for years, in some cases -- and need medical treatment as a result. All of the cats we adopt out are spayed/neutered, up-to-date on shots, tested for common feline diseases, and are healthy to the best of our knowledge (or, if in need of vet care, receiving treatment). We know our cats well, so if a cat has a physical or behavioral issue, we will give you all the information we have on it so you can make an educated decision whether to give that cat a "forever" home. Contrast this with a "free" cat you may adopt through a friend or classified ad... which will need vet care, shots and testing (minimum $100 in most cases), spaying/neutering (another $100), and treatment for any conditions ($????). Plus, that cat might have a contagious feline disease such as feline leukemia, which can put any other pets in your home at risk. In light of this, a vetted cat is a bargain at $90.
A: If you are a previously approved adopter who has filled out an application within the past year, you do not need to complete a second application. This applies whether you adopted a cat before and wish to adopt another, or were approved but did not actually adopt a cat at the time. However, it does not apply to adopters who returned a cat to us, or who have violated terms of our adoption contract. If you adopted from us more than a year ago, we may ask to re-validate some information.
A: If you don't live in New Jersey, don't worry -- nobody's perfect. :) But seriously, if you need to find an animal rescue near where you live, there are several ways to locate one. Internet search engines such as Google and Bing are location-aware, so they can provide a list of rescues in your area based on a simple search. However, this only works for rescues that have established web sites and phone numbers. You can also search Petfinder for a rescue group within or near your ZIP code. The No-Kill Network maintains a list of no-kill shelters and rescue groups throughout the US. Or, you can ask your veterinarian.
A: These days, many solutions are available to allergy-sufferers so they can continue to enjoy their pets. Talk to your doctor about allergy medications (over-the-counter or prescription), allergy shots, or air filtration systems for your home. Talk to your veterinarian about products for bathing and cleaning dander off your pets so that they will be less likely to produce allergens. For more information on managing animal allergies, download this document.
A: Offer to pay a monthly fee to keep the pet. An extra $25 a month may make your landlord reconsider. Also, see this article from the Humane Society of the United States about how to find pet-friendly rental housing, consult MyApartmentMap.com's online directory of pet-friendly apartments, or look up pet-friendly apartments by ZIP Code using ApartmentList.com.
A: In short, carefully. Many cat owners are concerned that bringing in a new cat will be highly disruptive and stressful to their existing cat(s). But with care and planning, it can be done so that both new and established cats will acclimate nicely. For details, download this step-by-step instruction sheet.
A: Many resources are available to help pet owners defray the cost of spaying/neutering their pets. In South Jersey, Save The Animals Foundation (STAF) offers low-cost certificates that pet owners can present to their veterinarians for spaying or neutering. Nationally, Spay USA provides a similar service. The Animal Protection League of New Jersey (APLNJ) maintains a list of spay/neuter resources in New Jersey. Additionally, consult with your vet or local SPCA or Humane Society chapter about resources available in your area.
The following video stresses the importance of spaying/neutering in a fun way (with apologies to the Beatles)...
A: Furrever Friends, like most animal welfare organizations, has a strict no-declaw policy. We do not declaw cats in our care, and adopters must sign a contract stating that they will not have this amputative surgery performed on one of our animals even if the animal causes damage to belongings. Some of the reasons why can be read at www.declawing.com; we urge you to visit this highly informative site.
Furrever Friends does, however, intake cats that have previously been declawed. Potential adopters interested in a declawed cat should review our cats for adoption to see if a declawed cat is available.
Keeping a cat's claws trimmed will reduce clawing damage. The following video shows a safe and effective technique for trimming a cat's claws:
A: Most cats take to their litterboxes naturally, but sometimes, cats refuse to use them. That, of course, is a problem... but there are solutions to getting your cat re-acquainted with her litterbox. See our page on how to get a cat to use its litter box...
A: Since the adoption of a pet is both a deeply personal decision and a long-term committment, pets should never be given as gifts, even if the recipient claims to want one. Furrever Friends will not adopt out any animal that is to be given as a gift. Instead, the recipient must complete an application, and upon approval, the animal will be adopted directly to the recipient.
If you would like to "surprise" the recipient, you can present him/her with a card and note saying you will pay the adoption fee for a Furrever Friends animal. Then, the recipient can view our website or visit our PetSmart adoption center for possible animals to adopt. An alternative gift idea is to make a donation to Furrever Friends in the recipient's name (and since we are a non-profit organization, the donation is tax-deductible). This is an especially good option if you know someone who loves animals yet is not in a position to adopt.
Additionally, pets should not be introduced to the home around Christmas or any other time that is unusually busy or when you expect lots of company; instead, wait until after the holidays to adopt. For more information about why pets should not be given as gifts, visit this web page.
A: When considering whether to adopt a kitten, consider adopting two instead of one. There are many advantages to doing this that will make the adoption and acclimation process easier, will keep your new friends entertained, will save you work... and will allow you to save two lives instead of just one! Read more reasons why two adopted kittens will double your fun... (.pdf)
A: USE ONLY FLEA AND TICK PRODUCTS RECOMMENDED AND/OR SOLD BY YOUR VETERINARIAN. The active ingredients in many "off the shelf" products are not safe, either for pets or humans. Government regulation of these products has been sketchy, and testing of their impact in the home has been inadequate. The result is that many of these products can pose serious health risks to pets and humans, even when applied as instructed. In particular, avoid products containing carbaryl or propoxur; these substances are highly dangerous, and are banned in the US as of September 2011. Dispose of any medications you may have that contain these ingredients. Additionally...
A: Although it's natural for parents to be apprehensive about how a pet will respond to a new baby, a well-behaved and well-socialized cat will not pose any harm to an infant. A number of "old wives tales" claim that cats will climb into a baby's crib and "suck its breath," killing it, or will try to smother the baby out of jealousy. Although there have been extremely rare instances of cats suffocating babies in their cribs, such stories are largely urban legends that have been debunked. Parents concerned about the interaction between cat and baby should observe both closely, perhaps isolating the cat if necessary. Parents can also buy crib "tents" and other products that will keep cats out of cribs. Naturally, as the child grows older, he or she will need to be supervised around pets, and taught how to interact with them properly.
For more information on preparing pets for the arrival of a new baby, click here.
A: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV, sometimes called "feline AIDS") is an immune-weakening disease that is similar to AIDS in humans. FIV infection is unique to cats, and is not transmittable to humans or other animals. FIV is most commonly spread when an infected cat bites another cat. An FIV vaccine is available, but is not 100% effective; there is no known cure for FIV. Unlike diseases such as feline leukemia, FIV is not highly contagious. Symptoms of late-stage FIV infection include severe weight loss, loss of appetite, diarrhea, seizures, tumors and chronic eye and ear infections. In many cases, however, symptoms do not appear for many years, and FIV-positive cats can live long and relatively healthy lives. Sadly, because of FIV's association with AIDS, shelters and rescue groups often struggle to find homes for FIV cats. Consider adopting an FIV cat, even if you have other cats in your home. As long as the cats do not fight, the chances of virus transmission are virtually nil. You can also talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your FIV-negative cat(s). For more information on FIV, click here. Also, be sure to see our special FIV+ page.
A: Catnip (Nepeta cataria, the most common species out of about 250) is an herb related to mint, and biologists believe that it has an effect on cats similar to that of marijuana or LSD on humans. Catnip contains an oil called nepetalactone, and this is what produces a hallucinogenic "high" in cats when sniffed. Reaction to catnip can vary from cat to cat, with behaviors ranging from wild excitement to complete disinterest; kittens younger than 8 weeks usually ignore it. Catnip is perfectly safe for cats, and they cannot overdose on it. Historically, humans have used catnip as a natural remedy for multiple ailments, and it has a sedative effect when consumed as a tea (pregnant women should avoid catnip, however). Catnip is also an effective insect repellent. Click here for more information on catnip.
A: Animal abuse, cruelty and neglect are against the law in all 50 states in the US, but approaches to it vary by jurisdiction (look up the specifics of your state's anti-cruelty laws here). In the state of New Jersey, you can report animal cruelty by calling the NJ SPCA at (800) 582-5979, or filling out their online form. Elsewhere, you can call your local animal shelter, or call 911 to contact your local police. As with the reporting of any suspected criminal activity, provide authorities with as much detail as you can gather without putting yourself at risk. In most cases, you can ask that your identity be kept confidential.
Animal abandonment is also a crime. If you witness anybody attempting to abandon animals other than surrendering them to a sanctioned animal shelter or rescue, call police.
For more information on reporting animal cruelty, visit the ASPCA's page on the topic here.
Other Shelters and Rescue Organizations (Regional)
Animal Health and Safety
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Resources
Feral Cat Care / TNR