Rescuing and adopting cats in Hamilton

Owners ask:

Concerned people ask:

Curious people ask:

More coming soon

More coming soon

"What does HAS do for cats?"

Hamilton Animal Services (HAS), previously Hamilton Animal Control (HAC), operates the publicly-funded City Shelter/Pound. It's often confused with the privately-funded Hamilton Burlington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HBSPCA.) These two organizations, while housed in the same building on Dartnall Rd., are completely independent and function very differently. HAS, with a mandate to protect people from animals, takes in strays (sick, injured or aggressive), enforces animal by-laws (in response to complaints from the public) and operates a Lost & Found service.

In recent years, many changes have been taking place at HAS that are affecting how these services are delivered. One of the things we (Rescue Hamilton Cats) have been doing is to stay informed about these changes, analyze data provided by HAS, and look into what these changes mean to Hamilton cats and the people wanting to help them. For a current picture of what HAS is doing (and what services they do and don't provide) we refer you to the Report prepared in February 2016.

Why & how should I microchip my cat?

Your cat needs a microchip because every cat is at risk of getting lost and ending up "a stray." It only takes a second - an open door, an unlatched gate or a small distraction is all it can take for your pet to run away and go missingAnd cats are notorious for losing their collars. A microchip is the only permanent ID. As long the contact info is kept current, it greatly increases the odds that, if your cats gets lost, they will make it safely back home. Read more

How (and Why) do I get my cat "fixed?"

Spaying (of female cats) and Neutering (of male cats) isn't a luxury; it's a necessity - something that every cat owner needs to get done.. An unfixed female can have up to three litters a year and an unfixed male can father countless litters. Males as young as 8 weeks can be neutered and it's best to get females spayed before they go into heat (which happens at 4-5 months). As a rule of thumb - the sooner the better.

Along with the every-day basics like food and litter, vet care is one of the costs of having, and loving, a cat. It’s always wise to have a vet you trust to do what’s best for your cat should a health problem arise.

If coming up with the money is an issue (and, yes, spay/neuter can be pricey), it’s worth checking around as prices can vary from clinic to clinic.

If the quotes you get are beyond what you can afford, there is a low-income spay/neuter program in Hamilton run by the HBSPCA

For more about the WHYs and HOWs, click here

How old is my cat (in human years)

Knowing the age of your cat can help in understanding their health and behaviour, and in deciding about adoption. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is 13 to 17 years which is comparable to 80-90 human years. We’ve known lots of kitties who’ve made it to 20-plus!

Converting cat years into human years isn't as simple as some assume because cats mature quickly in the first couple of years of life. A quick way is to add 15 years for the first year of life, then 10 years for the second year of life and after that, add 4 years for every cat year. This means that by year two, a cat has matured to about the same as a 25 year old human.

For a slightly different calculation, the Cat Bible, a book by Tracie Hotchner, suggsts the following list:

  • 1-month-old kitten = 6-month-old human baby
  • 3-month-old kitten = 4-year-old child
  • 6-month-old kitten = 10 human years old
  • 8-month-old kitten = 15-year-old human
  • A 1-year-old cat has reached adulthood, the equivalent of 18 human years
  • 2 human years = 24 cat years
  • 4 human years = 35 cat years
  • 6 human years = 42 cat years
  • 8 human years = 50 cat years
  • 10 human years = 60 cat years
  • 12 human years = 70 cat years
  • 14 human years = 80 cat years
  • 16 human years = 84 cat years

Here is a simple calculator..

Why shouldn't I declaw my cat?/How can I save the furniture?

Declawing for non-medical reasons is very much a North American thing. It caught on in the 1970s and quickly came to be seen as THE way to stop a cat from scratching the furniture. Few owners thought at all about what it entailed or what it meant for the cat.

That's been changing over time and now declawing is coming to be seen as something cruel and unnecessary. 

Colleges that regulate the profession of veterinary medicine have reclassified declawing and define it now as "Unnecessary Veterinary Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery.)" The Ontario College of Veterinary Medicine issued a guideline in 2012 explaining the implications.


What's Happening to Cats at HAS? - Mid-year 2015 Report Prepared by Rescue Hamilton Cats

Hamilton Animal Services (HAS), previously named Hamilton Animal Control (HAC) operates the publicly funded City Shelter/Pound. It's often confused with the privately funded HBSPCA. But these two organizations, while housed in the same building on Dartnall Rd., are completely independent and, with different mandates, function very differently. Read More