Activities and Program Description
The feline is now the most popular companion animal in the world. Unfortunately they are also the animal most euthanized in a shelter environment. With this new rise in feline popularity and population the need exists for assistance resources to help cat guardians understand how solve behavioral problems rather than simply relinquishing their cat, how to deal with feral cats, what to do when their cat gets ill, and how to decrease the cat overpopulation problem. Incorporated in August 2000 (formed in 1996), 21Cats is a non-profit organization which focuses on bettering the lives of felines though innovative and far-reaching assistance and education programs via an online and community presence. 21Cats currently implements the following core programs:
- 21Cats Feral Cat Co-op – The 21Cats Feral Cat Program is devoted to helping feral cats in need worldwide and year round. To do this we use a two-sided approach that helps cats locally and globally. Locally we set up our own feral cat colonies, monitor these colonies year round, and spread the word about how to best take care of feral cats and deal with the cat overpopulation problem. Globally we feel it is just as important to spread the word and help other organizations and states set up their own feral cat programs. Thus we also concentrate on making literature and information about feral cats and how to set up or start a feral cat colony freely available to residents and organizations worldwide.
- Feline Health and Care InfoCenter – To help cat lovers and cat guardians better understand their cats and provide better care for their cats, 21Cats conducts research into feline health and care issues year round. Our Health and Care InfoCenter provides users with free, accurate, reliable, and up-to-date research and information on issues ranging from fleas to FIP. We are also collaborating with other feline organizations and feline companies such as Ralston Purina® (Purina Special Care) to provide them with our articles so that this critical information reaches the widest audience possible.
- ‘Ask the Kitty Nurse’ Hotline – For cat guardians with questions they can’t find answers to on our site, for specific questions, or for immediate assistance 21Cats offers a hotline service. Our ‘Ask the Kitty Nurse’ Hotline allows users to receive fast and accurate answers to feline questions regarding any aspect of cat life. This service is available via e-mail 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our Kitty Nurse is in the office Monday through Friday 10 am to 8 pm (PST) and is on call when not in the office. Most questions are answered within a few hours, and sooner in emergency cases.
- 21Cats Foster Care Programs – 21Cats started our rescue efforts to help fill the gaps left by traditional shelters. Too often we received calls from frustrated cat guardians stating that they had called all the shelters in their area but that the shelters either didn’t have room for their cat, or did have room but couldn’t guarantee their cat would not be euthanized. We felt that there needed to be a better way to help feral, displaced, unsocialized or homeless animals. Many shelters don’t have the resources to try to socialize totally feral cats, cats with severe behavioral problems or cats who simply do not do well in the traditional shelter environment. And many shelters can’t take older cats, sickly cats, or cats who become upset and have behavioral problems due to the loss of their home. For many of these types of felines the result of taking them to a shelter is a life in a small cage or worse yet, euthanasia. 21Cats reaches out to these types of cats, creating a non-traditional no-kill foster-based adoption agency.
- 21Cats Kitten Rescue Program – 21Cats rescues litters of kittens and provides them with foster care until they are 12 weeks old. At which point they are adopted into loving homes! 21Cats makes sure that each kitten gets the best care possible. This includes providing 24 hour foster care, giving appropriate veterinary attention as needed, making sure each kitten is tested for FIV and FeLV, making sure that each kitten receives all of his/her vaccinations, and getting each kitten spayed or neutered.
- Distribution of InfoCenter Articles – We also make our Health and Care InfoCenter articles available in print form. Our articles are distributed free of charge to low-cost clinics, shelters, and organizations. Again this allows us to make sure this critical information reaches the widest audience possible.
- 21Cats Community Website – We feel that a sense of community is very important for connecting to and educating cat guardians. Thus our website also offers many other features including discussion groups, counseling during times of grieving, tributes to cats lost, chats, and polls to create an online community for cat guardians and cat lovers to connect to each other and discuss feline issues.
Whether it is an cat guardian has to surrender her pet, a cat guardian who needs a little advice on declawing, needs to know how to help a stray cat in the area, or needs medical information for their cat, each day thousands of guardians receive important advice, information and assistance that helps them to help their cats lead happier and healthier lives.