Chloe is one of the cats at ARTS Senior Animal Rescue who needs a new home. (Contributed photo).

Too many cats, not enough homes is prevailing problem in central Alberta

Fewer options exist for older cats since ARTS Rescue stopped taking more felines

An animal rescue group that’s swamped with older cats has stopped taking in any more felines.

ARTS Senior Animal Rescue program had been focusing on rescuing older cats and dogs in Red Deer, Edmonton and Calgary.

The group has decided to shut its doors to cats, since its foster homes for felines are completely full, with a waiting list of more than a year and a half.

It’s a sad fact that cats are harder to adopt than dogs, said Blair Douglas, the group’s Calgary co-ordinator.

“They are perceived as being less warm,” he explained — although Douglas feels cats come with different personalities, just like dogs — from affectionate to more timid or aloof.

Surprisingly, many people also have a superstition about back cats: “Witchcraft hasn’t existed for hundreds of years,” but the black cat stigma persists, he said.

Douglas knows that animal rescue groups across the province are having an issue with too many cat surrenders.

In Red Deer, the Central Alberta Humane Society is telling callers that 200 cats are already in its care and 150 more are on a waiting list to get into the shelter.

Although the society’s executive director was unavailable to comment Thursday, a receptionist said this has been the situation for some time.

Since ARTS (the Animal Rescue Transfer Society) is no longer taking in senior cats, fewer options exist for people who want to give up their older pets — which are harder to adopt than younger ones, said Douglas.

Douglas feels pet owners owe it to their older animals to try to work out whatever problems they are having, rather than giving up on them.

A common issue for some older cats is they will quit using their litter box. If the vet gives the cat a clean bill of health, it might be due to forgetfulness, so the answer could be as simple as setting up a second litter box in the house, said Douglas.

Having adopted a street cat himself, he knows some of his pet’s ingrained behaviours were developed because of its early environment. For example, he said his pet Sage doesn’t know how to get along with other animals, so it must be the only pet in the house.

While some cats and dogs are surrendered for good reasons, including the death of their owners, he hopes more people will understand that being a pet owner is a long-term commitment for the life of the animal.

Otherwise, he believes population control is the main answer to Alberta’s proliferation of unwanted cats. Douglas urges people to have their pets spayed or neutered.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Buddy is one of the cats at ARTS Senior Animals Rescue who needs a new home. (Contributed photo).

Just Posted

Province urged to clean up Aspen Beach

Rotting vegetations and mud turning off beach-goers

Backers of successful ice fish hut registration program would like to see it go province-wide

A provincial government-led program would have more regulatory clout

Red Deer Fall Home Show on this weekend at Westerner Park

The Red Deer Fall Home Show is the place to be for… Continue reading

Maintenance and upgrades dominate city’s capital budget

Maintaining existing infrastructure eats up most of the capital budget costs

Red Deer’s proposed aquatic centre could be sidelined for the forseeable future

New economic realities must be faced, says Mayor Tara Veer

WATCH: Red Deer Citizens on Patrol monitoring downtown with new program

Volunteers will patrol downtown Red Deer to help keep the city safe.… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Red Deer River Naturalists Flower Focus Group Meeting. When: Oct. 16… Continue reading

Meet the candidates running in Red Deer-Mountain View

Each of the candidates running in the Red Deer-Mountain View riding were… Continue reading

FAA confronts Boeing over internal messages revealing flaws

DALLAS — A former senior Boeing test pilot told a co-worker that… Continue reading

Protest against open-pit gold mining planned during Nova Scotia mining show

HALIFAX — A public rally critical of open-pit mining practices was set… Continue reading

GM workers called back to Oshawa plant after U.S. union reaches tentative deal

General Motors has recalled all workers to its assembly plant in Oshawa,… Continue reading

Canadian business needs Brexit certainty but Johnson plan only a start: observers

TORONTO — Experts warn that a post-Brexit United Kingdom will present Canadian… Continue reading

Sam Waterston goes Jane Fonda: Both arrested in D.C. climate change protests

So much for law and order. Jane Fonda’s aspirations to get arrested… Continue reading

Deep-sea explorers find sunken warship from key Second World War battle

Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships… Continue reading

Most Read