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Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta at capacity for cats

Adoptable cats at the Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta. Courtesy: Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta

The Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta, based in Calgary, needs your help finding loving homes for kitties as the organization hits maximum capacity.

Read more: Calgary Humane Society ‘bursting at the seams with dogs,’ needs help

As of Sunday, the foundation has about 275 adoptable cats — but that number will fluctuate because more cats are always incoming.

“We always have a lot of cats and kittens looking for homes, but this year, we’re running at about double what we normally do,” said Rachael Finseth, cat program manager at the foundation, on Sunday.

“There’s been a lot of requests for cats coming into care. There’s been a lot of requests for assistance and surrenders.”

Cat overpopulation in Alberta

In terms of cat overpopulation, the situation is dire in Alberta, Finseth said.

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“We’re getting requests all across the province, whether it’s urban, it’s rural, whether it’s for one cat, whether it’s for 50 cats,” she said.

“I’ve been doing this for about 15 years now, so in the last 15 years, I would say this year is definitely a more dire situation than years past. It’s been a real struggle to keep up with the demand for assistance for these cats.”

Read more: Lethbridge animal shelters ‘100 per cent full’ going into winter

It’s crucial to get your cats spayed or neutered, Finseth said.

“They can start reproducing as early as five months of age, which lots of people don’t realize,” she said.

“Cats can have upwards of eight kittens in a litter easily, so all of a sudden, you go from having two cats to having 10 cats, and it can get out of control pretty quickly and pretty easily.”

Advice for new cat parents

Regardless of age, cats need attention, Finseth said.

“They need outlets for their energy. They need lots of environmental enrichment,” she said.

“I always recommend if you’re adding a kitten or a young adult cat that you consider two — if you don’t have one in your home already. They tend to keep each other busy and preoccupied, so sometimes getting two is easier than getting one.”

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Adoptable cats at the Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta. Courtesy: Animal Rescue Foundation of Alberta

Apply online for cat adoptions. The foundation is looking for the best animal-human match to set everyone up for success.

“We do ask that people take at least one night after visiting with the kitties because it’s so exciting when you meet them and they’re so fluffy and they’re so cute. But we really want everyone to go home… and make sure that it’s the right time to add a cat to your home and that you’re going to be able to provide for their needs into the future,” Finseth explained.

“The following day, if you feel that you can provide the cat with everything that they need for the next 15 to 20 years, we can proceed with the adoption from there.”

Available cat personalities

The foundation has quite a variety of kitty personalities and temperaments to suit yours.

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“We have kitties that kind of want to do their own thing. They kind of hang out. They come to you and they want their attention when they want their special treats or their food bowl filled but otherwise are just happy to sit beside you on the couch and watch some Netflix,” Finseth said.

“We also have some cats that we call Border Collie cats or puppies, and they want to race around the house all day and they want you to play games with them all day. They want tons of stuff to do and need tons of stuff to keep them occupied.

“We also have some super snuggly, super adorable cats. We call them shoulder cats or scarf cats that like to drape themselves across your neck and just have you carry them everywhere. They can be your whole world, and they would just love that.”

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