About Our Cats

Where do we get our cats?

The cats and kittens that temporarily reside at Halfway Home have all sorts of beginnings. They are:

  • Lost or abandoned
  • Trapped as feral or stray
  • Found by people who have been providing temporary care
  • Special needs requests
  • Owner surrender

When we accept a cat or kitten, we do so as a last resort service. A person surrendering an animal must first check with their local animal control officer or police and the animal shelter that is contracted by their town. If help is not available through these resources, then HHPR can step in. When a cat comes in that is reported as lost, we do what we can to find the owner. We use our Facebook page to search for reported lost cats and to publish photos in hopes the owner will be found.

What sort of care do they receive while at HHPR?

When we first learn of a cat needing our assistance, we arrange for an evaluation to be performed at one of our foster homes. We do this so that we do not contaminate our Ready to Adopt population at our Adoption Facility. We ask that people NOT bring cats to the Facility at 489 Main Street, Caribou. When brought to the foster home, the animal undergoes an immediate review for:

  • Obvious injury or disease needing immediate medical care
  • Identification
  • Fleas and worms
  • General health – nutrition, dehydration, anemia
  • Spay/Neuter status
  • Psychological state

If the cat is not in need of emergency medical care, we provide flea and parasite treatment, food, water, hydration (if necessary), cleaning of dirt and dried fecal matter, and a safe, roomy cage. A vet appointment is made as soon as possible.  During the appointment, the cat will be tested for Feline Leukemia/HIV.  After immediate medical concerns are addressed, such as wounds and infections, the cat is given age-appropriate vaccinations and scheduled for spay/neuter surgery. During recovery, the cat is given as much human interaction as possible. Our volunteers enjoy spending time with the cats.

If a cat tests positive for Leukemia or HIV, they are quarantined to protect the other cats and we work with other rescues across the state to find a suitable situation for them. Euthanasia is a last resort and only done if it’s in the best interest of the animal.

After adequate medical recovery time we assess the cat’s other needs such as behavioral issues that might require further time with HHPR to rehabilitate or a long-term foster placement.

About our Leukemia testing

We test adult cats for Leukemia/FIV as part of our health program using the following procedures. Many shelters use this same formula by vet recommendation.

  1. If a nursing mother tests negative – her offspring are considered negative or if mother is positive they will all be considered positive.
  2. If siblings come in together with no mother at age of 12 weeks you test one of the siblings (the most unhealthy looking one) and the same rule will apply for the rest of the same cat family. Testing kittens under the age of 12 weeks can often result in a false positive reading.
  3. If a shelter is working with a feral colony, some shelters will colony test one or two adult cats, HHPR does the same with the exception that if there are a few different colors in the colony – HHPR will test each different color as the adult cats are trapped. If there is a feral mother, the mother is tested before sterilization surgery and the kittens are considered the same as the mother.

Ready to Adopt

A cat that is not in a medical crisis will be transferred to our facility at 489 Main Street, Caribou. They will have a roomy cage with bed, toys, litter pan, food and water. When they have adjusted to the new environment we determine if they get along with other cats and they can have free roam. Cats are handled by people at least twice each day during cleaning and feeding times. Often our volunteers stop in just to provide them with a warm touch and soft voice. We play soft music in the facility as well as ensure there is daylight and fresh air.

We work in partnership with the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland for our adoptions. We transfer groups of cats and kittens to ARLGP where they continue to receive the highest standard of care and quickly find forever homes.

Read about some very Special Cats.

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