Feline Friday

On today’s #FelineFriday let’s talk about second-hand smoke!

What is second-hand smoke?

People who inhale the smoke of tobacco products take “first-hand” smoke into their lungs. Second-hand smoke is the smoke inhaled by non-smokers from one of two sources: the smoke produced by the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe OR the smoke exhaled by the smoker who inhaled it in the first place. Direct contact with a tobacco product is not necessary to be exposed to the dangers of smoking.

Why is this dangerous to my cat?

Cats are more prone to develop cancers of the mouth and lymph nodes because of secondhand smoke. When cats groom themselves, they lick up the toxic substances that have accumulated on their fur.

Did you know?

That cats who live with people who smoke more than a pack of cigarettes a day have three times the risk of developing lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system?

The best step you can take to protect your pets from the effects of secondhand smoke — not to mention protecting your own health in the process — is to stop smoking altogether. If you notice any signs that your pet has been affected my secondhand or thirdhand smoke, contact your veterinarian right away. Catching signs of cancer early can help drastically improve your pet’s chances of recovering from the disease.

Read more here

Looking to quit? Find resources here


Feline Friday

Say it louder for the people at the back! Bengals are not your average cat! 

As leaders in Animal Welfare in our community it is our responsibility to educate on the responsibilities of pet ownership. We have recently noticed an increase in calls for assistance from owners of Bengal cats. Why would that be you may ask? That is because Bengals are not your average cat.  

Bengals are Domestic Cats, recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Canadian Cat Association (CCA). Bengal cats are descendants of the Asian Leopard Cat, which was first outcrossed with a domestic cat in 1963. Initially, the Bengal breed was created by taking an Asian Leopard Cat and crossing it with a Domestic cat. Today, this practice is no longer necessary, or desired. The Asian Leopard Cat should stay in their natural habitat. Today’s domestic Bengal cat comes from breeding Bengals to other Bengals. For more about the history of the Bengal Breed visit TICA. 

Every Bengal cat is unique, yet they do share many common traits. Like all cats, they are individuals and have their own likes and preferences. Bengals are highly intelligent and curious cats. They can figure out how to open doors, drawers, and tuck away in places where you simply can’t find them! Bengals are playful, and athletic. They require lots of regular play, stimulation and enrichment. For this reason, they do not do well being left alone for hours at a time. If you are not home often, they may not be the best cat for you. Bengals love catios, exercise wheels, tall climbing towers and toys, because of their athletic nature and high energy. Some Bengals LOVE to chatter – LOUD. They may not be the best choice, for apartment-dwellers. 

Bengals can be high maintenance pets requiring a lot of stimulation, enrichment and interaction. If they do not have these needs fulfilled, they will manifest their frustration in a myriad of behaviour issues including but not limited to:  

  • Inappropriate Urination 
  • Aggression 
  • Separation Anxiety 
  • Counter-surfing 
  • Door-darting 
  • Scratching or Biting 
  • Extreme vocalization 

The most common calls we receive about Bengals are pet owners looking for help with house soiling or aggressive/destructive behaviour. Often these pet owners are looking to surrender these cats. If you are looking to purchase a cat from a breeder please do your research on the breed and ensure that your breeder is registered with a reputable association (TICA, CCA) and offers support with any of these common Bengal behaviours. 


Staying Connected. March 11

Dear friends of the animals,

As we look ahead to Spring and reflect on the last year, we recognize that, for many of us, the last year has brought great change.  Here at the HBSPCA we were not immune to the changes and while things may look a little different these days one thing that has not and will not change is our commitment to Animal Welfare.

Earlier this week we received a call for help from an overwhelmed senior in our community who had found themselves with more cats than they could care for.  We all know how quickly 2 cats can become 5, 10 even 15 cats.  Our team quickly put together a plan and today we welcomed 7 adult cats and 5 newborn kittens to the Hamilton Burlington SPCA.

It’s been a big day for our feline friends, but they are settling into their temporary home here at the shelter.  Many are fighting an Upper Respiratory Infection, none are fixed, all will need vaccines, flea prevention, deworming and a full exam by our veterinarian.  Their road to recovery has begun and we will be with them every step of the way.

Our commitment to Animal Welfare is unwavering and extends far beyond the pets in our shelter.  With today’s situation we were able to provide food and support for spay/neuter services for the cats that will be remaining in the home, part of our commitment to keeping pets and people together.  We will return to the home to secure the few cats that eluded our staff today and ensure that everyone receives the care and support that is needed.

The care that we can provide is made possible by your generous donations.

Make a difference in an animal’s life by donating HERE today


Feline Friday

On today’s #FelineFriday let’s talk litter!

A quick pop quiz for you first….. If you have 3 cats in your home how many litter boxes are recommended? Find the answer at the bottom.

Some litter facts you may not be aware of

Litter boxes need to be BIG!

In fact, they should be one and a half times the length of your cat. Your cat should also be able to see anyone approaching them while they are in the litter box. Cats are in their most vulnerable state while they are using the litter box and we want them to feel safe and secure or they will look for another place where they do feel safe to go the bathroom

With or without a hood

Outdoor cats do not eliminate in a cave like setting and we are pretty sure that a port a potty is not your favourite place to use either. Imagine that was your only option. Eventually you may seek another place to go the bathroom. If you absolutely can’t live without a hooded litter box, you will want to ensure that the lid is clear so the cat can see out and that it is NOT the only option for your pet

How often to scoop

At LEAST once but preferably twice a day. Cats are incredibly clean animals and do not want to step on urine clumps or feces every time they need to use the litter box. We are pretty sure that you HATE using an unflushed public restroom, right??

Where do I put the litter boxes

Just about anywhere! The bathroom, the spare room, the living room etc… Let’s get rid of the myth that the litter box is smelly, dirty and gross. There are certainly some places that you do NOT want to put the litter box. Basements by the furnace, or laundry rooms…they are loud and scary and not a safe, secure spot. In a closet…..we would refer back to the port a potty image They should also not be in the same place as their food and water. Do you eat your lunch beside the toilet?

You have cats! Cats need to go to the bathroom! Don’t make it difficult for them and they will reward you by using the box all the time. Big boxes, open areas and keeping them clean will make a world of difference.

The rule of thumb is one more litter box then cats. So for 3 cats you would ideally have 4 litter boxes.


Staying Connected. February 11

It feels like so long ago since daily life changed dramatically last March.  Like many of you, the staff at the Hamilton/Burlington SPCA are missing face to face interactions with each other, with our volunteers and most importantly, the individuals and families we serve. Also, perhaps like you, our eyes are screen weary from so many online meetings.   The good news is these tools are in place to help us keep distanced and stay connected during this pandemic.

The pandemic has changed not only the way we live, work, and play but the way that we adopt a new family member.  We moved to an online, contact-free adoption process and the response has been fantastic! As we approach the Family Day weekend, we are reminded that pets are such an important part of our families especially during these challenging times.

Since March 2020 we have matched 548 pets with new, forever families.  Dogs who remind us that it is important to get outside and go for a walk; cats who are perfect cuddle buddies for movie nights at home; rabbits, guinea pigs and even hamsters that provide companionship and help teach our children valuable lessons about caring for a pet.  Our pets can be a friend, a great listener, an exercise partner and even a co-worker for those now working from home.  We imagine that many pets have made an appearance in those Zoom calls!

We wanted to share a few updates from families who have welcomed a new friend from the HBSPCA into their homes:

Ash, now Penny’s mom wrote –

“So… I gotta say, thank you for seriously the world’s most perfect puppy. You know when you get a new cat and they disappear for several days under the furniture and you kind of forget you got one? Our experience with Penny has been the EXACT opposite of that. She is clearly as in love with us as we are with her. She howled the whole way home and we haven’t heard a peep since. She is so happy and engaged and I can’t say enough about it. Thank you!

The foster mom (for Penny) really did her job for sure! I’m shocked at how much she knows. She was even sitting for the boys. She even slept last night from 9 until 5:30!! We are over the moon!”

Meringue, now Juniper’s mom shared this with us –

“Hope you’re doing well. I just wanted to reach out and give you an update on Meringue (I call her Juniper now). She’s such a sweet bunny and she seems very happy in her new home. She loves exploring and eating, she’s not a picky eater in the slightest. She’s a bit of a troublemaker and loves to knock things over or sit on my laptop during zoom calls but isn’t too much of a chewer so it’s been a pretty easy transition from the X-pen to free roaming. She doesn’t seem to mind being picked up, though. I don’t do it frequently and likes hanging out on my bed watching Grey’s Anatomy with me. Couldn’t have asked for a better bunny! My friends and I are very much in love with her.”

DJ and She-Ra’s new family sent us this update

“Hi – just wanted to let you know that DJ and She-ra are amazing! They are both super curious and I’m amazed at how affectionate they are.  Of course, a bit skittish, but settling into their space – eating and drinking and even a bit of play.   As you said, lots of hugs!! They are bringing us such joy!  Their curiosity is hilarious!  

Thanks so much – I think this was a really good match.  We are all really pleased and look forward to having a lot of fun together!!”

The Hamilton/Burlington SPCA goes to great lengths to ensure that pets are appropriately matched with their new family and provides so much more than just a simple transaction.  Our all-inclusive adoption fee includes:

*a lifetime of support following the adoption

*nutrition information and support (and easy home delivery options)

*spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations, medical care and so much more

*bag of nutritious food delivered to your home from our partners at Royal Canin Canada

We look forward to matching many new pets with their forever families.

In these challenging times we thank everyone for sharing their stories and continuing to support pets and their families. We hope you enjoy a special Valentines Day and Family Day weekend with your loved ones, whether they are people or pets.