Policy Summary on Feline Welfare

Adoption

Cat adoption costs from $200 per kitten or cat up to 1 year old to cover the cost of routine health care and early kitten care. Cats older than this are adopted from $170 but the true cost of their health care is also around $200 where discounted veterinarian services have been obtained.

No kitten is permitted to be given away. Nor are adopters permitted to avoid routine health care prior to, or that scheduled after adoption.

Members and volunteers of WLPA who are rescuing kittens or cats who are desexed or otherwise treated at WLPA expense, must apply the adoption fee and then reimburse WLPA for these veterinarian expenses.

Assertive rehoming

Assertive rehoming is a principal policy objective of WLPA that enables a no-kill stance. It refers to the systematic, individualised and sustained effort made by a team to rehome a cat or kitten. Multiple, concurrent approaches of known-to-work strategies aim to remove barriers to cat adoption and to respond quickly when a prospective adopter enquires about a cat.

Cat surrender

A fee is payable where a person is surrendering a cat or kitten to WLPA. This is $30 per desexed adult cat and $10 per kitten where the animals are brought to WLPA. The surrender fee for an undesexed cat is $80. A tax deductable receipt for this donation is provided to the person surrendering the cat.

The fee is waived if the surrender is from rescuers managing designated cat colonies where colony desexing is taking place and where the cat cannot be released.

Fee-for-service humane cat removal from private property

WLPA provides a fee-for-service humane alternative to pest control where the removal of a free-roaming or unowned cat is required by a property owner. The outcome for the cat will be rehoming but may take up to a year. The fee is comparable to pest control being $200 per cat where WLPA removes the cat and takes him or her into WLPA care.

Foster carer support and acknowledgement

It is the policy and practice of WLPA to value, thank and support foster carers for their dedicated work.

Foster carers have 24 hour access to nominated support persons who can trouble shoot regarding cat care and approve vet care.

Foster carers may claim out of pocket expenses for transporting an animal, foods and related care costs and emergency vet care (after consulting with the President or his or her nominee).

Foster carers are listed and thanked in publications of the association.

Foster carers are consulted about all management plans for the journey of an animal to their forever home and regarding the health care of a cat or kitten. Foster carers are full partners in this decision making. Foster carers must approve of an adoption of a cat or kitten they are caring for.

Foster carers complete a Foster Carer Agreement and their homes are approved for fostering particular types of cats or kittens. WLPA may provide enclosures, equipment and caging to assist foster carers’ work.

Foster carers must agree with and participate in the policy and practices of assertive rehoming.

Health care for rescued cats and kittens

All kittens and cats where possible are given a fungal topical bathing upon arrival or as early as possible after arrival unless they are injured, have wounds or flu.

WLPA provides a microchip and two vaccinations and veterinarian assessment for all rescued cats in readiness for immediate rehoming.

Kittens vaccinated for the first time at 8 weeks are provided with 3 vaccinations, the adoptive family paying for the third wherever possible.

Unsocialised cats for return rather than rehoming are provided with microchip and vaccination at the time of desexing and are wormed twice prior to release. This aids the population health of the colony and the individual.

Male cats are released after 2 days. Females are released after flank desexing between 4 and 10 days. Females with mid-line desexing are released after 10 days.

Identification of rescued cats and kittens

Rescuers working with WLPA using their own funds to pay for vet partner services should microchip the cat in their own name. Cats from colonies who are the day to day responsibility of a rescuer are deemed to be owned by the rescuer whether or not assistance is offered from WLPA from time to time.

It is the responsibility of rescuers to register their rescued animals and to ensure that all such animals are on the Companion Animal database.

Those rescuers using WLPA accounts at vets to desex a homeless cat, require WLPA consent prior. They should microchip the cat to themselves or WLPA and return all adoption funds to WLPA. The adoptive family will be issued with a WLPA receipt and will be eligible for followup by WLPA as needed. Full compliance with the NSW Companion Animals Act is required.

Mandated desexing

All cats and kittens must be desexed as part of the adoption contract.

Six months followup aims to ensure that desexing is actually done: it is provided by vets, with transport through WLPA’s adoption centre volunteers.

People preferring to desex their cat at their own vet (independently of the adoption process) must provide a desexing certificate to WLPA by the time the cat is six months old.

Desexing occurs at 4-6 months of age. It may be done earlier if this is the kindest way to microchip, vaccinate and desex the kitten under general anaesthetic. Generally however, cats are socialised, well and adjusted after rescue, and are well-settled into their temporary placement or adoptive home, prior to facing surgery.

Nutrition for unowned cats and kittens

WLPA cannot undertake the life-term care, custody or feeding of any cat. All cats must be assertively rehomed by the rescuer with WLPA member assistance or by foster carers and adoption centre/secretariat staff.

Where the cat is not available or suitable for adoption and is released to a colony after desexing, WLPA members invite members of the community to take responsibility for the feeding and costs associated with caring for unowned cats.

In cases of extreme hardship WLPA may provide time-limited assistance for up to one year until those persons in the community can be found.

WLPA may provide volunteers to assist on a roster of feeders for the life of the cat.

Pre-adoption foster care placements

Cats and kittens remain wherever possible with the one foster carer from rescue to adoption to reduce stress and socialisation setbacks.

Welfare rate desexing

Welfare rate desexing is provided on a case-by-case basis by WLPA Vet Partners by negotiation. Vets may decline to offer the discount at any time. When the discount is given, this service represents thousands of dollars of donated services by participating vets per year. Welfare rate desexing is exclusively for homeless rescued cats and kittens, to facilitate the early adoption of rescued cats and kittens and for those from colonies subject to formal TNRR programs. Welfare rate desexing is not organised for people in the general community for their own pets. Nor is it used for the desexing of rescuer pets.

Welfare rate non-routine health care

Very few vets can provide discounted general medical services other than the routine health care of cats and kittens at the time of desexing. Welfare rate veterinarian services for injury, dental and illness are strictly limited and must be approved by the President of the association, an office bearer of the association where the President is unavailable, or by the coordinator of the secretariat. These services may include euthanizing a cat, health care for the older cat, disease detection and medicines.