I found a kitten/cat! What do I do?
First and foremost, please give the cat food and water. Without food, most kittens and cats will not survive for long. If the kitten is young, it will need Kitten Milk Replacement (KMR) which can be purchased at any pet store; Goat's milk is also acceptable, but DO NOT give the kitten regular cow's milk from your refrigerator. It does not supply the nutrition they need and can cause serious digestive upset. If you have the mother and kittens together, confine them to an area, such as a screened-in porch, extra bathroom, or garage (provided it is not too hot). Give the mom plenty of food and water; she will feed the kittens. If the mom is not present, we encourage you to watch this VIDEO on urgent kitten care we produced.
If the cat is friendly, please take it to a veterinarian's office or pet groomer (including Petco or Petsmart) and ask them to check the animal for a microchip. The best-case scenario is that the cat is lost, and you can reunite them with their owner. If no microchip is found, please share images of the cat on your social media and ask if anyone recognizes them. Check the lost and found website for Greenville County Animal Care.
I can't find the cat's owner. Will you take it?
Feline Lifeline is NOT a shelter. The majority of cats in our adoption program are cats our volunteers personally rescue from the streets and from the colonies we maintain. In rare cases, we accept cats into our program that are financially sponsored and have a foster home (i.e. a place to stay until adoption space becomes available). As a small, all-volunteer, nonprofit organization, we are always in need of donations and volunteers and have limited resources. We especially need foster homes to temporarily care for cats awaiting space in one of our adoption centers. Thank you for your understanding and compassion.
I applied to adopt a cat from your organization. What is the process?
Thank you! We try to respond to every application within 24 to 48 hours, but our volunteers are not always able to do so. We review every application, and we try to follow up with a phone call interview unless we see information on the application that leads us to believe you and the cat for which you applied would not be a good match. We do require veterinarian checks (if you have one) and our committee reviews and approves applicants. The process can take anywhere from one day to a week unless we have been inundated with applications. In that case, we appreciate your patience as we take longer to try and reach all applicants.
My application for one of your cats was denied. Why?
Unlike some rescue groups, Feline Lifeline has very strict guidelines about who can and can't adopt a cat. We do require applicants to be at least 21 years old. We put a lot of time, money, and care into rescuing our cats; we want them to go to the best homes possible. If you are denied, it does not always mean you will be denied for another cat from our organization; it sometimes means your situation is not a right fit for the cat for which you applied. We appreciate your understanding.
Why do you ask so many questions during the interview?
Cats are living creatures, and we treat them similarly to human children. While some of the questions might seem unnecessary to you, we ask the same questions of all applicants to help us better understand if you and the cat would be a good match. It also helps us identify ways to educate you on cat care, should it be needed. Our goal is to help you be a better pet owner by using our combined 30-plus years of experience gained by rescuing cats.
Why do you charge an adoption fee? The Very Pretty Kitty Rescue Group across the street adopts them out for free!
Again, we put a lot of time, money, and care into rescuing our cats. Charging an adoption fee also helps us recoup a small fraction of the funds we've spent on our cats. Again, we are a nonprofit, donation-based organization. Kittens always cost us the most in veterinary costs, so their fees are usually higher. Cats who have had vet bills in the upper hundreds might have a fee of $200 for that reason. We never charge more than $300 for an adoption fee, even if we spent thousands on a cat. Without adoption fees, we could not afford to help other cats, and your fee includes the cost of spay/neuter, vaccinations, and when possible, a microchip.