COME MEET (AND ADOPT) YOUR TRUE LOVE!
VALENTINE’S ADOPTION EVENT
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Looking to find true love?
This Valentine’s Day, give your love and your home to a cat.
We have many wonderful cats who are waiting to meet their families and move into their permanent homes. In addition — we are discounting adoption fees for the event.
If you are interested in adoption, please fill out an adoption application as soon as possible. You will be contacted by a Gifford adoption counselor to discuss your specific situation and needs.
We take pride in knowing our cats very well, so we can advise you on which cats would be good in a quiet home, which ones are active & playful, which ones would love to join a family with children….
Fill out an adoption application HERE
Check out our adoptable cats HERE
Only approved applicants will be able to take home a cat that day — so please submit an application at least 5 days prior to the event. Due to an expected high volume of applications, you need to submit your application in time to be approved.
Our adoption counselors will be working diligently to get all applicants screened prior to event date.
It is also advised to come to the event with a sturdy cat carrier.
Please join us on Saturday, February 11 from 1-4pm at the shelter.
And please share this message with anyone who would like to welcome a new feline friend into their home this Valentine’s Day.
The Gifford Shelter Benefit Wines are back! Order some delicious wine and help your favorite cat shelter while they are available.
OFFER DETAILS: Pay a flat rate $10 to ship your wines to the Gifford Cat Shelter for local pickup. Eligible orders received BEFORE February 7 will be available to pick up at the shelter starting February 10th anytime between 11am and 4pm (till 7:30pm on Thursdays) For questions about picking up your order at the shelter, please contact the shelter directly.
Order Your Wine HERE.
The mission of Gifford Cat Shelter is to provide a safe haven for abandoned, stray, abused, neglected, unwanted and injured cats with the goal of re-homing and ending the needless killing of community and and companion cats. Founded in 1884 through a collaboration between philanthropist Ellen M. Gifford and prominent Bostonian Nathan Appleton, the Ellen M. Gifford Sheltering Home originally housed all animals and was the first no-kill cageless animal shelter in the United States. We are proud to be known as a pioneer for the animal welfare movement and trusted voice for cats for over 130 years.
1. Avoid poisonous plants
Cats like to chew on grass and plants, but some of them are irritating, dangerous and even deadly to cats. Even non-poisonous plants can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Keep dangerous plants out of reach or, better yet, don’t have them in the house. If your cat likes green stuff, purchase or grow your own cat grass.
2. Lock up cleaning supplies
Put child-proof latches on your cabinets to keep your cat from licking, chewing, or eating cleaning products. They contain dangerous chemicals. (And if you’d rather not have your cat investigate your pots and pans, you may want to put latches on other cabinets, too.)
3. Be mindful of medicines
Keep all medications, both over-the-counter and prescription (human and animal), in a secure cabinet. Child-proof containers aren’t necessarily chew-proof. Be sure to pick up any dropped pills.
4. Safely stow fragile treasures
Pack away (or find a secure way of displaying) breakable objects. Cats love exploring, and they will jump on tables, cabinets, sideboards, and bookshelves. They may accidentally knock over and break fragile items, then walk or chew on the broken pieces.
5. Unplug your home
Unplug electrical cords when they aren’t in use. If your cat’s a chewer, they could be in for a nasty shock. You can also put cords in a cord protector or coat them with a bad-tasting substance such as hot sauce or a non-toxic spray available at pet supply stores.
6. Tie a knot in cords
Keep drapery and blind cords coiled out of reach. Your cat could strangle themself by getting the cord wound around their neck or choke on a plastic pull that they’ve chewed into pieces.
7. Check the dryer (and other places)
Look inside the dryer before closing the door, and keep it closed when not in use. Cats love to hole up in dark, quiet places, which can be a recipe for a tragedy. Kittens often climb into refrigerators, freezers and dresser drawers, so check these, too, before closing them.
8. Unset the table
Remove tablecloths from tables unless you are about to use them. New kittens who are curious about what’s up there on the table will try to climb the tablecloth. The result could be broken china and crystal—and an emergency trip to the veterinarian.
9. Put a lid on the toilet
Keep the toilet seats down. A kitten could fall in and be unable to get out.
10. Keep disposal switches under cover
Cover garbage disposal switches. Natural climbers, cats usually find their way to the kitchen sink sooner or later. Many have been known to play with electric switches such as the one for a garbage disposal. Special covers are available at hardware stores to help avoid disaster.
11. Secure your screens
Make sure your screen door and window screens have secure, sturdy latches. Don’t run the risk that your cat could slip out unnoticed.
12. Clip those claws
Indoor cats don’t wear down their claws as quickly as outdoors ones do, so they can overgrow. Untrimmed claws can grow into a cat’s paw pads, leading to infection, pain, and difficulty walking and using the litter box. Declawing is in violation of the Gifford Cat Shelter contract. Check your cat’s claws every couple of weeks to see if they need to be clipped.
Reprinted by permission of The Humane Society of the United States.
In his four years at Gifford, Shelter Manager Eric Royal has had to explain to numerous potential adopters that Gifford does not adopt out cats as gifts. There are many reasons cats, and pets of any type, do not make appropriate presents. For Gifford, Eric explains that Gifford’s adopter application process includes a need to approve the person who will be the financial provider and medical decision maker before sending a cat to a new home. The application process includes interviews with the potential adopter and several references.
These are just the administrative reasons for not allowing cats to be adopted as gifts. Animals who are adopted as gifts or presents frequently end up back in shelters after the recipient decides he or she was not in reality prepared for the responsibilities associated with being a pet parent. Gifford makes certain to screen applicants to ensure that each cat who passes through the doors ends up in their true forever home.
Recently, Sophie had the lucky opportunity to the be first cat Eric has arranged to be adopted as a “surprise” for Adam’s fiancée, Amanda. Sophie came into Gifford as a surrender due to alleged behavioral issues she was having in the home. Based upon the description provided by her previous owner, Eric did not even feel she would be a good fit with Gifford. Fortunately, Board Vice President Dr. Rachel Geller further investigated the issues and found that Sophie was not the problem in the home.
Sophie was said to not be litter trained, but after looking into her prior home, Rachel discovered the real issue – one litter box for multiple cats, along with a dog who frequently disturbed the litter box. Especially with multiple cats in a home, it always important to have multiple litter boxes and to keep the litter boxes away from dogs and other pets who will make the litter box too stressful for the cat to use.
The surrendering owner also said she had tried to give Sophie away to a friend, but Sophie was returned after she spent the night crying and in distress at the change of surroundings. This is not uncommon when cats are put into new environments away from their family.
Fortunately for Sophie, Rachel saw past these issues, realizing Sophie was a wonderful cat, and brought Sophie into Gifford where she met Amanda who would immediately fall absolutely in love with her. Amanda had filled out an application to become an approved adopter when she saw Sophie’s picture online for the first time, but she had not heard back whether or not she had been approved. Amanda went into the shelter the Sunday after Sophie arrived and knew immediately that this soft, cuddly beauty was the one for her.
Amanda grew up in a family that always included cats. She had not had a cat since living with her parents, but she remembered well the blue-eyed cats who shared her childhood with her. Amanda was drawn to Sophie’s beautiful blue eyes, but Sophie’s sweet personality ultimately sealed the deal for her.
The day after meeting Sophie, Amanda grew nervous since she had not heard back about her application, so her fiancé, Adam, called Gifford to follow up and submitted his own application to adopt Sophie. At the time, Amanda did not know that Adam had submitted his own application, and after it had been approved, Adam approached Eric about surprising Amanda with Sophie.
For the first time in four years, Eric said yes to a request to arrange a surprise adoption. He knew both Amanda and Adam were excellent candidates for adoption, and that it was abundantly clear Amanda was prepared to bring Sophie into her life. Amanda was then told that Sophie was on hold for another previously approved adopter, and she was heartbroken. Sophie had stolen her heart, and she could not believe she would not be bringing her home.
About two days later, although it felt like weeks to Amanda, Adam surprised her with cat toys and a card which was signed “Love Sophie and Adam.” Sophie became the perfect Christmas surprise for Amanda! Amanda was over the moon to be bringing Sophie home, but she was concerned about both she and Adam traveling over Christmas to be with their respective families and the stress that would cause Sophie.
Amanda discussed her concerns with the staff at Gifford, and Sophie was able to remain at Gifford until shortly after Christmas and make just one final move to her forever home rather than travel for the Holidays. It was difficult for Amanda to not bring Sophie home immediately, but she checked in with her each day on the kitty-cams. She was also able to watch on the kitty-cams when Adam went to pick up Sophie just after Christmas.
Sophie went right to Adam when he came to get her, despite having never met him before! Sophie has settled well into her forever home and has no behavioral issues at all. Amanda reported that Sophie uses her litter box, does not scratch inappropriately, and just loves being brushed. Sophie is such a joy to have in the home, and she even tolerated a bath to keep her long fur healthy. Amanda ended up cutting her own Holiday travel short to enjoy a few days at home with Sophie before returning to work.
Amanda appreciated the patience and understanding everyone at Gifford afforded her throughout the adoption process. She felt that they really cared about Sophie and wanted to help her find the perfect home and make the transition as stress-free as possible for her!
By Sarah Eckert
Cats are like people; each one has his or her own individual personality, mannerisms, likes and dislikes and lovable quirks. Some cats love to be cuddled, snuggled and petted all day long; some prefer shorter petting sessions and others want to be petted only when they say so! Many cats like to be picked up and held, but others do not like or enjoy it. Usually, the reason a cat does not like to be held is because of his/her unique personality and preferences, which does not mean that the cat is not affectionate or loving. In fact, cats can be extremely loving, yet not love to be held. One of the joys of adopting a cat is learning to appreciate and love the cat as he or she is!
Sometimes, your cat’s life before s/he came to you may also determine whether or not s/he likes to be held. For example, a cat who was abandoned as a kitten, or one that did not socialize much with humans as a kitten, will be less likely to allow him/herself to be held than a cat who has been snuggled and held in a person’s arms since birth. Likewise, a cat who was abused or neglected may be less inclined to allow him/herself to be held because it is seen as giving up control and a possible escape route, because s/he still has a fear of people. If this is the case, don’t be discouraged! There are ways to teach your cat trust and to bond with you. Gifford has a free cat behavior hotline with Dr. Rachel Geller who is a certified cat behavior counselor, which you can call for assistance, free of charge.
There are some basic steps you can take to reassure your cat when picking him/her up and holding him/her. Always speak to the cat in a soothing, quiet voice. Keep it light, like it’s no big deal. Your cat will pick up on your stress. Let the cat sniff your hand before attempting any closer contact, and start off by petting the cat as the only physical contact. When your cat has become comfortable enough to accept this level of attention on a regular basis, try sitting next to the cat on a chair or couch when s/he is already sleeping or otherwise relaxed, and again speak to your cat in a low, soothing tone, let her sniff your hand, and then pet her. Gradually, work your way up to being able to pick up the cat from his/her sleeping position onto your lap or into your arms, always allowing the cat to escape immediately if s/he starts to meow or squirm. By repeating this ritual slowly and regularly, you will be able to relax the cat enough to pick him/her up. In addition, try to hold the cat for a pleasant purpose-bring him/her to her food bowl, give her a really yummy,special treat while holding her. The more the cat associates being picked up and held with something good, the more s/he may allow you to hold him from time to time. With cats, it’s all about forming positive associations.
But remember, it is the cat who will decide whether or not s/he will tolerate being picked up and held. Do not worry too much if your cat never gets comfortable with being picked up. Do not let it get it affect your relationship with your cat. Your cat will show you love and affection in his/her own special way.
By Dr. Rachel S. Geller, Ed.D.
Dr. Rachel Geller shows you how to create an environment that will help your cats get along.
Help brighten a shelter cat’s holiday season this year even if you can’t adopt! We have a holiday tree decorated with all our cats wishes and stockings for every cat waiting to be stuffed. Stop by the shelter to stuff your favorite shelter cat’s stocking! Here are some of the things our cats are asking for:
- Amazon Gift Cards
- Cat Tunnels
- Ripple Rugs
- Booda Dome Cover Litter Boxes (for sleeping)
- Cave Bed
- Cardboard cat scratchers
- Cardboard cat scratchers
- The Purrfect Arch
- KONG Kickeroo Cat toys
- Cat dancer toys
- Hill’s Science Diet Light Adult Cat Food
- Purina Cat Chow Complete Dry Food
- Purina Kitten Chow
- Friskies Pate Wet food
- Feline Pine Cat Litter
- Durapet Cat Dishes, 6 oz –
- 100% Pure L-Lysine powder –
- “forever” stamps
- Glad 13 Gallon Trash Bags
- Seventh General Laundry Detergent
- Cascade Dishwashing Action Pacs
- Large litter boxes – chewy.com Petmate Litter Pan with Microban – JUMBO
- Tomlin Trifectant Disinfectant –
- Safe Paws Salt Free Ice Melt –
- Rubbermaid Heavy Duty Spray Bottles
Sunday mornings at 7:24am you can watch a segment on WBZ called Pet Parade, and Tina has been watching it for years. Little did she know that one day when a black kitten from Gifford was featured her life would change forever. After that fateful day, Tina went to visit Gifford and fell in love with the atmosphere.
That was two years ago, and Tina continues to look forward to the Sunday mornings she spends at Gifford. Nearly every Sunday morning you can find Tina doing whatever needs to be done, from cleaning to feeding the cats; she make sure to leave the cats wanting for nothing other than their forever families to find them!
She actually tidies up and provides for the cats so well that her fellow volunteers refer to a room as “Tinafied” after she’s done with it. It makes Tina happy to leave the cats comfortable for whatever the day might bring. It brings a smile to her face to see pictures of the Gifford cats basking in the sun on a bed she placed especially for them in the morning.
Tina has developed a deep sense of compassion for animals through her relationships with her own cats over the years. In addition to two cats adopted as young kittens, Tina has three rescued feral cats who live in a sanctuary area she created for them in her house. She trapped all three after she had been feeding the colony outside for a while, after one of them was tragically killed, she knew she needed to do more for them. She trapped them one by one, and at first they were afraid, but once all three were reunited they became happy in their new environment.
The shelter has often been a sanctuary for Tina when life tosses her lemons, and it has brought sanity to her life when she needs it most. She loves arriving at the shelter on Sunday mornings and meeting fellow volunteer Louise with whom she has become good friends. They even work on sponsoring cats who have been at the shelter for a while, calling it the “Gilligan fund” after Gilligan’s Island.
Beyond helping the cats, Tina loves the friendships she’s formed volunteering at Gifford. She has spent time with fellow volunteers outside of the shelter, people who she would never have otherwise met. The passion and dedication of the people at Gifford inspire Tina each time she’s at the shelter!
Written by Sarah Eckert