Annex Cat Rescue: Cat Adoption with A Difference

Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer charity dedicated to addressing the plight of homeless cats in the Greater Toronto Area by:

  1. Humanely trapping homeless kittens and abandoned or stray adult cats for placement in our foster and adoption program;
  2. Feeding and providing medical care for feral cats in designated colonies;
  3. Curbing population growth in those colonies through trapping, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating;
  4. Educating the public on the compassionate treatment of homeless cats and responsible pet ownership; and
  5. Improving urban environments through community cooperation.
  • Featured Cat: Smokey

    SmokeySmokey was rescued after being found abandoned in an apartment when his human passed away. Despite his past trauma, Smokey is an affectionate and loving cat, looking for his forever home! He’s 5 years old, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. He would do best in a home where he is the only pet. For more information on Smokey, please visit his profile.

    Smokey was recently featured on CityNews “Fall in Love Friday”.

  • Urgent: Socialization Homes

    volunteer with feral cats

    URGENT: We need assessment/socialization homes for semi-feral cats. The role of the assessment home is to get to know the cat and see if he/she is socializable. Sometimes traumatized stray cats get into the mix and can need additional support as well. You would be helping the Foster team decide what sort of more long-term foster home the cat needs. The cat may need you for only a few days or for a few weeks.

    A socialization home works with semi-feral cats to regain their trust. This is a more long-term commitment. Here is one ACR volunteer’s description of the role:

    Tara talks about the joys and challenges of being a socialization home

    It is best if assessment and socialization homes have had some exposure to feral and semi-feral cats and have great compassion for cats that are transitioning off the street and the trauma that street life may have caused to a cat.

    If you are not sure what is involved, here are a few helpful resources to help you decide if you and your home might be suitable:
    The Socialization Toolbox: How to rehabilitate stray and semi-feral cats
    How to help a semi-feral adjust to your home

    Can you help? If yes, please read through the information here and apply. If you’re applying to be a particular cat’s foster home, please mention that somewhere on the form.

    Do you know someone who might be interested? Share this post with them.

    Please allow a few days for a response as our Foster department is swamped. We have more cats in foster care than we’ve ever had before! And there are even more on our waiting list. Thank you for whatever you can do to help.

  • Morning Feeders Needed

    feed feral cats Toronto

    Feral cat feeders are needed to feed weekday mornings (day is flexible) at a colony in the east end (Carlaw area). We could use a couple of feeders, either once a week or every second week. Feeders supply their own wet and dry food for about 9-10 cats. Any help is appreciated! Find out more here.

  • The happy truth about FIV+ cats (hint: they’re totally adoptable)

    He might not relish the role but eight-year old Winston could be the global ambassador for FIV+ cats.


    That’s because Winston is both a classic example of how most cats come to be infected with the immune deficiency virus and, more importantly, a persuasive example of just how manageable – normal, really – life with an FIV+ cat can be both for its human caregivers and for any potential feline flatmates.

    Winston’s story is a handy testimonial for anyone who may encounter an FIV+ cat candidate in an adoption search.

    Winston - FIV cat

    “Winston is very playful and has a lot of energy,” confirms foster Mom Alexandra Cioppa, who grew up with another cat, Baltimore, which was also FIV+. She continues: “Winston is always hungry – he loves to eat. He is super-loving.”

    Once homeless, Winston doubtless became infected with FIV via a deep bite wound that occurred during a fight with another male cat over turf or food. FIV almost always presents in males, and transmission is almost always through intense fighting.

    FIV – which stands for feline immunodeficiency virus, just as HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus – can be transmitted sexually in cats and through improperly screened blood transfusions. But according to experts, it’s rare. Mother cats cannot readily infect their kittens except in the initial stages of her infection.

    Casual contact such as sharing food bowls, grooming or snuggling is unlikely to transmit the virus. Meaning that unless indoor cats have screaming brawls where blood is drawn, FIV negative cats sharing a home with an FIV+ cat won’t contract the virus.

    Indeed, veterinarian Dr. Vlad Stefanescu of Toronto’s Yonge-Davenport Pet Hospital says adopting an FIV+ cat and integrating it into a multi-cat household is something he endorses, albeit with a few caveats.

    “The only real considerations for FIV+ cat adoption are slightly more frequent vet visits, keeping the cats indoors and avoidance of a raw diet,” he says.

    That’s because uncooked foods, meats especially, can include parasites and pathogens that a cat with a normal immune system might be able to handle but an FIV+ cat might not. Leave the fad diets to Gwyneth Paltrow and stick to regular cat food, says Dr. Stefanescu.

    All cats should be kept indoors. However, owners of FIV+ cats have a particular obligation to keep their pets away from homeless cats in their community to help contain the virus. As for more frequent vet visits – recommended twice a year for FIV+ cats versus once-annually for non-geriatric FIV negative cats – that’s mainly because “Dental is also a big thing with these guys,” Dr. Stefanescu says.

    “They suffer stomatitis [a severe, painful inflammation of a cat’s mouth and gums that can cause ulcers to form]. Some FIV cats just have bad teeth and need a full mouth extraction. The majority of FIV cats need regular dental work.”

    Plus, regular vet visits allow owners and vets to monitor small changes such as weight loss that might be more significant in an FIV+ cat. Vaccinations, meanwhile, should be maintained for FIV+ cats just as they are for other cats.

    Humans cannot be infected with FIV; FIV is a cats-only infection. Dr. Stefanescu pegs the prevalence of FIV among owned cats at about five percent. “Leukaemia (FeLV) is actually more common,” he says, adding that he has never treated a cat that contracted FIV from another cat in a domestic situation.

    Adds Alexandra Cioppa, “FIV has never been an issue with Winston and it wasn’t with my cat Baltimore either. I don’t remember exactly how old Baltimore was when he passed away but he had quite a long life.”

    So the takeaway for prospective cat adopters: don’t shy away from an FIV+ cat.

    If you are adopting a cat directly from the street, be sure to have the cat tested while he (or she) is at the vet being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and typically readied for a new life indoors. Remember that cats with FIV do not always appear sick. In the early stages of the disease, many cats show few signs, so the only way to know for sure if they are infected is through a simple blood test.

    Should an FIV+ positive cat catch you eye on ACR’s adoption listings, don’t reject the cat in knee-jerk fashion. You can’t catch FIV, your other cats probably won’t either, and you’ll be giving a forever home to a lovely fella who will reward you daily with purrs and cuddles.

    Just ask Winston.

    — Kim Hughes

    Update: Winston was adopted!

    Additional reading:

  • World Spay Day 2016

    World Spay Day

    World Spay Day is the first and only international day of action to promote the spaying or neutering of pets, community cats and street dogs to save animals’ lives. On World Spay Day and throughout the month of February—Spay/Neuter Awareness Month—veterinary and animal welfare professionals, business owners and concerned individuals join forces to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter as the most effective and humane means of decreasing the number of homeless animals put down in shelters or living on the street.

    In 2012, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) released a groundbreaking report on the cat overpopulation crisis in Canada. The report found that the animal sheltering system was at, or dangerously over, capacity to care for the cats that arrive at their doors.

    The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies (CFHS) gathers data on the number of animals entering shelters and the numbers adopted, returned to their owners or euthanized. The 2014 animal shelter statistics report presents the results of the most recent survey of humane societies and SPCAs and represents the best information about companion animals in Canadian shelters that the CFHS is aware of.

    Some key findings from these reports:

    • More than 85,000 cats ended up in a shelter in 2014. This number does not include animals rescued by independent groups such as Annex Cat Rescue.
    • Cats are twice as likely as dogs to end up abandoned at a shelter or rescue.
    • 2 million cats in Canadian homes have not been spayed or neutered.
    • 1 unspayed female can result in 25 kittens in just one year.
    • 35% of shelter-admitted cats are kittens
    • 53% cats in shelters were adopted but 27% were euthanized

    Please spay or neuter your cat. Don’t be part of the overpopulation problem.

  • Global Pet Foods Adopt-a-Thon

    Adoptathon February 2016

    This coming Saturday, we’ll be at Global Pet Foods, 2100 Bloor St W (just west of High Park) from about 10 am to 5 pm. Drop by and see if there’s a furry friend that’s right for your family!

  • My Purrfect Valentine – Charity Fundraiser

    my Purrfect Valentine fundaiser

    Join us for an evening of comedy on Sunday February 14 at 7:00 pm
    All proceeds will be given to Annex Cat Rescue.
    Raffle Prizes and Silent Auction.
    Thank you to our sponsors for their past and continued support:
    Via Rail, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Pet Uno, Global Pet Foods, Hops and Robbers, Nutrience, Insomnia.
    Get your tickets today!

  • Saluting Fay Neuber 1959-2015: Daughter, sister, aunt, friend and ACR volunteer

    A quote often attributed to Mahatma Gandhi goes, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” That same maxim also applies to individuals, and by that measure, Fay Neuber was a sterling example of moral progress where cats were concerned.

    Fay Neuber

    A dedicated, long-time volunteer colony cat feeder with Annex Cat Rescue throughout the 1990s and much of the aughts, Neuber – who died last December after a lengthy battle with cancer at age 56 – had a devotion to cats that was boundless.

    Indeed, Neuber almost miraculously met friend and fellow ACR volunteer Liz Cabral shortly after she was diagnosed in early 2015 while Cabral was coincidentally trying to locate some feral cats near Neuber’s home in rural Ontario, where Neuber had recently moved after two decades in Toronto.

    “It was like divine intervention,” sister Kelly Neuber confirms, “because at that point Fay wasn’t going outside much. But she just happened to walk outside at that very moment.”

    “I saw this lady and asked if she knew anything about stray cats,” Cabral recalls. She did. And with Cabral’s help, four ferals Neuber had been tending despite her advancing illness – Trixie, Pixie, Jackie and Danny – were eventually taken into care as were Momma, Manny, Tara and Jessie, Neuber’s owned cats.

    “Fay would always refer to cats as her ‘little loves,’” says Cabral, who Neuber referred to as her “cat angel.”

    “When Fay was in hospital last fall, I went over to her place to get her cats. Manny was frightened so I had to call Fay and she called out to him, ‘Manny my love’. She said that for about a minute and he calmed down enough for me to get him in a carrier.”

    Says Kelly Neuber, “Fay always talked about Annex Cat Rescue being a grassroots organization, which was really important to her.” (Fay Neuber’s family asked friends to make donations to ACR in her memory).

    “Even when she had moved to the country,” Kelly Neuber continues, “she was so devoted to feral cats. And she stayed in touch with ACR and would occasionally reach out for help with trapping [for TNR].”

    Fay Neuber and Duke

    “Fay was like a long-lost sister to me. She had such a loving heart,” adds Cabral. “She thought cats were such unique creatures. And they gave such unconditional love.”

    And so did Fay Neuber, to the very end.

    — Kim Hughes

  • Happy Tails: Clyde

    Clyde is Nicole’s first cat. Previously a dog owner and always a pet lover, she wanted a pet but a dog would have been too much with her schedule. The independent, casual attitude of most cats felt like a far better fit and would still provide all the companionship and company at home that she wanted.

    Having heard of Annex Cat Rescue online, she started to look around the website at various cats.

    Happy Tails Clyde

    Clyde was a fluke – she just happened to see his cute picture. She wanted a friend for the long haul and since Clyde was young and sweet, she knew he would be around for many years.

    Clyde’s background is unknown other than the fact that he was surrendered. Sadly, Clyde had been declawed both front and back. Nicole saw the adoption as an opportunity to give a home to a cat who had suffered this painful procedure.

    Clyde is a super-friendly and well-adjusted cat – “like a dog”. He is always ready to greet Nicole when she comes through the door and he follows her everywhere once she’s inside. He likes to run into the bathroom with her and play with the bathtub. He is also partial to paper bags and loves exploring the laundry room. He’ll sit and cry at the door until he’s let in.

    Happy Tails Clyde 2

    Since she never owned a cat before, Clyde’s behaviour is especially fun for Nicole to watch and learn about. She laughs about how she is unsure if his traits are “cat things” or just “Clyde things”. He sleeps in her bed and is so sweet and lovely. She’s obsessed with him. With others, Clyde is friendly and social and is even okay with most dogs, as long as they are calm.

    Nicole feels like she has really lucked out with Clyde and insists that adopting him was the best thing ever. He is cute and perfect and ever since he entered her life, she has been telling everyone about him!

    –Risa de Rege

  • New Year, New Start Adoption Promotion

    ACR’s special needs cats can’t see their disabilities – they just want to be loved in a forever home. Be their hero and ACR will guide you along the way with post-adoption support! Our special needs cats are available at a reduced adoption rate.

    Special needs cats promotion

Donate. Volunteer. Adopt.