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.
  • The Artisans’ Gift Fair at the Tranzac

    Annex Cat Rescue will once again be participating in The Artisans’ Gift Fair at the Tranzac Club.


    Please come visit our table & purchase quality handcrafted gifts for your furry friends! Your purchases will benefit ACR cats in need of a forever home. Our volunteers will be happy to help you find a purrrfect gift for your cat or that someone special.

    Please come by our table on any of the following dates:
    December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18th – 2016


    SHOW TIME: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

    LOCATION: The Tranzac is located at 292 Brunswick Avenue, just south of Bloor Street, between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue. Click here for map.

    3 Blocks from Spadina Subway (Bloor Danforth & University lines)
    or 3 Blocks from Bathurst Subway station.
    1 Block from Large Municipal Parking Lot (entrance on Lippincott)

    Artisans' Gift Fair Volunteers

    Every year during the holiday season, The Artisans’ Gift Fair hosts a fine collection of affordable one-of-a-kind gift products. Vendors gather at the Tranzac, located in the Annex at Bloor and Brunswick, displaying quality handcrafted gifts that range from funky contemporary to a sophisticated classic style.

  • International Volunteer Day

    Happy International Volunteer day

    In honour of International Volunteer Day we would like to thank all of our amazing 400+ volunteers. Annex Cat Rescue is a 100% volunteer-run organization and it is only because of the continuous support, care and dedication of all of YOU that ACR has been able to help hundreds of cats over the years. Thank you.

  • 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:

  • 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

  • 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

  • Happy Tails: Sassy (Formerly Checkers)

    Checkers aka Sassy

    Dear Sassy,

    You passed away in July of last year. You were 8 years old and had cancer in your kidneys. Your human family was with you until the very end. You are resting peacefully in the memorial that they built for you in their garden. They miss you very much.

    I spoke with your foster mother, Kaitlyn. You were in her care for about a year. She remembers you as a very affectionate cat. If she was sitting down or had time to pet you, you would always find a way to turn it into a snuggle session. Even though your face appeared a bit angry, you were a very sweet cat.

    I also spoke with your adopter, Kelli. Your bio in ACR’s “Senior Adopt-a-Thon” caught her attention in June 2014. In her eyes, you were a beautiful cat. From her experience working with cat rescues in Hamilton, she knew that being a senior animal, you faced a harder time being adopted. But she was ready to adopt you. She drove into Toronto to pick you up.

    When Kelli first brought you home, you were timid. You stayed close to her and she cuddled you in her lap. As time passed, you grew to become more comfortable in your new home. You developed a special bond with her three year old daughter. Kelli would often find you at the end of her daughter’s bed. Although her daughter was allergic to you, she didn’t care; she loved snuggling with you.

    Happy Tails- Sassy

    Kelli renamed you Sassy because of your sassy personality. When you wanted to eat in the morning, you would let out a sassy cat meow. If Kelli did not feed you soon enough, you were able to convince her daughter to feed you instead. When guests came over, you would let them scratch your belly all of 2.5 times and then go on to attack their hands and give them lots of love bites.

    There are a couple of things that Kelli wants potential adopters to know about senior cats. Senior cats are great additions to homes, especially where the household is quite busy. Senior cats have their personalities fully developed so that adopters will know exactly what kind of cat they can expect to have. Senior cats are also very mellow and just want to hang out and cuddle. You were the perfect example of this.

    Thank you for letting us into your life. Goodnight Sassy cat.

    –Yin Cai

  • Happy Tails: Jasmine

    When Amy moved to Toronto, she was looking for an opportunity where she could make a difference and got involved with Annex Cat Rescue. As a volunteer blog writer, she heard stories of older cats being passed over in favour of energetic kittens. Amy knew that when she was ready to adopt, she would want an older cat.

    It was the description on ACR’s website that initially piqued Amy’s interest in Jasmine. Jasmine was described as having a quiet disposition and her story encouraged Amy to schedule a visit with Jasmine’s foster mom, Holly.

    Happy tails - Jasmine 2

    As her first foster cat, Jasmine provided Holly with fond memories, but she was not an easy guest at first. When Jasmine wasn’t hiding, she would fight with Holly’s resident cat. Previously a stray, Jasmine came to Annex Cat Rescue at about five years of age with a tear in her ear and thinning fur. Holly immediately put her on a diet of veterinarian grade food and enjoyed watching her transformation. Her magnificent grey fur fluffed back up to give her a healthy coat that framed her sparkling green eyes.

    Jasmine started to bond with Holly as well. She would rub up against Holly’s leg and seek Holly out when she was relaxing on the couch for cuddle sessions.

    In preparation to meet Jasmine, Amy was warned that she may hide when Amy comes over, but the visit exceeded all expectations. “I sat next to her in a small room and she came out of hiding and would purr when I pet her,” Amy said.

    Amy returned a few days later with a carrier to take Jasmine to her new home. When Jasmine arrived at her forever home, she hid away for a week and would only come out at night. Since Amy was getting settled in her life in Toronto, she could relate to Jasmine’s need to find her place in her new home and gave Jasmine her space and time.

    “Jasmine wants to be loved and she has a lot of love to give,” Amy said. In return, Amy was rewarded for her patience and her new feline friend started to come out of hiding. Jasmine wanted her thick coat to be brushed and she became quite vocal about her needs. “She would meow at me to let me know that she wanted to interact with me.”


    Amy’s advice to anyone looking to adopt a cat is to give an older cat a chance. “Meet them, they might surprise you!” Amy is constantly being surprised by her companion. Since being adopted almost a year ago, Jasmine has come out of her shell and Amy has even seen her playful side – anything becomes a toy for Jasmine including string or paper balls. Most of the time, Jasmine still likes the quiet and craves affection. Each night, Amy cuddles with Jasmine in her bed, drifting off to sleep to the sound of her gentle purrs. “It is very sweet to see her so loyal and happy to have my companionship and love!”

    — Jillian Kaster

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