Announcement banner here

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers To Questions About Cat Rescue Dunedin & About Cats

A bit about

Cat Rescue Dunedin

In January 2015 Cat Rescue Dunedin was formed by a small group of Dunedin residents who had seen the need for someone to begin helping the wild-born and abandoned cats and kittens living on the streets of Dunedin.

We are committed

To reducing the wild-born and stray cat population through a combination of Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) and adoption.

We are a volunteer-run organisation

Which is fully funded through our charity shop and donations. If you would like to get involved, please donate and support us through volunteering.

We are a volunteer-run organisation

Which is fully funded through our charity shop and donations. If you would like to get involved, please donate and support us through volunteering.

  • About Cat Rescue
  • How can I donate?

    You can give online, give cash at out charity shop, or send us a bank transfer

  • How can I foster?

    Easy! You can apply to foster here: CRD will follow up with you after you submit the form.

  • How did Cat Rescue Dunedin get started?

    In January 2015 Cat Rescue Dunedin was formed by a small group of Dunedin residents who had seen the need for someone to begin helping the wild-born and abandoned cats and kittens living on the streets of Dunedin. We became a charitable trust in June 2015, and since then we have desexed and rehomed thousands of kittens which would otherwise have been left to breed uncontrollably. We were formerly known as the Animal Rescue Network NZ. We are committed to reducing the wild-born and stray cat population through a combination of Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) and adoption. Cats which are unable to be socialised to live with people can be humanely managed by a process known as trap, neuter, return (TNR).

    This means that the cats are desexed and returned to their environment where a caretaker feeds and monitors the cats to ensure their continued wellbeing. Desexing the cats ensures that their numbers don't increase, and over time the colony size reduces naturally.

    Our long-term aim is to have our own shelter but until then all of our cats and kittens are fostered in private homes until they are ready for adoption. In January 2021, we opened an Intake Centre in Caversham to serve as a first point of call for cats who are in need of our help until our volunteer fosters come to pick them up. We are a volunteer-run organisation which is fully funded through our charity shop and donations. If you would like to get involved, please donate and support us through volunteering.

  • Adopting from Cat Rescue Dunedin and bringing your cat home
  • Are the cats free? How much does it cost to adopt a cat?

    Our adoption fee is $250 for kittens (6 months and under) or two for $450. Teenage kittens (over 6 months) are $200. Adult cats over a year have an adoption fee of $150. Barn cats, very shy cats or other exceptional cases are $50, though any donation helps! This helps us cover some of the costs of taking in and rehoming these cats. All of our cats are: desexed, microchipped and registered with NZCAR (NZ Companion Animal Register), vaccinated, and up-to-date on parasite control.

  • How can I prepare for my new cat/kitten?

    Cats are heavily reliant on scent and will settle much quicker if their new environment smells familiar.

    To help your cat get used to your scent (and the scent of your new home), take an item of clothing or a blanket from your home and leave it with your future pet for a few days before you pick them up.

    When you pick them up, place the item in your cat’s carrier. It’ll reduce stress during the journey and help settle them in.

  • How do I introduce a new cat to my family/children?

    Once your cat seems confident with you, it’s time to introduce other family members. Remember to do this gradually, with each family member greeting the cat one by one. It can be overwhelming for your new cat to meet everyone at the same time.

    If you have children, they are likely to be excited about the new arrival but it is important to keep them calm. Let the cat come to them and when they do, show the children how to gently stroke and interact with them.

    While cats and children generally get along, even the friendliest cat will defend themselves if they are pushed or pulled too much. Avoid picking your cat up in the early stages too. Wait until they are settled and know that you are not a threat.

  • How do I introduce my new cat to my other pets?

    Gradual introductions are the best way to help your pets to get along – especially if you already have a cat in the house.

    To introduce your cat to an existing cat in your home:

    • Setting up a sanctuary room - such as a spare bedroom - with everything a cat needs is a way to ensure your new cat has their own space and area to adapt to their new home.
    • Next, scent swapping - collect scent from one cat using a cloth by wiping it around their cheeks or forehead and then give the other cat the cloth. Placing it in the middle of the floor gives them the option to investigate or ignore. This helps them to get used to each other's smell.
    • Once the cats are no longer reacting to each other’s scent, the next step is using a glass barrier such as patio doors. This allows them to see each other without being able to get to one another. Let the cats have the choice of approaching the glass rather than forcing them. If this goes well, use a mesh barrier or baby gate to allow them to see and smell each other.
    • After plenty of mesh barrier introductions, it’s finally time for the face-to-face meeting. Again, it’s important to allow the cats the option of meeting and not force them to meet. Both cats need to know where they can exit the situation or where they can get up high. Keep these meetings short and make them a good experience with treats and toys. If things don’t go well, it’s important to ensure you can break any eye contact between the cats, allowing them to retreat from each other. It is important not to rush the stages, but following this guide gives your cats the very best chance of being able to live together. Good luck!

    It can take anything from a day to many weeks for cats to tolerate each other so don’t give up.

    To introduce your cat to your dog (or other pet):

    • swap scents by stroking each pet with a separate, clean cloth
    • repeat the process until your pets show no reaction to the smell
    • if your pets avoid the smell, the scent swapping stage is going to take longer
    • keep your dog on the lead and keep them calm - it may help to take your dog for a vigorous walk first
    • train your dog to show relaxed, non-threatening behaviour around the cat, such as 'down' and 'stay' and ensure you are in control at all times.
    • ensure your cat doesn't feel cornered. Your cat should have a safe escape route or a high ledge where the dog can't reach them. Close external doors and windows to avoid the cat bolting
    • ignore the cat. Your dog will feel that the cat is more important if you focus on it. Do some training tasks with your dog to keep their attention, using treats and praise to reward their good behaviour
    • never restrain your cat or force them to approach the dog. Let the cat leave the room whenever they wish
    • don't allow your dog to chase your cat. Praise and treat your dog if they remain calm and then return the cat back to their own room
    • repeat short introductions until the dog shows little or no interest and the cat is not fearful of the dog. Progress to the dog being on a long line which can be picked up if necessary
    • give your cat treats so they associate the dog with something positive
    • Once your cat and dog are unconcerned by each other's presence you can take your dog off the lead, but make sure your cat can still escape to a high ledge or furniture. Never leave the dog and cat unattended until you are absolutely sure that they are happy and secure in each other's company.
    • Remember that cat food and litter trays can be appealing for dogs, so make sure they are out of reach to allow your cat to eat and toilet in peace.

  • How do I settle my kitten/cat?

    Adopting a new cat or kitten is an exciting experience, although there can often be a lot to think about too. When you first take them home, you’ll need to help them gently settle into their new life.
    A change of environment is often stressful for a cat and it can take a few weeks for them (and you) to feel relaxed.
    The first few hours after welcoming your cat home can affect how they’ll adapt to their new life.
    Remember not to rush them – prepare to be patient and don’t pressure your cat into doing things they may not yet be ready for.

    Setting up your cat's new space:
    Before you let your new pet out of its cat carrier, you’ll need to set up a safe space with everything they need. A quiet room away from busy areas of the house is ideal – it’ll give them a chance to relax before exploring everywhere.

    The room should include:

    • an area for food and a separate one for water
    • at least one litter tray placed as far away as possible from their food and water in a private location
    • a place to hide – perhaps a cardboard box or a snuggly bed somewhere cosy
    • access to a high spot. Cat perches are great for cats that like to climb but a cardboard box on a sturdy shelf is just as good
    • a suitable place to sleep
    • a scratching post
    • a few cat toys to allow them to play

    Helping your cat to explore their new home:
    Once you have a quiet room set up in your home, it’s time to welcome your cat to its new environment.
    On arriving home, leave your cat to explore their new room for an hour or so before introducing yourself and your family.
    Some cats might need longer so be prepared to go at your pet’s pace.
    If they choose to hide, sit quietly in the same room and talk to them gently.
    Avoid forcing them to come out. You’ll need to give them plenty of time to adjust, especially if they are particularly shy.

    Worried that your cat still hasn’t come out of hiding? As long as they are eating and drinking and using their litter tray, there is no need to worry.
    If your cat is too shy to eat, you may want to move their food bowl closer to their hiding place and leave the room.

  • I live in a flat - can I still adopt a cat?

    YES! Although a cat's natural instinct is to go outside, some cats can be better suited to an indoor environment: Deaf cats, blind cats, nervous, shy or elderly cats ('senior kittizens'), or cats who have previously been used to living indoors. Some organisations prefer to rehome their FIV positive cats to indoor homes. The indoor life can be enriched by providing toys, a scratching post, and a flowerpot growing common garden grass, as a cat's digestion is aided by eating a small amount of grass. Check out our blog ‘Keeping your Cat Entertained Indoors’. For more suggestions on how to make an indoor cat's life a happy one, visit: or

  • I want a particular breed. Can you contact me when you have one?

    We can't contact people directly about their particular requirements, as there is not the time or resources for us to do so. However, if you are open to ANY cat that may be a great match for you, regardless of breed, we will keep your application on file for if a cat comes in that might suit.

  • I've filled in an adoption questionnaire. Why haven't you contacted me yet?

    We are a volunteer run rescue. If you haven't heard from us yet, we do apologise, we will get back to you as soon as we can. Before you contact us again, please make sure you check your email spam folder to make sure our reply hasn't been redirected there. If your application is successful in getting to the next stage of the adoption process, we will contact you by telephone. We do our best to adopt our cats out to the homes which best suit their needs and personalities, to give them the best chance at finding their forever home. Please do not be offended if your adoption application for a particular cat is unsuccessful.

  • Allergies and Cats
  • I'm allergic to my cat! What can I do?

    Do you, or someone in your home, suspect that you may be allergic to your cat? Don't panic. Visit your GP in the first instance to determine whether your symptoms are related to your feline companion. Other allergens could include pollen, dust mites or even perfume. If your GP confirms a cat allergy, you can discuss treatment and work out what to do next.

  • I'm allergic to my cat. How can I manage my symptoms in my home?

    If you have found out that you do have an allergy, your doctor is the best person to give you advice on managing and alleviating your allergy symptoms. For example, you might benefit from using antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays. There are also a number of things you can do within your home to keep your symptoms at bay.
    These include:

    • having hardwood floors instead of carpets
    • using blinds instead of curtains
    • installing air filters to remove allergens
    • regularly cleaning where your cat sleeps
    • washing your cat’s bed regularly
    • moving litter trays and cat beds away from air vents
    • feeding the cat antiallergen food can help

  • Should I keep my cat if I'm allergic to it?

    There is not a single correct answer to this question. But before you decide whether to keep your cat, you must make sure that it is your cat causing the allergic reaction. You don't want to go through the stress and upset of rehoming a much-loved pet if your allergic reaction is caused by dust mites.

    You have to decide whether the severity of your allergic reaction means you need to re-home your cat.

    In some cases, the symptom-easing tips included above are enough to make living with a cat sustainable, but other people find that their allergic reaction makes living with a cat unbearable.

  • What can I do with my cat to manage allergy symptoms?

    Aside from keeping your house clean and free of allergens, there are several things to be mindful of as you interact with your cat.
    These include:

    • avoid being licked by your cat – this will spread allergens to you and could make symptoms worse
    • gently clean your cat with a damp cloth
    • always groom your cat outside
    • after giving them a stroke, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly
    • feed the cat antiallergen food which can help

  • General Cat Care
  • How can fleas be treated?

    To control a flea infestation, adult fleas on the cat must be killed and re-infestation from the environment prevented. When treating fleas, don't use products suited for dogs - these can be toxic to cats.

    There are a wide range of products available to keep fleas at bay, including collars, shampoos, sprays, foams, powders and tablets. Your vet will be able to advise you on the most safe and effective treatment for your cat.

  • How can worms be treated?

    Your vet can provide effective treatment for worms in cats through various treatments, with some medications aiming to combat both roundworms and tapeworms. From six weeks to six months of age, most healthy kittens will need monthly treatment against roundworms.

    Treating your cat for worms is important as they can cause weight loss, vomiting, diarrhoea and irritation around the anus. Worming your cat regularly and keeping them treated against fleas will ensure the risk is minimal.

  • How much should a cat eat?

    You should read the instructions on your chosen cat food for detailed information on how much you should feed your cat. You will also need to change the amount of food for kittens, adult cats and senior cats, so make sure you take this into consideration. For example:

    Kittens have small stomachs and high energy needs, so they need to be fed little and often. Remember to check their food and replace it four times a day. It is imperative they are fed specific kitten food which provides nutrients required for growing and is more energy dense.

    Adult cats
    Your cat is an 'adult' when they are between one and eight years old. Your adult cat needs to be fed once or twice a day, but some will regulate their food intake, so their daily ration can be left out, particularly if you give them dry food.

    Senior cats
    Cats over eight are considered 'senior'. As your cat grows older, their nutritional needs change and you can buy special foods that cater for them. These foods may have less protein and a balance of minerals and vitamins designed to keep them in good health.

  • My cat is scratching/clawing furniture. What can I do?

    Check out the International Cat Care advice page, here: Scratching on Furniture & Carpets Also, check out the information on the Feliway website, here:

  • What are the signs of fleas?

    Fleas move quickly, making them difficult to spot. Place your cat on a sheet of white paper and comb them meticulously - a fine-toothed comb may show up a couple of fleas and 'flea dirt' - flea droppings, can often be found too.

    If your cat is allergic to fleas, you might notice that they develop itchy skin, hair loss and small scabs around the tail or neck. If this is the case, it is best to visit your vet.

  • What are the signs of worms?

    Tapeworms are flat, tape-like worms common in the bowel of most mammals, including cats. If your cat has tapeworm, you might be able to see segments in the cat's faeces or in their bedding. They resemble small grains of rice, and may move.

    Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in cats, and look like a white earthworm. Adult worms live in the cat's intestine and feed on digested food. Although they are not infectious to other cats when they are first passed, they become infectious after a few days once they turn into larvae.

  • What should I feed my cat?

    Head to your nearest supermarket’s pet food aisle and you’ll find plenty of cat foods to choose from. But with so much on offer, how can you decide what is best for your cat?

    Before you buy, remember to choose food specially formulated for cats. Dog food simply isn’t suitable and food intended for humans doesn’t necessarily include all the nutrients that your cat needs. The best food for your cat (unless they have special dietary needs) is likely to be a complete cat food from a reputable brand. Your vet will be well placed to guide you to the best food for your cat.

    Homemade cat foods might be good for occasional treats, but it is very difficult to give your cat the right balance of proteins, vitamins and minerals your cat needs to thrive – unless this has been recommended by your vet.

    Vitamin supplements aren’t necessary if you are feeding your cat good quality cat food - unless recommended by your vet too. Vitamin supplements could cause a dietary imbalance which could harm your cat – always speak to your vet about any food supplements first.

  • Why is my cat toileting in the wrong place?

    There are many reasons why your cat may toilet in the 'wrong' place. We'll explore the reasons here, and offer suggestions for encouraging your cat to use their litter tray.

    Always get your cat checked by your vet before trying to change their behaviour. A qualified behaviourist may be required if your vet, and the advice here, cannot resolve the issue.

    Even if your cat has outside access, always provide litter trays inside. Some cats feel safer using a tray inside the house, particularly as neighbourhood cats may intimidate them. Your cat may be reluctant to toilet outside in bad weather or if the toileting site is frozen and they can't dig.

  • Shy cats and how to help them settle
  • How to help your shy, nervous or timid cat?

    You can help your cat to feel safe and secure by:

    • providing plenty of refuges where they can hide. Cats de-stress more quickly if they can hide, preferably somewhere high and dark, such as behind sofas or on shelves
    • preventing other cats from entering your home by windows, doors or cat flaps. Make sure your cat is not being bullied in the garden or intimidated by other cats through windows or doors
    • maintaining daily routines so your cat knows what to expect
    • use synthetic scent pheromones (available from your vet). These can help reassure your cat and reduce stress
    • sit quietly near your cat so they can get used to you in their own time. Ignore them while you read a book or take a nap so they don't feel pressurised or anxious in your presence. Do this while they are eating, or give them a small food treat so they associate you with a positive experience
    • let your cat approach you. Direct approaches are extremely threatening, so don't force attention on your cat
    • blink slowly at your cat, narrow your eyes so they are half open and then turn your face away slowly to reassure your cat that you are not a threat

    As your cat becomes more confident:
    Your cat should gradually relax as it learns that you do not present a threat. As your cat becomes braver you can try:

    • talking to your cat quietly in a calming tone
    • rewarding your cat with a treat if they approach you. At first, give the treat as soon as they approach, but gradually increase the time between the approach and the treat. Over a period of weeks, work up to calmly stroking your cat once or twice before giving the treat
    • using small toys you can gently throw for them, such as a ball of foil, scrunched up paper or a ping pong ball. Fishing rod toys allow your cat to interact without feeling threatened by close contac

  • My cat keeps hiding. What can I do?

    Hiding is a way of helping shy cats cope with being afraid or anxious. If your cat disappears to a cupboard or under a bed when a stranger enters the house, try to leave them to it – let friends and family know not to seek them out of their hiding place too.

    Often, cats also like to hide somewhere up high. This allows them to look out onto the surroundings and keeps them calm when they might be feeling worried.

  • Why is my cat so timid?

    Like humans, a cat’s behaviour and character are shaped partly by its experiences as a kitten. These experiences create your cat’s personality and most adult cats appear confident enough to face most situations. If your cat hasn’t been exposed to a full range of experiences (from unfamiliar sounds to a wide range of people), the likelihood of it being scared of these experiences will increase.

    Five ways to help a shy cat adjust to a new home:

    • Give them places to hide. A cardboard box is ideal!
    • Keep to a routine. Aim to feed and interact with them at the same time each day
    • Get to know their body language. Do they seem stressed or anxious?
    • Be calm and gentle around them – and teach young children to do the same
    • Be patient. Take the time to earn your cat’s trust.

  • Strays, Ferals, TNR and Barn Cats
  • Do people take care of community cats? How?

    Many people see a cat who seems homeless and start feeding the cat. Ideally, the person quickly does more to help the cat:

    • If the cat is tame, the first step is to try to find the cat's owner. If the owner can't be found, step two is to try to find a permanent home for the cat through a shelter, rescue or other means.
    • If the cat is feral, unapproachable and wary after several days of feeding, it's best to find out if there are any groups doing TNR in the community such as CRD so at least the cat can be spayed or neutered. If there are no local groups, step two is to consult one of the many resources that provide information about TNR.

    Once a cat or colony of cats has been TNR-ed, it's ideal if a dedicated caretaker provides food, water and shelter, monitors the cats for sickness or injury, and TNRs new feral cats who arrive. Ideally, kittens young enough to be socialized and new tame cats who arrive are removed from the colony for possible adoption.

    Many dedicated caretakers pay for TNR themselves to help improve the lives of cats and reduce their numbers. Without TNR and a dedicated caretaker trapping new cats who show up, the population of the colony could increase.

  • How do I know if the cat is feral, stray or an owned cat?

    Before you do anything, it is important to think about whether the cat you've found is a stray, a feral or an owned cat. If they appear well-groomed and is a healthy weight, they may have an owner nearby. Ferals behave like wild animals and won't come close, even with encouragement. Stray cats might look lost and disorientated, but may be friendly if given time.

  • How do I set up for a barn cat?

    Relocating feral and outdoor cats is not as easy as physically placing them in their new outdoor home. Cats are very territorial, and if you simply place them in a new location, they will try to find their way back to where they came from, often times killing themselves in the process.

    Fortunately, feral and outdoor cats can be acclimated to a new territory fairly easy and in a short amount of time.

    • Place the cat in a large cage or kennel within the building they will be calling home. Give the cat a small towel lined carrier with the door held open with a small bungee cord, food and water, and a litter box. Clay litter is better than clumping in this environment, as clumping litter can get wet or in the water bowl, making a sticky mess that is more difficult to clean up.
    • Clean the litter box and give fresh food and water daily. This can easily be done by closing the cat inside the carrier (the one you have bungeed open) to keep the cat safe while you are tending to its needs.
    • After 2-3 weeks, you can open the cage door. Food and water should be kept both inside and outside of the cage. Once the cats leave, they may never want to go back into the cage.
    • After two more weeks, the cats should be comfortable in their new home and the cage and supplies can be taken away.
    • Caring for your barn cat is as easy as providing fresh food and water daily. Some barn cat caregivers keep litter pans inside their barns, but often are rarely used. Never rely on outdoor cats to sustain themselves on rodents alone, they need a nutrient rich diet to sustain a healthy life.

  • I found a cat. What do I do?

    Cats can often appear lost and wanting food - this doesn't necessarily mean they are a stray! If the cat appears to be a healthy weight and well groomed, it might be owned. Ask your neighbours if they recognise the cat, or post a photo on local community Facebook groups. If there are no visible signs of ownership, take the cat to your local vet clinic so that they can check for a microchip.

  • What is a barn cat?

    The term “barn cat” can apply to any cat that helps keep a barn or other outdoor area vermin-free. That said, certain cats might be a better fit for the barn cat life. We tend not to adopt social cats out as barn cats, since they make good pets. Feral cats that would otherwise be euthanized are great working cats and can live long, full lives helping keep someone’s barn mouse-free. These are usually community/feral cats that cannot return to the area they were found due to it now being uninhabitable or a dangerous habitat or the area the cat came from is unknown.

    Barn cats don’t require a ton of attention. In fact, some would prefer to be left alone and will live out their lives happily keeping your barn and homestead free of pests and rodents that will eat your grains and ruin your garden. But they do require a few basic needs to be met in order to keep them healthy and willing to stay on your property.

    One of the most important things you can do to help your cat acclimate to its new home environment is to keep it crated for the first few weeks. Your new cat will be understandably frightened, and crating allows your new friend time to become acclimated to its new environment. While feral and semi-feral cats will never be “people-friendly,” the more time you can spend bonding with the cat, the more likely the cat is to remain at their new home.

    The nicer the accommodation and the more the cat comes to recognize you as their ‘food person,’ the more likely they’ll want to stay around. After the initial confinement period, your cat will need a place to go in out of the wind and rain and during extreme weather. No matter what you’ve heard in the past, cats do not thrive on catching mice alone—they still need proper nutrition.

    Community and barn cats still need adequate food and water. While feral and semi-feral cats don’t make ideal members of the family for indoor dwelling, they CAN go on to lead happy, productive lives in the communities in which they live. What we can do for them is ease their struggle, make them healthy through sterilization and vaccination, and provide them with suitable homes.

    YOU can be the opportunity for a happy, healthy future for these often overlooked cats. All our barn cats are fixed and fully vetted. Check out all of our adoptable animals here.

  • What is a community cat?

    Community cats are unowned cats who live outdoors. Community cats live outdoors in virtually every landscape on every continent where people live. Like indoor cats, they belong to the domestic cat species (Felis catus). However, community cats, also called feral or outdoor cats, are generally not socialized, or friendly, to people and don't want to live indoors. They live full, healthy lives with their feline families, called colonies, in their outdoor homes.

  • What is an ‘eartip’?

    We use the word “eartip” to describe when a small portion of the tip of a community cat’s ear is surgically removed during neuter surgery, as part of a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program, to show that the cat has been neutered and vaccinated. Eartipping is done while the cat is anesthetized and is not painful for the cat. Eartipping is the most effective way to identify neutered community cats from a distance, to make sure they are not trapped or undergo surgery a second time.

  • What is the difference between a stray cat and a feral cat?

    Stray cats are socialized to people and can be adopted into homes, but feral cats are not socialized to people and are happy living outdoors.

  • What is Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR)?

    Trap-Neuter-Return is the humane, effective approach to addressing community cat populations. Through TNR cats are humanely trapped, spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The tip of one ear is painlessly removed to indicate the cats are part of a TNR program. They are then returned to their outdoor homes where they live and thrive, ending the cycle of producing new litters of kittens. TNR is good public policy. It reduces animal shelter intake, “euthanasia” numbers and calls to animal control agencies, which saves tax dollars.

  • Why can't animal shelters rescue feral cats?

    Animal shelters already care for and try to find homes for untold thousands of lost, injured and abandoned cats, in addition to pet cats whose owners are unable or unwilling to keep them. Because feral cats are so scared of people and usually cannot be adopted, those who are brought to a shelter, especially cats who cannot be identified as members of a known TNR-ed colony, are likely to be euthanized either right away or after a holding period. It's a complicated situation: While it's difficult to accurately identify a feral cat without observing them during a holding period, safely caring for a feral cat in a typical shelter cage is terribly stressful for the cat. In addition, if space is limited we may not be able to take on other cats.

  • Why doesn’t removing community cats from an area work?

    While catching and removing cats may temporarily reduce the number of cats in a given area, it is ultimately counterproductive. Removing cats only creates a vacuum that will soon be filled by nearby cats, who move in to use the resources that sustained the cats who were removed. These cats breed and the area is soon populated again. This phenomenon is known as the Vacuum Effect and has been documented worldwide in many species, including coyotes and foxes. Because of the Vacuum Effect, catching and removing cats is an endless, ineffective cycle.

  • Vet and Health Care
  • I have lost my cat. What should I do?

    If you’ve lost your cat and they’re already microchipped, enter this information with NZCAR (NZ Companion Animal Register) .

    If your lost cat is found and taken to a vet or animal welfare organisation, you’ll be contacted to arrange a reunion.

  • Is my cat microchipped already?

    If you’ve adopted a cat from Cat Rescue Dunedin or another animal welfare organisation, there is every chance that your cat may already have a microchip. You’ll need to make sure that your contact details appear when your cat’s microchip is scanned. CRD will update your cat’s details with NZCAR (NZ Companion Animal Register) when you formally adopt them. If you’re getting your cat from elsewhere, you’ll need to ask for further information and the cat’s original paperwork if possible.

  • Should all cats be vaccinated?

    Vaccination has greatly reduced the incidence of life-threatening infectious diseases within the cat population. Whether or not your cat needs to be vaccinated will depend on its lifestyle and risk of infection, so make sure you talk to your vet.

    Cats with FIV have a weakened or suppressed immune system and may be at greater risk of developing other infections if they are exposed to them. FIV positive cats can be vaccinated to offer some protection. Speak to your vet for more information.

  • What age is best to neuter a cat?

    Kitten neutering is proven to be safe and effective and we recommend that your cat is neutered at four months of age or younger. It is important that this is done before the cat begins puberty.

  • What are the other benefits of neutering?

    As well as avoiding pregnancy, neutering your cat can be good for their overall health.
    For example:

    For female cats, the chance of getting some infectious diseases will be reduced and the likelihood of developing tumours, womb infections and other illnesses is also reduced.

    Neutered male cats are less likely to end up injured from fighting or stray from home. Male cats that are not neutered often appear frustrated if they don’t find a female mate and can spray smelly urine in the house as a way of scent-marking – an appeal to potential female mates.

  • What is neutering?

    Neutering is an operation to prevent female cats from getting pregnant and male cats from making females pregnant. The operation will be performed by a vet, with your cat being under general anaesthetic.

    You'll likely be able to drop off and pick up your cat on the same day. They'll recover quickly from the operation, and your vet will advise on the best care.

    We recommend that kittens are neutered at four months old or younger, although cats can be neutered at any age.

  • When should my cat be vaccinated?

    The first vaccinations should be given to kittens from around eight to nine weeks of age. This timing is important - too early and the antibodies they receive from their mother will interfere with the immune response to the vaccine, preventing it from working properly. Too late and kittens will be left susceptible to infection. Two vaccines are usually needed - three to four weeks apart. Giving vaccines twice ensures a satisfactory level of immunity. A booster vaccine should be given one year later to keep immunity levels high. Further needs should be discussed with your vet.

  • Why does my cat need vaccinations?

    Vaccines are usually developed for diseases that are debilitating or life-threatening and easily spread. They are not available for all infectious diseases, although vaccines should protect against some severe infectious diseases commonly found in felines.

  • Why is neutering important?

    There are thousands of unwanted cats in NZ already, with hundreds coming into our care every year.

    To ensure all cats have a safe and happy home, one of our aims is to champion neutering as a way to keep the cat population under control.

    Cats are effective breeders and female cats can get pregnant from a very young age so making sure your kitten is neutered or spayed is particularly important.

    Of course, as well as preventing unwanted kittens, neutering your cat has plenty of health benefits too.

  • Why should I microchip my cat?

    Whether you’ve just bought a kitten or adopted an older cat, making sure they are microchipped should be top of your list. Microchipping your cat gives them the best chance of being identified and returned to you if they are lost or stolen. Microchips are safe, easy to implant and effective. Unlike collars and ID tags, microchips don’t come off and they don’t put your cat at risk of injury.

  • Important Custom codes here for this page - it is hidden on the website.

    Be The Hero For Dunedin’s Cats

    Subscribe To Our newsletter