Tag Archives: Cat Welfare Association

Photo essay: Cat Welfare Association

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I visited Cat Welfare Association.  I wrote about our visit in this blog post.  Unfortunately, the post had room for only a few photos, and we took a ton.  So I’m using today’s post to share more of the photos that we liked.  Hope you enjoy!

Cat Welfare outsidecat tree

orange look


cat bucket 2Color codes

cat toy

big boy

cage cat

outdoor yard


red collar

white cat

cat tongue

cage cat 2

whole floor

cat box sleep

cat arch

cats toy

cage cat 3

sink cat

little black

Day 21 Swim Report
Number of laps: 40
Time: 60 minutes
Pace: Sightly fast

Day 21 was easier than the day before.  I did an easy 40 laps in an hour, which is slightly faster than my normal 35 laps an hour.

Day 23 Swim Report
Number of laps: 45
Time: 65 minutes
Pace: Fast!

My goal today was only 40 laps, but I got done with that in less than an hour, so I had time for 45.  Good thing – I think I will need 45 a day until the end of the month to make the marathon.


Cats and kittens galore!

Many thanks to Bob Nunnally of WCMH-TV NBC4 in Columbus for having Doug Grotegeer from Cat Welfare Association and me on his Daytime show yesterday! Doug brought two adorable adoptable kittens, littermates Sal and Dorothy.

catwelfarespecialsJune is kitten season, and Cat Welfare is currently housing 350 cats! They are on special right now. Adoption fees are normally $80, but are now half price at $40, with a second kitten or cat for only $20. Check out this video preview of a few kittens they had available as of Friday.

I always advise people who are thinking of getting a cat to get two so they can keep each other company. We have four cats of our own — two sisters (now 13 years old), and two strays rescued on my husband’s birthday in 2010. They are best of friends.

Cat Welfare is at 741 Wetmore Road in Columbus. It’s open 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. Any day is a good day to stop by and see some cats!

Day 18 Swim Report
Number of laps: 45
Time: 65 minutes
Pace: Fast!

I was a little late getting to the pool today and thought I wouldn’t make my goal today of 40 laps. Instead, somehow I managed to swim a few extra. It really helps when you can get a little ahead of the game because sooner or later, you’ll need to cash in those chips.

On the radio

Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative logoMany thanks to Art and Tracey Jipson for having me on Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative, their radio show broadcast from the studios of WUDR at the University of Dayton!

I got to explain the Big Cats, Little Cats initiative and rave about two great organizations.

If you are in the Dayton area, check out the show on Tuesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. on 99.5 FM.  Art and Tracy have been playing indie, local and alternative music since 2004.

Day 11 Swim Report

Number of laps: 42
Time: 65 minutes
Pace: Somewhat fast

Had a great swim with no issues.  I’m getting stronger and swimming faster with less effort.

A visit to Cat Welfare Association

Last week my husband, Paul, and I had the chance to spend some time at Cat Welfare Association.  If you live anywhere in Central Ohio and love cats, you really need to do this.

cat treeThe 5,600-square-foot building is dominated by a large play room full of cat trees, comfy beds, hiding places, cubby holes, and sleeping perches for the cats to enjoy.  There are dedicated intake, exam, isolation and recovery rooms with separate ventilation systems.  There is also an outdoor patio for cats to enjoy the sunshine and watch the birds.

Most of the cats walk freely around the facility, but some are caged.  These are cats receiving medical treatment or those who don’t get along well with others.  A collar system shows which cats anyone can handle (green), which may bite or scratch (yellow), which have special needs (blue), and which have become permanent residents (red).

black beautyCats that come into Cat Welfare Association stay there until they are adopted, or until they are determined to be permanent residents because they are not suitable for adoption.  Cat Welfare adopted out 879 cats in 2012, and has found homes for 21,861 cats since 1990.

As you can imagine, it takes a lot of money to house, feed, medicate, and clean up after 250 to 300 cats.  Cat Welfare is supported by membership dues, donations, bequests, and fund-raising projects like mine.  It also holds a weekly sale on Saturdays through its thrift shop, Catique.

cage catCat Welfare Association is always looking for volunteers to play and cuddle with the cats as well as staff the weekly garage sale, help with fundraising and marketing, and work special events.  If you are interested, email Gail Harbert at cwavolunteers@gmail.com.  You can also foster cats and kittens by contacting Karen Lee at cwafosters@gmail.com.

To learn more about the current news, events and activities at Cat Welfare Association, check out back issues of their newsletters available online.

outdoor yardYou can visit Cat Welfare Association at 741 Wetmore Road in Columbus.  They are open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.  They are closed the first Thursday of each month.

I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did mine.  Check out these photos taken by my husband, Paul.  More to come soon!


Day 9 Swim Report

Number of laps: 45
Time: 70 minutes
Pace: Pretty fast

Due to a medical emergency with one of my own cats, Amy, I missed yesterday’s swim.  Amy will be okay – she has a urinary tract infection and is getting antibiotics and pain medication.  But the veterinary tests took a lot of time, and cleaning up after her urination outside the box is taking even longer!  So today when I got to the pool, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Turned out the day off was good, and I swam one of my fastest times in months.  Let’s hope that keeps up!

Cat overpopulation

One of the biggest, if not the biggest problem facing cats is overpopulation. There are an estimated 1 million stray and feral cats in Central Ohio, and anywhere from 30 million to 90 million nationally.


Estimates on the number of stray and feral cats across the country range from 30 million to 90 million. Photo credit: Alley Cat Allies.

The most effective way to deal with this issue is spay-neuter. There is no way any shelter can take in this many cats, much less find homes for them all – and the feral cats are not suited for homes anyway.

Studies show that up to 90 percent of owned pet cats have been spayed and neutered. However, as incomes get lower, people are less likely to have their pets altered. At incomes below $35,000 a year, the rates of spay-neuter fall to 51 percent.

That makes low-cost spay-neuter vitally important. It is these unaltered cats that reproduce to cause cat overpopulation. Sometimes they run away or are abandoned, and end up producing litters of kittens that grow up with little to no human contact. This is how the feral cat population gets out of control.

Cat Welfare Association is doing its part to address this important issue. Their Altering Fund provides vouchers for low-income residents to take their cats to participating veterinarians for altering and other basic care such as distemper and rabies vaccines.

Prices are $55 for a neuter and $65 for a spay. This surgery normally costs $100 to $200. This may be the first veterinary care some pet cats get, and may spur their owners to establish a relationship with a veterinarian for further care.

The Altering Fund provides an even bigger discount for caretakers of feral cats. Feral cats are cats living outdoors, often in groups referred to as colonies. They are unsocialized to humans and not suitable as pets. It is vitally important to ensure they are spayed and neutered so this population does not continue to grow. Spay-neuter also reduces nuisance behaviors such as yowling and fighting.

Feral cat caretakers can get cats altered for $10 each plus one $10 application fee. An application and instructions are available on the Cat Welfare website.

Day 3 Swim Report

Number of Laps: 40
Time: 67 minutes
Pace: Average

Feeling more like myself today.  Swam normal speed.  Tired but better overall than yesterday.

Big Cats, Little Cats – A swim marathon fundraiser

My name is Cathy Cowan Becker, and I live in Columbus, Ohio.  I will be swimming a marathon (26.2 miles) through the month of June to raise money for two organizations – Cat Welfare Association, a cat shelter in Columbus, and Lions, Tigers & Bears, a big cat and exotic animal sanctuary in Alpine, Calif.

The goal is to raise $2600 – $100 for each mile – with half going to each group.  On this blog I will keep track of the miles I swim, talk about issues facing big and small cats, and feature adoptable cats from Cat Welfare and the big cat residents of Lions, Tigers and Bears.

Donation page for Lions, Tigers & Bears – http://www.razoo.com/story/Big-Cats-Little-Cats1
Donation page for Cat Welfare Association – http://www.razoo.com/story/Big-Cats-Little-Cats2

I hope you will consider donating to both!


This month I am turning 50 years old. Hard to believe because I don’t feel 50. But I have been feeling more sluggish lately, and you know what they say – use it or lose it.

So this month I decided to do a swim marathon – 26.2 miles in the pool. This works out to about a mile a day. And I decided to use this event to raise money for my favorite cause – cats both big and small.


Both big and small cats need our help. Anyone who owns a small cat knows what wonderful companions they are. Yet pretty much everyone has seen stray and feral cats wandering the streets.

In Central Ohio alone there are an estimated 1 million stray and feral cats. No one knows how many there are nationally, but estimates range from 30 million to 90 million.

Cat Welfare Association in Columbus, Ohio, has been working since 1945 to help these cats. This no kill shelter takes in friendly stray, injured and pregnant cats to be rehomed after a spay-neuter, preventive shots, and any needed medical treatment. The free-roaming facility houses about 300 cats at a time and adopts out about 1,000 a year to new homes.

Cat Welfare also addresses the root cause of cat overpopulation through a spay-neuter program for low-income cat owners and TNR program for colony cat caretakers. Pet owners can get a low-cost voucher to take their pets to a local veterinarian, while feral cats are fixed for only $10. The Altering Fund helped 2,351 cats in 2012 and 31,248 since 1990 get this important surgery.

Find out more about Cat Welfare Association at http://www.catwelfareohio.com.


Big cats are disappearing from the planet. In the past 30 years lion populations have dwindled 80 percent, and fewer than 5,000 tigers are left in their natural habitat. Meanwhile, breeding and selling of these animals has skyrocketed – there are more tigers in captivity than in the wild.

Why has this happened? One reason is the USDA allows direct contact with tiger cubs from 6 to 12 weeks, spurring unscrupulous people to breed them for photo and petting booths. Once these animals grow up, there are few places for them to go. Accredited zoos don’t take them (zoos have their own breeding programs that follow strict genetics), while accredited sanctuaries are full.

Many big cats end up in substandard roadside zoos or private hands. Most private citizens don’t have the finances or training to handle the needs of these magnificent creatures, evolved to wander over wide territories and hunt large prey. Big cats of any sort do not make good pets.

One sanctuary working on this problem is Lions, Tigers & Bears in Alpine, Calif. Accredited by both the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and American Sanctuary Association, LTB houses dozens of big cats on a 93-acre ranch west of San Diego. It has 17 species including lions, tigers, cougars, bobcats, leopards, servals, as well as bears and farm animals.


LTB’s founder, Bobbi Brink, has a special relationship with Ohio. For years, Ohio’s lack of regulations on dangerous wild animals made it a magnet for the exotic animal trade. New legislation passed last year in the wake of the tragic events in Zanesville prompted many private owners to close up shop.

Unfortunately, people trying to place big cats have few options. That’s where Bobbi came in. She and a team traveled to Ohio to meet with multiple private owners and find new homes for dozens of big cats and other animals.

Then, with support from groups like International Fund for Animal Welfare and Humane Society of the United States, her team transported these animals to accredited facilities across the country. Ohio owes Bobbi and Lions, Tigers & Bears a debt of gratitude for helping these animals get out of substandard conditions and into good homes.

Find out more about Lions, Tigers & Bears at http://lionstigersandbears.org.