Class Photo

Tens of abandoned kittens, who were born last spring, are crying out for gentle hands to stroke them and warm homes to live in

Diesel was rescued from the engine of a parked car; Pele was almost run over on a busy road and was saved through the kindness of two tourists; Ronnie and Yoni were abandoned in a cardboard box along with their mother; and Gali, Mali and Toby only just survived without their mother until they were picked up by alert neighbors. All these cute kittens, along with many others, reached the SPCA following the whelping season last spring, and now they are crying out for warm homes and responsible owners who will take care of them lovingly for the rest of their lives. In order to encourage adoption of kittens, the SPCA prepared a ‘Kittens Class Photo – Graduates of Spring 2015’.

Kittens Class Photo - Graduates of Spring 2015
Kittens Class Photo – Graduates of Spring 2015

The kitten whelping season brings with it huge numbers of kittens every year. Most of them are born on the streets to homeless cats and must deal with the cruel realities of life and difficult conditions of survival, while others are born to house-cats whose owners didn’t take care to have them spayed. The SPCA, whose gates are always open to all animals in distress, took in tens of kittens in the past few months. The staff of the SPCA looked after these adorable kittens for many long weeks with care and affection and now, at the age of three months, they are candidates for adoption. It is vital to point out that, in order to prevent uncontrolled proliferation of kittens and pups, who have great difficulty in finding adoptive homes, all the dogs and cats given out for adoption from the SPCA are spayed or neutered.

The Cat was Saved

The SPCA Rescue Squad saved a homeless cat who was in distress while giving birth

Following a call to the Society’s call center, a cat who hid in a closet on a street in Bat Yam, was found giving birth, with a kitten stuck in her cervix. When the call was received, the SPCA rescue team went to her rescue. According to the callers, they had first approached the Bat Yam Municipality where they were told that neither the Municipality nor the Veterinary Department could help.

Due to the cat’s delicate condition, the rescuer used a special net to catch her and she was brought in to the SPCA clinic immediately.[ The kitten was already dead, and the cat underwent sterilization. The two-year-old cat was kept under veterinary supervision for one week, and once she regained her strength and recovered, she was returned to her familiar environment in coordination with the cat feeders, who were used to feeding her regularly.

The cat giving birth hiding in the abandoned closet
The cat giving birth hiding in the abandoned closet

It is estimated that there are over two million homeless cats living on the streets in Israel. Some belong to orderly groups and are fed on a regular basis and, in some cases, are altered, but most of them live lives of suffering under terrible conditions, struggling with never-ending battles for food and territory. The problem is that even cats that are supposedly cared for and are lucky enough to be fed regularly, are exposed to ongoing dangers. Often, they are suffering from cuts, inflammations, eczema, ulcers, infections or other illnesses, and are sentenced to lives of indescribable suffering. Even if the people in their environs notice their distress, the authorities do not always take responsibility and offer a helping hand.

The Society asks the public to be alert with regard to animal suffering. If you come across an animal in distress, please call us at: *4553.

Trapping, Spaying and Neutering

A kitten that was stuck in a restaurant fireplace in Tel-Aviv was rescued

A kitten that was stuck in a restaurant fireplace in Tel-Aviv was rescued by the SPCA and will be neutered at the Society’s clinic.

In order to facilitate the complicated rescues, the SPCA rescuers are assisted by state-of-the-art equipment such as a net gun, which shoots a 2/2 meter net and is primarily used to trap dogs; a net lasso to trap small inaccessible animals, primarily injured cats; Blowpipe – in which an injection is inserted with anesthesia and designed to trap animals from a distance (under veterinary supervision), and that is particularly effective in trapping unsterilized cats located in a group in which some of the cats have already undergone spaying or neutering; Pincers, which are primarily used to trap kittens and dogs in the chest area to prevent them from escaping or injury; Lasso stick – stick with lasso at the end, primarily used to trap wounded dogs; and dog and cat traps, in which food is placed as a bait for capture. The prices of these special equipment are particularly expensive, and we wish to thank Dr. Alice Neumov-Raban, whose donations has help us purchase some of the equipment.

Little Oren

A tiny kitten was rescued from the tree top by the Petah Tikvah Fire Brigade

This week we set out on another rescue mission that ended successfully, with the rescue of a cute little ginger kitten that was stuck on the top branches of a tree.

Following a call that was received in the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel call center, and a report from Petah Tikvah residents about a cat that was stranded in a high tree on Borochov Street, the rescue team set out to the scene. According to the neighbors, the cat was stuck up in the tree and had been yowling for three days without food or water, while all their calls to the Municipality and the Fire Brigade went unanswered.

Since the cat was stuck very high up, the rescue team realized that only with the help of the Fire Brigade and their special ladders could the cat be reached. The Society staff contacted both the Veterinary Department, directed by Dr. Tika Brown, who sent supervisors to the scene, and the Fire Brigade. The Petah Tikvah Fire Brigade team, under the authority of the shift officer, Simon Lugasi, reached the spot, took out their equipment and with the help of a very high ladder, the kitten was safely rescued.

The kitten, a cute, friendly, ginger, four-month-old kitten was named Oren. He will remain in the Society for a few days of observation, be given vaccinations and be neutered and then we will find a loving and responsible family for him.

We wish to express our appreciation to the Petah Tikvah Municipality Veterinary Department who set out immediately to help the kitten and to the firemen who undertook the rescue of the hapless creature. We call on all members of the public to be vigilant and to keep their eyes open for animals in distress and, when necessary, to call the Society’s call center: *4553.

Ma’ayan Squared in a Double Rescue Operation

Two kittens were rescued from car engines on the same day

Many kittens born on the streets slowly get to know their way around but their unquenchable curiosity often leads them to the edge of the abyss. One of the most dangerous phenomenon is their search for a warm nook, which they too often find in the bumpers of cars parked on the streets. The engine, that retains its heat, provides them with the warmth they are looking for, but often they have difficulty finding their way out or are killed when the engine is ignited. This phenomenon is most common in the winter season, but throughout the whole year, cars constitute a dangerous shelter to tiny kittens.

One day last week the Society rescued two kittens that got stuck in car engines. The first incident took place in the Tel Kabir residential district in Tel Aviv, when Ma’ayan Demati, aged 17, and her father heard the sound of cats yowling coming from the bonnet of the car, while they were driving. The father stopped the car as quickly as he could, turned off the engine and started looking futilely for the cat. They continued on their way, assuming that the cat had managed to run away, but when they reached their destination they again heard the yowling.

Ma’ayan, who rears her own cat, ran to bring food for the cat in the hope that the cat would be tempted out, but it was all in vain and the cat remained in the engine. Ma’ayan remembered that she had once read that the Society carries out cat rescue missions so she immediately contacted the Society Hot Line. The Society’s rescuer set off to the scene and began the rescue operation, which went on for about one hour because the frightened little kitten went deep down into the engine. The kitten was rescued and brought to the Society where the vet on duty examined her and found her to be in good health and very friendly! At the moment the cute, two-month-old, black kitten is being looked after in the Society and in another month will be strong enough to be adopted into a warm and loving home.

The second rescue took place about one hour later in Rishon Le Zion. As Ma’ayan Levine parked her car, she picked up the sound of a cat yowling from a nearby car. Ma’ayan called the Police in order to locate the owners of the car, but after half an hour of waiting on the line, the call got cut off. When she called again, she was told that there was no point in contacting the Police as they couldn’t help her. Ma’ayan didn’t despair and decided to contact the Society. And so the rescue person set out for the second time that day to rescue a kitten from a parked car. The grey dappled kitten was brought in to the Society safely, and in another month he will also be ready to go to a new, adopted home.

Please remember – a light rap on the bonnet of the car or making a sudden noise under the bumper can flush out cats hiding in the engine and so prevent their deaths, as well as damage to the engine, which can cost a lot to be repaired.

We wish to thank Ma’ayan from Tel Aviv and Ma’ayan from Rishon Le Zion for their alertness and for their prompt reporting which led to the kittens being rescued. If the stories and pictures of the kittens touch your hearts, you are invited to come to the Society and to adopt them.

Petting–biting syndrome

Cat behavior problems: Why does the cat bite a second after being petted?

Orli Zacai – Chinese Medicine for Animals and Consultation for Cat behavioral

Many cat owners recognize this situation all too well: their cat enjoys being petted on its head or back, but the minute that they touch its stomach or its paws, the cat growls or scratches their hand. Some of the cats even use their back paws to try to distance their owners. Right afterwards, in a second, the cat runs away a short distance and sometimes just stands their and looks at its owner with its ears back, and with an uncertain expression on its face about the next step to take. In general, following this, the cat sits down and cleans itself enthusiastically, an activity that is usually an expression of stress or confusion or the desire to rid itself of the odor remaining from the owner’s petting hands.

Is this normal or not?
Aggressive behavior in cats can be divided into two principal types: normal behavior (a reaction that is essential in specific situations) or abnormal behavior (an exaggerated response). Most cat owners believe that aggressive behavior in their cat is abnormal, and since the normative behavior is often mixed with a scratch or a bite, they have no patience for this type of behavior.
The larger problem is not the scratch itself, but the disappointment or the surprise of the owner when they see their cat go from such a very relaxed state of being petted and comfortable to a state of aggression. The fear people have of being scratched or bitten, and their lack of understanding of this intelligent animal causes many to withdraw from the cat, and abandoning the cat is unfortunately but a short
step away.

Relaxed and calm or aggressive?
Through the years, during domestication, housecats forgot or lost some of the reasons to attack. In spite of this, aggressive behavior still exists, primarily among non-castrated cats or cats that are in situations where their physical and emotional needs are not being met.
Most cats love to curl up and be petted, and they generally purr with enjoyment, since this generally reminds them of the time they had been little kittens being cared for by their mothers.
Adult cats have very well developed instincts for survival, and in some situations, if they allowed themselves to be too relaxed, they might feel vulnerable. The minute that they feel there is a potential to be hurt, they are likely to attack or simply to run away from the situation.
The common situation that is described at the beginning of this article is one of the examples of aggressiveness in cats, and it received the name: the Petting–biting syndrome.
Cats that are used to being petted and the feel of your hands, will react aggressively less frequently, that is to say, it will take them more time before they attack than it takes with cats unused to petting. However, the latter cats could go from a relaxed state to aggressiveness even if they are only being approached or from an attempt at petting.

So what do we do?
In order to deal with the problem we must attempt not to get to this border between calm and stress. If your cat gets to this point relatively quickly, learn to pet it each time only a little. In this situation it is advisable not to pick it up, and thus to avoid an additional scratch to yourself. Little by little the cat will become accustomed to you, and you will be able to pet it for longer periods of time.
Furthermore, it is always worthwhile to pay attention to the cat’s body language. The cats will provide us with signs in order to warn us, and all that we have to do is to be aware of their body language and learn to read the preliminary signs. Cessation of purring or violent waving of the tail from side to side, are examples of preliminary signs, after which you should discontinue petting the cat.
If your cat continues to attack, and you are unable to find the reason and to change the situation, it is advisable to turn to a cat behavior specialist.

Babies and cats: How to prepare the cat for the arrival of the infant in the home

Congratulations! The birth is approaching, but with all the excitement around, you are troubled about how the new arrival will get along with your adult cat

Orli Zacai – Chinese Medicine for Animals and Consultation for Cat behavioral


Almost everything is ready. You’ve read all the possible books, chosen a number of names, you know exactly what shade of blue you want for the baby carriage, you attend all the birthing classes and you feel emotionally prepared for parenthood.

Stop a moment….you’ve forgotten something important! Your cat has no idea that a new baby is coming into the home and life is going to change, and therefore, it is important to also prepare him before the birth. For a moment, look at the situation through the eyes of your cat: when a baby comes into the home without any prior preparation, from his point of view it is a very noisy intruder who is stealing a lot of attention. This is not the impression that we want the cat to receive, and we of course prefer that they will be good friends.

It is important to note that in the event that there are behavioral problems such as defecating outside of the kitty litter, aggression and such, they need to be treated during the pregnancy and before the birth of the baby. These problems have various causes, such as improper environmental conditions, and therefore, it is advisable to confer with a professional behavior therapist who will identify the causes and offer ways of solving the problems.

As stated, preparing the cat for the coming of the adorable infant and the changes that are going to occur in the home needs to be done gradually before the birth, in order that the encounter should not be too stressful. Here are a few tips that can make it easier for all sides:

– Get the cat used to the sounds and odors of babies. Spread on your hands some of the cream that you will use on the baby, let the cat smell you and then give it a tasty treat. Thus, he will connect the odor to a positive experience.

– Invite friends with a baby to your house and let the cat wander around the room and smell the baby. Pet the cat and give it a treat.

– Let the cat sniff and get used to the area in the house that you have prepared for the baby, whether this is in your room or in a separate room. It is important at this stage to satisfy the cat’s curiosity, so that his interest in this area will lessen.

– If you do not want the cat to jump on the baby’s bed, it is advisable to cover the bed with nylon sheeting and stick double sided tape on the upper surface so that the glue will remain exposed. After the cat has jumped on the bed a few times, it will understand that the surface is not a pleasant place for it.

– If you really don’t want the cat to go into the baby’s room, you can install a screen door ahead of time.

– Close to the return from the hospital it would be worthwhile to bring a diaper or clothing from the baby and let the cat get used to the odors.

– When you arrive home with the baby, pet the cat and let it sniff you and the baby carefully. Remember that the cat was yearning for you, and therefore it is important not to lock it up alone in a room until you get arranged since this is likely to over-stress it and to increase its curiosity.

– Try to play with the cat and to maintain the routine of the games, the petting, the grooming and basically everything that the cat is used to, even after the baby is already in the home.

In summary, it is important to maintain the life routine of the cat and to make it feel like an inseparable part of the family. In spite of the understandable difficulty and lack of time, do not neglect your cat. Paying attention to your cat will reduce its stress and will prevent behavioral difficulties that are likely to occur otherwise.

A baby and a cat. Photographed by Dr. Aya Peri
A baby and a cat. Photographed by Dr. Aya Peri

Cats’ Claws

Behavioral problems of cats: How do we solve the problem of cats sharpening their claws on the furniture?

Orli Zacai – Chinese Medicine for Animals and Consultation for Cat behavioral


“I have gotten to the point where I don’t know what to do…my cat is destroying the sofa with its claw sharpening. I want to buy a new sofa, but I am afraid that he will also destroy that one too. I am really desperate”.
Sharpening claws on the furniture is a very common problem among cats, and many times their owners wonder: “Why are they doing this?” Of course, we’re not talking about revenge or making a statement about your prized piece of furniture or your taste in home decoration. If you did not train your cat to sharpen its claws on a sharpening stand while it was young, it is logical that it will find functional equivalents in the form of furniture or other hard surfaces.
It is important to understand that claw sharpening is a natural action for a cat, which is genetically part of its make-up as part of its survival mechanisms. By sharpening, the cat removes the dead layer of the claw and exposes the new, younger, sharper layer. Our goal is to supply a suitable alternative and to direct the cat to the surfaces that are meant for sharpening, and of course not to punish it for behavior that stems from a natural urge.

We do not de-claw
Unfortunately, there are cat owners who chose a cruel and unnecessary solution – de-clawing. This operation is done only for the convenience of humans, who are not paying attention to what terrible suffering it causes to their beloved pet cat.
De-clawing is not similar to a manicure! We are talking about the cutting off of the last joint of every finger. Look for a moment at your own fingers and imagine the process. This is a difficult operation with a long, difficult and painful recuperation period, during which the cat still must walk on its legs, jump and dig in the kitty litter – in spite of the pain it is experiencing.
It is no wonder that in England and in other European countries this operation is now against the law.
Cat lovers know that there is no doubt that the cat is suffering. A cat of course can hide its pain better than we can since it feels itself endangered, that is to say, in a position of weakness. And in a situation such as this in nature, it would have to hide its weakness. However, do not make the mistake and consider this operation lightly.
The cat’s body is designed perfectly to give it an elegant, slight and beautiful form. Its claws are an important part of this design, and cutting them off dramatically influences the cat’s balance and prevents it from defending itself. This is the basic genetic purpose of claws, even if it seems to you that the cat has nothing to defend itself against at home.
Now you understand that the de-clawing is a very cruel process, but you are still worried about the damage to the sofa in the living room. Is there a logical solution? I am happy to tell you that the answer is yes – and the truth is that there are a few solutions.
Before we get to the problem of claw sharpening on furniture, we have to understand why the cat feels a need to mark an area where it already feels comfortable and secure, and whether or not the sharpening stems from the need to mark the territory. After we understand the reason for sharpening claws, we can then choose a relevant solution.

Territory Marking
Cats that sharpen their claws on various places in the home, especially near to windows and doors, are in essence marking their territory by means of their scent and by means of sharpening marks on those same surfaces, in a very similar way to their marking places in the house with their urine.
There are various reasons why a cat desires to mark its territory, for example, bringing a new cat into the home, without properly getting them acquainted, is likely to upset the cat’s feeling of security. This secure feeling could also be disturbed by bringing in a new mate, or when outside yard cats try to enter the home.

If the cat sharpens its claws in one or two fixed areas, the reason is usually strengthening and preservation and maintenance of healthy claws. However, sharpening of claws on furniture could stem from the cat’s desire for attention from its owners. The cat is an intelligent animal that is expert in manipulating human behavior, and quickly learns new methods for getting noticed. A cat that walks on the window sill, for example, learns how fast we jump up and pick it up. In the same way, it will learn that chewing the pretty plant in the living room or sharpening its nails on the armchair are excellent ways of being noticed.

Scratching Post
So what should you do? Buy a suitable scratching post for your cat. You can find in the market a large variety of surfaces for cats that are intended for claw sharpening, in many shapes and sizes, made of blocks of wood, rope or cardboard. Each cat has its preferences regarding sharpening surfaces. Finding the correct surface is a matter of trial and error, but the way the cat sharpens its claws could guide you to the correct surface. (Does it stretch out and sharpen its claws on a high surface such as your sofa? Or does it prefer flat and low surfaces?).

Encouraging the use of the scratching post
Below are some tips that will help your cat use the new scratching post:

– It is recommended to place the scratching post next to the sofa or the furniture that the cat uses for sharpening its claws, and then afterwards teach it to use the new surface.

– “Sharpen” your nails on the scratching post. If the cat imitates you, give it a treat.

– Gently and without force, hold your cat’s forepaw and make sharpening movements with it on the surface. If the cat cooperates, give it a treat.

– Scatter catnip on the scratching post. There are cats that really love the scent and there are those that do not react to it at all.

– Give the cat a treat or a caress each time it touches or sharpens its claws on the scratching post.

– At the moment when the cat goes over to sharpen its claws on the sofa, move it gently to the scratching post.

To sum up, it is important to remember that sharpening claws is a basic need of a cat and that it is our job to provide it with a good enough alternative. If you supply the cat with all its physical and mental needs, and if you are persistent and patient in getting the cat used to using the new scratching post, you will not have to worry about damage to your furniture or about purchasing a new sofa.

Night Creature

Is your cat not letting you sleep at night? A short adaptation period, including games, stimuli and patience, will solve the problem

Orli Zacai – Chinese Medicine for Animals and Consultation for Cat behavioral

Many cat owners know this phenomenon very well: night falls, the cat wants more attention, it’s time to sleep and the people are tired, but their cat has other plans, which include games, howling, running through the house, and a desire for attention.
Everyone knows that a cat is a creature of the night and its night activities are natural to nocturnal animals such as cats. Cats are active primarily from the evening until the early morning hours, so that if you let the cat choose, it will sleep all day and at about eight or nine at night it will wake up, stretch itself, sharpen its claws and begin its cat activities.
As stated, the problem with this picture is that the natural schedule of the cat is 180 degrees away from that of most people, and therefore what we need to do is to change its daily schedule from being awake at night to being awake during the day, and this is a lot easier than you might think.

Opposite schedule
The most important aspect of dealing with a “behavioral problem” such as this is not to make the situation even worse. What do we mean by this? One of the reasons that cats act like this is that their owners permit them to act this way. Some people get out of bed and play with them—thinking that the cat is lonely and bored. Others feed the cat and then wonder why the cat wakes them up over and over again in the middle of the night. They actually educated the cat to do this by not only getting out of bed but by giving the cat a prize.
In attempting to solve the problem we must not punish the cat for behaving in the natural way of his species. It is of course clear that we should be sensitive to the cat’s needs and that we cannot expect a cat to sleep for 24 hours a day. A cat needs stimuli and it can be assumed that when you are away from home during the day, that the cat spends most of its time sleeping. You need to teach the cat to change its schedule so that its more active time period will be in the earlier part of the evening.

Instead of allowing the cat to sleep all evening, while you are watching television, turn it off, sign out of Facebook and play a bit with the cat. Take a fishing rod game and let the cat chase it and run around the house. Teach the cat to use its claw sharpening stand, through games, to climb the ‘cat tree’ in the house or the shelves; bring it new toys every once in a while or be creative and prepare some toys yourself.
Most cats love to crawl into crates or boxes in which you place some catnip. We recommend that you play with and then feed the cat near bedtime and even provide it with quiet games to play with during the night to keep it busy when you are sleeping.
If you make sure that the cat will play during the evening and will be tired out before you go to bed, this will significantly increase the possibility that it will sleep at night.

Make sure that you play with the cat during the day and in the evening. Then you can assume that your cat will get used to sleeping at night since it will be tired out, and because it will be satisfied that you are providing it with its physical and intellectual needs. Do not give up if your cat still wakes you up at night during this adaptation period to the new daily schedule. Even if you are doing everything correctly, simply be patient and wait. If you give in you will have to start the whole process over again.
After you have supplied the cat with a bunch of enjoyable games, it is time to teach it that jumping on your face or howling outside the bedroom will not work and will not bring any interaction. The more consistent that you are – the quicker the changes will come.

There are no shortcuts
If you believe that just ignoring the cat during the night will change its schedule, you are mistaken. That way you will cause a bigger problem then the one you had previously, and the cat will become more frustrated and even nervous. In many cases a frustrated and nervous cat will eliminate in various places in the house, our will develop other problems, which will not be pleasant to either party. Therefore, it is worth making an effort during a short period, during which you reset the cat’s “clocks” and so eventually improve your own quality of life.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Cat AIDS

FIV is a virus that is transferred only between cats, and is not infectious to humans or to other animals

Doctor Hila Bareket, SPCA Israel veterinarian

Every week cats arrive at the clinic of the Society, with inflammations in their mouths and severe gum problems. Seemingly, it is possible that we are talking about cats that simply need a teeth cleaning. However, many times, a gum infection, especially in homeless cats, is likely to testify to a much more severe problem.

FIV is a virus that is transferred only between cats, and is not infectious to humans or to other animals who are not felines! It is common primarily in homeless male cats over five years old. The virus is transferred between cats primarily by bites, by blood, saliva, milk and sexual contact. The infection could also be through an infected mother to her kittens. When a cat is infected with the virus, it does not immediately show symptoms of the disease.

At the onset, the virus arrives at the lymph glands where it multiplies throughout the cells of the immune system. Within 4-6 weeks the general symptoms develop, which are fever, depression, lessoning of appetite and an enlargement of the lymph glands. The owners usually do not notice these symptoms; the cat looks “healthy”. Anti-bodies develop in its blood against the virus. However, at the same time the virus continues to multiply and to destroy cells of the immune system.

This process is slow, and could take months or years. At a certain stage, the immune system of the cat is extremely weakened and it no longer succeeds in defending the cat against infection with illnesses that without the virus the cat would not contract. We are speaking, in general, about severe chronic inflammations in the mouth, on the skin, in the respiratory or digestive systems, which are accompanied by bacteria and even develop into cancerous growths. In this stage the cat is very sick, depressed, develops fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, eye inflammations, neural problems and death.

It is possible to perform blood tests upon the cat who is suspected as having contracted the virus in order to detect anti-bodies that were created upon the infestation of the virus. Blood tests don’t always testify unequivocally that the cat has contracted FIV, since there is an immunization for the virus that creates the same anti-bodies. Additionally, in the terminal stages of the disease it is possible that no anti-bodies will be found in the blood at all and the test will be negative, in spite of the fact that the cat is very ill. Sometimes the test has to be repeated after a few weeks since only then will the level of anti-bodies be high enough to be detected.

The treatment is generally supportive:
– Antibiotics against the secondary infections.
– Vitamins, liquids and food with high nutritional value—to support the cells of the immune system.

To prevent the spread of the illness, we have to prevent other cats from contracting the FIV virus, and this is by: separating the healthy cats from the sick cats and preventing contact or quarrels with other cats, and by keeping the ill cats at home and immunizing the healthy cats against the disease once a year.