Frequently Asked Questions
Where is your shelter located?
2217 Mahoning Ave
Youngstown, Ohio 44509
What hours are you open for adoptions?
Tuesday - Friday: 3-7pm
Saturday: Noon to 6pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
How much is your adoption fee, and what does it include?
Our adoption fee includes:
- Testing for FeLV/FIV
- Rabies vaccination
- Both FVRCP vaccinations
- Flea treatment
- Lifetime Return Guarantee
Our regular adoption fees are:
$90 Kittens up to 9 months
$50 Kittens over 9 months and adults up to 6 years
$40 Senior and Special Needs kitties
We have occasional specials which we announce on our front page.
Do I need an appointment to visit?
No, just stop in! There are plenty of cats to visit.
How long does it take to adopt?
You should plan on spending some time simply visiting with the cats to determine the right cat for you. This is a lifelong commitment to another living creature, so take your time.Once you choose your new feline family member, you’ll fill out a simple adoption application. If you rent your home or apartment, you’ll be expected to provide your landlord’s name and phone number so our adoption counselor can verify that you are permitted to have a cat in your home. If you know your landlord will not be available via phone, please bring a copy of your lease agreement that specifically states pets are permitted. After that, the process is easy. Your application will be reviewed by one of our adoption counselors, and you may be asked some follow-up questions.
Can I take my new cat or kitten home immediately?
- Cat or Kitten currently in the shelter and fixed – Yes! Once approved, you can take them home right away!
- Meet-n-Greet Kittens – No. You will be told at the Meet-n-Greet when your kitten is expected to be ready for their spay/neuter surgery. You will then receive a phone call as soon as your kitten is large enough, which may be slightly before or after the expected date. You can pick them up at the shelter after surgery.
- Kittens at the shelter but not yet fixed – No. Occasionally we will have kittens available for viewing who are waiting for their surgery dates. These kittens can be reserved but cannot go home until after they’re fixed. You will be given a pick-up date when you reserve them.
Where can I drop off my unwanted cat?
Simply put, you can’t. West Side Cats does not accept drop-offs because the drop-off issue promotes the thinking that cats are worthless and easily discarded. All of our cats are accepted by appointment only, and a minimum donation is required. To inquire about whether or not there is space available for new cats, call (330) 792-4228.
I found a stray cat. Will you take it?
Because we are a no-kill shelter, we rarely have room for stray cats. Cats in a high-kill shelter who are in danger of being euthanized take priority over owner surrenders and strays. To find out if our shelter has room, please contact us at (330) 792-4228. A donation to cover the cat’s medical costs and routine care is required for all new cats.
We recommend that you try to find a home for the cat on your own. A shelter should always be the last resort, not the first convenient option.First, take the cat to a veterinarian to have it tested for FeLV/FIV. If the cat has not yet been fixed, arrange to have this done prior to placing the cat. When you place a cat that is not fixed, you contribute to the pet overpopulation and increase the numbers of cats that will eventually be euthanized.If you require financial assistance to afford the surgery, contact C.H.A.I.N. at (330) 758-7710. They have a program which may be able to reduce the cost of the surgery depending on your income.
Next, place an ad in the Youngstown Vindicator by calling (330) 746-6565. Be sure to mention the color of the cat, whether its fur is long or short, the gender, all medical care it has received and its approximate age (the vet can tell you this). Always ask for a small adoption fee of $10-20 or more to weed out undesirable homes for your cat. In addition, take a great photo of your cat and put ads on craigslist.org and ebayclassifieds.com. While you’re waiting for responses to your ad, make a few flyers with the same information. If possible, include a photo of the cat. Don’t forget to put your contact information on the bottom. Post these on bulletin boards in grocery stores. Ask your vets office if you can place a flyer there. Check local pet stores for bulletin boards in their entryways.
I’m moving and can’t take my cat with me. When can I drop it off?
There is nowhere in the country where cats simply aren’t allowed. It’s much easier to find a place for you and your cat to live together than to find a shelter willing to take your suddenly unwanted cat. This is because there are simply more cats than there are available homes. It is very worth the extra effort to find an apartment or landlord that will accept the cat. It’s only a matter of a couple extra phone calls. Your cat will thank you for it.Former owners wishing to abandon their cats because of the convenience of moving without them are given one of the lowest intake priorities and are very rarely accepted.
I am (my child is) allergic to our cat. I need to get rid of it.
Losing their home is very traumatic for a cat. Imagine living with your family for years then suddenly being forced to live in a strange place against your will. That’s what abandonment is like for a cat. Consider alternatives before doing this to a cat who loves you and your family.There are many over-the-counter allergy medications that are very effective. Talk to your doctor if you need something stronger. Many doctors are quick to say that getting rid of the cat is the answer. Tell him/her that you love your cat and work together with your doctor to find a solution. Cat Lady, Kimm, is extremely allergic to cats, yet she founded an organization to help and care for them. In addition to spending countless hours every day with dozens of cats at the shelter, she owns multiple cats at home.
What is a feral cat?
Feral cats are most often cats who have been born in the “wild” with little or no human contact. They are extremely scared of humans and will run away, scratch or bite if caught.
How do I get rid of the feral cats in my neighborhood?
The best solution is colony management. This is where a resident of the neighborhood feeds and cares for these cats while allowing them to come and go as they please. Cat shelters for the winter months can be made out of dog houses, sheds and simply constructed wooden boxes with access holes for the cats to come and go.In order for colony management to be successful, ALL cats in the colony must be spayed or neutered to prevent a population explosion each time warm weather hits. This is easily accomplished by trapping the cats and taking them to a veterinarian to be fixed. You do not need to have any contact with the cat in order to trap it.Call (330) 792-4228 to rent a humane trap for $50 from West Side Cats. One of our volunteers will show you how to bait and set it. Once the cat has been trapped, you only need to pick the trap up with the handle and transport the cat to the vet. The vet will spay or neuter the cat and place it back inside the trap for you. Once you are home, just open the trap and allow the cat to run out.
Won’t you take them?
The Cat Ladies Society does not have the facilities or space to maintain a public feral cat colony at this time. For this reason, feral cats are never accepted. The best solution is to keep the cats in their current colony. If you were to remove the existing cats from the area, new cats would take their place.
My cat is pregnant. What do I do?
Pregnant cats can still be spayed right up until the moment of delivery very safely. This prevents unwanted litters from adding to the overpopulation and stops this problem from every occurring again. Contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment to have your cat spayed immediately.