West Side Cats is a no-kill rescue dedicated to helping cats regardless of age or special need. Please consider adopting or donating. Every little bit helps.
How we got started
West Side Cat ladies were disappointed at how many cats were being euthanized at local shelters and how often sick or special needs cats were not given a second chance. For awhile we were housing 100 cats in our homes and doing our best to aoopt them out from there but fortunately we found a great landlord who rented us our old shelter on Mahoning Ave. As the media reported about us and people saw our ads, we started to grow to the point that we outgrew our old shelter.
We are a public charity (501(c)3).
West Side Cats does its best to help cats in need. You can often find us at other local shelters taking cats who would otherwise be euthanized because the shelter is overcrowded or the cat simply has a physical issue which makes them undesirable for other shelters. West Side Cats does not turn cats away due to age or physical handicap. Just like humans, every cat deserves a forever home. We have taken cats who are missing eyes or limbs, cats who are blind and cats who have various seizure conditions. A physical handicap does not mean a cat is any less adoptable or any less lovable. In many cases, the cat seems to sense that you have given it a second chance and rewards you with years of joy and affection.
As with other privately-run shelters, West Side Cats receives no state or federal funding. Where does our funding come from? Public donations. We depend on your help to provide food, litter, bedding and medical care for these cats.
Many people think that a rescue’s adoption fees cover all costs associated with a cat’s care. The reality is quite different. Adoption fees only cover a very small portion of their maintenance costs and medical expenses. What goes into rescuing a cat?
Food – $1.50-$2.00 per pound
Just like humans, cats need a balanced, healthy diet in order to thrive. Yes, there are cheap, bargain foods available, but the primary ingredient is corn. Have you ever seen a cat in the field eating corn? Cats are carnivores. The primary ingredient in their food should be meat, not meat byproducts. Without this, any cats can develop various health problems including urinary blockages which often lead to a painful death.
Litter – $10-$12 per 40-pound box
All of West Side Cats are fully litter trained.
FeLV/FIV Testing – $20+
Feline leukemia and feline AIDS are contagious and deadly diseases among cats, which often do not show symptoms until the very end of their lives. Both of these are deadly and are often transmitted through biting, which can easily occur when cats are allowed to roam outdoors. All West Side Cats cats are tested for both FeLV and FIV for their safety and the safety of any other cats in their future homes. All cats and kittens available for adoption are negative for these diseases.
Immunizations – $70-$135
Rabies is another contagious, deadly disease which can be contracted by outdoor cats. It is also contagious and deadly to human beings. For this reason, rabies vaccinations are mandatory for all cats and dogs in Ohio by state law. Rabies vaccinations can be given as early as 3 months of age and must be renewed yearly.
All cats and kittens also receive both FVRCP vaccinations, which cover a variety of “kitty colds” and nasal conditions. These help to ensure that your cat or kitten will arrive healthy and stay healthy. These vaccinations should be updated yearly with your regular veterinarian.
Spay/Neuter – $70-$100+
In order to control the pet population, spaying and neutering is a MUST. Every year, a cat can have up to three litters which average four kittens each. Those kittens become sexually mature at 5 – 6 months old, which means the kittens from Momma’s first litter can easily have kittens of their own before Momma gives birth to her final litter of the year. This leads to a potentially huge problem which can result in thousands of kittens born within only a few years between the momma cat and all of her children. There simply are not enough homes for all of them unless the flow of litters is stopped. All cats and kittens are spayed/neutered before adoption.
Supplies – $40+
These can include food and water bowls, litterboxes, bedding, carriers or crates and toys. Although these items can be reused for additional cats after being cleaned, they do eventually wear out and need replacing, especially bedding and toys.
Now take a look at the adoption fee you pay per cat. It doesn’t quite add up, does it? Donations are essential to keeping a rescue up and running.
Also keep in mind that these are the costs for a single healthy cat. A rescued cat can arrive with something as simple as a cold all the way up to a major illness which requires monitoring and multiple veterinary visits. We do not charge any additional fees to adopt a cat who has recovered from an illness to recover our skyrocketing costs in these cases. A single veterinary visit for a physical exam and antibiotics can easily be $100 or more. If something more involved is needed to correct the problem, our costs can soar. Veterinary expenses account for half our budget.
West Side Cats is 100% volunteer staffed and managed. Not one penny of your donation goes toward payroll because we don’t have a payroll. This makes sure as many cats are saved as possible.
Please consider sponsoring a cat or kitten. You can learn more in our sponsoring section.