This story takes the term “cat lady” to a whole new level.
At a high-rise apartment building in Toronto, Animal Services discovered a whopping 300 cats living in one two-bedroom apartment. The cats were packed into every conceivable part of the unit. They were on every surface, in every corner, and even in the bathtub.
The situation was so severe that several animal rescues in the area had to come help out.
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Rescue In Action: We (TCR) worked with Toronto Animal Services yesterday to remove cats from a perilous hoarding situation in an apartment in Toronto. Over 300 cats were found, and we were on hand to help out and take 70 of the cats on Saturday. The cats and kittens are doing well in their foster homes. We are so grateful to our volunteers and staff who stepped up to the plate to get cats of the apartment right away. It is the beauty of Toronto Cat Rescue's flexible structure that allows us to place this many cats at once with our incredible volunteers who care deeply about animal welfare and the health and happiness of all the cats in our care. This is the second large cat hoarding situation we have been involved with in a month! It's very important that this NOT continue. It's a terrible way for cats to live. If you know that someone has too many cats, it is best to report it sooner rather than later. Unsterilized cats breed prolifically, and with only a nine week gestation things get out of control VERY quickly. To make a report in the City of Toronto, call 311 and you will be directed to the appropriate department. What is too many cats? Toronto defines this as a maximum of 6 cats in one home. Ensuring cats are spayed or neutered is equally important to prevent pet over population. The city offers a mobile SNYP truck service: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/animals-pets/spay-neuter-services/ All of the cats will be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and observed by their foster home for behaviour and medical issues. We will post the cats and kittens as they become available for adoption. To help with this incredible rescue, please click https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/14811 to donate. If you are interested in becoming a foster home, please fill out an application on our website: https://torontocatrescue.ca/volunteer/foster-homes/ Thank you for your ongoing support. #CatRescue #RescueInAction #HoardingNeedsToStop #catsofinstagram @toanimalservices
“It was a very difficult place to spend any time,” said Belinda Vandersluis, executive director of Toronto Cat Rescue. “The smell was overwhelming and it was just an overwhelming place to be — besides the fact that there were 300 cats there.”
While there were some cat kennels in the space, there certainly wasn’t anywhere near enough room for 300 cats to live their lives in peace (ahem, cat pee).
Yet somehow, the cats were doing unexpectedly well there.
“The cats are in surprisingly good shape both medically and behaviorally,” Belinda said. “They were quite calm, there wasn’t a mass panic of cats running everywhere, there were just a lot of cats, and they were surprisingly friendly.”
Some of them were a bit underweight, but for the most part, they were healthy.
“They’re playing, eating, they don’t have fleas or worms and they don’t have medical or dental issues,” Belinda said.
Either way, though, keeping 300 cats in one apartment obviously isn’t sustainable, and the cats were slowly rescued from the space. It took a few days to get them all out, but they are now all safely in the care of rescues and foster homes.
From there, they’ll go on to find their forever homes.