Local cat rescue struggling to make ends meet

The Feline Café and Rescue Foundation in Hintonburg needs the community’s help to meet the financial demands for their rescue cats and kittens.

The café posted to social media this month saying “To put everything into one sentence; we are struggling.”

Katherine Clements runs the Feline Café’s Rescue Foundation and says, “These past few months have been especially hard... Really hard to keep going and get the vet care for these little ones.”

Clements says the pandemic has greatly impacted both the café and the foundation. “March 2020 hit and we lost everything,” The café was forced to shut down temporarily, which resulted in no one visiting the cats, and revenue plummeted. Fundraising efforts were also canceled.

But the need to rescue cats continued. There was also an increase in cats that were surrendered during the pandemic from owners no longer able to care for their pets.

“We have been pushing it... it has always been at the back of our mind—will we survive? We have no idea,” says Clements.

The café had to pivot during the pandemic, starting a takeout grocery and online store. Visitors are allowed to now visit the cats, but it is under provincial restrictions. The have tried to do fundraising online as well as a take-away, but that has not been enough.

In the past few months, the rescue took in three pregnant cats, who gave birth to 14 kittens, and nine other adults. Some required emergency vet care.

The rescue cats include mother Dash, who was taken in this winter and gave birth to premature kittens.

Clements says, "If we hadn’t taken her on they would have all perished because it was way too cold for her to have kitten at that time.”

She says it is expensive to cover the vet needs for the kittens. “Typically, depending on the cat their vet bill alone, not food or anything else, will be about $600 to a $1000 each.”

Clements says, “The rescue will not survive without the café, the café will not survive without the rescue.”

To help the rescue foundation you can visit https://felinecafeottawa.com/pages/support