Kittens not good Christmas gifts, charity says


Jamie Witt interacting with a kitten on display at Big Al’s pet store on earlier this month. (Photos by Sashenka Paatz/Sheridan Sun

A small crowd gathered in the cat section of Big Al’s pet store in Hamilton to look at some special visitors from Neveah’s Charity of West Lincoln (NCWL) on Dec. 9.

The registered charity brought three cats and four kittens out of their various foster homes for this adoption event.

Many people came out to see the display, and there was a steady flow of visitors throughout the six-hour event.

“We’re much busier during Christmas time. Lots more people stop by,” said Jamie Witt, a store volunteer for NCWL.

The charity makes many appearances with their rescued felines, visiting stores from Niagara Falls to Toronto to give the cats a better chance at finding forever homes.

Only a few people walk away from an NCWL event with a new furry friend, even during the holidays. The main reason for this is simple. The majority of people are turned away from the adoption display because they intend to purchase a feline as a Christmas gift for someone.

Nikita Paatz enjoying a cuddle with the last two kittens for sale.

“We try not to give them away if they are Christmas presents, because they often just get dropped,” said Witt. “Most of the time they end up back in our care, either because the person didn’t want a cat in the first place or for other reasons.”

NCWL’s cats and kittens are rescued from high-volume animal shelters, while others are strays or abandoned.

A lot of work goes into rehabilitating and caring for the animals’ needs.

“Every day we look after sick and injured cats. Lately, we’ve taken in a lot of baby kittens with no mothers to care for them. The costs of formula, food and medical care is quite high, especially with the kittens,” says Lori Dudley, manager of NCWL operations.

Tala and her adoption information sheet.

The charity has strict regulations placed on the adoption of their rescued felines. This can set back the number of adoptions even more.

These restrictions are important to NCWL. They have experienced and learned from different cases since the charity began in 2011.

“One of our major conditions is that people can’t let the cats out without a harness and leash, because they often end up back with us when they’re let out and lost. The other is that they aren’t declawed. A lot of people are not aware, but it is very cruel and has bad side affects on the cat’s behaviour,” explained Witt.

Many people do not have enough knowledge about cats in general, Witt explained. The regulations are rigid for the felines’ protection.

Volunteers still see many happy endings despite the rules.

“For sure it’s hard to let them go, but knowing they’re going to a nice home for a new start is a good thing,” said Witt.

Cats up for adoption at the NCWL event.

The charity encourages those who are not ready for the responsibilities of adoption, to help in other ways.

The cat rescue accepts monetary donations, as well as items needed for looking after the animals. There are also opportunities to foster cats and kittens or volunteer at events.

“We would truly appreciate your help,” says Dudley.

NCWL operates in locations (interactive map) within the Golden Horseshoe.

The charity can be contacted by calling 905-920-0003 or by emailing

More information about NCWL is available at

About Sashenka Paatz 11 Articles
Sashenka Paatz is a journalist with a love for creativity and a passion for writing. As a Canadian creator, Sashenka strives to use her abilities to provide products and content that will make a positive influence on her country and the world. Follow her journey on Twitter and Instagram as @sashpaatz

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