People's Animal Welfare Society
Eastern Province

Frequently Asked Questions

Will PAWS take my pet when I leave?

I am leaving for vacation. Who will look after my pet?

I am leaving on final exit. How can I transport my pet?

I want to re-home my pet. What should I do?

Should I get a second cat to keep my cat company?

I would like to adopt a pet from PAWS. What do I do?

Our compound cats are a problem and/or our compound is eliminating cats. What can I do?

Why should I sterilize my pet?

My child’s school is interested in PAWS. Do you have programs for the children?

Does PAWS sell animals?

Does PAWS work with animal breeders?

What to do with found kittens or willing to foster a kitten?

Does PAWS have a shelter?

Should I feed strays?

Will PAWS take my pet when I leave?

No - PAWS does not have a shelter, boarding kennels, or other facilities that allows us to take in abandoned pets. However, we can assist with advertising in order to re-home your pet. All inquiries are directed to you so that you can make the decision that is best for your pet. If you need to re-home your pet, you can do so by Registering here on the PAWS site and then Registering your Pet.

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I am leaving for vacation. Who will look after my pet?

The best thing to do is to find someone who can come to your home to look after your pet. This would be ideal as it is stressful for most pets to cope without their humans; a change of location simply adds insult to injury. If this is not an option for you some veterinary clinics may offer boarding facilities but be sure to visit them first to check they are of good standard, room and comfort for your pet. There are some private boarding facilities for cats available. Refer to our "Resources" section for more information.

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I am leaving on final exit. How can I transport my pet?

For more information on companies and individuals who can help with pet relocation, refer to our "Resources" section. Contact us if you have any queries.

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I want to re-home my pet. What should I do?

PAWS primary concern is with abandoned/injured animals in need. However, if you must re-home your family pet the responsibility will be entirely yours. PAWS will assist in advertising; however, any and all arrangements between the current owner and prospective adoptive family are done without PAWS intervention or policies in place.

Ensuring that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and (if the pet is old enough) sterilized will assist in homing as people often want animals that have been taken care of by a responsible owner.

A typical ad will include a brief bio about the pet such as, name, age, and a little bit about their personality. Please include any special needs or interesting facts that a prospective adoptive family might like to know.

If you need to re-home your pet, please Register here on the PAWS website and go to Register Pet. You will then be asked to complete information fields and upload a photo of your pet. Please include a photo, as it helps significantly with re-home. If you encounter difficulties, please contact us.

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Should I get a second cat to keep my cat company?

Contrary to general belief, cats are not solitary animals. Cats are actually social creatures. They may not fawn all over you, but they like someone to be near. When you aren’t home, they get lonely.

Have a mature cat in the home? A second younger kitty can often give a "second wind" to your older cat. Also, when the time does come for your beloved pet to pass away, the transition can often be eased with the love of a second kitty. Introducing a second animal involves transition, but is most often rewarding for all involved.

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I would like to adopt a pet from PAWS. What do I do?

Check out our Adoption Gallery. It has all the animals that are available for adoption with a picture and brief bio. It also has all the contact information you will need.

Our Adoption Information page has information on adoption and re-homing.

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Our compound cats are a problem and/or our compound is eliminating cats. What can I do?

First find out the policies of your compound regarding animal control. PAWS cannot intervene in compound business although we will assist where we can and help advise how a compound program can be a benefit. Residents need to talk to their compound management and liaise with PAWS about setting up a program. We can help advise you and your management on how to do this but will need volunteer residents to commit to the program in order for it to go ahead.

Where possible PAWS will finance the compound sterilizations, depending on the numbers involved, but it helps us enormously if there is a contribution from the compound for this.

We do not vaccinate the strays simply because for vaccinations to stay effective, they need to be repeated annually and it is often too difficult for compounds to keep track of their strays, catch and bring in for vaccination.

PAWS only assists in the sterilization of compound strays — private pets are NOT covered by PAWS.

Contact us to find out more information on making this a reality for your compound.

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Why should I sterilize my pet?

Sterilization is the term used to neuter (male) and spay (female) pets and strays so they can no longer reproduce. Often, it is just called “neutering”. Many people are still unsure – or don’t know – about sterilizing their pet. Why do it? Because it helps your pet’s health in the long run – cat or dog – and is the single most effective way to help reduce the huge numbers of strays and unwanted animals everywhere. Sterilization helps reduce and stabilize a stray population leading to less crowding, fighting, injury and health issues – not just for them, but for the humans they live around. It can also significantly reduce certain types of cancers in your pet. Read all about this important topic here. And remember, there are already millions of unwanted and homeless animals worldwide, including here in Saudi Arabia. Let’s not add to this concern and for their sake, as well as ours, sterilize.

Thank you to OpenPAWS for sharing their great information with us!

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My child’s school is interested in PAWS. Do you have programs for the children?

Education is the key to having a healthy, happy pet, and in helping people to understand how to approach a stray dog or cat, what to do if you see an injured animal, find a kitten or just want to know about basic animal care.

For more information contact us.

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Does PAWS sell animals?

No - PAWS does not condone the sale of any animal. We also strongly advise against purchasing any animal either privately or from a pet shop. After all, there are more than enough abandoned pets needing homes.

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Does PAWS work with animal breeders?

No - PAWS does not encourage breeding of any animal. Often in Saudi Arabia pets are inbreed with the female giving birth each season. This is a practice that is taxing on the females often ending in severe medical problems.

If you are determined to buy an animal we recommend you see the parents and check the medical/familial history of the parents and make sure that the breeder is reputable!

Please remember the more animals that are bought, the more this encourages the breeders to continue their practice.

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What to do with found kittens or willing to foster a kitten?

When “kitten season” rolls around PAWS is inundated with telephone calls and emails about kittens. Kittens that have been abandoned, kittens that need homes, kittens that have appeared out of nowhere.

With so many questions asked about what to do with these kittens PAWS would like to try to answer as many as possible.

If you do not find the answers you are looking for here or would like more information on fostering please contact us.

If you find a kitten or kittens your first thought might be, “I need to help them.” When in reality that might be the worst thing you can do. You need to evaluate the situation before you intervene in any way.

If the mother cat is around and they are in a safe spot leave them where they are. Do not disturb the mother’s care of them. If she senses you as a threat she will move them and that move may place them at a greater disadvantage.

If the mother cat is not around she may be moving the litter (one at a time) to a safer location or taking a break. Keep a careful watch to see if she returns. If the weather is warm and they are in a protected area they should be fine for a few hours. If the mother does not return then is the time you might need to intercede.

If you do decide to intercede you must either find the kittens an appropriate foster home or commit to the job of foster parent yourself. This is a very large responsibility but one that is so rewarding. If you decide to foster a kitten or kittens you must prepare your mind, your heart and your home.

Although these kittens will only be with you a few short weeks the work will be non-stop and intense. If the kittens are neonatal the fostering will be a 24/7 commitment for at least the first 4 weeks. Until that age, kittens depend on you for help in all aspects of living.

If you have other pets make sure they are up-to-date on all vaccinations. Rabies and FVRCP (distemper, upper respiratory) vaccinations should be given at least every 3 years and Feline Leukemia vaccinations should be administered annually if your cat is going to be in contact with foster cats.

You must prepare a kitten friendly room, such as a utility closet, laundry room, bathroom or spare bedroom. This room should be heated and equipped with washable, disposable or replaceable items. Don’t use grandma’s hand-made quilt or your child’s baby blanket for kittens.

You will need to determine the age of the kittens to be able to give the most appropriate care. Below is a chart to help you determine where your foster kittens fall in approximate age.

Kitten approximate age chart

At this stage kittens are virtually helpless. Their primary focus is on eating, sleeping and staying warm.

If the kittens are neonatal (very young) you will need a “kitten incubator”. This incubator can consist of a small cat carrier or a cardboard box with a heating pad set at low, running down one side and halfway underneath the box. The other half of the bottom should not be heated so that the kittens can move away from the pad if it gets too hot. You could also use a hot water bottle in the same fashion. Line the bed with a towel. The kitten area must be kept at 85 to 90 °F (29 to 32° C) during their first week of life, then lowered 5° (1 - 2° C) weekly until the temperature is 72 °F (22° C). Use a thermometer frequently to check the heating pad temperature.

Kittens must be fed and often. Infant kittens must be fed a minimum of every six hours to ensure they get enough nourishment. Neonatal kittens twice as often. For proper feeds check the directions provided on the formula package or consult a veterinarian. Hold the kittens in their natural nursing position -- on the stomach -- being careful not to hold the head back as that could cause aspiration of the formula into the lungs. If a kitten hasn't started eating after 24 hours, seek veterinary assistance. After feeding, wipe the face with a warm damp cloth and then dry it off until they are able to groom themselves.

NOTE: If a kitten is cold or slightly chilled never feed it formula or milk. To stabilize him as you warm him, rub a very thin layer of light corn syrup or honey on his gums. Hypothermia is a leading cause of death in small/neonatal kittens. If you find a kitten is cold to the touch, hypothermia has set in. Warm the kitten slowly using your own body heat through a blanket or towel. Do not warm the kitten too quickly as this is also life threatening.

When kittens are with their mother she helps them with elimination. You will need to do this as well until the kitten is old enough (roughly 2 -3 weeks) to go on its own. Not one of more pleasant activities but one of the most important. After feeding, take a moistened cotton ball and gently massage the anal region until they urinate or defecate. It may take several cotton balls for each kitten to complete this process.

After the kittens are 2-3 weeks old, offer their formula to them in a saucer so they will learn to drink. Gradually add small amounts of kitten food to the formula and then decrease the proportion of formula until they are just eating kitten food. Make sure you always have fresh water out for the kittens to drink. This is the ideal time for exposure to gentle handling and new sounds. This is also the time that positive experiences with humans, other cats, and other species should begin.

Even though you have provided excellent care to give your foster kittens the best start in life that is no guarantee against mother nature. In spite of everything you do, one or more of them may die. This can be very disturbing to a foster parent. Please prepare yourself and your family for what “might” happen.

You have cared for these little darlings for several weeks. You taught them to welcome and even seek out human contact; they in turn showered you with their affection and trust. Now you start on an emotional roller coaster. On one hand, you're pleased that they turned out so well and on the other hand, you can't bear to part with them. This is the bittersweet part of being a foster parent – letting go.

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Does PAWS have a shelter?

No, unfortunately we don’t have a shelter. At present, there are no animal shelters in Eastern Province, which makes helping strays that much more difficult. It means that we are unable to take in stray animals or house animals recovering from illness, and have to rely on foster carers who are in very short supply. If you know of how we could start a shelter through the authorities, let us know!

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Should I feed strays?

Generally, feeding strays is not recommended unless you are going to adopt full time. On some compounds, it is also prohibited.

In some situations, feeding strays can work well but it can create more problems than it solves. Why? There are a huge number of strays. If you start to feed a stray, you will attract more strays. And once you start, you must commit to feeding! That means, every day for the rest of the stray’s life. You must consider how long you will be staying in your present location, who will feed if you are away, and what happens to the stray(s) if you move away permanently. Also remember that feeding can attract more strays to your area – this can cause fighting, noise, injury to cats and disruption to neighbourhoods, possibly upsetting neighbours who may then call pest control companies. Please think carefully – these strays do need help, and if you can offer them a sustained environment, a stray colony can work well. However, our best source of tackling hungry strays is to reduce numbers by sterilization and promote responsible animal ownership. When these two are in place, our strays will eventually stabilize, and everyone will be happier.

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