Cat Haven of Western New York is a non-profit 501 [C] 3, tax exempt organization, dedicated to helping stray, abandoned felines of  the Western New York region, find loving adoptive homes.

Cat Haven of W.N.Y.

Website designed by www. DAG Original  © 2005, D.A.Gewand

5165 Broadway # 230

Depew, N.Y. 14043

(716) 683-6213


 CathavenOfWNY [AT]

  CatHaven has lost some of its permanent Life Long Residents this year. All of the cats were over 11 years old. This brings up the question of how OLD is really “old” for a cat? Also, what sort of special needs do older cats have?

As we have discussed in a previous Cat Lady article (Older Cats in Shelters, 2007, Summer Issue # 9), most older cats given up to shelters do not usually do too well. They are harder to adopt out for several reasons. Sometimes they are just too shocked by being given up and taken away from their home or owner, or can become severely depressed and lose their will to live.

Do not think that ALL older cats will get sickly as they age, but some do develop issues. We would like to address some of those issues here. As always there are several factors which will contribute to how long a cat will live. The three most important ones are;

· Genetics of the cat

· Cat’s general health (for example; a cat who is of a proper weight will generally live longer than a cat who is obese)

· Cat’s general life-style (for example; outdoor cats generally have a shorter life expectancy than an indoor cat because they have a higher risk & exposure level)

Well cared for, strictly indoor cats can live to be 18 yrs old or older. Outdoor cats, if they become very “street smart” and aware of the dangers in their immediate environment may live to be 15 yrs on an average, sometimes longer otherwise these don’t have a long life span. Outdoor cats usually succumb to the dangers of their environment (predators, cars, disease and starvation).

Proper and routine vet care throughout your companion pet’s life, can help to extend any animal’s health. It is important to have blood work done of your pet while they are young, as well as in the middle of their life cycle, and also again as they get into their senior years. This blood work can be used to gauge any issues seen as your pet gets older, and often help to access any potential life threatening issues BEFORE they become severe or require expensive hospitalization. So make it a habit of developing routine “wellness” exams with your vet especially for companion pets who are in their middle to senior years. The more frequent vet visits will help your vet to become intimately knowledgeable of your pet and allow them to assess any concerns before they turn into something that could become life threatening. Regular teeth cleanings by a vet can help save your cat’s teeth before they develop issues, even if only done every few years. Genetics can also play a role in the frequency of teeth cleaning needed. One cat that I know of, has poor teeth and needs them cleaned yearly, but her brother can go for 4 or 5 years before he needs his teeth cleaned. For outdoor cats, it is VERY important to make sure they get their vaccinations and are de-wormed regularly, for they are at a greater risk of being exposed to diseases, fleas, ticks and other unsavory parasites.

As with people, proper weight control is very important in an older cat. A cat who is of a proper weight, is more agile and active. But an obese cat, will usually be content to do two things, eat and sleep, as moving around is hard for them. Like people the excess weight may contribute to developing other health issues (heart problems, diabetes, liver issues, or difficulty breathing), especially as a cat ages the issues may get worse. The food type, a cat eats may also play a factor. Just because a bag of commercial dry food says it is “weight” control, doesn’t mean it will help your already obese cat to trim down. Only weight control food from your vet will really help trim down any obese cat.

[For more links or information on pet care please visit–, they have links to other websites– bartonella/cat scratch disease, parasites as well as health information on companion pets. General internet searches or books may also provide good info too. Just make sure any info you obtain is from a professional or trusted source and never try to administer self-care to your pet, without seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable vet first.]


  What are some signs of “old” age in a cat? The most common are;

· Difficulty in jumping. Moving more slowly with a hint of stiffness in joints.

· Loss of the senses (hearing, eyesight or even sense of smell/taste)

· Weight loss (this might be brought on if they lose their sense of smell. A cat will not eat what it cannot smell). Bad teeth will also cause a cat to refuse food. Be sure to see your vet to determine the root cause of your cat’s weight loss.

· In general, older cats should be fed less, or given smaller amounts of food more frequently. ALL cats should have access to plenty of fresh unlimited water supply.

· Problems with incontinence, diarrhea or constipation (these can also be caused by kidney problems or diabetes, but are usually part of the aging process. But have your cat checked by your vet in case it is something else)

· Drooling or bad breath (usually indicate teeth issues, a gum infection or decayed tooth that needs to be extracted, a vet will be able to correctly diagnose the cause)

· Sleeping more often

· Dull, ragged coat, or lack of interest in grooming their self. Be sure to help your cat, by combing or brushing them everyday, be sure to run your fingers over their body and check for any developing tumors. Many old age tumors are benign, but make sure to have your vet check it out as soon as possible.

· Outdoor cats may be prone to irritating skin conditions, and may harbor maggots that feast on damp or dirty skin that results from fecal staining.

· Loss of a companion friend (another pet) or even a human may cause an older cat to become stressed or depressed, as will any changes to their daily normal routines

· As odd as it seems, older cats can even mimic old age symptoms of humans and get somewhat senile too.



Elderly CATS . . .

How to decide when it is TIME . . . to help your cat move on . . .


This is one of the hardest and most difficult points in any pet owner’s life. When your cat can no longer eat or drink on their own, and has lost the will to engage in their normal pastimes, then it is time to think about the kindest thing that you can do for them, euthanasia.

A completely outdoor or feral cat will remove themselves from their colony and creep off somewhere to die. However, an indoor cat doesn’t have this option. You need to help your indoor cat, they might be your best and most loyal friend and you may suffer feelings of guilt. But keep in mind that you really will be doing the right thing by helping to release your friend from their misery and suffering in the kindest way possible. It will be much quicker than watching them slowly starve them selves to death, or go into kidney or heart failure. Cats live in the NOW, they do not fear death, and know when their time is near, you can help to make their journey painless and peaceful . . . they will never be forgotten . . .

CatHaven is now signed up with GoodSearch . . . you can help “CatHaven” earn cash rewards. Every time that you do an internet search thru GoodSearch, 1.3 cents will be donated to our organization. You can go thru this site to get to places like Amazon, PetSmart, E-Bay, Walmart and other popular internet shopping places. For every item that you purchase an additional % based on the amount that you spend, will also be donated to us.

    So help us earn funds we can use for food, meds and other essentials for the cats in our care. Click on the GoodSearch icon on this webpage to get to GoodSearch (or on the home page hyperlink listed below), then follow these steps;

· In the “Who Do You Search For” window type in our name

· Then click on the yellow “verify” button on the right side

· From the menu that appears, select Cat Haven Western

New York—WNY (Depew, NY)

· You can now click on any of the icons that appear on this home page, or you can enter the place you wish to go in the “search” window is a search engine with a unique social

mission. It is powered by Yahoo! so you’ll get the same results as if

you were using their search engine . . . BUT . . . If you use GoodSearch,

you will help to make a donation to CatHaven. GoodSearch donates 50% of

advertising revenue to non-profits and to schools


On behalf of the cats at CatHaven, we thank you very much for your support.

How can YOU help?In Loving Memory . . .

   It is with great sadness in our hearts that we said our last good-byes to one of the last of Cat Haven’s founders . . . in Aug of 2011, William Beamish like his wife Judy (who passed away in 2009) also lost his battle with cancer.

    Bill shared Judy’s love for all God’s creatures. In  2003, Judy and  Bill decided to start their own non-profit, group for rescuing cats.  This was a wonderful way to make a difference, even if a small one. Their generosity & good hearts touched many during their lives. Always willing to help wherever they could.

     In memory, and with the help of our supporters we will continue what Bill & Judy started . . . to care for the felines they took in and promised to care for.

     May Judy & Bill both be at peace . . .  you’ll both be missed by all . . .

Cat Haven of W.N.Y. was established in 2003, by Bill & Judy Beamish who loved felines and wanted to help find loving adoptive homes for these lost, abandoned or stray felines. Bill & Judy spent several years handling the Cat Department of another animal rescue group, but realized they could accomplish MORE if they focused their efforts on the many felines who needed them. Joined by other CATPEOPLE they started this organization for the felines of W.N.Y.

As a non-profit organization we depend upon the generosity of donors to provide the much needed funds for medication and food. We know that there are many felines out there who need us, and while we cannot help them all, we will make every effort to help those that we can.

The biggest mistake that many people make, is thinking that THEY can’t make a difference. But this is WRONG because YOU “can” make a difference, in a big way or even in a small way, it just takes one small step to be a part of the BIG picture.

We are always looking for others who feel passionate about cats and who wish to help those cats who are less fortunate. If you would like to join us in our efforts, we would welcome your help!

Help us to “find” loving homes for the cats in our care. Many of these cats have never known real “love” and so desperately need to be shown that there is hope, and a better life than the one they may have experienced. Help  us to enrich their life . . . tell others about us.


Make a donation . . . either monetary, cat litter or cat food . . . ALL donations are tax deductible for federal income tax purposes (consult your tax advisor regarding deductibility for your tax filing).


If possible donate your time as a volunteer to help at a craft show. Or if you’re good at making crafts, donate them to us, so that we can help raise funds for the cats in our care . . .


Give the gift of LIFE . . . be a responsible pet owner and spay or neuter your pets and give a chance of LIFE to a shelter pet . . . pets are dying in shelters. According to the Amer. Humane Assoc. of the 8 to 12 million of the pets in nations shelters about 71% will face euthanasia, because there are not enough homes for all of them. This is especially true for the older or sick pets who are harder  to place.

We offer many products for sale where 100% of the profits go to help support the felines in our care, we have gifts for people as well as for pets.

Text Box: How OLD is My Cat Really?

     For dogs we’ve been told that every 1 human year is equal to 7 years in a dog’s life, is this true for cats too?
   No, for cats it’s different. When your cat is 1 yr old it is similar to a 20 or 24 year old human. Then for each year after the first year, add four  human years on  to every one of theirs.
     For example, if your cat is 15 years old  in cat years, then that would be similar to being 76 or 80 (4  times 14 equals 56, plus 20 or 24),  years old in human years, with all the aches, pains and stiffness in the joints that accompany that age, as well as possible failing of the basic senses of smell, eye sight or hearing.