Working with Future Adopters

When potential or future adopters come to our shelter, they come from all walks of life. It’s neat to see the many different families who come to us looking for a new friend in their lives. And we have wonderful adoption counselors, too, who work with these people to try to find out what they like, what their homes are like, and who might be the best fit for their lifestyles. The problem is, there’s not always enough adoption counselors to go around! We could always use more help, and I just found a great article at the ASPCA that gives a lot of great tips for new counselors.

Consider the difference when you can get people to open up a little bit more when they’re talking with you. The difference between “but” and “and” seems like not too much but there’s really a big difference in terms of the welcoming feeling that an inclusive word like “and” promotes! There are some more great examples and words of wisdom in this video that might be helpful for new adoption counselors also. There’s even a live webinar coming up on February 5, 2014 that you might want to check out!

And we’ve got even more great information at our website, and our Volunteer with Us section. That’s the place where you can fill out the application to become an adoption counselor too, as well as sign up for anything else that might interest you. You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as you wish – we’re happy to work with you in whatever way you can. So, think about us next time you are looking for a new activity to enrich your spare time – really, you won’t be disappointed when you see how happy you can make a fuzzy feline friend and their new forever families!

GuideStar Exchange Gold Level Achieved!

ICS received the GuideStar Exchange Gold level logo, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. The logo demonstrates the Independent Cat Society’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

In order to be awarded the GuideStar Exchange logo, ICS had to fill out every required field of our nonprofit report on for the Gold level of participation.

We hope you will check us out and tell us what you think!

ICS Receives a Porter County Community Foundation Grant

Here’s Garfield, accepting a $5000 check from Emily Remster, a Porter County Community Foundation (PCCF) Committee member. Most grants have just come in the mail, but they wanted to deliver in person. And we’re glad they did! These nice ladies came to visit, had a great time getting to know all of us kitties, and Garfield liked them so much, he stepped right up to assume the important duties!

Roberta and Staci receive the grant for PCCF committee members

Of course, Garfield had to admit that he didn’t know how to read or sign checks, so Grant Chair Roberta and President Staci helped him out. Here they are with Ms. Remster and Ms. Jackie Stutzman, who is also on the PCCF Board.

Our PCCF grant will help ICS spay and neuter more cats in the region, so that more cats can live fuller and happier lives, rather than worrying about being in a community that is overpopulated. After all, overpopulation means more kitties in shelters, and while I love having new friends, I don’t know that there’s enough room to share our beds and food and letterboxes with too many more! This grant will also help us help families and pet owners in Porter County live better lives together with their pets. It’s a win for all sides!

Sweetheart 2014 Contest Starts Now!

The Sweethearts are here!

These lovelies are just waiting to be your number one candidate – check them out and keep looking here and on Facebook for the latest happenings during Sweetheart Season, starting now through March 1.

How do you vote? You vote through your generous financial support of the Independent Cat Society. You may send us a check, stop by the shelter and drop off your vote funds, or pay through PayPal using the link below or on our website. No amount is too small, and every amount helps to directly purchase food, litter, and medical supplies for our cats. Just be sure to indicate which candidate you are voting for – all of us truly appreciate it!

And, don’t forget: Sweetheart Day will be on Saturday, February 22nd at the American Legion in Chesterton (798 Wabash St.) from 10-4. We will have the Sweetheart teams with all kinds of interesting goodies, gourmet box lunches with live music from 11-1, bake sale, raffles, toys, and of course personal appearances by the Sweethearts themselves! Want to join a team? Just ask! Send us an email or a Facebook message.

The Candidates


Pavarotti - Sweetheart Just look into the eyes of this handsome and hunky fellow and you will hear music. Vote for Pavarotti and he’ll sing for joy!





Garfield Sweetheart

Garfield is a burly beefcake that will just melt your heart! He’d love a snack, but your vote would do just fine.





Guillermo Sweetheart

Husky Guillermo is a cuddly lapful of love who purrs on all cylinders. Let’s get out the vote for Guillermo and give him something to purr about!




Bubba Gump

Bubba Gump Sweetheart

One look at the rugged profile of this strapping guy and you can see why Bubba Gump’s fans all said: Run Bubba, run!





Aggie Sweetheart

Such a precious face! Petite Aggie always enjoys a good conversation, but more than anything else would appreciate your support.





Smudgie Sweetheart

We think that Smudgie is strikingly good-looking, just like he was painted by the loving hand of an artist. Express your artistic side and vote for Smudgie!





Chino Sweetherat

Endearing, quirky, and overall a totally cool cat, Chino is famous around the shelter for literally begging for his favorite treats. Don’t make him beg for your vote!





Junco Sweetheart

This lovely lass volunteered for the photo shoot and truly gave it her all. Show her you appreciate her initiative and her beauty and give Junco your vote and your heart!




Why You Should Adopt a Senior Cat

Older kitties can’t always catch a break at shelters. Trust me, I know! When people come to visit, they often want to see the cute baby kittens, and I don’t blame them. Kittens are energetic and fun and in their prime. But what about those of us that are aren’t quite as spry as we used to be, who might have a few mats in our fur or a little less bounce in our steps? We need love too!

Here’s some things to consider next time you are at a shelter (and yes, these reasons can apply to dogs too!).

Top 10 reasons to adopt a senior cat:

  1. When senior cats are adopted, they understand that they’ve been rescued, and are all the more thankful for it.
  2. A senior cat’s personality has already developed, so you’ll know if he or she is a good fit for your family.
  3. You can teach an old cat new tricks: Senior cats have the attention span and impulse control that makes them easier to train than their youthful counterparts.
  4. A senior cat may very well already know basic household etiquette (like not attacking your feet at night!).
  5. In particular, senior cats are often already litter trained and are less likely to “forget” where the box is.
  6. A senior cat won’t grow any larger, so you’ll know exactly how much cat you’re getting.
  7. Senior cats are often content to just relax in your company, unlike younger cats, who may get into mischief because they’re bored.
  8. Speaking of relaxing, senior cats make great napping buddies.
  9. Senior cats often know that scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching and toys (not hands or feet) are for biting.
  10. Senior cats are some of the hardest to find homes for––so when you adopt a senior cat, you’re truly saving a life.

Convinced yet? If so, you might have some additional questions, like…

What should my senior cat eat?

Most adult cats thrive on foods formulated specifically for older cats, which is often considered to be age 7 and up. At our shelter, we recommend Hill’s Science Diet Mature Pet formulas in either wet or dry varieties. It is worth noting that many vets recommend that older cats get a little more moisture in their diet if possible, especially if they don’t drink water well on their own. This will help ensure healthier kidney function for years to come. So, if your cat will eat wet food, try giving her at least one wet meal per day.

How do I get my older cat to exercise more?

Some older kitties are slowing down and don’t play as much as they used to. That’s normal, but that also sometimes makes them a little… well, husky. Adding wet food to the diet may also keep excess weight off as well, but remember to also keep an eye on your cat’s teeth if they eat a lot of wet food each day. Trust me, I know this one too! Excess wet food in the diet, especially lower-quality foods, can promote tooth and gum decay more readily.

You can also try a few new things to entice your older cat to play and do a little more than nap every day. Consider leaving out a paper bag, cardboard box, or a laundry basket for your cat to jump around in. Many cats love these kinds of enclosures and will enjoy the chance to play hide and seek with you, or play with toys dangled through holes and openings. You might also try motivating them with some good food or treats, or some catnip. They even have cool toys where you can hide food inside and play will unlock the goodies within. 

You might also consider getting your older cat a playmate, such as a younger and more active cat. While some cats prefer to be alone, others love having someone to tussle and wrestle with, especially after they have had a chance to adjust to the new family member. Make sure to be cautious and go slow when introducing a new pet into any household – check out these tips for more help.

Looking for more exercise ideas and other information about your older kitty? Check out this great article for some more advice! We sure hope you will stop by and see some of our older cats soon – they sure would love to  climb into your lap and and call you theirs!