black cat bookendsThe cats are our priority at Happy Cats Haven. Cats are not small dogs; they need different handling, nutrition and socialization to keep them healthy and stress free. We make every effort to adhere to current best practices in feline care, such as the Feline Friendly Handling Guidelines from the AAFP. (Please feel free to download these guidelines and share them with your feline practitioners.)

Every cat or kitten who comes to stay with us must be tested for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia Virus before admission. Only those who test negative will be admitted. Most of our cats live in feline-appropriate colonies and these viruses are too contagious to allow in a multi-cat population. Well-nurtured cats with FeLV and FIV can live near-normal lives, so we recommend retesting according to AAFP guidelines and offer counseling for those who test positive.

We also make every effort to adhere to the Five Freedoms:

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a feline appropriate diet to maintain full health and vigor.

  2. Freedom from Discomfort – by providing a feline appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behavior – by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of other matched cats and kittens.
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress – by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

Our colony rooms were designed to the standards of the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program and the Colorado State Agriculture Department to provide these freedoms to the best of our ability. Our staff is committed to consistent monitoring and learning about our individual cats to make their stay at Happy Cats as humane, brief and (yes) happy as possible.