2018 Orange Street Cats Facts & Figures

2018 Orange Street Cats Facts & Figures

2018 was a very busy year for Orange Street Cats Inc (OSC)!

OSC is a non-profit, foster-based, all volunteer rescue organization in the Capital Region of New York that exists to support cats and kittens without a human advocate and those who require special care including veterinary care well beyond routine.

Because we take the cats few other groups will consider due to age (either very young or elderly), critical illness, surgery needs, and extensive nursing care, our veterinary costs tend to be very high. And because we tend to refer “easy cat” situations to other rescue groups for quick adoption, our average length of stay can be longer than that found in some other rescues and shelters. All this makes our jobs a bit harder and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Our 2018 Impact Through Numbers:

• Cats carried over from 2017:  53

• Cat taken in at Orange Street Cats during 2018:  127

• 55% were adults and seniors; 45% were neonates and kittens

• The vast majority were stray or from situations in which the pet parent had passed away or entered assisted living.

• Regular adoptions:  60

• Cats transferred to other rescue groups:  5

• Senior for Senior Forever Foster Program:  9 cared for during 2018 in the program

• FeLV Positive Sanctuary:  11 cared for during 2018 in the sanctuary

• One return to owner – temporary shelter for domestic violence situation

• Foster homes taking care of all these awesome kitties!:  50

Due to the nature of our mission, focusing on senior cats, FeLV+ cats, and cats needing extensive veterinary care, the majority of cats adopted (over 70%) were adults by the time of adoption.

Another effect of our mission can be seen in the 16 cats (just under 10% of the number fostered during the year) who, despite our best efforts, died during the year due to the critical illness that led them to OSC in the first place.

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

Thinking About Fostering or Adopting an FeLV+ Cat?

We at Orange Street Cats are thrilled to hear that you’re investigating fostering or adopting a FeLV+ cat. FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love and affection as much as possible. Here are some things you should know about welcoming a FeLV+ cat into your home and keeping your cat healthy.

What is FeLV?

FeLV stands for “feline leukemia virus.” Despite its name, FeLV isn’t cancer. It’s a cat-specific virus that suppresses a cat’s immune system, which in turn makes a cat susceptible to illnesses that might not affect a FeLV- cat, including cancers, eye diseases, and stomatitis (inflammation of the mouth). It is estimated that 2-3% of cats nationally are FeLV+. In the Northeast, that figure is estimated at 2.9%.

How does a cat get FeLV?

The FeLV virus is transmitted via an infected cat’s saliva, urine, and feces, but it is not highly contagious, as the virus cannot live in the environment longer than a few hours. Cats can become infected through biting, grooming, mating, or sharing food, water, or litter boxes with a FeLV+ cat. Pregnant cats may transmit the virus to some or all of their kittens, although not all kittens born to a FeLV+ mother will contract the disease. Healthy adult cats are less susceptible to the virus; cats with weakened immune systems and kittens are more so.

FeLV Positive Cats

What does it mean to have a FeLV+ cat?

While FeLV+ cats may have shortened lifespans, adopting one means the same as adopting any other cat; companionship, affection, and joy for as long as the cat is part of your family. They require no special environment and can live safely with dogs, kids, and other FeLV+ cats. Ownership requires a commitment to regular vet care, a quality diet, and an indoor-only home, with an increased responsibility to monitor the cat’s health and behavior to ensure any illness is dealt with promptly. Most importantly, FeLV+ cats need someone who believes even a shortened life has value, and cats facing that possibility are as deserving of loving homes as any other cat.

What are the Symptoms of FeLV?

• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Lethargy
• Fever
• Diarrhea
• Unusual breathing patterns
• Pale gums or yellow around the mouth and whites of the eye

Can FeLV-negative & FeLV-positive cats live together?

FeLV+ and FeLV- cats shouldn’t live in physical contact with each other, as the virus is transmissible among cats that groom each other and that share food, water, and litter boxes.

Can FeLV be cured?

There is currently no cure for FeLV, but your cat’s symptoms and secondary infections, like respiratory illnesses or dental problems, can be addressed.

Support Orange Street Cats

Is There a Vaccine?

A vaccine is available that is effective for older cats, but its efficiency is only 75-80%, depending on the vaccine. Therefore, it is recommended that FeLV+ cats are kept separate from FeLV- cats.

How is FeLV diagnosed?

FeLV is diagnosed through blood tests performed by a veterinarian. It takes more than one test to confirm a positive diagnosis.

How long will a FeLV+ Cat live?

Predicting the lifespan of any cat is almost impossible; it varies by cat as well as overall health and daily care. FeLV+ adults can live healthy lives for many years; a FeLV+ kitten may not survive more than one or two years.

FeLV Cat

How can I keep my FeLV+ Cat as Healthy as Possible?

• Keep all household cats indoors.
• Have all cats spayed/neutered.
• Don’t allow your cats to interact with stray cats.
• Have your cat examined by a vet every six months.
• Keep your cat up-to-date on routine vaccinations & preventatives, such as flea treatments.
• Treat illnesses promptly!
• Bring your cat to the veterinarian as soon as you notice he/she is not feeling well.
• Feed a high-quality diet and avoid raw diets due to the increased risk of bacterial infection.
• Discuss the use of dietary supplements with your vet.

The Bottomline?

FeLV+ cats can live great lives. They deserve your love & affection as much as possible. 

Orange Street Cats thanks Dr. Kelly L. Spence, DVM for her expertise and The Binky Foundation for their generous support of this educational campaign.

Download the Brochure


Emergency Veterinary Care Funding

Emergency Veterinary Care Funding

Almost all pet owners have experienced a time or two when that unexpected vet bill arises and we scramble to find out how to pay it. It’s even worse when we are faced with a choice on funding the service or watching our beloved pet suffer. 

Here is a quick step-by-step guide that will assist you in identifying ways to help pay your veterinary bills.


Low Cost Spay & Neuter Services

Low Cost Spay & Neuter Services

There is no question about the benefits of spaying/neutering your pets. Females will live longer, males will reduce their chances of cancer, and you may notice a beneficial change in their behavior. 

Here are some local Capital Region businesses that offer low-to-no cost Spay/Neuter services.


FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

FIV: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

Click Photo Above to Download Full Resource


Foster Care Application

Foster Care Application

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Foster Care FAQ

Foster Care FAQ

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Orange Street Cats Foster Care FAQ

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Huh?  What?  It is 2014 already?!?  Where has the time gone?  It just seems like yesterday when we heralded in 2013.

2013 was quite a year for us!  We had a lot of firsts….

  1. First annual Bowl-A-Thon!  This event was a raging success!  We had amazing volunteers, raffle items, and support!  Special Thanks to volunteers Iris, Samantha, Ilene, Jeremy, Kathleen for the AMAZING baked goods, and Eric better known as DJ KDeuce for his time and energy.  We already have the second annual bowl-a-thon booked in April.
  1. Our first annual “Cocktails for Kitties” event at McGearys.  Another Raging success!  We had a great time and Tess just makes it happen!  Thank you Tess, McGeary’s staff, volunteers Chris, Sam, Sandy, Diane, Andrea, and Maria.  Special thanks to Kathleen for the incredible baked goods and DJ KDeuce for DJ service.  We had some very positive response for this event and we hope to do it again on 2014.  Stay tuned!
  1. We had our first meet and greet using Face Time!  Clyde met his new Dad that way.  Very cool!
  1. We attended PetaPalooza for the first time this year.  It was not a total success for us however it was quite a learning experience!
  1. Little Grace started her blog this year and wrote about her story as an Orange Street Cat.  We have had other adoptees write their story as well and we are always looking for more!
  1. We met new volunteers and now die-hard OSC family members Tina and Rob, Dave, and Kate.  How did we ever get along without them?

So, looking back, we had a great year!  We saved 86 cats and found incredible homes for 61 of them.  We spread the word about Orange Street Cats and our mission to over 2000 Facebook followers and we continue to meet new friends every day.   We love Benson’sHealthy Pet, and PetSupplies Plus.  These businesses open their space and hearts to us and we are FOREVER thankful!   (An extra thank you and hug to the folks at Benson’s who allowed us to put up a Christmas tree at the Colonie store for the 2nd year in a row!)  We also want to give Shout out to Travis of On a Limb Tree Care who has come to help us in the drop of a hat.  Frankly, we could go on and on…..we have had that many supporters!

There are many people that donate their time and energy to us….David Louis of Talk toYour Animals has done wonders with some of our cats.  We are so thankful for David!  Jennet Jones-Rau of Feathered Nest Studio has done some incredible design work for us.  Joanne Brady made sweet fleece blankets for us!  A very special Thank You to Tina and Rob who have opened their home to numerous fosters, hosted several successful garage sales, got us in touch with the “Albany Cap to Troy Tap” folks and spearheaded the NYS Tax and Finance year-end fundraiser!  Wow!  We absolutely love you guys!  So many people have come to help bottle feed and socialize the kittens and cats.  Our foster families could not continue without this group of tireless warriors!

And how can we forget, the magnificent folks who have adopted our cats!  We at OSC are huge believers in the “Magic”.  You all have found the magic with your new family member and we LOVE IT!

All in all, we would like to send a great big THANK YOU to all who have donated time, money, food, litter, beds, linens, toys, carriers, medicine, and raffle items.  You have shared our stories, participated in our online fundraising events.  You have sent us positive thoughts, prayers and kind and encouraging words.   We are so proud and thankful for YOU, our supporters.  We could not continue this journey without all of you.  We LOVE you and may you all have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Roy, Abby, and Bella… The Real Story

Roy, Abby, and Bella… The Real Story

Hello my faithful followers!  Little Grace here!  I have what us writers call “writers block”.  I put a call out to my fellow Orange Street Cats to see if anyone wanted to tell their story.  Roy has answered my call!  This is the story of Roy, Abby, and Bella.  Enjoy!
Purrs!  ~Little Grace

Me! Roy!

Hi All!  Roy here. I figured since Orange Street Cats wanted a story I could tell you all what really happened with me and my new family.   Abby (her name used to be Lynne) and I were rescued when the nice people at Orange Street Cats (OSC) saved our Mama.   We were the only two kittens left after our siblings found their forever homes. We were getting up there in age (6 1/2 months old)…..Pretty soon we’d be considered old….
What we didn’t know was that soon we would be able to go home together to our forever home AND we would have a new little sister (who clearly needed to be shown the ropes….)

Our little sister to be, Bella, was found when she was only about 3-4 weeks old.  A nice lady (Aunt Rebecca) heard her crying in a rainstorm and went out to see who was crying.  Aunty R found Bella all by herself with no mommy, no brothers or sisters to keep her company or warm or dry or fed. No wonder she was crying! Aunty R took Bella in (despite being allergic to cats) and warmed her up, gave her some milk and took her to the vet the next day. Bella was really lucky. She only needed someone to help feed her to get her on the right track.



Aunty R told people at work that she had found Bella and was hoping someone would want to be her new Mom and Dad (she was trying to avoid the sneeze factor). Bella’s picture was passed around and it was oohhed and aaahhed over.   (They really like kittens and cats and even (gasp) dogs in that office.)

Well, our soon to be new Mom had lost her cat “Lucky” a while ago and had talked about being ready for a new cat.  The others in the office suggested she look at Bella….one look at the picture and she was completely won over.  Those big bright eyes and tufts of hair sticking out her ears sure did make her look cute.  (Hey….I am cute too!  Ok, more regal, handsome, stunning….eehhh hemmm…..lost track of the story a bit).

Bella couldn’t come home right away because Mom was cat sitting for our cousin Missy.  Missy is a little set in her ways (old fuddy) and would not have been very welcoming. Kind friends, Karen and Tommy, took Bella into their home until we could take her into our home.  Karen and Tommy’s house is full of animals, 2 dogs and 3 other cats,  Bella had a grand old time playing with them!  Here, she met Grover (originally named McGregor) who told her all about Orange Street Cats (Grover was an Orange Street Cat too!) and how he got to be in this awesome house with others to play with.

This is Bella’s Pesky look!

Missy went home (finally!) with her mom and now Bella was able to go to her permanent home.  Karen thought Bella might get lonely or scared being the only kitten in the house so she suggested to our (soon to be) Mom and Dad that Bella may do well with a brother or sister and meowed about how great the furry family at OSC is.

Well my Dad was looking at the OSC website with Mom and he took one look at me and decided I was the one! I would be a perfect big brother (handsome guy that I am). Mom and Dad called Chris at OSC and asked if we could get together to meet.  At first, there were some schedule issues but Chris, Mom and Dad worked together and decided we could meet at the adoption day at Miller Animal Hospital. How neat was that? A cool place to meet with lots of friendly people!

Shy Abby!

There was a lot going on and Abby was not as keen to be in the spotlight. She was laying low. Dad took a shine to me right off the bat! (of course….Stunning, you know!)  Mom had wanted to meet Abby and she fell in love with her.   Abby is a little shy yet she is a love who is a “little lady”; never in trouble and never gets caught……

When the nice lady helping Chris said, “Oh! This is Lynne, Roy’s sister”.  Dad (just dripping with sarcasm…he is funny like that!)  said “Thanks a lot.”   She asked “Why do you say that?” and Dad answered “You think my wife will leave here without Roy’s sister?”   What a relief for me – I know I can take care of myself being the big strapping guy I am but Abby is smaller than I am and she is a little shy and timid and doesn’t always stick up for herself.  Once I heard that, I could just relax in Dad’s arms knowing we would go home together…..The surprise was we didn’t go home! We went to meet our sister Bella and her foster family. Grover’s parents agreed to take all of us in for a few days so we could meet each other and all come home together.  Now there were 6 cats and 2 dogs with only 2 people to cater to our whims and desires.  Wow! Were they busy!!!!

Don’t I look regal?

We were able to stay there for three days and got to know each other.  Then, Mommy came to pick us up. We drove home and there was a whole new house to explore.  For a while, we only got to see 3 rooms. We even had our own water fountain in our room.  Our big sister Lady, (more on her later on) has her own water fountain also.  There are extra water bowls all over the house!

At first, we got a little jealous of Bella because she got to have more of Mommy’s attention because she was little and then she got sick- we almost lost her twice. The nice doctor at Chatham Animal Hospital, Dr. Amanda, helped take care of Bella. After a lot of love and time Bella is much better now – she’s still a pesky sister though.

Abby, Me, Bella

Abby took her time getting used to the new place.  She didn’t believe this was real.  She wondered if this was her forever home. Once Bella was better, Mommy started to find ways to make Abby feel special. She got brushed and petted first, she got her food first and she got to sleep with Mommy in the best spot.


Mommy lets all of us sleep on the bed with her and Daddy. Bella and Abby still get scared when there is thunder and lightning and Mommy likes to pet them all night long.

Grandma giving me a ride!

After a few weeks, we got to explore the rest of the house. Now, we have chairs to sit on so we can look out of the front windows – the birds and bunnies are a nice distraction.  We have a couple of other beds and we get to watch the bird feeders in the back yard.  The kitchen door has a view of the deck and we got to see a squirrel come to the window – it’s tail looked a lot like Bella’s. Mom didn’t take to kindly to my idea of having Bella and the squirrel meet, it didn’t matter that indoors was the plan. Sheesh – what did she think- I’d let Bella go out when I can’t?  As if!

We also got a grandma in this deal. She spoils us a lot (especially when mom isn’t looking).

Dad and I spend great quality time together. Dad wanted someone to play with outside and I don’t go outside.  He wanted a (gasp!) dog!  You know the kind of 4 legged furry thing that barks?!  Since we three “rescues” (We have come to learn that “rescue” means love!) worked out so well, Dad decided to look for a playmate at all the rescue groups.

Me and my Dad!

Dad went to meet Lady and he instantly fell in like (That’s right!  He likes her, I KNOW he loves us).
He asked Mom to go meet her too. Well, Lady came for a week to see if she would get used to us and if we would tolerate her. All things considered, it’s ok. Bella likes to get Lady going – sprinting and running by as quick as a jack rabbit so of course Lady has to make chase (Ugh! Dogs!)

Me and Lady

Abby and I saunter right past Lady and she doesn’t move. I think Bella just likes to get her going (I told you she was pesky!)

So now 15 months later, we have a furry and fuzzy home of 6, the 4 of us and Mom and Dad.   Who could ask for anything better?

What is the moral of this story?  Share the love, adopt a rescue!

The Story of Curtis and “Keebie”

The Story of Curtis and “Keebie”

Hi All- Little Grace here!  Been a while.  I made a call out to all Orange Street Cats to share their story and Curtis stepped right up!    Here is Curtis’s story.  It is guaranteed to make you smile.  New to Orange Street Cats?  See this postthis post, and this one to learn about the beginning!  See here for an inside look at OSC.
Blinks and Purrs!

Madonna feeding her babies

My name is Curtis and this is my story. My cat mom, Madonna, was one of the 88 cats rescued from that awful Orange Street home in the summer of 2010. Madonna had 5 kittens. I was not born in the house (luckily). My foster Mom, turned adopted Mom, reminds me often just how lucky I am.  Some of my siblings did not make it.   I am the orange and white one with my foot on the dinner plate (cute from the very beginning!).

My human Mom really, really wanted me but the good people at Orange Street wanted to be sure we were not sick before we went to our foster or adopted homes.   Mom kept checking in and finally that nice lady, Chris, came to our home and gave my Mom a chance.   My Mom had already rescued 2 other sisters and raised them from a week old. (They are a bit aloof but hey…they’re girls)

Sisters: Mileek and Joey

I also met a really cool older cat named Tiger. He just loved kittens. He really seemed to thrive and get younger when kittens arrived.  He was 22.(he’s gone now and we sure do miss him) We learned a lot from him and think of him often.


Just when I thought this place could not get any more fun, that nice lady, Chris, told Mom that my brother Caleb (Mom calls him Keebie) was not doing so well.  He was very shy and just did not seem to be flourishing. Mom was really not sure; there were already 5 of us here. She agreed to foster Keebie and see if he adapted. Keebie was very shy.  Mom would hold him and he would curl up in a ball and hide his head.  It took awhile for him to come out of his shell and I stayed right by his side the whole time.

Me and “Keebie”

I was so happy to see my brother and soon he felt right at home (so much so that Mom officially adopted him too!)  He really is very special! He works hard bringing socks up from the laundry all day long.  (I keep telling him that’s women’s work). He insists on helping Mom because he is so grateful (ecstatic, thrilled, joyous….Keebie said to use all these words) she took him in.

We have a human brother too, Dan (He has really cool friends).   Every day, Dan stops and greets us. Old Tiger was his cat and now that Tiger has passed, we try to make him laugh so he won’t feel sad.

After a day of sock gathering

Dan’s socks are the target of Keebie’s obsession!  He brings them up from the laundry every day!

It may seem like a full house here but we are all very different and special in our own way.   Our Mom wouldn’t part with any of us. (I’ve heard her say it).

Our story ended happily but there are many more cats that deserve a good home and would give you so much love in return (and maybe do some laundry).

So please, if you have a warm place and a big heart, think about being a foster parent or better yet adopting a cat!