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Basic Cat Care Essentials


  • Properly balanced foods, containing taurine, which is an essential amino acid for heart and eye health; fed at amounts per veterinary specialists

  • Freshwater, accessible 24/7

  • Treats should consist of no more than 5-10% of the diet

  • 24/7 access to a clean litterbox, placed in a quiet area of the home – you should have 1 litterbox per cat

  • Provide scratching posts/pads in multiple locations around the house

  • Provide a variety of stimulating toys – play with your cat!

  • Soft beds and/or blankets for sleeping/covered dry and clean shelter for outdoor cats

  • Brush/comb your cat to help with coat health and hairballs

  • Microchipping and/or identification – be sure all collars are breakaway

  • Vaccinations and routine veterinary care – make sure to always transport your cat in a secure animal carrier

  • SPAY / NEUTER!!!!!


Foods Harmful to Cats


  • Milk, cheese, and other dairy products

  • Chocolate

  • Raw meat, fish, or eggs

  • Dog food

  • Bread and yeast

  • Onions and garlic

  • Coconut and coconut oil

More information can be found on the ASPCA and Advantage Pet Care Websites




“People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless "quick fix" for unwanted scratching. They don't realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.

Many countries have banned declawing. The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing except for the rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors.

Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat's nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the truth. Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.” –The Humane Society of the United States

Please visit the Humane Society's Website for more information


Missing Cat

  1. Check with local shelters and veterinary hospitals

  2. Advertise- use social media

  3. Talk to your neighbors

  4. Be prepared – have proof of ownership ready!


For additional information, Nylabone and the Humane Society are great resources. 


Spay & Neuter ​


Microchipping your Pet​

  • Most pet owners buy their dogs and cats collars and add a name tag with the pet’s name and their phone number. These are great but outdated. They can easily break, fall off, or even the name or phone number can wear-off of the tag over time. The microchip is permanent and can’t be separated from the pet.​

  • If your dog or cat is lost or stolen, the chip and its registration is definitive proof of ownership. This is particularly helpful in the case of stolen pets when ownership might be in dispute.

  • A chip greatly increases the likelihood that your pet will be returned to you if they are lost. Several recent studies show that cats with microchips are 20 times more likely to be returned to their owner and chipped dogs are returned 2.5 more than unchipped dogs. That’s a pretty significant difference and with over 10 million pets being lost each year, you want to do everything you can to ensure your pet finds its way back to your home.

  • Some chip manufacturers are enhancing the chip's capabilities and adding functionality. Innovations we have seen is the ability to program the chip to open your dog door only when your dog approaches. This can be helpful in keeping out stray critters that may find their way into your home. Some manufacturers also offer lost pet alerting services and even travel assistance for folks who like to take their pets along on their holiday.

  • Finally, microchips last a lifetime. Once implanted, you don’t have to worry about them, although it is a good idea to have your vet scan your pet each year to guard against any malfunction.


Information from Petnet


What to do if you find a lost pet:​

  • Capture it and contain it with care

  • Call the authorities

  • Check for ID tags

  • Take pets with no ID tags to an animal shelter

  • Have the pet scanned for a microchip

  • Post fliers

View more details on each step, click here


How to spot pet abuse/neglect and what to do:

Signs of Abuse

  • Tucked tail, flinches at human contact

  • Unexplained fractures or limping

  • Unprovoked aggression, whining or whimpering

  • Overly submissive (rolling onto their back, tail tucked, urinating)

  • Suddenly avoiding any physical contact

  • Attempts to bite or scratch when petted

Signs of Neglect

  • Changes in appearance, such as fur loss, dull texture, or mange

  • Very skinny or sickly looking

  • Obvious wounds or injuries that remain untreated

  • Being left in a kennel or chained outside exclusively

What to do:

If you feel the situation should be investigated, call your local animal control or sheriff’s department. To help with the investigation, it is important to provide the following information:

  • Geographic location of the animal (exact address, if possible).

  • Date, time, and weather conditions; note the temperature if possible.

  • Description of the animal: any distinguishing markings, other important features (e.g. injuries).

  • Description of the physical surroundings: type of enclosure, type of footing (e.g., muddy enclosure), if food and water are available, type of food and water, if shelter is available, and if so what kind, the state of the enclosure (e.g. clean or cluttered). 

  • Note any other animals in the enclosure. If there is more than one animal you’re concerned about, use the guidelines above to make notes about each.

  • If possible, take photos. Be mindful not to trespass or endanger your safety.


County Specific Animal Control List​

New Hanover County 

3950 Juvenile Center Road
Castle Hayne, NC 28429


Sampson County

168 Agriculture Place
Clinton, NC
(910) 592-8493


Pender County
3280 New Savannah Rd
Burgaw, NC


Onslow County
244 Georgetown Road
Jacksonville, NC


Brunswick County
429 Green Swamp Road
Supply, NC


Duplin County 
117 Middleton Cemetery LN
Kenansville, NC 28349


New Hanover County Specific Information​

The following information is from WECT's Story on Adopting a Pet: Laws and Registration, please see their story for additional details

New Hanover County Statement on Proper Dog Accommodations:  

  • Any dog left alone outside on its owner’s property must be secured with either a fenced-in yard, chain link fence, or kennel.

  • Dogs cannot be restrained by ropes, chains, or tethers.

  • Dogs that are 25 pounds or less held in an outside enclosure must have a pen at least 8’ by 10.’

  • Dogs larger than 25 pounds must have a 10’ by 10’ pen.

  • Each dog held outside must have a dog house (top, bottom, three sides) that is large enough to stand up, turn around and lie down in.

New Hanover County Registration Requirements:

  • All dogs, cats, and ferrets four months old and up must be vaccinated for rabies and registered with the New Hanover County Animal Services Unit. 

  • You may purchase a one or three-year registration or you may opt for the plan that coincides with the length of your pet's rabies vaccination. Failure to register can result in a $100 fine.


New Hanover County Pet Laws:

  • The county-wide leash law requires a leash on any dog that is not on its owner’s property.

  • If you own or breed dogs and have four or more litters per year you must have a kennel permit and renew it every year.

  • If you own or care for an animal that has a planned or unplanned litter you must purchase a breeders permit no later than three business days following the birth of the litter.  That permit must be purchased for every litter born. Call Animal Services directly.

  • Additional laws may exist or be enacted, please consult the county ordinances to remain aware of rules and regulations surrounding pet ownership. 

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