When neighbors started complaining about the conditions of an apartment in a high-rise building in Toronto, Toronto Animal Services was contacted to help look into it. They quickly realized the situation was far too much for them to handle on their own, and called on a bunch of rescues to help them out. When Toronto Cat Rescue got the call to help, they quickly agreed — but were definitely not prepared for what they found when they arrived at the apartment on Saturday.
Inside the small, two-bedroom apartment were 300 cats.
It’s crazy to try and imagine how 300 cats could fit inside a two-bedroom apartment, and it was even crazier for the rescuers to witness in person. The conditions inside the apartment were unlike any they had ever seen before, and everyone was baffled at how the situation had gotten to that point.
“It was a very difficult place to spend any time,” Belinda Vandersluis, executive director of Toronto Cat Rescue, told The Dodo. “The smell was overwhelming and it was just an overwhelming place to be — besides the fact that there were 300 cats there.”
With such little space, there were cats in absolutely every corner of the apartment, strewn about the living room and piled together in the bathtub. Any place a cat could find to occupy, they would, and it was painfully clear that each and every cat needed to be rescued from that apartment as soon as possible.
One by one, the cats were removed from the apartment in a few different waves. Toronto Cat Rescue helped remove 187 cats from the apartment, and took in 80 to their rescue. The remaining hundred or so cats were removed within the next few days, and all 300 cats are now safely in the care of rescues and fosters, getting the love and attention that’s impossible to get when you’re one of 300.
“The cats are in surprisingly good shape both medically and behaviorally,” Vandersluis said. “They were quite calm, there wasn’t a mass panic of cats running everywhere, there were just a lot of cats, and they were surprisingly friendly.”
The 80 cats taken in by Toronto Cat Rescue are now happily in foster homes and doing wonderfully considering where they came from. Some of the cats are a bit underweight, and some are shy, but for the most part they’re a shockingly healthy, well-adjusted group. Some of the cats taken in were pregnant and due to give birth any day, and even they are thriving in their loving foster homes. For such a crazy situation, the cats are all doing well, and the rescue can’t wait until they’re ready to go off and find their forever homes.
“They’re playing, eating, they don’t have fleas or worms and they don’t have medical or dental issues,” Vandersluis said.
Once the cats are spayed, neutered and vaccinated and seem healthy and well-adjusted, they’ll be put up for adoption and can finally know what it feels like to have a loving, attentive family.