The issue of cat overpopulation is a growing concern, leading to countless kittens born without homes each year. One effective way to combat this crisis is through sterilization or spaying/neutering. It takes a village and you are crucial in this. 

Step 1: Ensure Vaccination

Before proceeding with sterilization, it’s crucial to prioritize the cat’s health and safety. Many diseases can be transmitted while in the hospital setting, especially in high-volume clinics like low-cost options. To prepare your feline friend, make sure they have received their 3 in 1 or FVCRP vaccines. Having at least two doses of the vaccine is essential to ensure the cat or kitten is fully protected. For more information about vaccines and where to get them, visit our comprehensive guide: Shots, Shots, Shots!: What You Need to Know About Vaccines.

Step 2: Secure an Appointment

Appointments for spaying or neutering can be challenging to come by and often fill up rapidly, especially at low-cost clinics. As soon as you welcome a cat into your home, regardless of their age, call to make an appointment for their spay or neuter procedure. Early booking increases the likelihood of securing a slot, so don’t delay.

Keep in mind that low-cost clinics may require frequent checks for appointment openings, so stay vigilant in your quest to provide responsible pet ownership or with helping your area reduce the overpopulation crisis.

Low Cost Clinics: 

California Database Search:   SpayCalifornia

Riverside:  The Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center – Spay/Neuter ( 

Ontario:  Ontario Spay and Neuter 

Loma Linda Walk in Same Day (go early):  Services — Loma Linda Animal Hospital ( 

Step 3: Seek Financial Assistance

We understand that the financial aspect of sterilization can be a concern for many individuals and families. If you need financial assistance to cover the costs of spaying or neutering, consider reaching out to organizations like Actors & Others or exploring the resources available on POPCO.

Actors & Others :  Actors and Others for Animals : Spay / Neuter Assistance, Pet Over Population 

 POPCO: Riverside County Residents ( 

Sterilization is a vital step in reducing cat overpopulation and ensuring the welfare of our feline friends. By following these steps and seeking assistance when needed, you can make a significant difference in curbing the kitten crisis and promoting responsible pet ownership. Together, we can create a safer and healthier environment for cats and kittens across our communities.

In California, it’s important to note that rescue organizations cannot rehome cats and kittens unless they are fully vaccinated, microchipped, and sterilized. These measures are not only essential for the health and well-being of the feline population but also contribute to responsible pet ownership.

Caring for our feline friends is a top priority, and one essential aspect of their well-being is vaccination. Act 2 Rescue understands the importance of protecting our furry companions from common feline diseases. In this blog post, we’ll provide valuable information about the FVRCP vaccine, vaccination schedules for kittens and cats, as well as some important considerations regarding vaccines.

The FVRCP Vaccine: A Triple Shield

The FVRCP vaccine is a superhero in the world of cat health, guarding against three common feline diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), calicivirus (C), and panleukopenia (P). These diseases can wreak havoc on a cat’s health, and vaccination is the key to preventing them.

Kitten & New Cat Vaccination Schedule: Building Immunity

For kittens & cats, the initial vaccination series is crucial in building their immunity fortress. Here’s a typical schedule:

First Vaccination: Usually administered at around 6 to 8 weeks of age. In rescue’s, this may be done at 1 lb/4 weeks if the kittens are healthy.

Second Vaccination: Given 3 to 4 weeks after the first shot (around 10-12 weeks of age). In rescue, this might be as soon as 2 weeks after the first vaccine.

Third Vaccination: Not needed in adult cats. It is administered another 3 to 4 weeks after the second shot (around 14-16 weeks of age). In rescue, this is done until they reach 16 weeks, regardless of whether it requires more than three vaccines. Mother’s milk can contain antigens that interfere with vaccine effectiveness, so it’s important to persist while in the rescue setting.

These initial vaccinations lay the foundation for a strong immune response to these diseases, helping kittens grow into healthy adults and keeping house cats safe from illnesses that may be brought in through shoes, bags, etc.

Booster Shots: Maintaining Protection

After the initial series, booster shots are crucial to maintain immunity. The frequency of boosters depends on various factors, including the specific vaccine used and the cat’s risk factors. In general:

One-Year Booster: It’s important to update the FVRCP vaccine annually, even if your cat stays indoors. Deadly diseases can linger in the environment, potentially endangering your cat.

Rabies Vaccine: This vaccine can be given after 4 months of age and is important for cats visiting groomers or boarding facilities. Indoor-only cats may not need this annually as there is not really a risk of exposure; consult your vet for guidance.

FELV/FIV Vaccines: These are typically unnecessary unless your cat is exposed to FELV/FIV-positive cats or roams outdoors. Act 2 Rescue advises caution regarding these vaccines due to the potential for “vaccine-induced false positives.”

Understanding Vaccine-Induced False Positives

Vaccination against FELV/FIV can lead to false positives on SNAP tests, as the vaccine stimulates the production of antibodies that the test detects. It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian and consider a SNAP test before vaccinating for these diseases, especially if you have a healthy cat.

If your cat tests positive on a SNAP test, consider further PCR testing, as SNAP tests can yield false positives.

Low Cost Options: 

In Riverside:  The Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center – Vaccinations ( 

San Gabriel for Rescued Animals only (No Pets):  Services | SGV Animal Advocates ( 

Consult Your Veterinarian

Remember that the vaccination schedule should be tailored to your cat’s individual needs and local disease prevalence. Annual veterinary check-ups are essential to ensure your cat’s vaccinations are up-to-date and to receive guidance on their overall health.

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians. Please verify the accuracy of this information with a qualified veterinarian. Act 2 Rescue is not responsible for any adverse outcomes resulting from the information provided. Your cat’s health should always be overseen by a licensed veterinarian.


At Act 2 Rescue, we share your passion for helping unhoused cats, and we understand the frustration that can arise when it feels like there’s no one to turn to. We receive hundreds of phone calls each week from compassionate individuals like you, but our resources are limited, and we want to shed light on why we may sometimes be unable to accept cats immediately. This blog is dedicated to providing guidance on what to do when you find a cat in need and how you can make a difference.

Step 1: Check for a Microchip & Seek Medical Attention If Needed Immediately

One of the first things to do when you encounter an unhoused cat is to check for a microchip. Don’t assume that friendly cats are “community cats.” It’s incredibly challenging for a cat, especially a friendly one, to survive on the streets. They lack the instincts needed to protect themselves and may not know how to hunt. If you find a friendly cat, take it to a veterinarian to have it scanned for a microchip. It is free and no appointment is needed. If there’s no microchip, proceed with the following steps.

If the cat needs medical attention, please don’t wait for help. It needs to get to a vet or worst case the shelter (which will pry euthanize but will end the suffering). Be aware some vets have extremely high pricing due to the shortage of vets. Be careful of this. See Veterinarians we Love! ( for recommendations.

Step 2: Do Not Relocate the Animal

Resist the urge to relocate the cat. Relocation will take the animal away from the little protection it may have in a local colony or even people helping feed it. Relocation is a delicate process because a new cat in an area will likely be a target of attacks from established colonies. 

Step 3: Provide Food and Water

Friendly cats are often unable to fend for themselves outdoors. If the cat is friendly, please try to find options for it besides an outdoor setting. Please give them food and water at minimum. Friendly cats are often unable to hunt and will likely suffer and slowly perish. New cats will inevitably take the place of the other cats. A small fixed colony of ferals is very healthy for the environment to control pests. Unfixed colonies can quickly spiral out of control, leading to hundreds of offspring.

Step 4: Secure the Cat or Kittens

 Secure the cat or kittens in a safe location. This could be a large dog kennel, bathroom or extra bedroom with few hiding places. 

If you’re dealing with kittens, it’s essential to monitor them for a few hours before taking them in, as they may have a mother who is their primary source of nutrition. Capturing the mother along with the kittens is ideal. Kittens without teeth need to be bottle-fed and have their waste stimulated every 2-4 hours. They also require a low heat source, like a pet-safe heating pad. 

Step 5: Call for Rescue Support

Rescue organizations operate primarily on volunteer efforts and often have limited budgets. When seeking rescue support, be prepared for volunteers who are juggling overwhelming demands.  If you find a rescue who can assist you, please also check to make sure they are a safe rescue with good outcomes. If you can foster the cat or kitten and prepare them for adoption by ensuring they are vaccinated, sterilized, and microchipped, you significantly increase the chances our being able to assist you. If you are able to do this, please text 951-444-9108 and ask for assistance. You can also email us at Be aware we can miss messages in the volumes we receive so plesae message again if you don’t get an answer in 24 hours.

Another humane option is to call the animal shelter and ask if you can foster for them. They will assist you with getting the kitty prepped for adoption. Once adoptable, they can put it in windows or adopt out. This option doesn’t have the safeguards of rescues checking the adopters so you can also ask a rescue to pull your foster from the shelter until together you can find a safe home. (Be aware, even fostering for the shelter, if the animal gets sick, it will be euthanized). Our rescue does assist shelter fosters when animals are ill or if they need behavioral assistance and has pulled from the shelter so the foster has a more vetted adopter. Contact us at the above number/email if you need support with this. 

If you are fostering, we offer behavioral assistance.  text “woof” to (951) 261-8100 to receive 30 days of Petcademy support 

Step 6: Continue to Assist

If you’re unable to foster, search for a suitable foster and continue to assist in finding a home for the cat. Even if you give your cat to a rescue, your help in locating potential adopters can be invaluable.

Caring for cats in distress is a shared responsibility, and together, we can make a significant impact on their lives. While we may sometimes be unable to accept cats immediately due to limited resources, your dedication and proactive steps can save lives. Remember, every small effort counts in providing a better future for our feline companions. This experience has probably shown you the critical need for rescues which are privately funded. Please consider monthly donations to our rescue to assist us in continuing this vital community support.