It’s Adopt a Cat Month! Will You Be Adopting a Cat in Need?

June is the ASPCA’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and there is nothing more rewarding than giving a shelter pet a loving, caring and forever home.

Adopting from a shelter can be a very daunting experience because sadly there are so many cats and kittens to choose from. So never rush the decision. Only visit a shelter when you have nothing else on your agenda and really take your time.

It’s very important to remember that animal shelters can be a very stressful and frightening place for pets and very often they will hide in their cages and be reluctant to even be petted.

I remember when my son Evan and I went to the Irvine Animal Shelter in California to adopt a kitten. We took a lot of time visiting each of the cages and looking at the kittens within to see how they interacted with their siblings, or were content just to snooze. After a while, we asked a shelter volunteer to start bringing the ones we had selected into the hospitality room so that we could spend some one-on-one time together with each kitten.

Often the volunteers don’t know the kitten’s history but it’s certainly worth asking. These days, shelters try to foster as many cats and kittens as possible so that they are reasonably socialized and not scared of people, which means they will “show” better when they met prospective adopters.

If you are looking for a specific cat breed, there are breed specific rescue groups that have purebred cats and kittens for adoption too. Often a good way to focus on a particular rescue group is to check with veterinarians or cat breeders in your area.

I firmly believe that there is some kind of connect or instant rapport with a cat or kitten that helps you make that decision. In a sense, they are adopting you!

That is exactly what happened when we met Ziggy. The volunteer had introduced us to several kittens, but when she brought Ziggy in the hospitality room, he dashed straight for my son, who instantly picked him up and kitten rumbled with pleasure. It was mutual love at first sight.

We were bringing a kitten home to an incumbent older cat. So we were looking for a kitten that wasn’t scared and also appeared to be  very friendly, because we knew that the introductions at home were initially going to be stressful for both of them.

For many people who don’t want to go through the wild kitten phase, adopting an older cat is a first choice. This is a particularly wonderful gesture because they have a harder time finding forever homes. If you have time on your hands, consider adopting a special needs cat that would thrive with your loving care and attention.

No matter where the shelter is situated, or whether the city or private individuals run it, the cats and kittens must be cared for in a clean and spacious environment. Don’t be afraid to report a situation that makes you uneasy to local authorities. You will be doing the cats and kittens in question a favor.

Whatever your final decision is on adoption day, remember that wonderful anonymous saying: “Saving one cat won’t change the world. But it will change the world for that one cat …”


Photo Credits: Feature image from flickr by heypatrick.

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