|Each June the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) hopes animal lovers will consider adopting a shelter cat as they celebrate national Adopt-a-Shelter Cat Month. While the risks shelter animals face have dropped tremendously over the years, it is estimated that approximately 8 to 12 million companion animals still enter animal shelters each year. Further, it is estimated that approximately 70 percent of the cats are euthanized, many of which are healthy and adoptable - simply due to lack of space and resources. By celebrating June as Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month, their aim is to raise awareness of the life and death situations faced by so many shelter animals every year.|
In general, America is a dog-loving country. Shelters have seen that cats are only half as likely to be adopted as dogs are. By focusing the spotlight on what great companions cats make, ASPCA hopes to lessen risk for shelter cats, even if in a small way. Shelters all around the country are encouraged to celebrate Adopt-A-Shelter Cat Month through June.
The following tips address common concerns about bringing a cat into your family:
- Consider your needs and expectations. If yours is a full-time working household, ASPCA recommends passing up kittens and adolescents (less than 18 months old) in favor of a more low-key adult whose energy needs will be easier to meet. If you are a novice cat guardian, stay away from ‘excessive' cats - cats that are excessively shy, aggressive or demanding. Such cats may prove too great a challenge for your first cat-parenting experience.
- The look of the feline is only half the equation. By all means, choose a cat that attracts you, but remember that a gorgeous cat hiding at the back of his cage may well go into prolonged hiding once he is in your home. A social and relaxed cat is probably a better choice. Consider the cat's entire personality, not just what he looks like.
- Don't be discouraged by what you may have heard about feline behavior. Have you heard that cats tend to tear up furniture, curtains and upholstery? While it's true that cats do scratch surfaces, it's only because they inherently want to remove dead nail sheaths from around their sharp new claws. You can eliminate this by trimming the cat's nails every two weeks to keep them blunt and making favorite scratching targets feel unpleasant, such as by covering them with double-stick tape, balloons, tin foil, or contact paper (sticky side up). Consider providing a suitable scratching post as a more appealing option. Also, nail caps for both kittens and cats in various sizes (and colors!) are available to cover a cat's nails. The caps generally last 4-6 weeks before needing to be replaced. SoftClaws© is the brand that my Craig and I recommended concerned adoptive parents to use when we had our cat sanctuary.
Everyone knows that pets can reduce your blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. But cats can provide benefits that other pets can't. Here are some other reasons to adopt a cat:
a. Having a cat fights depression and loneliness
b. Cats are entertaining to watch and fun to play with
c. Cats provide companionship
d. Cats are independent and can be left alone while you're at work
e. A cat's mere presence will ward off unwanted mice and pests
f. Cats are comfortable in small spaces like apartments
g. Cats are very clean; they bathe themselves
h. A cat's purr is instantly calming and relaxing
i. Cats are affectionate
j. Just 15 minutes a day of playing with you will satisfy a cat
k. Cats are easy to house train, especially adult cats, who are probably already house trained
l. Cats bring a little bit of the wild into your house
m. Indoor cats and spayed/neutered cats live long lives, providing up to 20+ years of companionship
n. Cats are cheaper to spay/neuter than dogs, especially big dogs
o. Taking care of a cat can help teach a child responsibility and humane values
p. Lots of cats need good homes; when you adopt one, you're saving a life
Ready to find the perfect cat? Call your local shelter and search on sites like Petfinder for cats in need of loving homes in your area. Adopt and save a life!