With the onset of “kitten season,” it’s no surprise that June has been designated as Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.
If you’ve been thinking of adopting a kitty, now is the time to do it! Even if you can’t adopt, you can still help out by donating your time, cash or supplies.
Here are 5 ways you can help:
1. Adopt the Truly Needy
An unfortunate result of kitten season is that non-kittens are often overlooked. Yes, kittens are adorable, but if you can resist their universal appeal, please consider adopting a cat that really, truly needs a home:
- Black Cats: The most common kinds of cat in shelters are black, especially short-hairs. Seeing so many “identical” cats, potential adopters often bypass them for something less common — thus more unusual and interesting. Superstitions about black cats bringing bad luck don’t help either.
- Senior Cats: With so many other younger cats available, kitties over 10 years old have little chance of being adopted. God help them if they’re over 15! Cats can live a looooonnnnngggg time and can remain happy, healthy, frisky and affectionate well into double digits.
- Adult Bonded Pairs: Not many things are sadder than an abandoned pair of adult cats who are bonded to each other. Few enough people are interested in adopting adult cats, let alone a pair that loves each other deeply. You just know they’re going to be separated…
Although city and county shelters usually euthanize cats with treatable chronic conditions like diabetes or blindness, many rescues and private shelters try to find them homes. Instead of looking for a cat that is perfect, think about adopting a cat who is almost perfect.
Try out Petful’s adoption center. Just click the tab for “Cats.”
If you can’t adopt, consider fostering. Shelters euthanize animals once they’ve reached capacity, so every time you or a rescue takes a cat from the shelter, another spot is open for another needy kitty.
- Bottle Feed a Litter: When tiny kittens are brought to the shelter without their mothers, they are usually euthanized if a rescue or bottle-feeding program doesn’t take them. Bottle feeding is a lot of fun, and it doesn’t take more than a couple of weeks to wean them onto solid food.
- Foster a Mom and Her Kittens: Keeping the mama cat and her kittens together for at least 8 weeks ensures the kittens are healthier, happier and better socialized. Once you or the rescue have placed the kittens, keep fostering the mama cat until she finds a home.
- Foster a “Needy” Cat: When you contact a rescue about fostering, request one of the “needy” cats from the list above. Rescues are often limited to taking only the animals they think they can place. If you offer to foster a harder-to-place cat, then you’re giving the kitty a much better chance at finding a home.
To find a rescue near you, visit Petfinder.com.
If you aren’t able to foster, consider volunteering for an animal shelter or rescue. Although you won’t be promoting cat adoption directly, if you help the organizations that do, you’ll be making their lives a lot easier. You can pet, groom and play with available cats; you can also help staff events and participate in humane education programs.
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4. Donate Cash and Supplies
Rescues and shelters always need donations of money and pet supplies such as unopened food, litter, treats, beds, blankets, toys and grooming tools. Plus, when you donate to a nonprofit, you get a tax deduction!
5. Social Networking
Rescues, shelters and private individuals often post on Facebook about cats that need homes. Subscribe to/like a few different pages for organizations in your area. Talk to your kids, family, friends and co-workers, and see if any of them are looking for a cat. If someone posts a likely kitty on your Facebook page, tag any potential caretakers.
You can also post and tweet reminders that June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. For starters, share a link to this post!