According to the ASPCA, 3.2 million cats end up in shelters every year. And according to the Humane Society of America, “2.7 million adoptable cats (and dogs) are euthanized in the United States”. Cat shelters are doing what they can to provide a safe haven for these lost and abandoned cats. But a lot of these cats will end up euthanized because there’s just not enough space in shelters and not enough homes for cats to go to.
Cat adoption is one way to solve the problem of cat homelessness.
So, you might be asking yourself, “Why should I adopt a cat?” By giving a cat a home you are saving a life. A cat out on the street faces a lot of dangers such as:
- being killed by cars
- hunted, tortured by mean-spirited humans
- other predators
It’s a rough life.
But adopting a rescue cat benefits you as well. Cat adoption is a topic that I’m passionate about because I believe all cats and kittens deserve a loving forever home.
I appreciate you taking the time out to read this article. In this article, I discuss:
- reasons to get a cat
- where to adopt a cat
- adopting a cat from a shelter – what to expect
6 Reasons to get a cat
So, let’s discuss the reasons why you should get a cat. There are many great reasons why adopting a cat is beneficial to you.
1. There’s scientific proof that having a cat is right for your health.
Having a cat can helps your heart and lowers your blood pressure. It can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease by 30 percent.
2. There are healing powers in a cat’s purr
A cat’s purr creates vibrations at a frequency of 20-140 HZ. Studies have shown those kinds of vibrations can heal bones, tendons, and muscles after an injury.
3. Do you have problems sleeping?
The Mayo Clinic for Sleep Medicine confirmed in a recent study that 41 percent of the people in their sleep studies reported sleeping better because of their cat.
4. Having a cat reduces stress and anxiety
Having a cat around releases calming chemicals in your bloodstream which will help you de-stress and lower your anxiety.
5. Petting your cat will make you happy (and your cat will love it too).
Petting your cat is a great coping mechanism. And who doesn’t need a suitable coping mechanism that doesn’t involve drugs (haha)?
6. Having a cat will help you feel less isolated
Many of us are choosing to stay at home for our safety and the safety of others. Having a cat during this time will help you feel less lonely. Cats are great listeners. And they are great companions.
Things to think about before getting a cat
You definitely want to think about the decision to become a cat parent before adopting a cat. Unfortunately, this step is sometimes skipped which is a big reason why cats (and dogs) end up abandoned, abused, and neglected.
Cat ownership should be thought of as a lifetime commitment. So, before adopting a cat there are a few things you should consider:
- Do you have the time to take care of a cat? If you travel a lot having a cat might be difficult (but not impossible – consider hiring a cat sitter when away from home). Cats are social creatures, believe it or not. They can get lonely (and mischievous) if you’re away from home a lot.
- Can you afford a cat? Being a cat parent isn’t as expensive as taking care of a dog. But you need to consider expenses like food, cat litter, and vet care.
- Be ready to share your space. Your cat is going lay claim to everything in your house.
- Will your landlord allow you to have a cat? This is a big one. You definitely want to ask your landlord upfront before adopting a cat. A lot of shelters will contact your landlord to make sure cats are allowed because this is a big reason why cats are given back to the shelter.
- Should you adopt a kitten? Kittens are so cute but need a lot of attention. They nip and scratch and need to be socialized properly. And kittens really shouldn’t be left alone for long periods of time. Make sure you have the time to give a little fluffball before choosing to adopt a kitten rather than an adult cat.
Where to adopt a cat
If you’ve never adopted a cat before you might be wondering where should you begin. Actually, you don’t have to go far to get started with the process. You can go to Google.com and type in “cat rescue shelters near me” or “where to adopt a cat near me” to do a search.
However, I recommend starting your search for your fur-ever cat by checking out the ASPCA website.
The ASPCA has a national database of cats available for adoption. You can search by zip code, breed, qualities you might be looking for in a cat, etc.
This is what I found when I checked for adoptable cats in my area. There are 268 cats available for adoption in my area.
I must warn you. You’re going to fall in love with more than one cat. But don’t. Once you’re ready to go to the shelter to check out the cat there’s a big chance that it has been adopted already. Some pet websites are great at updating their website; some are not.
So go in with an open mind and a big open heart.
Adopting a cat from a shelter
Now that you’ve done your research and settled on one cat (or two), the next step is to visit the shelter to get a look at your potential cat, up close and personal. Also, the shelter is going to want to make sure you’re a suitable choice for your new cat. The adoption process usually goes something like this:
- Fill out an application
- provide proof of address
- a copy of your lease or condo policies regarding pets if you live in an apartment or condo
- The shelter will provide some time to get to know your cat. The shelter will be checking your interaction with the cat. Note: make sure to bring along everyone in the household. The shelter wants to make sure it’s a good fit for everyone in the family.
- Don’t be surprised if you don’t take your adorable little feline home right away. Some shelters require a home inspection before they release your new cat to you.
- Make sure to cat-proof your rescue cat’s new home. And to buy essential cat supplies.
How much does it cost to adopt a rescue cat?
The cost of adopting a cat varies, depending on the shelter. The average cost is from $50-150. I adopted Clara for $50.00 and Shrek was free.
Every rescue cat has a story
I adopted Shrek and Clara from Happy Tails Rescue of Northwest Indiana. Every rescue cat has a story. Shrek is a feral cat. A car ran him over. It’s a miracle that he’s alive. His skull was cracked and he suffered a broken leg. A very talented veterinarian put Shrek back together. He rehabbed at a pet hospital for 9 months. He ended up at Happy Tails Rescue after a full recovery.
Clara was the neighbor’s cat of the owner of Happy Tails Rescue. Clara was suffering from some type of urinary tract condition. The condition caused her to leak urine. The neighbors decided to give her up and the owner of Happy Tails Rescue took her in. It ended up being an easy fix. Once spayed, her urinary condition cleared up. She now uses the cat litter box without any problems.
It’s been about 3 weeks since my two have been in their new homes. Clara and Shrek have added to the peace and serenity of my house. Both Clara and Shrek are adjusting well to their new home.
I feel lucky to have them both.
*This article was originally written in 2017
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