June is National Adopt a Cat Month, so why not save a life and get a new best friend? Feral and domestic cats are both taken to shelters on a daily basis, and the sad reality is that most will be euthanized if they are not adopted quickly. Cats, more so than dogs, have a difficult time adjusting to life in a shelter. They need places to hide and relax, which isn’t possible in a crate. Most shelters do what they can to put these poor animals at ease, but many are passed over for adoption simply because they are in a stressful environment and do not represent the “sweet, cuddly pet” that most people want. Shelter volunteers and employees work hard to keep the animals socialized and comfortable, but can only do so much with limited resources and limited time.
The best thing about adopting a shelter cat is that you are saving a life! This new pet will now get to experience a happy, fulfilling life with you instead of spending days, months, or even years in a cage. However, there are many more benefits to owning a cat, especially a shelter cat. When adopting a cat, they will be up to date on vaccinations and will already be spayed or neutered. This saves you time and money rather than purchasing a cat from an unknown source. You are also more likely to know if the cat has any underlying health conditions. Most shelters screen incoming animals for any behavioral or health issues that will require extra attention from a potential new family. It can be hard to determine a cat’s temperament while at the shelter, but shelter workers can help you with identifying the best personality fit for your home. They spend more time with these animals and will know if some are more playful, calm, or know how much attention each cat may need in its new home. This is important if you have other pets or children in the home, you definitely want to find a cat who will thrive in the environment you have for them.
Knowing more about the cat’s personality will help you be able to provide the best home for them. Depending on the cat’s history or how long it has been in the shelter, it can take up to several months for the cat to fully acclimate. Many will suggest creating a safe space for them, typically one room of your home that is kept quiet and where children and dogs will not be bothering them for at least a few days. This will help them adjust to new smells, sounds, and the layout of your home. They may wander around while you are out during the day or at night if they feel safer when no one else is there.
If you live in a small home or apartment, a cat is also typically a better option than a dog. They are usually quieter and do not need as much exercise. You can train your cat to walk on a leash, but it isn’t necessary to keep your cat happy and healthy. Cats are also a great companion for seniors. Because they do not require a lot of exercise, they are a better lifestyle fit for someone with limited mobility and they provide companionship and purpose for someone living alone. Cats are also better suited for someone who travels often. We are here to help take care of your pet while you are away. But unlike cats, dogs need several potty breaks and walks each day, where cats do not.
Owning a cat, or any pet, is beneficial to your mental health. Having a companion animal can help you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and more! Cats specifically are linked to improved heart health and children who are exposed to cats early in life have a reduced chance of developing asthma. Almost anyone who owns a pet will be able to tell you how much they appreciate the companionship and will recommend adding a fur baby to your family. Just remember to consider the home environment you have for them, whether you are home a lot or travel often, or if you have kids or other pets to ensure you, your family, and your new cat are happy together.
Definitely don’t forget about National Bring Your Cat to Work Day on June 22nd! This is perfect if you work from home, but you might want to clear it with your supervisor for most careers. Either way, it’s always nice to have an excuse to spoil your fur baby. Maybe put a picture of your cat on your desk or grab their favorite treat on your way home!