Tag Archive for: adopt a cat

view from above a tortoiseshell kitty looking down

Image Credits | All images: Sam Lion – https://www.pexels.com/@sam-lion/ 

Adopting a rescue cat is, without a doubt, one of the most heartwarming ways you can bring a furry family member to your home as you’re quite literally saving a cat’s life.

While there are undoubtedly challenges that come with adopting a cat from a rescue or shelter, there are also a surprising number of benefits that come with it that you may not realize. Below, we’ll go over five of the biggest reasons to adopt a shelter cat into your home.

1. Price – No Need To Pay Too Much! 

Sometimes a cat in need of a home might wander into your life as a stray. Usually, you need to be very careful that the cat who appears looking for food at your door is, in fact, a stray and does want to be rescued. Even if you can be sure of that, taking in a stray or feral cat in a moment of wishful thinking comes with its own set of challenges, namely paying for vaccinations to make sure the cat is healthy and safe to be around and taking them to the vet for a general check-up. This alone can cost a few hundred dollars depending on who you go to and what you end up getting for them. In that situation, you are best taking your stray to a shelter, making it clear that you want to adopt but get their help in making that transition.

Cats from places like breeders or specialty cat stores can potentially become quite cost-prohibitive. Not only that, but you’ll likely end up paying for at least a few of the aforementioned medical procedures, even if it’s only some of the different vaccines.

Shelters, on the other hand, handle most of these issues right off the bat. From immunizations to chipping your cat to having them spayed or neutered, shelters have already done much of the heavy lifting. Keep in mind that that’s just for immediate medical concerns. If you’re dealing with a cat with special needs, some shelters may have different medications offered at either free or at a steep discount based on the area. They may also include things like unused beds, cat toys, blankets, and any other thing that can greatly reduce the initial cost of the cat’s upbringing, something that you’d be hard-pressed to replicate through any other pet adoption method.

2. More Unique Options

In addition to being more cost-effective, rescue shelters truly offer some of the widest variety of cats to choose from. Unlike breeders, shelters will have all types of cats available, ranging in appearance, gender, personality, or age. Rescue shelters have taken in a wider variety of cats who all need homes, and the shelter staff can also help you to choose a cat who fits your lifestyle and needs.

You may be a bit hesitant to opt for going through a shelter to pick up a cat due to potential concerns such as physical issues or behavioral problems. There are many cat lovers who choose to adopt exactly these cats with such issues, but it may not be for everyone. If you choose to adopt a special needs cat, make sure you know what you’re getting into, and most special needs cats are just as loving and lovable as fully able-bodied. Of course, only a few cats at the shelter at any one time are going to have these needs.

3. Cats Are Purr-fect For Your Mental Health

Often cats in shelters have gone through their fair share of trauma and are ready for an owner who will love them as unconditionally as possible. These cats may be more likely to sleep on your lap, cuddle next to you, and get extra pets from you.

This attention and free head pats don’t just benefit the life of the cat, but you as well. Cats have been shown to help you cope with feelings such as stress or anxiety. They also can come to your aid if you’re feeling physically under the weather. While getting any cat will provide you with many of these perks, you may be more likely to experience them from a rescue cat that knows that you need her just as much as she needs you.

As long as you’re asking the right questions at the shelter they will make sure you find a cat that will give you the affection you seek, which is great for the long-term bond and mental health of both you and your cat.

As for those cats that do have trust issues, every shelter has a group of foster owners and cat lovers that they know can handle those cats. My neighbor is one who currently has eight shelter cats, none of which show her any affection, but she loves and cares for them all the same. It works for her, and it works for them!

4. Helps Prevent Overbreeding

While getting a cat from a rescue shelter isn’t going to automatically reduce the number of breeders, it can help chip away at a large number of unwanted cats. Adopting a pet means you aren’t purchasing from a pet store or breeder and encouraging them to continue breeding cats who may not find a home.

Going through a rescue shelter isn’t going to necessarily change the mind of cat breeders outright, but it does ensure that you aren’t contributing to the problem of overbreeding. There are several reasons to purchase a specific breed of cat, and for some cat owners that is a necessity. But for so many cats who need a second chance, adoptions are their only hope.

5. You’re Saving A Life

Last but not least, when you get a cat from a rescue shelter, you’re also quite literally saving its life.

Cats at rescue shelters don’t have a backup plan. If a cat isn’t picked up from a rescue shelter, chances are the shelter will have to eventually put the cat down to make room for the influx of newer cats brought in.

While this is sadly true, it’s even more of an issue for black and orange cats, who are picked the least and are most prone to being euthanized due to age-old superstitions where black cats were seen as ill omens. Unfortunately, this means these two cat colors are the most likely to be put down, making them the ideal option for someone interested in a cat while also saving a life.

And, of course, as soon as you take a cat home from the shelter, you’ve freed up a space for another cat to come in. So you’ve saved not just the cat you took home but another as well.

Adopting a Rescue Cat: The Verdict

Cats from rescue shelters want to be loved. They want to be picked, and they want to be given the opportunity to be part of a family. Ultimately, while I can never say alternative ways of getting a cat are bad, what I can say is that the love and affection a rescue shelter cat will offer can change both your life and theirs.


Guest Author: Dexter Jones is the head of content at We Love Cats and Kittens. He has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.

Large longhaired brown tabby cat lying on a counter with his feet tucked under his body like a loaf of breadJune is National Adopt a Cat Month and let’s face it: We love to watch cats whether they’re being silly, adorable, regal, or cranky. Cats are the reason we need the internet. Cat videos on YouTube have been going viral for years and can be just the way to put a smile on your face. Even though many of us are fairly convinced cats are secretly plotting to take over the world, they’re more than happy to live with you and let you be their servant…I mean owner. But regardless of their world domination propensities, here are ten really good reasons to stop watching those cat videos long enough to go get a cat of your own. And who knows, maybe your cat can be the next YouTube sensation!

1. You can save more than one life by adopting a cat

Not only do you save the life of the kitty you adopted, but you can clear a space for more cats to be rescued and sheltered. Unfortunately, shelters have a limited capacity and many pets are euthanized before they are able to be re-homed due to lack of space or resources. According to the ASPCA over 3.2 million cats enter American pet shelters every year. Approximately 1.6 million of those cats are adopted. That means there are plenty who still need to be housed and cared for until they find their forever home!

Consider the adage “the more the merrier!” When adopting a cat, consider getting a bonded pair or two cats (provided you give them time to get comfortable with each other). You can save two lives and your kitty will always have a playmate or snuggle companion when you aren’t home.

Cat fact: Often older cats, special needs cats and kittens, or black cats are considered “unadoptable” and are the first to be euthanized. Consider adopting one of these kitties when you are looking for a new pet.


2. Adopting a cat is a sound financial choice.

When you adopt from a shelter, your new kitty has already been spayed or neutered, given necessary vaccinations, and microchipped. Some shelters will even include a bag of food, collar and id, or pet insurance in the adoption fee. This will help you save in the upfront costs of a new pet. When you purchase a cat from a breeder you must pay for these expenses on your own. Depending on the cat and what type of lifestyle you have, you may also save on any training or house/litter training expenses.

3. There are a wide variety of cats available and their personality is already known.

At most shelters you can find almost any type of cat: young or old, long haired or short haired, in all colors and sizes. If you have your heart set on a specific breed, like a Siamese or Persian, you can also check for breed rescue or cat-specific organizations. These manifold felines spend their days with volunteers, behaviorists, and trainers. Each cat’s needs and personality is studied carefully so that you know what kind of kitty you’ll get. You may want an active playful cat who will entertain you for hours or all you need is a couch potato to join your Netflix binges. Either way, the shelter personnel will be able to help you find your match.

Many pets wind up at shelters due to a change in family circumstances, such as a divorce or a move, rather than through any fault of their own. These pets are happy, healthy cats who are already house trained and accustomed to living with a family. No need to train them yourself, they come ready and happy to fit into your home!

Cat fact: Young cats and kittens can go through personality changes until they are fully grown. A snuggly kitten may not be a snuggly adult. If you want a specific activity level or personality, consider getting an adult cat. If they sit in your lap today, very likely they will be a lap cat for the rest of their lives. Since cats can live upwards of 18 years, you’ll still have plenty of time to love an adult cat.


4. Cats are good for your health, both mental and physical.

orange tabby snoozing on its back with one paw resting up by her faceAccording to a study performed by Deborah Wells, owning a cat (or any pet you adopt) can improve your sense of happiness and well-being and can help reduce the strain of stress, anxiety, depression, or loneliness. Cats can provide a quiet, soothing presence when we need it most, during times of strain or grief. Other studies have found that having a cat may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. One such study in 2008 showed that having a cat can reduce your risk of heart attack by up to 40% by reducing stress and anxiety! We’ve also found that a cat’s purr can help lower your blood pressure, promote bone health, heal ligaments and muscles with minor injuries, and decrease dyspnea. A study by the Journal of Pediatrics published in the National Library of Medicine states that having a cat in the home with children can expose those children to allergens at a very young age, making them less likely to develop allergies or respiratory issues later. Having a pet in their home is also beneficial to children emotionally and mentally.

5. Cats are the perfect apartment roommate.

If you live in a small space, like an apartment or condo or even a dorm room (if the school allows it), a cat can be the perfect companion. Most cats instinctively know to use the litter box and scratching posts. They are less likely to track mud through the house or tear up the garbage than dogs. Cats tend to be neat and tidy animals although many do shed so invest in a good vacuum! Cats, with the exception of some long haired cats, require less grooming than dogs. Most cats take care of their own bathing and brushing without any help!

Cats often don’t need as much playtime as dogs and will value their time lounging around the house or just being with you since they sleep up to 16-20 hours per day. They don’t require a lot of space and lengthy walks like dogs do. They can be fairly low maintenance, just make sure of give them plenty of toys and places to climb, like cat trees or window seats. Most cats are independent creatures and can frequently choose to keep to themselves. And when they do want to snuggle, they’re warm, fuzzy, and the perfect size for your lap. While cats are happy to be around their humans, they are able to stay home alone all day unlike dogs. Cats do not require as much constant care as dogs, making them a preferred pet of many busy professionals.

6. Cats are good for your home and the environment.

Mostly white calico cat sitting in a window reaching a paw out to a mouse standing on its back feet at the corner of the windowCats are good pest deterrents. They help keep control of any mice, rat, or bug populations. While some cats decide they’d rather befriend small animals, most are very good hunters. If it moves, they pounce! Many farms keep barn cats just for that purpose. The Working Cats program helps re-home otherwise “unadoptable” feral cats to work on farms and in businesses as pest control.

Cats also leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet than dogs do. The biggest factor in a pet’s carbon footprint is the amount of food they eat, and since cats eat far less than dogs, they leave a smaller footprint. In this way they are better for the environment than dogs. Just don’t let your house cat outside to attack the local birds!


7. Cats are wonderful companions, particularly for the elderly or other pets.

Calmer cats, particularly those that are older, can make wonderful friends for older adults. Their easy care and peaceful dispositions can be a blessing and stave off loneliness. Cats can also keep other pets company during the day. If you have a cat or a cat-friendly dog you may want to consider getting a playmate or sidekick to enjoy. Just make sure to temperament test both pets and give them time to adjust to each other.

Cat fact: Often cats are more reserved and stressed about their shelter environment. They need routine and a safe environment to flourish. It’s easy to see your future best friend in those cute dogs ready to wag their tail and lick your hand. But consider taking the time to get to know some of the cats in the shelter. They can be just as loving as a dog and lower maintenance!


8. You’ll change a cat’s life forever.

Not only can you be proud that you’ve helped a pet in need and created space for more pets to be helped, but you’ll get a new best friend out of the deal. Cats may be selective with their affection, but once you’ve earned their trust, you’ll have a loyal friend fur-ever. The quote about rescuing a dog can be applied to cats as well: “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog, the world will change forever.” 

So are you ready to head out to the shelter to find your forever friend? According to Indiana University Media School, people who watch cat videos were “more energetic, felt more positive and had fewer negative emotions, such as anxiety, annoyance and sadness after watching cat videos online.” If that can happen while watching cats, what do you think would happen if you owned one? And if you are unable to, then head on over to YouTube to get your kitty fix and lower your stress levels!