Looking for a pet cat? Adopting from a rescue organization is a fantastic way to welcome a kitten or cat into your family.
More than 6 million pets enter animal shelters each year, according to the Humane Society of the United States. There’s nothing wrong with these animals; they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some have been abandoned. Others were surrendered by owners who could no longer care for them due to illness, a move or financial constraints.
Rescue groups typically have a variety of kittens and adult cats, offering those searching for a feline companion plenty of options. Their volunteers are happy to share what they know about the animal’s history, health records and personality, making it easier to predict whether or not the cat is a good match for your family.
The cost of adopting tends to be nominal — especially when you remember that many cats up for adoption have already been seen by a veterinarian. Unlike those sold in pet stores, most cats offered for adoption have already been vaccinated and tested for feline leukemia, a contagious disease that severely shortens a cat’s life.
Most rescue organizations do require owners to spay or neuter the cat, but if the animal is old enough it may already have been done. If not, groups often offer special programs to help make the procedure affordable.
By adopting from a rescue group, you gain a wonderful pet and the satisfaction of providing a home to a cat who needs one. You also free up the group’s resources so they can help another animal.
How do I find a rescue group?
Interested in adopting but unsure what rescue groups are in your area? Visit PetFinder.com, a site that connects people interested in adopting with the rescue groups near them. Or make a trip to your local PetSmart. Instead of selling cats and dogs, PetSmart offers a dedicated area in its stores to local rescue groups so that they can display the animals they have available for adoption.
Not all rescue organizations work the same way. It’s best to check out several and get a feel for their animals, their volunteers and their policies. If anything makes you uncomfortable, look elsewhere. With so many cats looking for homes, you have plenty of choices.
I’ve found all my cats through rescue organizations. Jasper, an energetic, exotic-looking tabby with huge eyes and a bobbed tail, lived to be fifteen years old. Martian Cat trilled instead of meowing and slept under my children’s crib. Our ninja cat, Darby, is a quiet black cat we adopted when he was a year old. Clancy, our latest addition, is a mouthy tabby with an affinity for dog toys.
Rescue organizations want to help you find the right cat for your family. If you’re looking for a cat, visit your local groups. You might find your ideal cat is waiting for you.
“Benefits of Adopting a Cat or a Dog from a Shelter” — Banfield Pet Hospital
“Adopting Cats from an Animal Shelter” — peteducation.com
“Adopting from an Animal Shelter or Rescue Group” — US Humane Society