Are you looking to adopt a new furry friend this summer? Well, the timing couldn't have been any more perfect, as June kicks off Adopt a Cat Month! There are so many cats looking to find a new home, and if you’re ready, you could be bringing home a new companion this month. But why June? And, what if you decide you’re not ready or cannot adopt a cat? Here, you can find the history behind Adopt a Cat month. You’ll also find some tips to decide what kind of cat is best for you, as well as ways to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month if you aren’t ready for or cannot have a cat.
It’s almost June, which is a busy time for animal shelters. There’s a greater influx of cats in shelters in June than any other time of year, mostly due to the fact that many kittens are born in June more compared to the rest of the year. Because of this uptick in numbers, more cats are being sent to shelters. This seems like a good thing initially; more cats off the streets! (which is a really big problem; cats are an invasive species in the US and other countries!) Unfortunately, this raises another issue: the amount of cats coming in does not match up with the rate at which people adopt. This means not every cat in a shelter will be guaranteed adoption, and will most likely be euthanized; according to the National Kitten Coalition, about 3.4 million cats enter shelters each year, and 1.4 million cats are euthanized each year.
Since the uptick in cats arriving at shelters, American Humane launched Adopt a Cat month 45 years ago in order to encourage more people to bring home a feline friend and educate people about pet adoption.
How to pick the right cat
You may have heard it said that cats are independent animals. This may be slightly true, but it really depends on their personality! Each cat has a personality as unique as a human’s, so not every cat will be guaranteed to be “independent” or ‘lonely”. Genetics are also a consideration when it comes to adopting a cat. How much cat hair are you willing to manage? How big do you want your cat to be? Then you also have to consider compatibility with other animals and people–their tolerance for dogs, babies, and other cats is a very important factor when deciding on a cat to care for. Looking into different cat breeds and mixes to get an idea of the type of cat you want is also a good idea. You also need to consider care as well: cats with special needs are often overlooked, and need someone who can dedicate their time and efforts in keeping them healthy and happy. Factoring in all of these things is vital to making sure the cat you want is the right one for you.
Methods of Adoption
There are several different ways you could go about searching for your purrfect playmate.
- Visit your local shelter
This is always a great option, as you're helping to keep your local shelter afloat by adopting from them. When visiting a shelter, you will be able to see the cats up close and personal, and you might even get to play with them (if they're willing to cooperate!) Some shelters have their cats caged, while others allow them to roam around and interact with visitors.
- Search online for adoption centers
This recently added option makes finding the right kind of cat for you easier–you’ll be able to filter out specific details that will refine your search for a furry friend. A downside to this is that you may not be able to interact with the cat you choose until the day you come to take them home–so if you’re planning on adopting somewhere farther away, be mindful of this.
- Visit a cat café near you
Cat cafes are all the rage nowadays–if you haven't heard of them, a cat café is a place where shelter cats available to adopt are placed in a café setting (most cat cafes actually have a café attached to it)--encouraging patrons to grab a cup of coffee and play with cats while enjoying their caffeinated beverage and sweets. The first cat café opened in Taiwan and since then, the concept of cat cafes has swept the globe, popularized in Japan and later making its way over to the United States. This is a great way to view and interact with cats to test the waters of adoption–however, cat cafes are still relatively sparse in the US, and unless there's one in your town or you’re willing to drive to visit one, this option is more of a fun thing to do on a trip rather than a method of adoption consideration.
Now, what if you can’t adopt? Good news–there’s still plenty of ways to celebrate! Donating to your local animal shelters will help them immensely by helping to fund their upkeep and pay to keep them going. You could also see if any of the shelters near you will let you donate any supplies, such as cat food and toys. You can also foster (if that’s an option you’re open to). Fostering cats and kittens is a great way to help out shelters and get cats to new homes. You can find more information about fostering at FelineFoster.org.
Cat Adoption Month is a great way to learn about and celebrate cats and kittens in shelters, and it’s the perfect time to add a feline to the family!