Cat Adoption Part 1: Why Adopt?
The Cat Adoption articles are part of an ongoing blog series on cat adoption and rescue. The series will cover everything you need to know about adopting a cat from a rescue shelter near you.
The series is an essential read for first-time cat owners, covering everything you need to expect before welcoming a cat into your home.
The goal of this series is to help you lay a solid, healthy foundation for one of the most meaningful relationships you will form in a lifetime!
Cat and Animal Welfare Come First!
This first blog is an introduction to adoption and rescue, ideal for anyone new to adoption. Many of us grew up in homes with pets bought from pet stores and breeders. Adoption versus breeding is a sensitive issue for many.
This blog series puts animal welfare first and favors adoption as the right thing to do. The focus will be positive and forward-thinking. We prefer facts and kindness to finger-pointing and blame.
While focusing on cats, this information is broadly relevant to adopting all domestic animals.
Four Fantastic Reasons to Adopt a Cat
Helping a Cat in Need
Millions of homeless domestic cats and animals live on the streets. Millions more live in rescue shelters. No-kill shelters come with their own set of serious issues.
Purchasing a cat from a store or breeder ensures that one more homeless cat remains desperate and vulnerable. They continue to face extreme hunger and starvation, disease, injury, and exposure to cruel humans.
When you adopt a cat and give them a good life, you rescue them from a cruel, sad fate. Every day that you show an adopted animal unconditional love, care, and kindness is a day that you’ve done a good thing.
That still counts for something.
Rescued Cats Know You Saved Them
Aside from doing the right thing in the face of suffering, what additional benefits are there to adopting?
Simple: the special bond and relationship you will form with the rescued cat.
Cats and other domestic animals are naturally sensitive and intelligent. Out of necessity, they have also become attuned to human behavior and needs after thousands of years of selective breeding.
They know when they are safe and why. They will know you have rescued them. You will know you have given a needy animal a wonderful, loving home.
Sharing this type of relationship with another living creature is a powerful, special gift.
Discourage Breeding as a Practice
Breeding is ethically problematic for many reasons. As an example, unnatural physical features, like a squashed face, are favored for cuteness. This forced selection can cause lifelong health issues in these selectively bred cats.
Ultimately, every time a cat is adopted, breeding is disincentivized. When adopted animals are repeatedly and overwhelmingly favored over bred animals, the breeding industry will naturally shrink to reflect the lowered demand. This is a powerful economic tool. It is a powerful vote in favor of animal welfare and ending animal homelessness.
Consequently, if you are ready to welcome a cat into your home, rescuing or adopting a cat is the only ethical and humane option.
Plus, you have plenty of help and resources along the way from passionate, like-minded humans!
Adoption Experts Are There to Help!
Most animal shelters and rescue centers put animal welfare at the core of everything they do. For this reason, most reputable animal shelters will have adoption coordinators.
These adoption coordinators are trained to ensure that you are matched with a cat who is right for you. In turn, they are just as concerned about matching the cat with the right person.
Make sure you put this service to use! Ask plenty of questions and know who you are looking for in a cat.
Before Adopting: Get Involved and Volunteer!
Millions of cats are brought into shelters every year. It is good to remember that you might not be well-matched with a cat right on your first visit.
Don’t give up on that shelter, but rather keep coming back. Volunteer your time, if you are able. A little goes a long way!
The adoption process is a far richer experience than simply acquiring a pet for you and your family to enjoy. It is about seeking out a relationship with a cat in need from a community that cares.
Connect with Like-Minded, Caring People
The animal welfare community is large and welcoming and they love animals, just like you! When you decide to adopt a cat you are opening your heart to a wider community of like-minded people.
You can build relationships and even volunteer with the shelter, whatever they deem appropriate for their operations. Animal shelters and rescue sanctuaries truly rely on the goodness of people and their willingness to donate their time and efforts. No effort is too small, all contributions are appreciated.
Volunteering Is For Introverted Cat People, Too
Even if you’re introverted and shy, there are all kinds of ways to get involved remotely. If you can donate, most shelters accept donations. Many have Patreon accounts that you can sponsor, too. You can also donate your time and skills. Check with your local shelter for volunteer opportunities. There will often be a mix of remote and in-person opportunities.
Getting involved with the local shelter where you hope to adopt your forever cat can contribute to a greater sense of well-being and happiness. It's great to feel connected with a part of your community that cares about animals as much as you do.
Why Adopting a Cat is the Way to Go
Saving precious feline lives, participating in a good cause, and connecting with other animal lovers are just a few benefits to adopting a cat! We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to our Cat Adoption article series.
Stay tuned for next week’s article: “Cat Adoption Part 2: Home and Lifestyle”. This upcoming article will give you a six areas to consider about your home life and the right cat for it.
Cat Adoption: Wear Your Passion on your Sleeve
You don’t have to be Cat Mom AF or even a Cat Mom to be passionate about adopting or rescuing cats and other animals! Help to spread awareness about adoption by wearing your passion on your sleeve. Adopt don’t shop!
BCSPCA (2021) “Caring for Cats,” The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, [online] Available from: https://spca.bc.ca/faqs/cats/ (Accessed 1 April 2021).
Blue Cross (2020) “Breeding bad – the true cost of irresponsible pet breeding,” Blue Cross For Pets, [online] Available from: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/news/breeding-bad-true-cost-irresponsible-pet-breeding (Accessed 15 April 2021).
For All Animals (2021) “Guide to Adopting: Cats,” For All Animals, [online] Available from: http://www.forallanimals.org/resources/guide-to-adopting-cats/ (Accessed 1 April 2021).
Fragoso, S. (2019) “Shelter Cats: From Admission to Adoption—Ethical and Welfare Concerns,” Brill, Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research, [online] Available from: https://brill.com/view/journals/jaae/2/1/article-p57_5.xml?language=en.
Levy, J. K., Isaza, N. M. and Scott, K. C. (2014) “Effect of high-impact targeted trap-neuter-return and adoption of community cats on cat intake to a shelter,” PMC US National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24980808/ (Accessed 1 April 2021).
Lichtenberg, VMD, D. D. (2016) “Take It From a Vet: Don’t Buy a Purebred Cat,” Petful, [online] Available from: https://www.petful.com/pet-health/dont-buy-purebred-cat/ (Accessed 8 April 2021).
Mullan, S. (2013) “Are you positive? The fate of a shelter cat,” Research Gate, [online] Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273567561_Are_you_positive_The_fate_of_a_shelter_cat (Accessed 1 April 2021).
PETA (2021) “Animal Rights Uncompromised: There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Responsible Breeder,’” PETA, [online] Available from: https://www.peta.org/about-peta/why-peta/responsible-breeders/ (Accessed 5 April 2021).
PETA (2021) “Companion Animal Overpopulation,” PETA, [online] Available from: https://www.peta.org/issues/animal-companion-issues/overpopulation/ (Accessed 5 April 2021).
Spehar, D. and Wolf, P. (2020) “The Impact of Return-to-Field and Targeted Trap-Neuter-Return on Feline Intake and Euthanasia at a Municipal Animal Shelter in Jefferson County, Kentucky,” PMC US National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32796681/ (Accessed 1 April 2021).
Turner, P., Berry, J. and MacDonald, S. (2012) “Animal shelters and animal welfare: Raising the bar,” PMC US National Library of Medicine, [online] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3398531/ (Accessed 1 April 2021).