6 Reasons You Should Adopt a Shelter Cat

Dusty Rainbolt

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As Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, the month of June focuses attention on the millions of cats in animal shelters hoping for homes. With the sluggish economy, shelters and rescue groups have been overwhelmed by people surrendering their cats. Add to that the springtime flood of unwanted kittens and you have a living, breathing feline tsunami. Unfortunately there are far more homeless kitties than there are adoptive families. The ASPCA estimates that 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters every year. Most of them never make it out.

Adopt a Shelter Cat Month was established by the ASPCA to promote the adoption of cats from local shelters. If you're on the fence about adding a feline family member, June is the time to do it because humane organizations nationwide offer special incentives to encourage people to adopt. Incentives may include waived or reduced adoption fees, seniors for seniors programs, or extras like free vaccinations, spay/neuter surgery, viral testing, a microchip, or cat accessories.

Just because a cat lands in a shelter doesn’t mean he’s flawed. People surrender pets due personal crises such as a death, divorce, loss of income, a move, pregnancy, allergies, or a new significant other who doesn’t like cats.

Why adopt a shelter cat?

  1. You’re a hero! When you adopt from a shelter or rescue, you’re saving a life. If you want to be a superhero, adopt an at-risk kitty. Due to a lack of resources, shelters often euthanize animals they consider unadoptable first. These unadoptables include older cats, black cats, and kitties with physical challenges.
    • Potential adopters tend to overlook older kitties when they’re surrounded by playful little kittens, but please don't pass up a senior because you fear you won’t have much time with him. Inside kitties can live 14 to 18 years, so you could have plenty of time with your new friend.

      The beauty of adopting an adult is “what you see is what you get.” Kittens, like human children, change as they mature. That cuddly youngster may grow to be aloof. If a senior kitty jumps in your lap at the shelter, he’s going to be a lap cat tomorrow and next year.
    • Black kitties also experience adoption discrimination. Prospective adopters don’t notice black cats and kittens because they’re harder to see inside a cage and they don’t photograph well. Then, there’s that erroneous bad luck reputation. In truth, black cats are considered good luck in most parts of the world. Want your new kitty to live a long time? Studies show that the genetic mutation that gives a black cat his ebony coat is also associated with a healthier immune system.
    • Special needs cats also get the brush off from potential adopters, but caring for a cat with physical issues is a sweet and humbling experience. Instead of taking home a perfect feline Marilyn Monroe, consider adopting a kitty who has a beautiful spirit, but a less than perfect body.
  2. Animal shelters are one-stop shopping for your perfect companion. You won’t have to go from place to place to find your perfect love. Your local shelter will have a great selection of colors, temperaments, ages, and activity levels.
  3. Good economics. Many shelters include spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and viral tests in the adoption fee. If your vet performed these procedures, it would cost much more. Sometimes shelters even include food, litter, accessories, and toys. Such a deal!
  4. Cats enrich our lives. Research shows there are health benefits associated with owning a cat. Having a cat lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The presence of a kitty diminishes loneliness and depression.
  5. Kitties provide comfort during times of grief. Not only would a furry friend help you deal with loneliness and grief from the death of a human or animal companion, by saving a life, good comes from tragedy.
  6. You may adopt the next internet celebrity. The most famous cats of all time came from shelters: Morris the Cat, Nora—the piano-playing kitty, Keyboard Cat, Lil Bub, and Colonel Meow. The next online personality may be waiting for you at your local animal shelter.

While you can't predict when your pet is going to get sick or injured, you can protect yourself from expensive veterinary bills. Embrace Pet Insurance gives you the freedom to do what’s best for your pet without stressing over the cost. Easily personalize your coverage to fit your budget and your pet’s needs, then visit any vet for nose-to-tail coverage. Check out what the Embrace plan covers or compare pet insurance providers to learn more.

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