June is designated Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month. I’m not sure when you last went to a local shelter, but I know the last time I visited my local shelter, the “cat room” was all but overflowing. Every color, age, shape or size you could think of – there was a cat to fit that bill. Or several. Why so many cats at the shelter?
Felines that have never been spayed or neutered are a big reason. Many cat owners don’t worry about an unexpected litter of kittens because they don’t routinely let their cats roam outdoors. Some of these same owners feel veterinary care isn’t a priority if their pet isn’t mixing with other cats or doesn’t appear sick. But if your cat gets out unexpectedly, there are a whole host of issues to worry about.
Parasites like fleas, ticks, and many more are everywhere. Whatever your cat picks up on its outdoor adventure will be coming into your house when it returns. Likewise, if your cat isn’t vaccinated against rabies, heartworms, and other common ailments, it’s vulnerable when it’s outside on its own. Keep in mind that rabid animals aren’t always obvious. Most of think of foaming at the mouth and aggressive behavior, but these are the final signs of rabies. Until the disease takes hold, a rabid animal can look and behave like a perfectly healthy one, potentially exposing everyone in the household to rabies.
But more importantly, feral cats are everywhere, and your cat’s outdoor adventure can lead to an unexpected litter of kittens later. Unfortunately, more often than not, those kittens end up at the shelter. Some people also tire of their cats and surrender them, perhaps an elderly owner passed away, someone had a baby and doesn’t have time or money for their pet anymore, the list goes on and on. For some reason animals at shelters always seem to have a stigma attached to them like they are second class citizens. Like they’re not quite good enough or they would have a home by now. I’ve adopted two dogs from the pound over the years and both were the best dogs I’ve ever had. Shelter cats were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and are looking for a good home. Before you head to the pet store or a breeder, stop in your local shelter and see what they have to offer. No matter what personality type, color, age or size you’re looking for, chances are you’ll find it there.
Pet Finder can help you find a shelter near you.