Charlotte Hannah
June 04, 2013

It’s Adopt a Cat Month! 4 Great Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

June is designated National Adopt a Cat Month by the American Humane Association. With spring being “kitten season,” by the time June rolls around, animal shelters are often bursting at the seams with hundreds of kitties waiting to be taken to their forever home. What better time to consider adopting a shelter cat?

Of course, pet ownership should never be taken lightly. I’m assuming you’ve already made the decision to get a cat, one way or another. If you’re still on the fence, you should read up on the costs and responsibilities of pet ownership, so you can decide whether a cat is right for you. Once you’ve committed to bringing a new cat into your home, you should look into the many reasons to adopt a shelter cat rather than going with a breeder, classified ad or pet store.

Here are just a few:

Get a cat with the purrfect personality

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Are you looking for an independent loner kitty or a snugglebug? Do you mind if your new friend fancies himself a talented opera singer — at two in the morning, of course — or would you prefer a quieter pal? Are you looking to avoid the perils of kittenhood and jump into cat ownership with a pre-housebroken, chilled-out older cat? When you adopt a shelter kitty, you’ve got a better chance of being able to get a cat whose personality meshes with your needs and lifestyle.

The shelter’s staff will usually have a pretty good handle on each cat’s traits and quirks, especially if you pick an adult cat. They can advise you of your potential pet’s good (never jumps on the counter!) and, uh, “challenging” (scratches the furniture!) qualities. That’s the kind of benefit you just don’t get when you pick a cat from a pet store or breeder.

Fight pet overpopulation and irresponsible breeding

Cats are great. (As a writer for the Internet, I’m contractually obligated to affirm my belief that cats are great at least once per article.) But, with so many lovely kitties living in animal shelters, the world doesn’t really need any more. Let’s give good homes to cats in need before we go making more of them, shall we?

Unfortunately, many cats for sale in pet stores and classified ads are the result of irresponsible breeding – breeding too frequently or in unhealthy conditions. (And yes, sadly, kitty mills exist.) If you must buy a cat from a breeder — which, seriously, why would you? — make sure you do lots of research and go see the breeding facility in person. Or, you could just avoid all that hassle and adopt a cat from a shelter!

Oh, and don’t forget:

Save yourself some money

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

You think those “free” kittens that dude is giving away on Craigslist are actually free? Wrong. If you want to be a good pet owner (which you should), that free kitten is going to need hundreds of dollars worth of immunizations – not to mention the cost of getting her fixed. And by taking one of those Craigslist kittens, there’s a good chance you’re directly supporting irresponsible breeding and bad pet ownership. Not cool!

Shelter cats often come with at least their first round of immunizations, spayed or neutered and even microchipped. Sure, you have to pay the adoption fee, but it frequently ends up being more cost-effective to do that than to get a free or cheap kitten who’s never seen the inside of a vet’s office when you take her home. Some shelters even offer adult cats for lower prices than kittens – all the more reason to consider adopting an older cat! (Though, don’t forget that the financial responsibilities of pet ownership don’t end after you’ve purchased the animal.)

Plus, if you keep an eye out, you may find your local shelter has a special day or week during which part of the adoption fee is waived in honor of National Adopt a Cat Month.

Save a life and feel like a good person

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Seriously, do you need any more reason? Your local animal shelter is full of sweet, snuggly kitties who need homes. Most of them don’t end up there because there’s anything “wrong” with them, but because their previous owners could no longer care for them, for reasons that have nothing to do with the cat.

By adopting a shelter cat, you’re saving two lives: the life of your new feline companion, and the life of the cat who can now take her place in the shelter. You get a cat (or two!) and all the endless hours of entertainment and happy feels that come with it, and a homeless cat gets a forever family. Everybody wins!