By Stacey Frazier. Let’s assume you have realized that a cat is the way to go. You know all about how independent they can be, how they are lower maintenance than a dog, and how just petting them can actually make you feel better (you even know that petting a cat causes your body to release calming chemicals In your body and that cat owners are less likely to be at risk for strokes than any other pet owner.) Cats rock. You get that. But now, where do you get yourself a cat?
Breeders are expensive, and pure-breeds often come with specific genetic idiosyncrasies. Pet shops are there to make money, not protect the health and welfare of the animals they sell. There will be pickups in parking lots with “Free Kitten” signs come spring, and social media is always full of “Free to Good Home” posts, but if you are serious about adopting a cat you should visit your local shelter.
Adopt a shelter cat!
Local shelters usually have a variety of ages, breeds, and personalities, and the cats have been there long enough to be settled and litter trained. Looking for a cuddler? The staff can point that one out. Want someone to play more? They can tell you who that guy is, too. Just want another heartbeat in the house? Let the staff point out that adult cat who just likes to be fed, told he is handsome and given a comfy spot in the sun.
And don’t let the stories of shelter cats scare you. Some people insist that if you adopt a cat from the shelter, it will be wild or unpredictable, or unhealthy and short-lived. The fact is, a shelter cat comes house-ready. They have already been spayed or neutered, most likely they have also been vaccinated, and they have been under constant observation for health and behavior issues.
The simple truth is adopting a shelter cat is a win for everyone involved. The shelter gets to free up space to take in more rescues. You get the satisfaction and joy of knowing you have saved a life, as well as found a new and special companion. The cat gets the love, dignity, and home it finally deserves. And they do all deserve a home. One of the reasons shelters are so full of cats and kittens is because people refuse to spay and neuter their pets. We all owe these innocent souls the opportunity for a forever home, and by adopting them, we become worthy of their stoic, silly, calming, and comical companionship.
To help support Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, Guthrie Pet Hospital is offering a free comprehensive examination for every cat adopted from a shelter for the entire month of June. Contact us today for an appointment!