Seven Fantastic Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat
By Sierra M. Koester
June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. There are so many great reasons to adopt a cat! Let’s talk about a few of them.
Cats Are Good for Your Health
Cats may be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Cats can help lower blood pressure. According to the Animal Health Foundation, one study of stockbrokers found that having a cat or dog helped decrease the spikes in blood pressure associated with stress.
Studies also show that cat owners are 40% less likely to suffer a fatal heart attack. Scientists are unsure whether the reduced risk was due to the calming effects of cats or if people who choose to have a cat are at reduced risk for heart disease.
A cat’s purr is not only soothing to listen to, it can help heal human bones and muscles. People have also reported sleeping better with a cat than with a human companion.
You Save Money Upfront
Most shelters and rescues charge an adoption fee that includes a cat’s spay/neuter, microchip, FIV and FeLV testing, and vaccinations. The adoption fee many organizations charge is significantly less than it would cost for you to take a new cat to your vet to get all of these things done.
Please be mindful, though, that cats have many ongoing costs, such as veterinary care, food, litter, toys, beds and blankets, and treats. I encourage you to create a budget that covers your kitty’s ongoing needs. I also encourage you to make a plan to cover unexpected expenses, such as diagnostic tests or trips to the veterinary emergency room. Creating an emergency fund for your cat is a great way to budget for unexpected expenses.
Cats Are Wonderful Companions
If you ask me, there is nothing better than a purring cat curled up in your lap while you watch television, read a book, or work on the computer. Cats are wonderful fuzzy companions and can ease loneliness for people who live alone.
You Know What You’re Getting
Shelter staff may be able to help you find the type of kitty you’d like when you adopt. If you opt for an adult cat, chances are that the shelter staff will be able to tell you a little about the kitty’s personality. While it’s true that some kitties act differently in a stressful shelter environment, shelter staff may be able to provide you with information about a cat’s personality based off of his or her former owner’s report (if he or she was surrendered). Cat foster parents will be able to give you the most information about a cat you’re interested in adopting because these kitties stay in a home environment rather than a shelter.
Cats Are Great for Apartments
Cats don’t need as much space as dogs do. I live in a small apartment, and I couldn’t imagine having a medium or large-sized dog in such a small space. My two cats, Carmine and Tylan, seem perfectly content living in our small apartment, though. You can create more space for your cat to explore using cat furniture, cat trees or towers, and window perches. Tylan spends a few hours sunbathing in his window perch every afternoon. He also loves napping in the basket on his cat tree. Most kitties enjoy vertical space.
There’s a Wide Variety to Choose From
You can find just about any type of cat you’d like in a shelter. Whether you’re looking for an orange cat, a tuxedo cat, a calico, a tortoiseshell, a classic brown tabby, a mini black house panther, or a solid white cat, you’ll be able to find one in a shelter.
If you’re looking for a purebred cat, you’ll have more difficulty finding one in a shelter than a purebred dog, but there are still purebred cats available in shelters and rescues. I adopted my Siamese, Tylan, from a local rescue. I’ve seen Siamese, Maine Coons, and even an Ocicat in a local shelter I used to volunteer with. Do some Internet research – if you want a specific breed of cat, you can almost always find one in a shelter or rescue.
You Save Lives
One of the best reasons there is to adopt a shelter cat is that you save lives when you do! Not only do you save the life of the kitty you adopt, but by adopting, you free up space in the shelter for another cat who needs a forever home.
Have you adopted a cat? What were your reasons for adopting? Please share with us in the comments section; we would love to hear from you!
Sierra M. Koester is an award-winning freelance writer and professional blogger. She lives in Colorado with her two special needs cats, Carmine and Tylan. She is currently accepting submissions for an anthology, inspired by her cat Jewel who passed away in 2014. You can find Sierra on her blog, Fur Everywhere, and learn more about her anthology by visiting the Purrseverance website.