By Jim Tedford, Director of Animal Welfare Initiatives and Alliances
At PetSafe, we seem to talk an awful lot about dogs. They still carry the title “Man’s Best Friend” which is, quite frankly, a little shady. You see, according to national surveys, CATS are actually the pet of choice in American households these days. They surpassed dogs several years ago in both popularity and numbers!
True confession: I’m a “dog” person. I love cats and find them beautiful and fascinating and mysterious and all sorts of other adjectives that the average cat would find less than apt at describing her awesomeness! But, at the moment, I live in a cat-less household! My last feline family member, Chloe, died about 3 years ago at the ripe old age of TWENTY! She came into our lives as a scrawny, 6-week-old kitten who was so small she needed help getting into a regular litter box! She stuck with us through thick and thin – and through four moves. She liked her last house best because there was a secure fence and a pool that attracted lizards and frogs…
If I want to solve my catlessness problem, June might just be my very best opportunity to do so. You see, June is national Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month! The choice of June, I’m guessing, was not a random move. Shelters across the US are in the midst of what we euphemistically call “kitten season”. It’s a term that sounds sort of sweet and benign – who doesn’t love the cute image of piles of kittens mewing and purring (and climbing curtains)? But, the truth is, “kitten season” is a tough time in our nation’s shelters. The balance between available cats and kittens and loving, responsible homes is the most out of whack during this time of year.
So…what can you do? Here are just a few suggestions:
1.) ADOPT a cat or kitten (or two)! If you have the space in your home, the love in your heart and the willingness to make a 15+ year commitment, visit your local shelter and find a new feline friend. They come in all shapes, sizes and personality types and your shelter will be more than happy to help match you with just the right kitty!
2.) Donate to your local shelter or rescue group. There seem never to be enough resources to do everything a shelter wants to do. Your support can be the difference between life and death.
3.) Promote cat and kitten adoptions to your social media networks. Let your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know that June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month and encourage them to spread the word. In this age of digital communication, nobody can say “I didn’t know!”
4.) Foster cats or kittens who need a little more TLC before being ready for adoption. Many shelters and rescue groups use vast foster home networks to keep cats and kittens safe during periods of extreme overcrowding. They can be brought back to the shelter for adoption when they are ready AND when the shelter has space.
What are you doing to help cats this month? What do you love about your kitty? Let us know in the comments below!