International Cat Day is coming up on Sunday, August 8, and cats and kittens across the country are waving their adorable little paws from their shelters and foster homes in the hopes they’ll get noticed and adopted, or welcomed into a foster home.
Best Friends Animal Society said in a press release that they would like to take this opportunity to point out that there’s a perfect storm of reasons why now is an ideal time to adopt or foster a cat or kitten.
According to a recent survey conducted by Best Friends, 59% of people who are interested in adopting are delaying the process, largely due to lifestyle changes such as returning to the office, taking vacations, or starting a new job.
They say don’t let looming life changes deprive you of comforting cat companionship.
The need is now, and adopting or fostering cats and kittens promises to be mutually beneficial, according to Best Friends Animal Society.
According to Best Friends Animal Society:
Why a cat? Why now? Cats are easy, low-maintenance pets, and tend to be fun, playful and affectionate. And now is a fantastic time to adopt because pets are just good for us. Numerous studies have determined that the presence of pets is beneficial for our physical and mental health. The companionship of animals has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lessen anxiety, helping people to feel calmer and more secure no matter what’s going on in the outside world.
Not sure if you’ll be working from home or going back to the office? Cats don’t care! Felines are fine sleeping most of the day (and night) whether you’re home or not. Leave them with interactive toys for enrichment and food puzzles while you’re gone, and give them love and playtime when you’re home, and they’ll be content kitties. Plenty of people work full time jobs and provide loving homes to foster or adopted pets. And if you’re worried about a lonely kitty when you’re away from home, consider adopting two cats or kittens, so they’ll always have a feline friend to keep them company.
Have a vacation on the calendar? Cats are easier to leave at home when you have a road trip planned or a flight to catch. For short trips, have a neighbor drop by to check food and water and clean the litter box. For longer trips, there are lots of reputable pet sitting apps that can hook you up with a cat caregiver. If you might miss your cat’s adorable antics when you’re away, set up a nanny cam so you can keep an eye on things and get your furry face fix.
Adoptions are down, so it’s time to step up! Nationally, according to recent data from 24PetWatch from nearly 1,200 shelters, adoptions are down 3.7% overall this year, and for the month of June, intake was up 5.9% as compared to 2020. More animals coming in and fewer going out is causing stress for shelters.
It’s kitten season! As the name implies, kitten season is the time of year when unspayed female cats have most of their kittens, and animal shelters are inundated by homeless and orphaned kittens who need help. Generally stretching from May to November, this is the time that people can help by adopting a cat or kitten (or a pair!) from a shelter or rescue group, fostering cats and kittens (including litters of newborns, or mama cats with babies) and getting their own cats spayed or neutered, to prevent more kittens form being born.
But shelters are also overflowing with adult cats. It’s difficult for adult cats to get noticed by potential adopters when they’re competing with so many cute, fuzzy kitten faces. Enjoy the advantages of adopting an adult cat -- while bypassing the whacky, naughty kitten behavior. You can choose a cat whose personality is already established and know exactly what you’re getting. Most kittens are cute and playful, but some turn out to have different dispositions when they reach adulthood.
Cats need our help, and adopting and fostering makes a difference. Sadly, Best Friends’ data [bestfriends.org] show that two cats are killed in shelters for every one dog, even though intake of dogs is slightly higher. Adopting [bestfriends.org] or fostering [bestfriends.org] from a shelter or rescue group literally saves lives.
Not ready to adopt? You can try out pet parenting by fostering a cat or kitten -- or a few of them! As things return to normal, it is critical that communities stay involved and individuals understand the overwhelming need to adopt and foster.
Not ready to adopt or foster? You can save lives by helping community cats. Outdoor free-roaming community cats [bestfriends.org] make up the majority of cats killed in shelters. Communities which support and adopt Return-To-Field (RTF) programs, where community cats enter the shelter, are spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and returned to the original location they were found, and volunteer Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, have seen a notable decrease in the number of cats entering shelters and a significant reduction in shelter deaths. Both are humane and effective alternatives to trap and kill, which has proven over decades to be ineffective.
About Best Friends Animal Society:
Best Friends Animal Society is a leading animal welfare organization working to end the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters by 2025. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters from an estimated 17 million per year to around 347,000. Best Friends runs lifesaving programs all across the country, as well as the nation’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 3,300 animal welfare and shelter partners, and community members nationwide, Best Friends is working to Save Them All®.
For more information, visit bestfriends.org.
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