June is Adopt a Cat Month. This time of year coincides with the early-summer kitty boom and may be a great chance to add a scratching post to your home decor. However, rather than buying an expensive breed, please first consider adopting a feline in need from an area rescue or shelter.
Sadly, 70 million cats are homeless in the United States each year. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, about 3.2 million cats end up in shelters every year, but only about 31% find homes. Adopt a Cat Month is a perfect way to get the word out about all the beautiful kitties needing loving, permanent homes.
There are many reasons to "adopt, not shop" for a feline friend. Besides saving money, adoption saves the life of felines of all ages, from a precious kitten to an older cat who needs a little extra love and care. For those not wanting a cat of hazy heritage,it's worth noting that pure-breds also end up in shelters and rescues.
Before falling in love with a rescued cat, consider a few things. First, you'll have expenses such as food, toys, litter, veterinarian preventative care, including spaying or neutering, the usual shots, heartworm and flea/tick preventatives, and emergencies if/when they pop up. According to the ASPCA, the annual tab of having a cat companion can run around $634.
Also, before looking for an addition to your family, you'll want to consider the current makeup of your household. Ask the people at the rescue or shelter if you can spend a bit of time alone with the cat you are considering. Ask to see his health record, if available. Ask if he is aggressive? A loner? Does he have chronic health issues? Did he come from an abusive situation? Has he been exposed to other cats? Dogs? Children? While there will usually be a few hiccups when you bring home a new cat, the more information you have from the beginning, the easier it will be for you to help your latest family member blend in.
June is also National Microchip Month, so be sure to get your new kitty kid chipped if the shelter or rescue has not already done so. It's a quick and painless procedure that your vet can also perform. Responsible guardians will not allow their cat outside, but a fast feline may accidentally slip out between someone's legs. A microchipped cat can be returned home quicker if found by a facility that checks for chips. A study by Ohio State University found the return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats to be 20 times higher than the rate of return for all stray cats that had entered shelters.
According to 2021 statistics gathered by Pet Keen, about 45.3 million U.S. households have at least one cat. If you'd like to add a bit of purrfection to your family, check out humane societies and animal rescues in your area.
Pet Adoption Statistics for 2021
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Cat?
How many cats are there