shelter cats

Adopting a Shelter Cat – Pros and Cons

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Anyone who works in a cat shelter knows the “look” homeless cats can give that simply melts your heart. While rescues and shelters treat their little homeless friends very well, nothing is better than a home of their own and each one wants to have this immediately. 

With the deluge of homeless cats especially in the spring months, there are always many to choose from. A cat’s gestation period is only ten weeks with each female being about to produce about five litters per year, depending upon variables such as age and location.

The average age of a cat is about 15 to 20 years, with many living a lot longer, so the feline world is filled with many homeless cats usually. Homelessness for a cat is dependent also on many circumstances.

Why Do Cats End Up in a Shelter?

Abandonment of Cats

This is a number one cause, unfortunately. Some cats become abandoned when an owner moves. They are simply left behindThey also can become older and have medical issues that the owners cannot afford or want to deal with. 

Some cats are abandoned by family members after a loved one becomes deceased. Dealing with the death of a loved one makes the family members unable to deal with taking care of a cat’s needs, especially if the cat is also older. 

shelter cats
abandonment of cats

Outside birthing of cats

Cats are not born in “litters” like puppies or other domestic pets. They are part of a “kindle”which is a group of kittens. These kittens, if not found and brought to a shelter immediately, learn to fend for themselves, and are what is termed “feral”.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, they are untamed and unsocialized as they live on their own and do not learn the habits of humans or even of other cats. 

outside birthing of cats

Wandering away of cats

Yes, outside cats do not have a great sense of direction. Cats also do not have great eyesight during the day especially, so they become easily confused as to where they are and how to find their way home! 

Cats are more nearsighted than dogs or humans and other mammals. It has to do with the shape of their retina. However, their nighttime vision is better so that is why they prowl at night. 

Chipping a cat is possible and should be considered. Owners that truly love their cats will call shelters and rescues looking for their cats and chipping assists in identifying. 

If a cat wanders off it is not the owners’ fault as cats enjoy the outdoors but are great escape artists. 

wandering away of cats

Pros of Adopting a Shelter Cat

  • You are going to feel good afterward 

You have given a very deserving animal a chance at a new life free from stress. Although shelters are loving and giving they are stressful with many other animals around. 

  • You will save money and stress

While a shelter will charge a minimum fee usually for adoption it is nowhere near as expensive as purchasing a kitten from a pet storeSome do not charge at all

The care is also better at a shelter, where cats are socialized and not kept caged up 24/7 as in a pet store. Most are litter trained already on top of it

  • Good shelters will work with you on issues

Most good rescues and shelters will work with you if you have problems after adoption. With a pet store kitty, you are on your own generally. 

While there may be some guarantee of satisfaction it is brief and who wants to return a cat anyway? Shelters also try to “match” you with a cat that suits your needs and their needs as well as lifestyle. 

Cons of Adopting a Shelter Cat

  • Behavior issues may not be obvious

Cats that are in shelters, especially feral cats might have experienced trauma and cannot, of course, tell you what this is. You will not know the entire history of the cat, only the history the shelter knows. 

If a cat has been surrendered by an owner directly to the shelter or rescue, then you stand a better chance of knowing the history. Some shelter cats, especially feral cats can suffer from anxiety and even PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). 

  • You may not find the cat of your dreams

If you are looking for a certain breed or color, it is best to shop around in the shelters or rescues as generally speaking the cats come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and temperaments. 

A focus of every shelter is finding you the perfect match in personality and lifestyle, not providing a certain breed or color combination. 

  • You may have trouble deciding which cat to adopt

This might not be a “con” as this is a great experience for many individuals. However, some individuals do become overwhelmed by the number of cats at a shelter or rescue, especially the larger ones and leave without adopting. 

  • You usually must sign paperwork

This is a safeguard for shelters and rescues. The cats are to be rehomed to a good home and if not spayed or neutered you might be asked to do this within a given timeframe. 

Pet stores do not care about the cat’s welfare but shelters and rescues do and might require that you have a vet in place or will recommend one. 

Pros and Cons of Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Cat

Conclusion on Pros and Cons of Adopting a Shelter or Rescue Cat

No matter whether they are called a shelter or rescue individuals that usually volunteer care about the cats in any shelter or rescue. It must be noted that a shelter will shelter the cat until someone adopts it or they get so many cats to care for it is put down. Rescues on the other hand, rescue these undeserving souls from euthanasia and care for them until someone comes along that adopts them. Rescues are considered “no kill” animal rescues such as The Goathouse in Pittsboro, NC.

Adoption of a cat in need of a good home will give you much satisfaction and you will find these cats to be loyal and as loving as can be. 

Aside from the cost savings to you, you will be giving back to the world of animals, particularly cats. Cats are intuitive and know this and will reward you with a lifetime of love. 

Remember also, that most kittens get adopted first. If you can find it in your heart, adopting an older cat can be the most rewarding experience of your life! 

Copywrite © Lora Rouse 2022 Cool Cats Professional Cat Sitting, LLC

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