In the cat rescue and adoption world, the month of June is known as “kitten season.” This might conjure up images of cute little kitties frolicking about but in reality this is a season many shelters dread for it marks the start of a cycle when thousands of newborn kittens join other cats already in the shelter system.
Help the plight of homeless felines during Adopt-A-Cat Month. Every year, the campaign breaks down barriers to cat adoption and retention and focusses on the unique challenges cats face:
- Cats are more likely than other pets to be feral
- Cats tend to receive less veterinary care than dogs
- Cats in shelters have higher euthanization rates compared to their canine counterparts.
“Adopt-a-Cat Month not only encourages people to give loving homes to animals in need, but offers an opportunity to provide a wider focus on the ongoing need these beautiful animals face all year round,” says Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association’s president and CEO.
To help facilitate cat adoptions, the American Humane Association offers a Top 10 Checklist for Prospective Cat Parents. Some items might be surprising to those new to cats:
- Consider adopting a pair of cats. This has nothing to do with a “clearing house” mentality but rather speaks to the fact that cats require exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction, and two cats are able to provide this for each other.
- Cat-proofing the home, especially in regard to young cats. Curious kittens, like toddlers, might be inclined to pick up and potentially ingest small objects found around the home like paperclips, and little steps like not leaving food out so as to not inadvertently encourage a cat to jump onto counter tops can go a long way in avoiding bad habits from the get go.
- Working with an adoption counselor to help match you up with a cat whose personality you are most likely to gel with; cat personalities can vary as much as human personalities do, AHA says.
- Allowing a newly adopted cat time to adjust to his/her new environment and to the new people and pets in his/her life. Your cat might need his/her own space in a room with all the creature comforts he/she needs to feel right at home, such as food, water, litter box, toys and a comfy place to sleep.
Before you even get that point, American Humane Society’s checklist includes some important pre-adoption stages like first ensuring that everyone in the household is on board and prepared to share space with the feline kind.