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“Shelters are crowded at the best of times, but now that Americans are moving back to the office after more than a year of remote work, shelters are reporting an increase in owner handovers,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, President and CEO of American Humane. “This Adopt-a-Cat Month, we hope you become a friend of a cat in need.”
June marks the high point of the “kitten season” when numerous litters of kittens are born and often end up in animal shelters. Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of cats already in shelters, but a lack of pedestrian traffic, funding, and supplies in many shelters struggling to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, threaten these beautiful animals and their hopes of finding a new home forever at home. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 70 percent of cats entering U.S. shelters are euthanized because they are never adopted.
According to a study by the American Pet Products Association, more than 12 million US households had a new pet in 2020. If owner levies continue to rise, the need for animal shelters will only increase.
Adopt-A-Cat Month® is part of a larger effort by American Humane to help our cat friends and solve the unique challenges and problems they face. Although cats are often referred to as America’s “Favorite Pet”, they receive less veterinary care, have less research into their unique health / behavioral problems, are more feral and more likely to be euthanized in animal shelters than dogs.
“This month you can save a life or two and improve your own at the same time,” says Dr. Ganzert. “Your new best friend is patiently waiting for you to bring her home.”
Before adopting a perfect pet, read American Humane’s handy “Top 10” checklist for adopting a cat:
TOP 10 CHECKLIST FOR THE APPLICATION OF A CAT
- If you are thinking of adopting a cat, you should take home two. Cats need exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can afford this to each other.
- Find a cat whose personality matches yours. Just as each of us has our own personality, so do cats. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more relaxed than slender cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are usually more active. Adoption counselors can advise you on how to balance each cat’s personality with your own.
- Find a veterinarian in good time and schedule a visit within the first few days after adoption. You should take with you any medical records you received from the adoption center on your first visit. Due to their immaturity, you should accompany kittens to make an appointment – even before the examination itself – so that the staff can stroke the cat and the animal has a positive association with the veterinary practice.
- Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before your new pet comes home. Visiting the shelter, rescue group, or animal control facility should be a family affair. If you are adopting a new cat with existing pets at home, discuss with the adoption facility how to provide an appropriate induction.
- Budget for a cat’s short and long term costs. Understand that every pet has a responsibility and that there is a cost associated with it. A cat adopted from the shelter is a bargain; Many facilities will already have castration or neutering, initial vaccinations and a microchip available for permanent identification. Accommodation and rescue groups are also available to provide orientation and support as your new family member settles in.
- Get supplies before the cat arrives. Prepare to make your new cat feel right at home right away. Your cat needs a litter box, high quality cat litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a comfortable bed, a brush to clean, a toothbrush and a nail clipper.
- Make your home cat-proof. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things behind. The food that is left behind on the kitchen counter is used to train your new friend to jump on the counters for a potential lunch. Remove loose items that your cat could chew on, be careful not to let the kitten chew on power cables, and pick up random items such as paper clips (that kittens could swallow).
- Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take a cat several weeks to relax in a new environment. It is a good idea to keep the newcomer isolated in a single room (with the litter box, food and water, toys and the cat carrier left out and open with litter inside) until the cat is accustomed to the new environment; This is especially important if you have other pets. When you have adopted a kitten, socialization is very important. But remember – take it slow.
- Make sure to include your new pet on your family’s contingency plan. You likely have a plan to keep your family safe in an emergency. Customize this plan for your pets. Add phone numbers of your vet and the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic to your emergency call log, and make sure you have a multi-day supply of food and medication for your pet on hand.
- If you are considering gifting a cat, make sure that the recipient is actively participating in the adoption process. The surprise gift for cats is well meant, but leaves no time to get to know each other. Remember, adopting a cat is not like buying a home appliance or a piece of jewelry – it is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.
ABOUT AMERICAN PEOPLE
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to the safety, welfare, and welfare of animals and our leadership programs are first and foremost about promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and humans. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
SOURCE American Humane