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Home > Cats > 15 Reasons & Benefits to Adopting a Cat

15 Reasons & Benefits to Adopting a Cat

Girl and woman cat owners holding cats in shelter to adopt

If you’re thinking about welcoming a cat into your family, we encourage you to adopt it from a local shelter. There are quite a few benefits to adopting a feline versus buying it from a pet store.

For example, shelters charge next to nothing for a cat. More importantly, you’ll get a socialized, vaccinated, and all-around healthy pet. So, join us, and let’s go over the pros of adopting a cat, talk about the cost of owning one, and learn how to prepare for the arrival of a furry friend!

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The 5 Main Reasons You Should Adopt a Cat

By getting a cat from a shelter, we give other felines a chance at finding a permanent home, reduce the risks of euthanasia for overcrowded shelters, and help fight mills. We might also inspire others to follow our example.

Here’s a closer look at the most important reasons to adopt a cat:

1. The Cat Gets a Second Shot at Life

A lot of cats that end up in animal shelters have had a rough life before that. Some of them were mistreated by strangers; others had to survive on their own, hiding from predators and trying to find food. And then we have pets that were abandoned by their previous owners and now they have nowhere to go. Thankfully, the wonderful people at shelters feed, shelter, and heal them.

But no shelter can afford to keep providing for a cat forever. So, when you come in and adopt the fur baby, it quite literally gets a chance to start over. A quick note: if the cat has been through a traumatic experience, it might take a while before it starts seeing you as a friend.

adopting a cat
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

2. You’re Making Room for Newcomers

We can’t stress it enough: there’s never enough room at rescue centers, adoption organizations, or animal shelters for all the strays. That’s why it’s so important to adopt a kitty instead of buying one. When you take the fluffy buddy home, that frees up space (and resources) at the center, allowing them to bring in more lost, abused, and sickly felines. Essentially, by adopting a cat, you’ll be saving two lives!


3. It Saves Shelter Cats From Euthanasia

Animal shelters in the US open their doors to 6.3 million animals per year (3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats). And, unfortunately, almost a million of those four-legged buds are put to sleep. According to the ASPCA, each year, 530,000 cats are euthanized (versus 390,000 dogs). But when you adopt a kitty, you give the shelter some “breathing room”, and they don’t have to kill nearly as many pets.


4. Others Might Follow Your Example

It’s true when they say that generosity can be contagious. If you set an example by adopting a rescued cat, others might get inspired by your actions and do the same. Also, if you take the time to post this on social media, there’s a chance that local charities will notice that and decide to lend the shelter a helping hand.

woman adopting a cat
Image Credit: Andriy Blokhin, Shutterstock

5. Adoption Helps Fight Mills

The ugly truth of pet stores is that quite a lot of cats, dogs, and other fuzzy buds come from animal mills. And sometimes, the conditions there aren’t exactly humane. However, pet parents are partially to blame for that because demand creates supply. The good news is that if we all start adopting pets instead of buying them, that will help put a stop to the mills.

This won’t happen overnight, of course, but every bit of effort counts.

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The 10 Benefits of Cat Adoption

Adopting a cat instead of buying it has a long list of benefits. You’ll pay less, get a healthier kitty, and can rest assured that the cat was well taken care of before it was handed over to you. Besides, most shelters have dozens of cute little fur babies to choose from. Read on to learn more:

1. It’s a Great Financial Investment

Breeders and pet stores charge quite a lot for a cat. But if you adopt the pet instead of buying it, you’ll get to save $200–$300. We’ll cover the difference in more detail in a moment, but for now, just keep in mind that a shelter is the least expensive place where you can find a feline. And the reason for that is simple. Stores have to charge extra to stay afloat since they need to pay rent and everything.

As for breeders, it’s all about making money for them. Plus, they often focus on purebreds, while shelters take in all cats, regardless of their ancestry.

cat at an animal shelter
Image Credit: JW Design, Shutterstock

2. You Know Exactly What You’re Getting

Arguably the biggest benefit of adopting a feline is that you won’t get a “cat in the bag”. With animal shelters, what you see is what you get. So, don’t be shy to ask the folks working there about the temperament of the cats that you like. Some people want to get a feisty, mischievous, and ready-to-rumble kind of pet while others prefer to adopt a quiet and docile kitty. Older felines are usually more peaceful, don’t chew on things that often, and are usually already litter trained.


3. Shelter Cats Are Well-Trained

Another big pro of finding your furry family member at a shelter is that the feline will be ready for domestic life. Or, at the very least, it will be socialized and trained to behave. It’s almost impossible to turn a wild cat into a domestic animal. But, if it’s been spending time with humans and other animals at the shelter, it won’t have a problem adapting to the life of a pet.

shelter cat rubbing its head on a person's hand
Image Credit: Evgeniy Medvedev, Shutterstock

4. Shelter Cats Tend to Be Healthy

In the US, it’s customary for shelters, rescue centers, and other non-profit organizations to vaccinate animals before housing them. That means you won’t have to worry about the cat being sick or allergic. The feline won’t be a threat to your family members, either, as the staff members will examine it thoroughly. Now, breeders who care for their reputation treat animals similarly.

But you can never be 100% sure that they have, indeed, been keeping the animal healthy. Also, mixed breeds are generally healthier than purebreds.


5. There’s a Lot to Choose From

Sometimes, a future pet parent doesn’t really know what kind of a cat they want. On the bright side, since animal shelters have a rather impressive “line-up” of felines ready to be adopted, they make it much easier to take a pick. As mentioned, shelters don’t discriminate between purebreds and hybrids, which is exactly why there are so many different kitties available there.

cats in animal shelter
Image Credit: Yulia Grigoryeva, Shutterstock

6. The Shelter Will Have Your Back

Breeders and stores want little to have with an animal once they sell it. However, if you adopt it from a shelter, the staff will be happy to stay in touch with you and provide help if need be. We’re talking about guidance, pro tips, and, of course, a detailed history of the cat’s medical conditions.


7. Your Pet Might Need a Friend

Do you already have a fur baby back home? Well, if you put effort into socialization, the cat from the shelter can become best friends with it. True, some felines are known to be jealous, while others simply don’t like to share their territory. And if it’s a dog, it will be even harder to make it see the kitty as a companion. Still, it’s not rare for pets to be aloof with strangers yet create strong bonds with newcomers.

Who knows, maybe your pet has been craving for a friend this whole time!

young woman introducing two cats with each other
Image Credit: JumpStory

8. Cats Are Good for Your Health

Felines have a positive effect on our mental health. For example, recent research has proven that cats are capable of keeping stress in our lives to a minimum. More than that, having a kitty as a companion reduces the risk of various heart diseases by up to 30%! Cat owners are more peaceful, less anxious, and, overall, happier. So, by offering a cat a new home, you’ll get yourself a furry stress reliever!


9. They Bring Excitement Into Our Lives

Very few things are as rewarding as being a pet parent to a cat. Once you build a strong bond, the bud will make your day better by purring, curling up on your lap, wrapping its tail around you, and bumping its head. True, cats tend to ruin furniture, knock expensive things over, and carry dirt from the outside. However, that’s a very small price to pay for the joys that they bring.

These pets improve our mood, keep us company, reduce anxiety, and even help deal with loss. Owning a cat can also improve your social skills and turn you into a confident person. It might seem like we’re giving cats too much credit, but if you spend enough time with one, you’ll see it!

young cat owner playing with her pet at home
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

10. Cats Are Solid Company for Kids and Elders

Toys, no matter how expensive, can never match the excitement of playing with a cat. They help our children grow into socially active and emotionally stable adults. On top of that, taking care of a pet requires discipline and teaches kids to be responsible, not to mention make it easier to “beat” various conditions, including asthma. As for elders, having a fuzzy troublemaker in the house keeps them equally busy and entertained.

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Getting Ready to Adopt a Cat: A Quick Guide

Before you bring a kitty home, take a moment to prepare for its arrival. We’re talking about buying a pair of bowls (for food and water), some dry and wet food, a litter box full of litter, and a toy or two to get the fluffy family member started. Also, be very patient and give the cat some space. It will need time to warm up to its new family, especially if its previous experience with humans was a bit rough.

Next, invest in grooming tools (a brush, dematting tool, nail clipper, and shampoo), an ID tag, and a microchip. Also, talk to the shelter about possible health conditions and the necessary meds to keep the cat healthy. And if you have little kids in the house, teach them how to handle a feline. Lastly, remove all sharp/dangerous objects and make sure the house is escape-proof.

Here are some extra purchases that you might want to make later:
  • Carrier (to take the pet to a veterinary clinic)
  • Scratching post or mat to keep the claws sharp
  • A bed that the cat can rest in and call its own
  • A perch and some shelves to stretch its legs
  • Pet fountain to drink running water from
  • Collar, harness, or leash for outside walks
  • Spaying/neutering (to avoid health issues)

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Conclusion

Animal shelters deserve all the praise in the world for offering temporary homes to cats. However, they have a limited capacity and quickly run out of resources. Thankfully, we can all aid the cause by making a small donation or, better yet, adopting a kitty. This helps avoid overpopulation, fight animal mills, and save precious feline lives.

Now, bringing a cat home is no small task. Depending on the breed, age, and medical issues (if any), it won’t be cheap or easy to take care of the little bud. That said, if you’re confident in your skills as a human parent to the fur baby, do consider adopting it from a local shelter and inspiring others!


Featured Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

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