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Home > Cats > 11 Great Reasons to Adopt a Cat From a Shelter (2024 Update)

11 Great Reasons to Adopt a Cat From a Shelter (2024 Update)

adopting a cat

While many people get their kittens from a friend or breeder, there are many great reasons to adopt one from an animal shelter. If you are considering getting a new cat for your home, keep reading as we go over those reasons to help you decide if it’s the best option for your family. We also answer frequently asked questions about shelters to help you be better informed.


The 11 Reasons to Adopt a Cat From a Shelter

1. You Save Two Lives

When you adopt a shelter cat, you create an opening that a new cat without a home can use, essentially saving two lives, especially since many of these shelters are at maximum capacity, meaning they might have to turn away animals.

2. There’s a Large Selection

Since many shelters are at maximum capacity, you can usually find a huge selection of cats, enabling you to get just about any size or color. You may also be able to choose between longhaired and shorthaired cats.

cats in animal shelter
Image Credit: Yulia Grigoryeva, Shutterstock

3. You Can Get a Purebred Cat

Many people think that going to a breeder is the only way to find a purebred cat. However, since the selection in most shelters is so broad, you might find multiple different purebred cats at your local animal shelter.

4. They Come With a Clean Bill of Health

When a cat arrives at a shelter, the people who work there will screen them and flag any health issues, so you always know about any potential problems when you adopt the cat and can choose one that doesn’t have issues.

vet checking up the cat
Image Credit: YULIYA Shustik, Shutterstock

5. They Are Spayed or Neutered

Any cats that you adopt from an animal shelter will likely be spayed or neutered, so you won’t have to go through that expensive process yourself.

6. They Have All Their Shots & Vaccinations

As part of the screening process that cats receive when they arrive at a shelter, a vet will ensure that the cat is up to date on all of their shots and vaccinations, saving you from a hefty bill.

cat getting vaccine in a vet clinic
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

7. It’s Cost Effective

Since the cat that you adopt will already have their shots and vaccinations and be spayed or neutered, you can save more money than a cat that you purchase from a friend.

8. You Will Know Your New Cat’s Personality

The employees at the animal shelter will get to know the cat during their stay and can tell you about them before you buy. Some cats need plenty of attention, which can be great for people with free time. Other cats prefer to spend time alone, which can be ideal for those who have to work.

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

9. Your Cat Will Likely Be Grateful

Most cats know that they were without a proper home when you adopted them and may spend the rest of their lives being more affectionate than most other cats.

10. It’s Good for Your Mental Health

Studies show that adopting a pet can improve your sense of well-being and overall mental and physical health.

cropped female owner hugging her black and white cat
Image Credit: Jack Plant, Unsplash

11. Cats That Spend Too Much Time in the Shelter Face Euthanization

Unfortunately, any cat in a shelter is facing euthanization. Many places will hold the cat as long as possible, but if the facility is full, some cats might have only 72 hours to find a new home.



What Happens If Someone Takes My Cat to the Shelter?

If your pet has an identification tag or microchip, the shelter will make every attempt to contact you. However, if several days go by or you are unable to pay the fees accrued from staying at the shelter, they might adopt them out.

Should I Take Stray Cats to the Shelter?

Unfortunately, most stray cats will struggle to find a good home because they tend to be afraid of people, so the shelter will usually need to euthanize them. However, many facilities are adopting a new system where a caretaker will trap, neuter, release, and monitor the cats, with some going so far as to provide food and shelter to community cats. This process keeps the cats alive but prevents them from reproducing.

adopting a cat
Image Credit: Piqsels

What Is Ear Tipping?

Ear tipping is often part of a catch-and-release program, where the vet will remove the top ¼ inch of a cat’s ear while they are being spayed or neutered. This procedure enables trappers to identify cats that they have already caught.



There are many great reasons to adopt a cat from your local animal shelter. They usually have a large selection, so you can find any color or size. You can also find longhaired and shorthaired cats. Purebred cats are even sometimes available, and adopting saves the cat from euthanization while freeing up space in the shelter for another animal in need. Since the cats also have all their shots and are spayed or neutered, adopting is often cheaper than obtaining one elsewhere, and they are usually friendlier.

Featured Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

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