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Adopt A Shelter Cat Month

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Celebrating The Importance Of Adopting A Feline Friend

Animal lovers across the country recognize and celebrate the month of June as Adopt A Shelter Cat Month! It’s a pet-themed holiday aimed at reminding people of the importance of adopting cats from shelters as opposed to pet stores or private breeders. This article will cover everything about this wonderful and educational holiday including  pet shelter statistics, cat overpopulation, and reasons why people should adopt. Keep reading to learn more.  

Cat Statistics

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters across the country every year. Out of those 6.3 million animals, 3.1 million of them are dogs and the other 3.2 million are cats. Although these numbers have greatly decreased from 7.2 million companion animals in 2011 to 6.3 million animals in 2019, the numbers are still staggeringly high. Sadly many of these animals will not be adopted and ultimately be euthanized due to overcrowding in animal shelters. Every year approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized, 530,000 of which are cats and 390,000 are dogs. Although still tragic, the amount of dogs and cats euthanized in U.S. shelters has significantly decreased by 2.6 million since 2011. Thanks to incredible pet-themed holidays like Adopt A Shelter Cat Month, adoption numbers have steadily increased and euthanasia numbers have steadily decreased every year. Every year approximately 4.1 million shelter animals are adopted, 2 million being dogs and 2.1 million being cats. We hope these numbers continue to go up every year as adoption awareness continues to become more prevalent in mainstream news and media. 

Cat Overpopulation

Although both cats and dogs make up the majority of animals entering animal shelters across the U.S, cat overpopulation appears to be far more prevalent than their doggy counterparts. Dogs aren’t necessarily more important than cats, but they do seem to bring more to the table such as service dogs, military dogs, rescue dogs, and show dogs. As a result, dog breeding is typically more popular and more regulated than cat breeding. According to The Bard Center For Environmental Policy, a 2017 study showed that there are an estimated 50 to 70 million feral cats living in the U.S. That’s a lot of cats! These feral cats become homeless for a variety of reasons including neglect from the owner, the cat straying away from home, the owners moving but leaving the cat behind, and lack of spay and neutering. Many cat owners like to let their furry friends live both indoors and outdoors. Which is fine if the cat is spayed or neutered. Letting your unspayed or unneutered cat roam free outside is just asking for a litter of unexpected kittens. Stray and feral cats have become so commonplace in most residential areas that it’s practically treated as normal to see them around. If you’re a cat owner (indoor or outdoor), the best thing you can do to help the cat overpopulation crisis is to have your cat spayed or neutered.  

Why You Should Adopt Instead Of Purchase

Most pet stores ultimately acquire their stock of cats and kittens from kitten mills (equivalent to puppy mills) and should be avoided at all costs. To learn more about the cruel and inhumane living conditions of puppy mills, check out our previous article entitled The Truth About Puppy Mills. We strongly encourage adopting a cat or kitten as there are millions of shelter cats that need a good home. Animal shelters also recognize the importance of spaying and neutering cats and they will do so for every cat before adoption. Most animal shelters are so overwhelmed and overcrowded with cats, that they will often waive the spay and neuter fees when you adopt. Adopting a cat means you might not get the exact breed, color, or hair type that you ideally want. However, what you will get is a caring, adorable, and thankful companion that will love you for the rest of its life. If you are interested in being a cat owner, don’t buy a cat, save a cat’s life instead by adopting. 

The Purrfect Pet Holiday

Like most pet holidays, there is a deeper meaning behind the holiday itself. As the name implies, Adopt A Shelter Cat Month encourages people to adopt a cat as opposed to buying one from a pet store or breeder. The reason for this promotion of shelter cat adoption is due to the overpopulation of cats and the increasing number of stray and feral cats across the U.S. Although many people consider seeing alley cats or backyard strays to be normal, it is far from normal. These are house cats that have been bred in captivity to be exactly that. House cats. Similar to modern day breeds of dogs, these breeds of cats are not a natural part of our ecosystem and therefore don’t have a proper place in said ecosystem. We humans have unintentionally introduced these animals into the wild, potentially disrupting the balance of our ecosystems. They belong with us, not in the wild. Knowledge is power and we hope that you now have a better understanding of the struggles that the cat population is going through everyday. Don’t wait for change to happen, make the change happen. Adopt a shelter cat and potentially save it’s life. 

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