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Now is the best time to adopt a cat — here’s why

A tiny black and white kitten.
Dương Nhân/Pexels

If you’ve decided to get a feline friend, you have an important decision to make. You can purchase a purebred cat, or you can adopt a cat from your local shelter. According to the ASPCA, roughly 860,000 shelter cats are euthanized each year. With that harrowing statistic in mind, we definitely recommend adopting your next cat. Not only will it save the life of an innocent cat, but it will also save you a ton of money. But saving a cat’s life isn’t the only reason you should adopt a cat or kitten. Wondering why you should adopt a cat? We’re here to share the numerous reasons why now is the perfect time to take home a feline companion. 

Pets improve your health

Did you know that adopting a cat can lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol, and even decrease your triglycerides? Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that pet owners are healthier than people who don’t have pets. Whether you take your cat outside for walks on a harness or you exclusively play with them indoors, you’ll both reap the benefits of exercise. In addition to the physical rewards, having a pet creates a deep and lasting bond between you and your fur baby, which helps reduce loneliness. 

It’s the perfect time of year

Kitten season lasts from early spring until late fall. While kittens are born year-round, warmer weather means cats spend a lot more time outdoors, which results in an influx of kittens at your local shelter. More kittens are born during spring, summer, and fall than during the harsh winter months, so you’re more likely to find the perfect kitten for you during kitten season. Still, kittens are the first to be adopted, with older cats growing less likely to be adopted every year they remain in a shelter. Some shelters are no-kill shelters, meaning they won’t euthanize the animals they house. But that doesn’t mean adopting from a no-kill shelter doesn’t save lives. You’re making room for another cat or kitten who might otherwise have been taken to a shelter where they do euthanize animals.

You’ll set a good example for others

If your cat is shy, you’ll want to spend time allowing her to settle in before you invite people over to get to know the new addition to your household. When friends and family members meet your new kitty, they’ll undoubtedly ooh and ahh over how adorable and well behaved she is. They’ll probably ask where you got your cat, too. Telling them your furry friend was adopted from a shelter might be all the encouragement they need to consider adoption. Some people believe they need to rely on a breeder to find the perfect cat. In reality, the companion of their dreams could be waiting for them in a shelter. If you have children, you’re also teaching them a valuable lesson from an early age. 

Gray and brown calico cat.

Your cat will probably be healthier

When you adopt a cat, you want them to have a long and happy life. While purchasing a purebred sounds like the best way to ensure your cat will be a healthy one, the opposite is true. Many cat breeds have genetic predispositions to certain diseases and health conditions like heart disease, hip dysplasia, and diabetes. According to Dr. Elyse Kent of Los Angeles’ Westside Hospital for Cats, “There’s a lot of inbreeding in purebreds to get the look they want.” Mixed-breed cats, like those commonly found in shelters, have diverse genetics and tend to be healthier than purebreds. 

A gray and white cat in a wicker basket.
Cats Coming/Pexels

Adult cats need love, too

We get it. Kittens are absolutely precious. It’s hard not to fall in love with their tiny faces. That being said, kittens are also little bundles of mischief. If you’re not prepared for their boundless energy, you might start wondering why you decided you wanted a kitten in the first place. You also might want to think twice about adopting a kitten if you have small children. Because they don’t always realize how rough they’re playing, kids can accidentally hurt tiny kittens. Many older cats, on the other hand, are more tolerant of children and aren’t as likely to scratch or bite. Additionally, older cats are less likely to be adopted than kittens. By adopting an adult cat, you’ll have a companion who’ll enjoy sitting on your lap instead of swinging from your curtains. 

Choosing the right cat

Before you decide to adopt a feline companion, you’ll need to evaluate your environment. Do you already have cats at home? If you have older cats, a high-energy kitten may not be the best choice. Kittens love to roughhouse, and your older fur babies won’t appreciate being pounced on. Speak with the shelter staff before making your choice. They’ve spent a lot of time with the cats there, and they can recommend the best fit for your lifestyle. When visiting the shelter, make sure you look at all the cats before you make your decision. Ask to spend some time with the cats you’re considering to see if one immediately bonds with you. No matter which cat you bring home, you’re not only saving a life, but you’re also changing yours for the better. 

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Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
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