Kitten season is upon us, meaning shelters are starting to fill up with kittens in need of a forever home. June marks “Adopt-A-Cat Month” and with COVID-19 still making an impact on our lives, cat adoption is needed now more than ever. This year’s Adopt-A-Cat Month is being dedicated to help those pets that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the SPCA, over 3 million cats arrive at US shelters each year. Now, more than ever, these cats need our help. With the arrival of kitten season, thousands of kittens are joining millions of cats already in shelters. Add to that, the lack of foot traffic, declines in funding and donations, supply donations suspended to prevent spread of illness at many shelters already struggling to maintain operations, the hopes of shelter kittens and cats to find a forever home is threatened.
While many shelters and rescues are operating differently during the pandemic, most are still providing “contactless” or “virtual” adoptions for cats. In many cases, virtual adoption meetings are happening via phone calls. Visit your local shelter’s website to see how they’re working to continue the adoption process during this unprecedented time—their teams want the animals in their care to find a loving family.
Adopting a cat isn’t something to be done lightly. Be sure that you (and your family) are ready to take the plunge! Make sure you consider your budget, the amount of time you have to care for a kitten or cat, and your home and family situation. Right now, many people are working from home so caring for a kitten or cat may seem like an easy thing to add to your daily task list, but will it still be that easy once you’ve returned to work? Consider not only your current situation, but what things might look like in a few months.
Once you’ve decided that a cat is for you, prepare your home for their arrival (move your family heirloom pieces to safe place!) and of course schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to discuss your new pet’s vaccination schedule, deworming, and other preventive healthcare measures.
Adopting a cat isn’t the only way you can help. Monetary donations go a long way to help provide care and fund the essential services that cats in shelters need (e.g., surgery, medication, food). While most shelters aren’t accepting donations of new or used items during the pandemic, many have “wish lists” of items most needed. These items can be ordered from pet stores or on-line stores and items are shipped directly to the shelter. Electronic gift cards are another way to help shelters in need. Even sharing posts on social media about Adopt-A-Cat Month can spark interest in others to either adopt a cat or to make a monetary donation themselves. Use the hashtag #AdoptACatMonth to spread the word!
If you’ve been thinking about adopting a cat (or two), now is the perfect time to do it—if adoption isn’t the cards for you right now, consider a donation—all donations are appreciated!