We all know there are thousands of homeless cats of which some of the luckier ones residing at animal shelters have at least a fighting chance of being adopted into a good home.
December seems to be one of the most active months at shelters nationwide. Well meaning people think of shelter cats as potential gifts for their friends or family members. They've either overheard them talking about how nice it would be to have a cat at home, or assume that because they're living alone, they should have a pet. They're trying to do a good turn for both the person and the shelter cat.
Before you move ahead with your gifting plans, think twice.
More "spur of the moment" adoption decisions happen at the holidays, with the perception that a cat would make an ideal holiday gift. Did you know that a majority of animals adopted in December from shelters nationwide find themselves back at the shelters after the holiday season? This is either because the "gift" recipients really aren't ready to adopt a cat, or they never really wanted to adopt a cat.
College students who adopt cats or receive cats as gifts at the holiday season, or at any time of year will likely only keep them for a brief time. First, their landlords may disallow pets. Second, they can't really afford them. Finally, even if they are able to keep the cat for a semester or two, they end up leaving school for various reasons, including graduation. What happens to the cat? Students' life changing plans abruptly disrupts the cat's lifestyle as well. Is this really fair to the cat?
Consider these alternatives to honor and assist a shelter cat at the holiday season:
- Only adopt a shelter cat when you're absolutely sure you want and can afford her;
- Avoid adopting cats for others. Let them make that decision, and if they do, you can accompany them to the shelter if that suits them or, have them select a shelter cat, and then offer to pay the shelter the adoption fee;
- Donate toys and other necessities to your local shelter. Either deliver them in person or have the store of your choice ship them directly to the shelter. Call the shelter ahead of time to find out what supplies they need and to make arrangements for delivery or drop off.
- MyThreeCats.com ships directly to shelters - just add the shelter's name and address as the Shipping address, and we'll enclose a card with your name, address and contact information as the donor. You'll be enriching the shelter cats' lives and donating to a worthy cause.
- Make a cash donation to your local shelter (as we do). Many shelters have websites that accept on line donations.
We wish you and your feline family a joyous holiday season.