Breaking Cats Out of Shelters for Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

For cats living in a shelter, it's almost like living in prison

Jazmine, a rescue cat herself, makes the perfect poster cat for adoption!

Many of us are excitedly waiting for season 4 of the wildly popular Netflix series, Orange is the New Black (OITNC). Based on the life of Piper Chapman, a woman in her 30’s living in New York City who is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security prison, the show gives us a glimmer into the day-to-day life she and her fellow inmates face in prison. I bring this up because it’s National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and it got me to thinking of all the cats that are in shelters across the county – not necessarily a prison – but for many cats, it’s a lockup of sorts.

While most shelters do an incredible job taking care of their feline residents, it’s a daunting task at best. Shelters are overflowing with cats and kittens – especially now as kitten season is in full swing. Many shelters have to turn cats away because they don’t have the room to properly care for them. And there’s the funding – paying for food, veterinary care, electricity and water, office supplies, rent, cat toys, litter and more. The cages or living areas need to be kept clean, the cats need to be socialized, kittens need to be monitored around the clock, special needs cats have to be attended to, and on and on. There’s no such thing as a holiday or weekend for a shelter – these cats need to be cared for every day of the week.

The sad part is, unlike the characters on OITNB that are justly in prison for crimes they’ve committed, many cats are living in shelters due to circumstances that could have been prevented in the first place with a bit of knowledge, patience, and understanding by us humans.

Notwithstanding how nice a shelter is and how hard the staff and volunteers try to take care of the cats, is that really how and where we want the cat to spend the rest of his life? Don’t we want as many cats as possible to have a warm, loving, and safe forever home? And let’s be honest – not all shelters are created equal – many cats are euthanized before they are even given a second chance and many shelters don’t have the devices or finances to provide the best environment for the health and well-being of the cat.

Cats living in shelters deserve a good home

This sweet kitten is from Cause for Paws FL. Doesn’t he deserve a happy furever home?

The first step toward positive change is to reduce the numbers of cats entering shelters. Currently, according the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals there are upward of 70 million cats living on the streets and in shelters. Until society as a whole grasps the importance of spay/neuter to reducing that staggering number, cats will continue to procreate. A pair of unaltered cats can be responsible for up to 5,000 additional cats in a seven year span, and kittens can become sexually active, capable of reproducing, as young as 4 months of age.

The next step is helping to educate people on how to correct certain behaviors or situations that might cause a cat to be brought to a shelter (or dumped on the streets where they are consequently found and brought to a shelter). Some of the top reasons or excuses cats are brought to shelters are:

1. Someone is allergic to the cat
2. Moving and can’t take the cat
3. Have a baby and worried about the cat hurting the baby
4. The cat is urinating or defecating outside the litter box
5. Have a dog and don’t think it will get along with the cat
6. The cat’s guardian died and provisions were not made for the cat
7. The cat is destroying the furniture in the house with its claws
8. The cat had an unexpected litter of kittens that can’t be cared for
9. The cat doesn’t get along with other cat(s) in the house
10. Can’t afford to take care of the cat

Each circumstance is different, but there is a wealth of information available on each topic to help find real solutions that work, rather than giving up the cat. Books, blogs, websites, veterinary offices, shelters and rescues – all can help to one degree or another so that the cat does not have to be surrounded to a shelter.

So let’s break all those shelter cats out and get them a good home!

Adopting more than one cat at a time can be a good idea.

My rescues – Kizmet and Jazmine are best buddies… Not only do they love each other, but they bring so much love and joy into my life.

On another cat-related note, I was privileged to guest post on the BlogPaws site a couple weeks ago. The topic was quite deep – I exposed the deception of the problems cats face in modern day society amid the onslaught of Internet popularity on social media platforms. I do hope you will take a few moments to stop by and read it and offer your comments – the conversation thus far has been very enlightening and I’d love to hear from more of you. Please click to read the post entitled Break Out of Your Blogging Niche to Make Strides in Cat Welfare.


Photo courtesy and property of for the BlogPaws post entitled “Break Out of Your Blogging Niche to Make Strides in Cat Welfare”


For further information on some of the above topics, please consider reading these posts I’ve previously shared:

Tips and Advice for Bringing a New Cat into an Existing Cat Household

How to Live in a Multi-Cat Household and Keep the Peace and Harmony

Living in Comfort with Cats – 10 Tips to Managing Allergies

Life Saving Litterbox Etiquitte

Safe and Humane Alternatives to Declawing Cats

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  1. Pam and Sam says:

    My dearest wish – the one we pray for every single night – is that when people are considering a pet, they look in SHELTERS first…..”Forevers” come in all sizes, shapes, colors, and breeds, and every single one deserves love and security. Also adopting a pet should mean FOREVER….not “until I’m bored or don’t feel like taking care of it any longer”……….so heartbreaking but awareness is the key. Thanks for making sure others are AWARE……………

    Pam (and Sam)

  2. The mom recently began volunteering at one of our local shelters and some of the excuses that people give for turning in their cats are unbelievable. While the shelter staff tries their best to educate people, some people just don’t want to hear it. So sad.

  3. We wish that people are educated enough about the needs of any kind of pet they want to adopt BEFORE adopting their pet. Purrs

  4. Loved your BlogPaws post on this. I did not know you were doing them. I will check out some other ones. 🙂

  5. Ellen Pilch says:

    Excellent post. I wish everyone with a pet would keep it forever- no excuses allowed.

  6. jmuhj says:

    I am exhausted and discouraged beyond my ability to communicate with the ignorance, callousness, stupidity and uncaring of so many in this (and every other) society. Spay. Neuter. Adopt for life. Get over the superstitions, myths and lies. Treat cats as beloved family members. Protect THEM from humans, dogs, and any other potential source of harm. That’s it.

  7. Beautiful post. My greatest wish is that one day every cat has a loving home where they are worshiped and adored as they deserve to be.

  8. Great post and something that everyone should read. I hope lots of cats find homes this month – and everything.

  9. I was super lucky. I arrived on the peeps’ doorstep a few days before Christmas and, of course, they immediately let me in. They tried to find my previous peeps but after I spent Christmas with them, I WAS IN! And here I have remained, since. Purrs, Seville.

  10. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guys….we iz knot a loud ta watch tee N vee
    ~~~~ pluz itz knot hooked up ~~~~~ but we hope
    LOTZ & LOTZ & LOTZ of animalz can brake outta
    shelterz thiz month, N de next….heerz hopin everee
    one findz ther for everz ♥♥♥♥

    { stay safe two guys, we hurd de weatherz yur way
    iz vizshuz ~~~~~~~~ } ♥♥♥

  11. meowmeowmans says:

    You are so right. In my almost 19 years of volunteering at the shelter, I’ve seen so many cats given up for pretty sad reasons. It’s saddest when the excuses are things that could be solved with patience, love and effort.

  12. Peyton says:

    Wouldn’t get a pet any other way than a shelter. All of my cats are from two shelters. I would also like to comment on the people working in these shelters. They are amazing people considering the care and love they give these animals.