June – Adopt a Shelter Cat Month: 10 Great Reasons to Adopt a Cat During COVID and Beyond

There are a couple of facts when it comes to cats – one being, unfortunately, that there are millions of them at any given moment living in shelters in need of a good home, and two, that it’s been proven cats can decrease our depression, stress and anxiety levels, lower our blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke by having them around. With our current COVID landscape, defined by stress and anxiety, and June being Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, it seems the purr-fect time to bring that feline shelter companion to your life and household. Save a cat’s life and they save yours. Seems fair to me.

Okay, let’s get the obvious out of the way. It’s nearly the end of June, so why the article now? Well, the reality is, shelter cats need a good home in June, July, August, or any other month for that matter, so this article is ALWAYS relevant. Now granted, adoption is not as easy as it was pre-COVID, but it can be done. Check with your local shelters for individual social distancing and adoption guidelines for starters, with many of them offering virtual adoption applications, virtual ‘meet’ and greets, and adoption events hosted online or through social media channels. Many will also schedule phone or video chat conversations with adoption counselors to answer questions and facilitate adoptions and appointment-only adoption hours.

There are also many curbside pet adoption services, such as SASF Roadside Adoptions & Fosters, designed to get pets into forever homes in a sanitary, social-distancing-friendly way. Petfinder.com is also a great resource, allowing you to look at cats available for adoption in your area in one quick and easy website.   

Once you make the decision and are approved for a pet, get everything in order BEFORE kitty arrives. This is true whether you already have cats in your household or this will be an only cat. Prepare a safe and secure area for your new friend with a litter box, toys, food, cat beds, and more so she can get acclimated to her new life. Even with your best intentions, cats need time to ease into new circumstances, so give your relationship time to grow. If you and kitty aren’t BFF’s the first day, there’s no need to rush things – it’s a lifetime commitment for both you and kitty, but one that will be rewarding in so many ways.

Why adopt? Here are 10 great reasons, updated to reflect life in this new social distancing world:  

1. They give you a reason to get out of bed. Let’s face it, life is difficult nowadays and sometimes we wonder what it’s all about. Having a warm and furry being that is eagerly awaiting your company – not just to feed them – but because they want to share the day with you, gives your life a sense of purpose and responsibility. Plus, you don’t have to wear a mask or stand 6 feet away from them, either.

Okay lady, time to step away from the computer. It’s your nightly reminder that it’s time to feed me dinner.

2. They put time in perspective. COVID has us questioning what day it is at any given moment. Cats are like a fine-crafted Swiss watch. They know when breakfast, lunch, and dinner is and they will not let you forget it, so you at least can acknowledge when one day has passed to the next, even if you don’t know which one in particular.  

3. Personal hygiene and fashion sense get a free pass. Cats don’t care that you haven’t showered in two days or that your go-to work outfit is a pair of Hello Kitty sweats and a ratty “I love cats more than people” t-shirt circa 1985. They also don’t mind that your hair is now defined in horizontal stripes rather than vertical highlights beginning with that one dark stripe from the scalp about 6 inches down which is your actual God-given hair color you haven’t seen in years.

4. Your cat loves you as you are and does not judge you based on the news, current events, or anything else for that matter. They are loyal, devoted companions that don’t care what your income level is, what your religious beliefs are, what color your skin is, or how much you weigh. They don’t care if you have a college degree, what kind of car you drive, or if you live in a palace or a box. In fact, a box might be preferred. You can be straight, gay, male, female, young, old, black, white, short, tall, and on and on. All they care about is having your care and love – you give them that, and they will return it a thousand times over.

Who knew something as simple as playing with a few pieces of papyrus grass could bring such joy to both me and my cats?

5. They are entertaining and give you a reason to smile, allowing you to take a break from the never-ending sensational news media and mindless TV that permeates our airwaves nowadays. Whether you watch a cat playing with a toy or napping peacefully in a sun-puddle, they give you a moment to pause and reflect in the simple joy of it, all without a political agenda, other than perhaps excepting a treat for their efforts.

 6.  They’re great company. With social distancing, many of us have lost our social outlets and we have no one to talk to which can cause the mind to go a bit stir-crazy and bonkers. Sure, we have Zoom, but not all of us have mastered the technology, and really, how many times a day do you want to invite people into your poorly lit office space to look at you on screen? Who needs the stress of putting on a clean shirt and running a comb through your hair for a video chat when you can talk to your cat instead?  

But I am helping…Who better than me to lie on top of your keyboard says Kizmet.

7. They help us work remotely from home. Need a cat to lie across your keyboard when you have an important writing assignment due? Check. Have an important Microsoft Teams meeting scheduled with the boss? That’s the perfect time for your cat to very vocally either hack up a furball with such dramatic flair one would think a murder was occurring in your house or to put on a persistent parade of meows, insisting 10:15 a.m. is dinner time and they must be fed this very minute or perish from hunger.

8. They help us keep fit. There is no question COVID has encouraged laziness in many of us and having a cat changes that. At the very least, you must step away from your computer to feed them (how many Fitbit steps is it from your office to the kitchen?) and arm muscles are used to scoop litter, pick up bags of cat food, and unload cans of cat food from your Chewy.com delivery. Then there’s the bending up and down to pick up food and water dishes to clean them, as well as scheduling regular interactive playtime with kitty – it not only brightens your cat’s day, but it gets your butt off the couch at the same time.

9. While cats certainly need to have basic needs met – food, litter, veterinary care, and things of that nature, they are relatively low maintenance and because of that, they make great pets across so many levels – they can get along with children, other cats, dogs, and more. With the right care and patience, they can adapt to virtually any circumstance, COVID included, so there really are very few valid reasons why someone should not adopt a cat.

My hair is a mess, my home office in shambles, and the world is upside down. But through it all, I make my cats happy and they make me happy and that’s all that really matters.

10. Most importantly, cats can change our lives and each one of them deserves a chance for a happy life and a good home. It’s a win for everyone – the overcrowded shelter, the cat, and you.  

Those are some of our reasons to adopt a shelter cat, what are some of yours?

hearts

 

For further information on subjects about bringing a new cat or kitten into your home, multi-cat integration, and tips to keep cats happy and healthy in an everyday environment, please consider some of the other articles I’ve written:

New Kitten on the Block, Kittens 101, 2016 Edition

Keepin’ the Peace in a Multi-Cat Household: Tips, Tricks and Practical Advice!

10 Tips to Relieve Feline Boredom in the Same Old 24/7 Environment

 

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  1. da tabbies o trout towne says:

    guyz !!! trout towne haz had 5 street wize catz; 1 who graced de werld
    just bee in born 🙂 and 3 shelterz catz …when de gurl walked in two de
    shelterz; uz shelter catz pointed N said… we will take that purrson !!

    hope everee onez happee safe & healthee 🙂 ♥♥

  2. I love that list, but #7 is my fave – MOL! It is a purrfect time for folks to adopt, it is a decision that you never, ever regret!

  3. We will do nothing but adopt!
    Our cat quota is high right now, but who knows…?!?

  4. Jo Singer says:

    Bravo! If I come back as a cat on my next lifetime I want you to adopt me. ❤️

  5. jmuhj says:

    Ten great reasons to adopt!
    Having cats in my life ALL my life means it’s like breathing for me — I couldn’t NOT have cats in my life and the few times I’ve had to go catless have not been my happiest times, to put it mildly.
    Cats are the joys of my being. They are the sunshine of my life. And yes, no matter how harsh life may otherwise be, there is ALWAYS a good reason — or in my case, three — to get up and do all the necessary work/go throuh all the “stuff” life throws at me. I know that, at the end of the day, I can look forward to a blissful evening with my beloved cats, some nice dinner, and some interesting TV or Netflix. Life IS good.

  6. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. We have been hearing and reading so many wonderful stories of people adopting during this pandemic. We love your ten reasons for adopting and hope people will go out to rescue more fur babies from shelters. Have a fantastic rest of your week.

  7. Those are all wonderful reasons ! #7 made us MOL ! Purrs

  8. Those are 10 excellent reasons to adopt a cat. But then again…who needs a reason?? 😉

  9. Ellen Pilch says:

    Great post. I don’t need any convincing though 🙂

  10. Great post!!! We agree with all of them. Especially helping humans work from home. We don’t know what our mom would do without us!