Phil Snyder, Executive Director, Suncoast Humane Society
June is Adopt a Cat Month. It was originated by the American Humane Association, along with October’s Adopt a Dog Month, to draw attention to the many pet’s that await permanent homes in animal shelters. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats enter the 13,600 animal shelters, nationwide, each year. In addition there are over 70 million stray and feral cats living dangerous lives in the US.
It is interesting to note that more than 35% of our pet cats are acquired as strays. If you are a stray cat it does pay to hang around a compassionate person’s home. That is actually a higher percentage than the 29% that are adopted from animal shelters. Add to the mix that it is springtime, which also spells kitten season and most area shelters have an abundance of new-born kittens being fostered until they reach an adoptable age. All of these facts are convincing that felines deserve their own dedicated adoption month.
If you family is looking for a cute cuddly kitten, or a mellow, loving older cat (the best pets in the world), or any age in between; June may be the month you have been waiting for! If you ARE thinking of adopting a homeless feline, consider these suggestions:
- Think about doubling your pleasure and adopt two cats together. Two buddies can help provide each other with the exercise, mental stimulation and social interaction that they need. Double purring can be soothing to you and to them. And, two would make you smile twice as much.
- Choose the cat that meshes with your personality. It is said that cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, which tend to be more active. I am not sure if that same description always holds true for the humans adopting the feline.
- Please make sure any pet adoption is a family decision. Consider your lifestyle, children, other pets and the expected and unexpected costs of owning a pet. A pet adopted from an animal shelter is a bargain. Adoption fees include spay/neuter, vaccinations and micro chipping.
- Cat proof your home as best you can. Hide dangerous things that should not be chewed on. Watch out for small items that shouldn’t be swallowed. Remove food from the counters unless you want it to become kitty’s snack station. Put all of the lizards on your patio or lanai on high alert, or you may be presented with unwanted gifts when you least expect them.
- Be sure to include your new pet in your families’ disaster plan. Stock up on their needed supplies and add important phone numbers to your emergency kit.
Don’t hurry into an unexpected adoption. If your family is not ready in June, wait until you are ready and prepared to face the responsibility of pet ownership. One thing is for certain, there will be many pets, waiting for that 2nd chance at our animal shelters. One will be waiting just for you!
Suncoast Humane Society is offering reduced adoption fees for cats and kittens during June’s Adopt a Cat Month. We have been serving animals and people since 1971 when we were founded as Englewood Animal Aid Society. Today our service area includes Charlotte County, most of Sarasota County, and the Boca Grande portion of Lee County, a total of over 450 square miles. To learn how you can help homeless animals at your humane society, visit www.humane.org or call 941-474-7884.