June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month.

june

Wow, where is this year going!? I can’t believe it is June already. This year is flying by, and since about September last year Don and I have seen tremendous growth in the demand for pet services.  In order to provide the best service and be as reliable and available as possible, we now have two lovely ladies helping us with pet visits, Debbie and Jane. We are VERY excited to have them working with us!  You can read their “About” information here.  We are also transitioning to an easier to use scheduling system to assure we never miss a visit.

So, while we continue to work on providing the services that pet parents desire to keep their pets happy and healthy, I wanted to make sure that everybody knows that June is “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month, so if anybody wishes to obtain another furry feline, this would be a great month to do it!!!

Instead of talking about fun adoption events or discussing the amazing rewards you will get when you adopt a shelter cat, I want to focus instead on the not so fun reason we even have to HAVE an “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month in the first place….cat overpopulation.

Sadly, the cat overpopulation problem is overwhelming to shelters, especially in the summer months, which rescue facilities consider “kitten season.” During the spring, summer and fall months, unaltered felines reproduce at an alarming rate, and nationwide, thousands of cats and kittens end up in shelters that are usually already full of other cats and kittens.

Newborn Kittens Stock Photo Photo by phasinphoto. Published on 13 March 2014 Stock photo - Image ID: 100247162
Kittens are adorable, but In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats. This is why spaying and neutering is such an important part of responsible pet parenting.

While having a national “Adopt a Shelter Cat” month is a good way to raise awareness of the overpopulation problem, and hopefully prompt many shelter cats and kittens to be adopted into their forever homes, there is much work to be done to help stop the unwanted breeding of feral and even pet cats. During this season, it is common for pampered, beloved pet house cats to escape when their hormones are driving them mad with desire and come back home “knocked up” if they are females or the proud papa of an unknown number of litters if they are males.

The Humane Society has a list of five ways you can help.

Spay or neuter all of your cats as soon as they are old enough. Kittens can be altered as young as 2 months as long as they weigh at least 2 pounds. A female cat can become pregnant as early as 5 months old, so the earlier she is altered, the less likely she will become a mother.

Help local shelters during kitten season (and all year if you can!)  Donate supplies, money or time eases the burden on the staff and volunteers, and is a good way to get first hand experience just how serious this problem can be.

Take responsibility for any homeless or feral cats in your neighborhood.   The Cat Protection Society has a list of central Florida agencies that have low cost spay and neuter programs. Many counties also have Trap-Neuter-Return programs also, which is a much more acceptable way of dealing with feral and homeless cats than euthanization. A Google search will provide even more listings for low cost spay/neuter resources.

Become a foster home for shelter cats.   If you don’t want to take on a long term commitment to forever home cat ownership but miss feline companionship, fostering might be perfect for you. Contact your local shelter (or shelters) and find out if they need foster homes for cats.

Adopt a cat (or cats) from your local shelter.   Even though any day is a good day to adopt a cat or kitten, since this month of June has been designated for being Adopt a Cat Month, what better time than the present to actually do just that!!! Contact your local shelter (or shelters) or go visit during adoption hours and find your new best feline friend. There are often “discounts” on the adoption fees during this month.

Finally, my own two cents regarding how to help is simply to spread the word to everybody you know about the problem. If your cat loving friends love their cats but let them reproduce simply because they don’t realize there is a problem with cat overpopulation, you can be the one to introduce the idea to them. The more people who join the “spay/neuter” bandwagon the better!!! Every cat spayed saves the problem of thousands of unwanted kittens who end up homeless, abandoned, in shelters or euthanized.

 

If you have decided that you just have to adopt a shelter cat, you can go to any of the following agencies and meet lots of cats just waiting for their forever homes. And remember “Cats are like potato chips…you can’t have just one,” so it is perfectly ok to adopt two or more!

Marion County Animal Services

Humane Society of Marion County

Sheltering Hands

 

If you know of any other agency offering cats for adoption, feel free to comment. If you have a story about an adopted cat you would like to share, we would love to hear it!   Rescued and adopted pets are the best!!!

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