The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 860,000 shelter cats are euthanized annually. Numerous kittens born in June, the height of kitten season, are added to this statistic each year. June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, so our south Austin veterinarians at Oliver Animal Hospital interviewed a few charismatic kitties to get their opinion on why shelter cats are the best adoptees.

#1: Tabitha the tabby’s take: Adopting a shelter cat saves lives

While you cannot take 860,000 cats home, you can be a hero by adopting one cat. Your adoption provides a wonderful new life for a fortunate feline and makes an available spot in the shelter for another cat. Every person who chooses adoption over a fancy cat purchase saves two kitties’ lives.

#2: Simon the Siamese’s slant: Adopting a shelter cat is good for your health

Adopting a pet from the shelter can increase your overall joy and satisfaction, and improve your mental well-being. A furry four-legged companion’s support helps humans handle stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. People who own cats are also less likely to die from heart disease and stroke. Plus, your hero status adds to your emotional and mental well-being.

#3: Percy the Persian’s perspective: Adopting a shelter cat is inexpensive

You can take home a spayed or neutered cat who has been vaccinated and microchipped for only a small sum. This allows you to spend that extra money on a fancy cat condo, which your new cat will disdain, preferring a cardboard box; whimsical cat toys, which your cat will ignore, preferring a cotton ball; or a luxurious cat bed, which your cat will avoid, preferring your pillow. On second thought, spend the money you saved on yummy cat treats.

#4: Callie the Calico’s conclusion: Adopting a shelter cat provides many kitty options

Shelters house a vast cat variety. You can find long-haired cats, short-haired cats, old cats, young cats, black cats, yellow cats, and every cat in between. If you are searching for a particular cat breed, you can contact breed-specific rescue groups.

#5: Benjie the Bengal’s belief: Adopting a shelter cat allows you to know the kitty’s character

The personnel at cat shelters spend time daily playing with and grooming the cats in their care. They get to know the cat’s personality and activity level, especially regarding adult cats, and can help you find the perfect cat, whether you are looking for a young, active fireball, or an older, sedate lap doll.

#6: Sheila the shorthair’s stance: Adopting a shelter cat can provide a buddy for your other pet

If you have a lonely cat or dog at home, they will benefit immensely from having another household pet. All pets need physical and mental stimulation for their overall well-being. Gamboling around the house with a friend is more engaging and productive than anxiously awaiting your return home. You will need to ensure your cat or dog will accept a new family addition to the family before bringing home a new cat. Also, your pets will need an adjustment period to become comfortable with each other.

#7: Tammy the tortoiseshell’s tenant: Adopting a shelter cat is ideal for tiny home residents

If you live in a small apartment or have jumped on the tiny home bandwagon, a shelter cat is a low maintenance pet who does not take up much space. As long as you provide food, fresh water, a clean litter box, and occasional chin rubs and playtime—obviously, at your cat’s discretion—cats are content to keep to themselves.

#8: Manny the Maine Coon’s mindset: Adopting a shelter cat is optimal for older pet owners

Older pet owners may not be able to handle an exuberant dog who could accidentally knock them down. However, four-legged friends bring joy and love to the home, and shelter cats, especially those who are calm and quiet, are great companions. They are low maintenance and do not require much attention, except to sit on your lap on occasion.

#9: Regina the Ragdoll’s reason: Adopting a shelter cat helps stop kitten mills

Any time you adopt a kitten from a shelter, rather than buying them from a pet store or breeder, you are helping stop this irresponsible practice. Kitten mills keep cats and kittens in tight, unsanitary conditions, putting their health in danger, because they are more likely to suffer from infections, deformities, malnourishment, and parasites. As long as people continue to purchase cats from pet stores and breeders, these establishments will persist. 

Our esteemed panel has surely convinced you that adopting a shelter cat is the best option. When you bring a new shelter cat home, contact the veterinarians in south Austin at Oliver Animal Hospital to let us meet your new feline friend and schedule a wellness exam.