A Dozen Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

Here are twelve reasons why it is better to adopt a cat from a shelter provided some sensible precautions are taken. I’d always have either your vet check out the health of a cat to be adopted or ensure that the cat is certified as been all clear in respect of the big feline diseases such as FIP, FeLV and FIV plus clear of the usual infections: URIs and UTIs.

9 year old shelter cat
Kitty Mimi — 9 years old . Their owners left her in the shelter saying that the condominium does not allow any kind of animals….Gorgeous or what? Photo by Cris
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment written by visitors. It is a way visitors can contribute to animal welfare without much effort and no financial cost. Please comment. It helps this website too which at heart is about cat welfare.

  1. The first and biggest reason is that you are adding to the sum total of cat welfare. Shelter cats need homes. They already exist, whereas when you buy from a breeder the breeder is creating cats. Bringing cats into the world when there is already an excess is taking away from the sum total of cat welfare because in adopting a deliberately created cat, one shelter cat is likely to lose his life (euthanised).
  2. When you don’t adopt from a shelter you might be buying a kitten from a pet shop. Pet shop cats are deliberately bred, often in unpleasant conditions. They can be unhealthy. When buying from a pet shop you are not only failing to save the life of a shelter cat you are promoting the unethical breeding of kitten mill cats and promoting unhappiness amongst cats due to illness.
  3. When you adopt from a shelter you have a lot of choice. Choice is good in face to face meetings because the shelter cat can get involved in selecting you and you can get to know the shelter cat’s character. This results in a better chance of a successful relationship.
  4. A good shelter will have procedures in place that ensure that your adopted cat is in good health and vaccinated, spayed or neutered, immunized, dewormed, microchipped etc.. You know what you are adopting. 
  5. If you adopt a purebred kitten from a breeder you don’t know for sure what you are getting in the long run. Purebred cats are on balance less healthy than random bred cats. The healthiest cat is probably the 1-5 year old black moggie. You’ll find one at a cat shelter. (note: there are purebred cat rescues as an alternative).
  6. Adoption fees from shelters are cheaper than the purchase price of purebred cats.
  7. Long term health is an important decision in adopting a cat. Pet shop cats and purebred cats are likely to cost more in vet bills in the long run than adopting from a well run shelter. I stress, however, that the shelter should be well run because shelters are potential breeding grounds for the spread of contagious diseases.
  8. If you rule out pet shop cats (as you must), there are far more shelters than there are purebred cat breeders. As it is important (if we are honest) to actually meet your future cat companion before you adopt, it should be easier from the point of view of travel times to adopt from a shelter.
  9. There is a selfish reason for adopting a cat from a shelter. Let’s be honest when we do something good there are two reasons for it (a) we are doing something good (b) we feel better about what we have done. It boosts our self-esteem and makes us more content.
  10. A shelter cat might have gone through a difficult phase in his life (abandoned by his owner) and he has been stuck in a shelter for a while (shelters aren’t the best of places for a cat). He’ll be relieved to be in a decent home, your home, this will make him more accepting of a new place and he should settle in, in fairly trouble-free way especially if he is an older cat.
  11. Shelters staff are more likely to be objective when providing advice and help in selecting a cat as there is no financial profit involved as opposed to commercial enterprises such as pet shops and purebred cat breeders.
  12. Appearance is often the number one criteria in selecting a cat followed by personality. You might like calico cats (tortie and white) or a sleek grey cat. You might like a quiet cat or an active cat. You have more chance to find what you are looking for from shelters than breeders and shops because of the wider range of coat and personality types.

Can you think or an 13th or 14th reason? Any success stories in comments are welcome.

3 thoughts on “A Dozen Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat”

  1. Its really sad, how People use all these reasons. I would get a Moggie or Mixed Breed anyday of the week. I refuse to buy a Pedigree, haven’t got that sort of money anyway. I love the look of that cute cat at the top reminds me of how Jasmine is going to be. I know Pedigree’s are beautiful, but its better to but that money towards shelter cats.e.g Smokey is almost 7 and to think I would just get rid of him, just cause cause a certain place can’t have him. If it was me, I would fight or Find somewhere i could go so my Cats are with me. I attend to have most of my cats till they can go on no-longer. Hopefully will be able to stay here as not many people seem interested in this house.

  2. Yes a dozen very good reasons Michael.
    Poor Kitty Mimi! 9 years old and homeless!
    Why on earth couldn’t her family move to somewhere pets are allowed, it makes me so mad when people dump their cats in Shelters on that excuse.


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