June is Adopt-A-Cat Month, and just one more reason to show rescued cats some love. But this annual holiday takes on extra significance during the pandemic, which has left overcrowded U.S. shelters struggling to accommodate animals with limited staff and funding.
The situation is especially dire because, after a year of social distancing, Americans are finally going back to work — and reportedly returning the shelter pets they adopted at the beginning of Covid in droves. This looming shelter crisis has led American Humane Association, which founded Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month in 1974, to urge Americans to celebrate this year by adopting a cat (or two) from their local shelter.
“Shelters are swamped in the best of times, but now that Americans are transitioning back to the office after more than a year of remote work, shelters are reporting increases in owner surrenders,” Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, said in a statement. “This Adopt-a-Cat Month, we hope you will become a friend to a feline in need.”
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In addition to promoting adoption, Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month seeks to spread the word about unique issues faced by our feline friends. For instance, researchers have found cats receive less veterinary care, feature in fewer scientific studies, are more likely to be feral and run a greater risk of euthanasia than their canine counterparts.
“There are literally millions of reasons to rescue a cat in need during our Adopt-a-Cat Month and at every other time of year,” Ganzert told CBS Albany News. “You can find every one of them at your local shelter or rescue and, with time, each will give you a million reasons to be glad you did,” she said.
If adopting a cat isn’t an option, there are still plenty of ways you can help shelter cats and kittens, which flood local shelters each summer during kitten season. For instance, fostering shelter kittens or cats gives homeless pets a much-needed break from the shelter, as well as a chance to practice their socialization.
Shelters are also in urgent need of donations and supplies, especially after a pandemic that’s canceled most shelter fundraising. Please consider making a donation to help shelter kittens and cats by providing blankets, toys, scratching boxes, and other critical supplies.
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