I am a huge advocate for pet adoption from way back. Growing up, my family had tons of pets, and all of them (except the hamsters) were from shelters. Nothing compares to the feeling you get from bringing an abandoned animal into a loving home and giving it a chance at a better life.
I can speak to rescuing cats in particular because they're the first animals I adopted as a full-fledged adult. I had wanted a cat for a while but always put off getting one for one reason or another. Finally, I got a roommate who was in full support of adoption, and we decided to just go for it. The experience was life-changing in the best way, and I will never forget all the details that made it awesome.
Here are nine reasons why it's wonderful to adopt a cat.
1. You will have so many to choose from
If you're indecisive, I suppose this might be intimidating — but if you love adorable felines of all shapes and sizes, every shelter you walk into will be a dream come true. Kittens are usually most abundant in the spring months, but remember, older cats are just as cute and much calmer.
2. They're less expensive
At least in the beginning, unless you pick a particularly old cat or one that's injured. Reputable shelters usually take care of all preliminary shots, spay or neuter them, clear up any major medical issues and insert a microchip before sending them home with new owners, and all for a low adoption fee. If you buy from a breeder, you may get all of that along with an average price tag in the thousands.
3. Shelter staff and volunteers are the nicest
Let's just say they're not doing the job for the sizable 401K. These people love animals to the utmost and just want to see them go home with someone loving and wonderful like you. They'll answer any questions you might have, and help you feel super-confident about starting a life with your new furry friend.
4. When you rescue one cat, you're helping all the other animals in the shelter, too
Your adoption fee, and any donation you see fit to give when you adopt, goes to keeping the shelter open so it can care for more wayward pets that are looking for homes. That's a pretty great boost for the ego!
5. Cats are really good at taking care of themselves (for the most part)
We love dogs, but cats are some of the easiest pets you can have. They clean themselves, don't need to go outside for exercise and even teach themselves how to go to the bathroom. Yes, you'll need to clean said bathroom — but if you stock up on premium odor absorbing cat litter like Blue Buffalo Naturally Fresh®, it's seriously no big deal. Throw out some food and water every day, and you're good to go.
6. They make the best couch buddies
Whether you're Netflix bingeing, reading or just napping, odds are you'll end up with your fluffy friend curled up in your nook. The only problem is it'll be tricky to get up and use the bathroom because you won't want to disturb it.
7. You'll be saving a life
It's always hard for me to think what might've happened to my kittens had they not been rescued off of Kings Highway in Brooklyn. If you rescue your cat from a kill shelter, you'll be saving it from meeting its end in that building. I can't think of a better way to forge a lifelong friendship.
8. Cats kill unwanted creepy crawlers
Hunters by nature, it's their job to take down anything smaller than them that moves. So you can say good-bye to your spider problem.
9. They make you healthier
Apart from improving your emotional health, owning a cat is known to lower stress levels and blood pressure. Also, purring is therapeutic and can even help heal bones. Essentially, cats are magical creatures.
This post is sponsored by Blue Buffalo.