Planning on adding a kitten to your family? If so, have you thought about adoption?! Shelters are overrun with unwanted animals, especially cats, and kittens. Each year, millions of animals are euthanized because there are simply not enough homes for them all. Please, if you are going to add a kitten to your family, consider adoption first! An adopted kitten is just as easy to care for as a purchased one. The only difference is, you are SAVING A LIFE!
If you would prefer to adopt a kitten rather than a cat, then springtime is the best time! Though shelters and rescue groups receive cats and kittens all year long, the spring season is usually the busiest. Though kittens are adorable, remember, there are MANY older cats available for adoption as well. Don’t they deserve forever-loving homes too? Of course, they do!
There are three basic groups of animal shelters. The first would be city-run or municipal shelters (better known as “The Pound”). The cats and kittens found at the pound are either given up by their owners, confiscated from bad situations, or picked up off the street (strays). Cats and kittens that end up at the pound are in danger of being put to sleep (euthanized) in a matter of days. If you adopt a cat or kitten from the pound, you are saving it from certain death.
The second type of organization that you may consider adopting a cat or kitten from would be a non-profit rescue shelter/group (such as Alley Cat Rescue in Maryland). Rescue groups often save animals from the pound…especially ones that have run out of time and are about to be euthanized. They also take in cats and kittens that are brought in by individuals who rescue them from the streets. Rescue organizations usually charge an adoption fee. These fees vary from rescue to rescue; however, they are usually higher than city-run shelters. Most, if not all rescue groups, will not adopt out an animal that has not been spayed or neutered. They also provide medical care to animals in need, so trust me; your adoption fee will be well spent.
The third type of group would be the all-volunteer organizations that rely solely on foster homes for their cats and kittens. These groups do not use shelters or kennels to house their animals before adoption. Though fostering is ideal and probably best, it is often hard to find enough people who are willing to open their homes. Personally, I have fostered two animals in the past and they both ended up as life-long pets. Though I understand that it is important to adopt out the animals so that a new life may be saved, I found it incredibly difficult to “give up” the animals I had grown to love. Fostering has many advantages. It is a great way to find out how well the animals get along with children and other pets, plus, it is a great way to learn if there are any food or toy aggression issues. Foster-based organizations are very similar to non-profit rescue shelters…the only difference being that each animal is kept at a private home prior to adoption.
Kitten Adoption Check List
So now that you know where to go when the time comes to adopt your new kitten or cat, here are some important questions to ask when you get there!
- What is the adoption fee?
- Is their health and/or background information available on the kitten you are interested in adopting?
- How has the kitten been living (in a cage, foster home, open playroom?).
- Does the kitten get along with other animals?
- How much human contact has the kitten received?
- What is the background on the organization you are rescuing your cat from? Are they no-kill? If for some reason things don’t work out with your new kitten, can you bring it back?
- Is the kitten or cat litter box trained?
So, still not convinced that adoption is the BEST option for you? Are you thinking that you want a purebred and there is no way you will be able to find the breed of cat you want at the pound? Think again! You might just be surprised at how many people (for a variety of reasons) give up their purebred animals! Financial woes, divorce, and illness are just three of many reasons why people are forced to give away their beloved pets…many of which are purebreds! There are breed-specific rescue organizations out there…all you have to do is look. So good luck with your kitten search and remember….caring for an ADOPTED kitten or cat is just as easy as caring for a purchased one! Save a life…ADOPTION IS THE BEST OPTION!