5 Reasons Shelter Cats Are the Best Cats

Ripley the domestic shorthair rescue cat
Ripley, a rescued domestic shorthair, is so happy to have a forever home.

It’s National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day and we’re ready to celebrate! Anyone who’s ever adopted a cat knows how special rescued kitties can be. Here are our top five reasons we think shelter cats are the best cats.

Shelter Cats Choose Us

Many people will tell you that they didn’t choose their cats; their cats chose them. And we have to agree. Have you ever walked into a shelter and looked around, then locked eyes with one specific cat? Or met a particular feline who would not leave your side? Heard a cat meowing at you from a cage across the aisle? Maybe a cat even reached out of his cage and bonked you on the head.

Regardless of how he got your attention, cats often just seem to recognize their future owners. So when a cat chooses you, you can be sure he saw something special. Go with it!

Your Cat Helps You Be Part of the Solution

We may try to make the world a better place but it’s not always easy to see the impact of our actions. When you adopt a shelter pet, you see the impact every day.

With millions of homeless cats entering animal shelters each year, you can make a difference by adopting even one cat.

When you adopt a shelter cat, not only do you provide a loving home for that cat, you also free up space in the shelter for another homeless cat. That’s something you can feel good about!

Bonus: The adoption fee you pay goes toward helping that shelter help more animals in need.

You and Your Cat Can Lead by Example

Unfortunately lots of people don’t realize that many cats end up in shelters through no fault of their own — not due to behavioral or health issues. Much of the time, cats end up in shelters simply because of circumstances that likely have nothing to do with them. Families move and leave cats behind, kids develop allergies, owners pass away.

By adopting a shelter cat you can show your family and friends firsthand how wonderful, loving, playful, fun and all-around delightful shelter cats can be. How great will it be to hear, “I can’t believe this awesome cat is a shelter cat!” and help create a new advocate?

Henry the rescue cat
Henry, a 20-month-old rescue cat, loves fetching, playing in water and posing for the camera.

You Can Find Out About His Personality and Preferences

Adopting a shelter cat can help remove the guesswork around whether your new feline family member will be happy in your home.

Shelter and rescue workers want nothing more than to make successful matches, so they will do their best to ensure one! They can often tell you about the temperament and personality of the cat you are considering adopting.

If you have dogs, shelter and rescue workers help you choose a cat who gets along with pups. If you have a busy household with kids in it, shelter and rescue workers will help you choose a cat who will be comfortable amidst the chaos.

They’ll also usually be able to let you know if your new cat will be happy as the only cat or if he’d do better with a friend.

And you can find out if your kitty has special needs, like allergies or skin conditions, how much he sheds or if he will need special grooming care.

They Have a Back Story

While we hate to think of our cats as ever having a difficult time, many shelter cats (especially adults) definitely had some experiences before being rescued. And if you think about it, there’s something kind of fascinating about your cat having a “life” before he came to live with you. It's fun to imagine where he might have been before you came along!

Was he a stray, cruising the open road looking for adventure? Or was he a pampered prince dining on fine china at every meal? Perhaps he lived with a poet and sat atop a bookshelf each day, watching his human work.

Regardless of your cat’s prior circumstances, you should be honored that you are part of his story. Think of how much fun you two will have creating the next chapters together!

Do you have a reason to add or a story to share about your own shelter cat? Tell us in the comments below!

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