Sadly, many shelters are overflowing with cats. This includes feral cats, abandoned cats and escapees. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies states that over 600,000 cats enter their shelters each year. The CFHS also reports a 28% increase to 53% with 61% of owners adopting shelter cats. Currently this includes only 1 in 2 shelter cats, so rescues and sanctuaries work diligently to find forever homes. Organizations share this information to encourage adoption rates. It also reduces the number of cats at risk for euthanasia.

Organizations that help Cats:

Shelters, SPCAs, Humane Societies & Pounds: These are typically government-funded and operate out of a centralized building. They provide the animals with food, shelter and veterinary care. Shelters are often top-of-mind when cats are found or when owners surrender their pets.

Rescue groups: Rescue groups are smaller organizations and run by dedicated volunteers. They foster cats and asses behavior while providiving social interaction. However, there is a limit in the number of cats they can care for at one time. “Having a network of foster homes allows every shelter cat in our care to be part of someone’s home. It gives a rescued cat a chance to adapt to living with a family…other cats, dogs and/or children. Adopters play a crucial role in our rescue work…every cat that is adopted from our program, we can save one more” says Sarah May from the Toronto Cat Rescue (TCR).

It’s common for rescues and shelters to charge adoption fees. This allows them to cover any cost and supplies for their animals!

Sanctuaries and Feral Care: A feral cat is typically born outside and lives with little to no human contact. They adapt to living outdoors and are typically not suitable for adoption. Many Canadian groups work to address the needs of feral cats. They provide food, water, shelter and medical care. Feral cats are spayed and neutered before released back into their colonies to reduce breeding.  “RAPS Sanctuaries provides a permanent home to both feral and unadoptable tame cats. There are currently around 500 cats, although the Society cared for more than 800 at one time” says Leslie Landa of The Richmond Animal Protection Society in Richmond, BC.

In conclusion

Lastly, people can find great pets at animal shelters. Each adoption blesses a cat with a second chance at life. Although most people want kittens, we highly recommend adult cats! Unfortunately, many cats wait months (even years) for a new home.  Furthermore, a rescue worker checks each candidate thoroughly with an application and background check. This ensures a successful adoption. Once approved, rescue workers match cats to owners based on personality, activity level and type of home the cat will live in.  Sometimes this even requires a home visit!

About The Author Michelle Edmundson

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