Monday, June 11, 2012

Adopt A Shelter Cat Month

June is National Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month.

Options abound:

For your pet-owning convenience, the Michigan Humane Society offers Certified Pre-Owned Cats with competitive pricing and multiple financing options. (The site is worth visiting just for the humor.)

A recent search on Petfinder, which many Downriver community animal shelters use to list animals available for adoption, listed 4,439 cats available within 100 miles. Chances are there's a cat or two for you, all within easy walking distance.

Not convinced you need a cat even if a cat needs you?
Consider the following:

It's summer and maybe you're tired of the the same old routine entertainment options. Even the good, (and I use the term loosely), television shows are in reruns. By the time you add in $8 hot dogs and $12 pop corn, movie, concert and sporting event ticket prices make a weekly outing pretty pricey. And you could be stuck with obnoxious co-watchers tweeting, spilling and kicking the back of your seat for just a few fleeting hours of  distraction. Compare that to years of lasting entertainment value from a kitten or two! (Just type "funny cats" into a YouTube search for a preview.)

Actual health benefits experienced by pet owners include lower blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels and improved cardiovascular health.  Pets provide emotional support and actually increase social interactions with other people. In general, pet owners have higher self esteem, are more physically fit and are less likely to feel lonely than non-pet-owners.

Cat owners in particular have the optional pleasure of sharing their beds with furry, warm, vibrating objects, which is especially nice in the winter months.

Cats are excellent at telling time. Put them on a breakfast and dinner feeding schedule and you'll never be late for work or school again, at least not because you've overslept.

Joking aside, there are some practical considerations before cat adoption.

1. If you're thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two.
2. Choose a cat whose personality compliments yours.
3. Choose a veterinarian ahead of the adoption and schedule a visit within the first few days for a complete exam.
4. Prepare as a family to have a cat, this may mean some cat-proofing as well as including the new cat in the family emergency plan.
5. Stock up on supplies, (food, litter & litter pan, new memory card on the camera.)
6. Budget for the short- and long-term costs of owning and caring for your feline.
7. If you're considering giving the cat is a gift, be sure the recipient is ready and willing.

That last point is crucial. Gift pets probably shouldn't be surprises. I know of a case in which someone gave a friend a surprise pot-bellied piglet for her birthday. Fortunately the fact that the piglet grew into a 100 pound pig named Penelope Rose with an expected life span of 15-20 years who has become accustomed to occupying the spare bedroom year round hasn't damaged the friendship. How that's the case remains a mystery but may have something to do with Penelope's winning personality if not her considerable space occupying ability.

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