Few can resist the charms of store-bought fur babies. You walk into the pet store to buy more cat food and happen to pass the rows of adorable kittens just waiting to be taken home. They’re so cute that, for a second, you consider buying another cat right then and there!
Most pet parents know by now that it’s better to adopt. But what many have yet to realize is that other forms of adoption are available beyond your local animal shelter. Shelter cats deserve a loving home, but rescues have endured neglect their whole life and desperately need a human to show them some love. That’s where you come into the picture!
As you begin the search for a new feline friend, familiarize yourself with what rescue organizations do and why you should give them a chance.
Adopting from shelters vs. rescue organizations
There are several differences between shelter and rescue adoptions. One factor that sets them apart is where the facilities receive financial support. Animal shelters typically get funding from the government, and some are even run by local municipalities. On the other hand, rescue organizations are privately owned and depend on generous donations from people like you.
Another difference is where the animals come from. While some shelter pets come from abusive homes, most are strays or formerly belonged to people who can no longer care for the animal. By contrast, most animals at rescue agencies have experienced trauma or a physical disability, which ensures your adoption makes the biggest impact on a cat’s life.
Shelters and rescues also approach the adoption process in slightly different ways. It’s possible for someone to walk into a shelter and leave with a new furry friend during that same visit. The adoption process at a rescue organization is much more involved. Rescue volunteers spend weeks conducting background checks, home visits and interviews to make sure you and the cat are a perfect match.
Reasons to adopt a rescue cat
Adoption is the right way to go. By choosing to adopt, you’re saving a cat who might have been days away from getting put down. But why settle for a shelter? Go the extra mile and make friends with a rescue cat! Here are the top reasons why you should rescue a cat:
- Observe the cat in a social environment: Rescue organizations partner with foster homes who temporarily board cats until they find a permanent owner. Foster homes free cats from the confines of a kennel and allow prospective pet parents to see how they behave in a home environment. You’ll learn what their temperament is like around humans and other pets, giving you an accurate read on what it’ll be like if you and the rescue cat lived together.
- Guarantee the perfect match: Rescue organizations will do whatever it takes to ensure the rescue cat ends up in the right home. Interview questions can get personal as they delve into your financial status, history with pets, home life and more. Remind yourself that every stage of the lengthy adoption process exists to prevent owners from returning the cat back to the rescue agency. Try to be patient during this time—your adorable new kitty is well worth the wait!
- The cat will love you forever: This one is pretty obvious. Shelter adoptions save lives, too, but rescuing a cat means a lot more when you know they come from a troubled past. Rescue cats are often deemed undesirable due to their history. However, the proud parents of rescue cats have consistently found such animals have a greater capacity for love. The adversity that rescue cats have endured means they’re more appreciative of your companionship.
- Rescues provide a smooth transition: Shelter cats often meet their new human and go home with them in the same day. They get thrust into a new environment with a person they barely know. This can lead to stress for cats and owners alike. Many rescue agencies will set up multiple meetings between you and the cat so you two can get to know each other. Some organizations even let prospective owners keep the cat for a few weeks to gauge how they respond to a new environment.
Every adoption is a good deed, regardless of whether the kitty came from a shelter or rescue organization. But people who want to make the biggest difference in the pet community should look into bringing home a rescue cat. The perfect match is out there waiting for you!