3 min read

5 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat


Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 06/03/2021, edited: 10/24/2023

Looking to add a feline member to your family? Then look no further than your local animal shelter. With millions of pets entering shelters in the U.S. each year, there’s no shortage of cats (and dogs!) waiting for their forever homes. 

Shelter cats may not have had the best start in life, but you can change that when you welcome one or two into your home. And with all the pawsome benefits kitties can bring, you may just see that adopting a shelter cat will even change your life!

Are you ready to find your new four-legged BFF? Here are five reasons why you should consider adopting a cat from the shelter.

Multiple shelter cats in one cage - 5 Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

You save two lives

Every year, approximately 6.5 million cats and dogs enter US animal shelters. Because there are more animals coming in than people adopting them, about 1.5 million shelter cats and dogs are euthanized each year. 

When you bring home a feline companion from an overcrowded shelter, you’re not only saving the life of the cat you adopted, but you’re also opening up space for the next cat who will come in, giving them a chance at finding their forever home, too. Pet overpopulation is real, and adopting from your local shelter is one way to help combat this huge problem. There’s no need to bring more kittens into the world when there are already so many healthy, adoptable shelter cats who are in need of good homes.

family spending time with cat at shelter

It's easy to find your purrfect match

Animal shelters are filled with cats with diverse personalities, so you have a wide selection to choose from. Whether you’re looking for an energetic kitten or young adult, or a calm senior feline, chances are you’ll find them at your local shelter. 

Since grown-up cats have established personalities, it’s easier to choose one who fits your lifestyle. Moreover, staff and volunteers will gladly talk about what makes each rescue special and help you find your purrfect match. Shelter cats are great animals, and most of them only ended up there because of a human problem like a move, a divorce, or a financial issue, not because they did anything wrong.

toddler boy playing with cat perched on cat furniture

It'll cost you less

The upfront cost of adopting a cat from the shelter is much less than buying a kitten from a breeder or pet store. Adoption fees usually include the cost of spay/neuter, vaccinations, and sometimes even microchipping. When done at a veterinary clinic, the average costs of these procedures can range between $100-$500 for a spay or neuter, $60-$150 for initial vaccinations, and $45-$55 for microchipping. 

Additionally, part of your adoption fee helps cover the shelter’s expenses, allowing them to take better care of the animals who come in. So not only do you save money, which you can now use to buy your new family member’s food, toys and other things, but you also bring home a healthy pet and support a non-profit organization that, in turn, helps more animals!

woman snuggling with cat

Cats are good for your physical and mental health

A number of studies suggest that our feline friends make our lives happier and healthier. One study from Australia found that compared to people without pets, cat parents have better psychological health—they claim to feel happier and more confident, and are able to sleep, focus, and handle problems better. 

Another study discovered that people with feline companions were less likely to die from a heart attack than those who have never had cats, even when taking risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol into account. 

Even watching cat videos online increases positive feelings such as hope and contentment while reducing negative emotions like annoyance and anxiety. It’s no wonder the Internet is brimming with cat videos!

cat with eyes closed enjoying a chin rub from woman

You'll help make the world a better place

It may sound cheesy, but adopting a shelter cat does make a positive contribution to the world. 

First, you’re giving a homeless animal a second chance, and now their life will be completely transformed because of you. They’ll never go hungry again, they’ll have lots of toys to play with, and they’ll have a warm bed to sleep in every night. In short, they’ll be living their best life, all thanks to you! 

Second, you’ll encourage other people to adopt from shelters. Friends and family who may have never considered adopting a shelter cat will now see how pawsome they can be. And when they do adopt their own furry friend from the shelter, they’ll inspire others to do the same as well, thus creating a ripple effect.

So, head to your local shelter today to find your new furever furiend!

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