Animal Shelters across the nation celebrate Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month during the month of June. “Kitten Season,” a term coined by animal rescue groups, is happening right now. Thousands of kittens are born each year during the spring and summer months, and many of them wind up in already overcrowded animal shelters. The American Humane Association estimates that 4 million cats and kittens are turned in to shelters every year. Kitten season takes a toll on animal shelters as space and resources become limited. The hardest hit are the homeless adult cats who are forced to compete with the abundance of kittens also looking for permanent homes. Here’s what you can do to help celebrate Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month:
Spay or neuter your cat. The single most important thing you can do if you already own a cat is to spay or neuter and encourage others to do the same. If you are having trouble affording the cost of the surgery, call your area Humane Society to see if there are discounts available. Aside from spaying or neutering your pet to help with the overpopulation crisis, spaying and neutering has both medical and behavioral benefits for your cat. Neutering male cats makes them less likely to fight with other males or mark their territory, and it virtually eliminates the risk of testicular tumors or prostate problems. Spaying female cats greatly reduces their chances of developing mammary, ovarian, or uterine cancers. Spayed and neutered pets are also less likely to try to get out of the yard to find mates. Each year, thousands of roaming animals in search of mates become lost or are hit by cars, resulting in needless suffering or death.
Volunteer to become a foster parent. Many kittens that wind up at shelters are in need of fostering. Fostering entails taking care of homeless kittens who arrive at shelters too young to be adopted—typically those under eight weeks of age. Foster parents are also needed for kittens who are recently born and need to be bottle-fed. For more information about becoming a foster parent for kittens at Animal Shelter Assistance Program in Santa Barbara, visit http://www.asapcats.org/volunteer/fostering.html
Adopt a cat. Adopting a cat will enrich your life! Not only will their playful antics keep you entertained for hours, but owning a cat can reduce your blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Another good feature about cats is that they are independent and can be left alone while you are at work—especially if you have multiple cats. Cats are very low maintenance; they litter box train themselves and they stay clean since they bathe themselves (it also helps them stay clean if you keep them inside). Cats are also not picky about where they live; they are just as content in a one-bedroom apartment as they are in a four-bedroom house.
Show Your Virtual Support
If you can’t adopt a cat, you can support adoptions by dedicating your Facebook status or blog to an adoptable cat. You can also help spread the word about Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month by posting the link to this column as your Facebook status.
Specials for the Month
Animal Shelter Assistance Program offers $30 discount on adoptions
From May 2 through June 30, adopters can bring home two bundles of joy for the price of one for only $65! (Don’t worry: you can still adopt a single cat or kitten). From now until the end of June, cat adoption fees are only $35 for one cat or kitten. That’s a $30 discount off the regular price of $65. Included in the adoption fee at ASAP is:
* Spay or neuter surgery
* Flea treatment
* Health evaluation, including testing for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Cats thought to be 10 years or older receive a full blood panel evaluation, thus assuring that the cat is indeed healthy and adoptable.
* Medical and drug coverage through ASAP’s vet for two weeks beyond adoption, if necessary
* Temperament evaluation
* Cat Carrier (you can save the county money by bringing your own)
ASAP is located at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter, 5473 Overpass Road. Adoption hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit www.asapcats.org
RESQCATS has many cats and kittens waiting for a permanent home.
Please call RESQCATS at (805) 563-9424 for an adoption appointment. All cats and kittens at RESQCATS receive:
* A full veterinary exam
* Spay or neuter surgery
* Age-appropriate vaccinations and worming medication
* Feline leukemia testing
RESQCATS is a nonprofit sanctuary dedicated to the rescue, care, and adoption of abandoned cats and kittens in Santa Barbara. For more information, visit www.resqcats.org
Santa Barbara Humane Society offers discount on cat adoptions.
Santa Barbara Humane Society is offering reduced adoption fees for cats during the month of June. During Adopt-a-Cat Month, the adoption fee for cats is only $44 and includes all of the following:
* Spay/neuter surgery
* Current vaccinations
* Complete health screening
* Temperament evaluation
* Background/personality history
* Starter packet of food
* Booklet on cat care
* Cardboard cat carrier
To adopt a cat, visit the Santa Barbara Humane Society at 5399 Overpass Road. For more information, call 964-4777. Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, 10a.m.-5 p.m.
Adoptable Pet of the Week