Cats are playful, clever, and curious animals, and sharing your life with them is so much fun (if you’re ready for the responsibility). But not every human treats their cat with care or understands how important it is to adopt companion animals and never buy them from breeders or pet stores.
Cats in pet stores come from breeding facilities, where they are kept in small, filthy cages and don’t get the love and care they need. Cats are bred over and over again so that they’ll give birth to more kittens, which hurts and is made worse by the fact that someone sells them all shortly after they’re born—separating the mom from her babies.
Breeding more cats into the world hurts not only the cats who are exploited by breeders but also the homeless cats who are waiting in shelters to be adopted into loving homes. On any given day in the United States, there are about 70 million homeless dogs and cats struggling to survive. Each year, only around 10% of these animals are accepted into a shelter, and about half of them must be euthanized for humane reasons or because there aren’t enough loving homes to adopt them. If people adopt instead of buying, they can save one of those animals.
If you adopt a cat, there are a few important things to know. First, it’s not safe for cats to roam outdoors without supervision. Cats left alone outside can be kidnapped, get hit by a car, contract diseases, get attacked, or become dehydrated. Your cat is much safer indoors. If you want to take them outside for some fresh air, there are cat harnesses for that.
Second, your family should never have a cat declawed. This painful procedure is a cruel and crippling mutilation of a cat’s paw. It would be like someone cutting off your fingers at the knuckle. Cats’ claws have many different functions, so instead of declawing, your grownup could try trimming your cat’s nails regularly and buy multiple scratching posts.
Adopt animals from your local open-admission shelter! There are thousands of cats and kittens in shelters who want nothing more than to be adopted into a loving family like yours. Your grownup should make sure to have your cats spayed or neutered—this is good for their health, and it prevents them from having more babies (so they won’t contribute to the huge number of homeless animals).
When you and your family choose to share your home with a cat, a dog, or another animal, you’re making a lifelong commitment. They rely on you to take good care of them and keep them safe. They need fresh food and water, clean litterboxes, proper veterinary care, and lots of love.