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Adopt a Cat Month 2023: When It Is & How Its Celebrated

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By Nicole Cosgrove


kittens touching heads

June 1 marks the beginning of Adopt a Cat Month, formally known as Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. It’s the beginning of summertime and the start of the kitten season. The American Humane Association picked the month to encourage people to adopt cats from local shelters.

Millions of stray and homeless cats end up in shelters yearly. Through campaigns across the U.S., the American Humane Association spreads the word about these furballs. They also inform people about the process of rescuing or adopting a cat.

Read on to learn more about this month, why it is crucial, and what to do if you want to give a little kitty its forever home.

What Is Adopt a Cat Month?

Adopt a Cat Month, as set by the American Humane Association in 1974, is in June. During this month, hundreds of feline lovers and National Adopt a Cat organizers campaign across the country to sensitize people about the plight of homeless cats.

They aim to encourage more people to adopt cats and give them a loving home.

Approximately 3.2 million cats enter shelters each year. These numbers quickly multiply because cats can produce up to seven kittens per litter.1 Thanks to campaign efforts by the National Adopt a Cat organizers, about 2.1 million felines in shelters get adopted yearly.

Adopting a feline friend is a fantastic idea. While cats are not as people-oriented as dogs, they make excellent pets because they are more independent. These gorgeous and loving furballs give “purrfect” cuddles, keep rodents away and fit into different lifestyles. Because they only need minimal attention, they can easily fit into busy schedules.

adopting a cat
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

Why Is Adopt a Cat Month in June?

Every month is an excellent month to adopt a cat. However, there are several important reasons why June is the perfect time to adopt a cat. These reasons include but are not limited to the following.

Kitten Season Is in Full Swing

The weather is essential in regulating female cats’ heat cycles. Most cats go into heat at the start of the year between January and February. Mature felines experience heat cycles at the same time, creating an influx of pregnant cats at about the same time. It is also not unusual for cats to get pregnant while nursing little kittens.

Cats have an average gestation period of 63–65 days (8½ weeks) from conception. Also, they need to nurse their kittens for at least eight weeks to make them less susceptible to diseases. Generally, shelters burst with millions of adoptable kittens come June.

June Marks the End of Spring

June is an excellent month to adopt a cat because it marks the end of spring and the beginning of summer. If you plan to adopt a feline friend, this gives you an excellent reason to create the necessary space during spring cleaning!

Cats only need limited space, making them ideal for any home setting, including small apartments. You need space for a litter box and your cat’s food and water bowls. It would also be a good idea to clear a corner and set up a cat tree or scratching post.

Cats Love Sun Basking

It’s no secret that cats love the heat. No wonder they will curl up next to the fireplace and make the area their favorite napping spot. In June, the sun is not scorching hot, and cats in shelters cannot resist stretching out in sunbeams. This makes it easier to choose the ideal feline buddy.

Once you take your furball home, it will be easier to bond when you enjoy a common hobby; sun basking! Hopefully, your kitty will be glad to curl up with you next to that big, bright window.

stray kittens near a fence
Image Credit: Büşra Ülker, Pexels

How to Prepare to Adopt a Cat

If you haven’t had a cat before, you need to prepare yourself and your home to make adoption easy and fun. The following are some things you need to do.

1. Do Your Research

Cats differ in their likes, dislikes, personalities, and care needs. Doing some legwork before adopting a cat is essential to finding a furry companion that suits your lifestyle and personality.

For instance, if you have busy routines, it’s best not to adopt long-haired cats like the Himalayan and Persian. These high-maintenance breeds require daily grooming, which may not match your schedules. In your case, it’s better to adopt two cats to provide each other with the social interaction and mental stimulation they need to remain happy and healthy.

2. Find a Vet

You need to contact a vet. It is always best to schedule your first visit a few days after your fur baby arrives. Carry medical records offered at the adoption center and present them to your vet. This will allow the expert to provide appropriate guidance and advice on the next vaccination or check-up.

Depending on the age and medical history of the cat you adopt, it may require initial vaccinations or booster shots. Your feline buddy may also need services like desexing and microchipping. One of the safest ways to ensure you can cater to your pet’s medical needs is to invest in reliable pet insurance.

vet holding a senior cat
Image Credit: Alice Rodnova, Shutterstock

3. Stock Up

Once your fur baby arrives, you want to ensure it feels at home immediately. It’s always a good idea to stock up ahead of time and prepare the following items.

  • Litter box
  • Food and water bowls
  • Cat food and treats
  • Cat tree & scratching post
  • Interesting kitten-safe toys
  • Comfortable cat bed (make sure it doubles as a hiding spot)
  • Grooming kit with brush and nail clippers

4. Cat-Proof Your Home

Cats are lovable creatures, and you probably can’t wait to snuggle on the couch with your new fur baby. Cat-proofing your home in advance will ensure you enjoy the best bonding sessions. Cats, irrespective of their age, are curious and mischievous. You must ensure your new fur baby does not sustain injuries when knocking over breakables or getting tangled in electric cables.

Here is what to do to protect your cat and your stuff

  • Seal areas that can encourage your new cat to sneak out
  • Keep fragile and breakable objects tucked away in cabinets
  • Make sure cabinets with human food and chemical cleaners lock well
  • Anchor wobbly furniture like bookshelves to the wall
  • Cover cords and cables or tape them to the floor with vinyl strips
  • Donate any plants that are poisonous to cats (like sago palms and lilies)

5. Bring Your Fur Baby Home

Visiting a shelter to pick up your fur baby should be a family affair. Make sure all members of your household know about your plans. Let them be active participants in helping you choose your new furry family member.

Once you get home, let your new kitty relax in the new environment before introducing it to other pets in your household. The key to ensuring your pets get along is to take it slow during the introduction phase.

cat being adopted
Image Credit: Anika Moritz, Shutterstock


Should I Adopt a Kitten, a Middle-Aged Cat, or an Elderly Feline?

When choosing a cat to adopt from a shelter, you must consider size, temperament, care needs, and the pet’s age.

So, should you adopt a kitten, mid-aged or elderly cat?

Kittens are fun and offer endless comic relief. It’s also easier to mold and train them to prevent unwanted behavior. Unfortunately, they are a lot of work. Kittens are naughty, and you must do some heavy lifting to ensure their safety. They also tend to be more vocal even when comfortable.

Middle-aged cats already have a personality, making it easier to find the feline friend ideal for your household. They also tend to be the healthiest, with minimal medical needs. Unfortunately, they are tougher to train, making it harder to address behavior issues.

Older cats over ten make excellent companions. Their lack of energy means they are less likely to indulge in acts that will get them in trouble. The only downside is that senior felines have more medical needs, and you obviously will have limited time to spend together. The average lifespan of a cat is around 13 to 17 years.

animal shelter for cats
Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

What if You Can’t Adopt?

If you cannot adopt a cat but still want to help, here is what you can do.

  • Share posts on social media about National Adopt a Cat Month
  • Volunteer at an animal shelter
  • Offer a donation
  • Encourage someone to adopt a cat from a local shelter

Final Thoughts

Cats can enrich your life with unconditional love and priceless hours of entertainment. If you love pets and often watch cute cat videos, it may be time to add a feline friend to your family.

Adopt a Cat Month is fast approaching, and we hope you begin preparing yourself to rescue or adopt a feline friend. You may just find a fur baby that will curl on your lap and in your heart!

Featured Image Credit: baklava, Pixabay

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