How to Pick the Animal Shelter — and Cat Kid — That’s Right for You

Every year, thousands of kittens born during the warmer months of feline breeding season, also known as Kitten Season, enter animal shelters and animal rescues across the country. According to the ASPCA, 90% of the 34,000 kittens at Los Angeles County and City shelters arrive during Kitten Season — just one of many regions taking in an abundance of cat kids around the country. If you’re looking for adoptable cats, Kitten Season is an ideal time to add a four-legged family member to your household and help overcrowded animal shelters and rescues. Read on to learn about selecting the right animal shelter and cat kid for you.

Understanding different types of animal shelters

Animal shelters and rescues can be as different as the cat kids inside their walls. Municipal animal shelters are typically funded by tax dollars, like Chicago Animal Care and Control, and tend to be large facilities with many animals. Humane Societies, like Seattle Humane, Oregon Humane Society, and Humane Society of Boulder Valley, are independent organizations that often have long histories of rescuing and housing animals in need of shelter and care. Smaller animal rescues like Phoenix’s Home Fur Good and Fearless Kitty Rescue usually rely on animal shelter volunteers, foster parents, donations, and grants to do the work they do. Additionally, pet specialty retailers host their own pet adoptions as well as feature adoptable pets through area animal rescues. Petco cat adoptions take place at Petco locations across the country and in conjunction with more than 4,000 community partners. Looking for cats for adoption at PetSmart? You can find them through a simple search on their website — or an in-person visit to one of their many stores.

Reviewing animal shelter and rescue policies

Each animal shelter and rescue have their own policies and procedures. Some do same-day adoptions, some require home visits, and some, like The Pixie Project of Portland, connect you directly with foster families if the cat kid you’re interested in is residing off-site. Fees vary as well, as does what’s covered — though spaying, neutering, and basic vaccinations are usually included. Seattle Area Feline Rescue incorporates extras like microchipping, a free post-adoption vet exam, and 30 days of pet insurance in their fees, which range from $50 to $200 depending on the age and number of cat adoptees.

Finding your perfect match

Whether you’re looking for an energetic kitten, a chilled-out senior cat, or something in between, meeting your possible cat kid in person will give you the best idea if you’re a match for each other. Maybe you picture a long-haired Maine Coon snuggled up beside you on the couch, or imagine a calico cat kid chasing a laser’s red dot across your living room. If you’re looking for a particular type of cat, search for breed-specific animal shelters or rescues, or look for resident cat kids of your desired breed at your local shelter. You may surprise yourself and connect with a cat kid that looks nothing like you’d visualized — and fits in right at home.

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