adopt a shelter pet day
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Top Tips For Adopt A Shelter Pet Day

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Top Tips for Adopting Your New Best Fur Friend. It’s National Adopt A Shelter Pet Day on April 30. Scroll down for bonus shareable cat quotes, graphics and posters.

As someone who has welcomed many rescue cats into my home over the years, I highly recommend adopting a shelter pet.

These amazing animals have so much love to give, and opening your heart and home to them is one of the most rewarding experiences.

In honor of Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30), allow me to share some insights from my journey as a cat mom. Added insights from previous posts include:

Cat Adoption: Who, What, When, Where & Why

Why Adopting Older Cats Rock


Do Your Research


Not all rescue groups or shelters are created equal. Read reviews. Speak to someone who had adopted from there. Visit their website. Go visit in person.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is to thoroughly meet and get to know any potential adoptee before making a decision. Every cat has their own utterly unique personality that may not be immediately evident in the shelter environment.

The shy wallflower huddled in the corner could very well blossom into an extremely affectionate lap cat once they feel safe and secure in a loving forever home. Conversely, the rambunctious attention-seeker might happily settle into a lazier, lower-key lifestyle with time and patience. Spend real quality time interacting with your prospective new family member to ensure a great personality match.


Adopt, Don’t Shop


adopt don't shop


One of the biggest reasons to adopt from an animal shelter rather than purchasing from a breeder is that you’ll be saving a life. There are millions of healthy, loving pets facing euthanasia each year simply because there are not enough homes for them. By choosing to adopt, you’re providing a deserving animal with a second chance at finding their forever family.

Purebreds in Shelters Too!

Some may think they can only find mixed-breed pets at shelters, but that’s simply untrue. While mutts make up a large portion of the homeless pet population, it’s not uncommon to find specific purebred dogs and cats available for adoption as well. With a little patience, you can absolutely find a purebred rescue that matches what you’re looking for.

Shelters and rescues are upfront about providing as much background information as possible on each animal’s breed, history, and temperament. This makes it easier to find a great fit just like you would through a responsible breeder.


Affordable Adoption


affordable cat adoption


One of the biggest benefits of adopting from an animal shelter or rescue is how affordable it is compared to purchasing from a breeder which can be thousands of dollars. Not to mention the cost of extra vet bills if you have the misfortune of buying unwittingly from a breeder puppy or kitten mill.

The modest shelter adoption fees grant you an incredible value by covering all the major initial veterinary costs like spay/neuter surgery, core vaccinations, deworming, microchipping, and more. When you consider how expensive it would be to pay out-of-pocket for all those services, adopting becomes an absolute bargain. Shelters also do an excellent job providing as much background information as possible on each animal’s history and temperament.


Stock Up on Supplies


pet supply prep before adoption


Before bringing your new fur baby home, I strongly advise stocking up on all the essential supplies like litter boxes, food and water dishes, toys, scratchers, carriers for transport, et cetera.

Don’t go crazy. Just get the basics. There will be lots of time to indulge in the endless array of feline products.


Having these items prepared in advance with a pet-proofed, comfortable space ready allows your new arrival to slowly acclimate without overwhelming them during this major life transition. Introduce each new element gradually to avoid frightening your likely already-stressed new cat.


Be Gentle, Patient and Calm


top tips for cat adoption


Most critically, you absolutely must be patient and shower your adopted rescue with unconditional love, safety and stability. Understand that it may take weeks, months or longer for a former shelter cat to finally feel completely at ease in their new environment. These poor babies have been through so much turbulence and upheaval in their lives already.

Learn as much as the can about cat communication and please, no smothering or helicopter kitty parenting!


Provide hiding spaces they can retreat to when anxious, but also generous amounts of gentle affection on their terms during this adjustment period. With your compassion and warm reassurance, they will open up and show you their loving true self in time.


In the end, adopting a shelter pet is one of the greatest joys and most fulfilling decisions I have made in my life. You will be saving a precious life while gaining an amazingly devoted new furry family member. What could possibly be better than that? I wish anyone reading this all the best in welcoming a rescue into their homes and hearts.

Love from Layla, and former shelter cats, Odin and Otto.


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adopt don't shop quote


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Thanks for sharing!


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