National Cat Day was started by Colleen Paige, who is an Animal Behaviorist and Pet Lifestyle Expert. Concerned about the sky-high number of cats that fill shelters each year, she wanted to bring awareness to this issue and encourage the public to adopt a rescued feline.
As the former Director of a non-profit animal rescue, I’m all too familiar with the cat overpopulation problem. My organization, which was run by volunteers with animals living in foster homes, could never keep up with the number of requests we had to take unwanted or stray cats.
Adding to this problem, cats are not adopted quickly. Our group was a no-kill rescue, and we had some cats up to five or six years before they were adopted, which made it difficult to take more. And you may be surprised to know that many of them were gorgeous “designer” cats. As I sit here working, there is a beautiful 16 year-old Hemmingway tortoiseshell cat under my desk that was never adopted. There was always a waiting list for more to come, but hardly any were leaving.
At other facilities, many shelter cats are euthanized to make room for new ones coming in the door. The workers give each cat shelter, vet care, and a chance for adoption. Sadly, if they run out of space, they are forced to make a decision that nobody would ever want to make.
Some people are allergic to cats, but did you know that cats can be really good for your health? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even admits it! A cat’s purr vibration is about 40-120 Hz, which is known to be a “healing vibration.” A cat’s purr can lower stress and blood pressure, and people who sit with a purring cat on their lap are known to recuperate from illness more quickly.
Guess what? Rescued cats purr at the same frequency as fancy designer-breed cats? So do a cat and yourself a favor. Save the life of a shelter cat through the gift of adoption, and that cat might just save yours!
And please don’t forget to spay or neuter your cat! It’s the only way to correct the overpopulation problem.
Have you adopted a shelter cat? Do you know someone who has benefitted physically or emotionally from a relationship with a cat? Please share your story below.