Adopting a cat is an act of love. We believe that we are doing the right thing when we rescue a shelter cat or take on a cat whose owner can no longer care for it. We view adoption of our cats as akin to adopting children. Even though we clearly understand that adopting human children is significantly different and on a completely distinct level above adopting pets, we still exercise our humanistic desires to make the world a better place when we adopt at all. Adopting a cat is a many-faceted process. Each cat is a unique creature, with a personality all its own. This is true even though all cats share common behaviors. Most of us consider how we might be able to change a cat’s life for the better when we adopt him or her. But the truth is that adopting a cat changes us, too. Though it can be more complicated to adopt a cat into our lifestyle than we had originally planned, many of us come to learn that cats change our lives for the better.
For any of you who are considering rescuing a cat, this list may confirm why you should do it.
Your compassionate nature expands when you adopt a cat.
Of the millions of cats, and dogs, accepted in animal shelters each year, about 3 to 4 million of them will eventually become fertilizer. That’s what happens in many shelters in the United States. It can feel great to know that you have given a cat a forever home. Your cat will become a wonderful friend, and you will learn more about friendship than you ever expected. Adopted cats are smart. They understand what life was like in the shelter, and they also know when they go to live in a much better environment. You have improved their life instantly. You have also made space for saving other cats. When you pay adoption fees to the shelter, you provide more money for the shelter to do its work. It’s truly an important thing to save a cat’s life!
Your own health will improve when you adopt a cat.
Research is showing that having cats can lower blood pressure significantly, and this leads to the decreased likelihood of heart disease. Adopted cats need plenty of love and attention to help them settle into their new homes. They appreciate every bit, and when you stroke their fur your brain releases endorphins. Those are the nifty protein molecules which help you to feel good. They help you to relax, too. Since your adopted cat wants more than ever to relax into new surroundings, you can’t help but settling in with them, and your heart will thank you.
Your happiness will increase when your new friend comes home with you.
Cats are best friends in more household in the United States than dogs. Statistics show its true. They are popular companions because they are low maintenance. Older adopted cats are easy-going on their humans because they come house-broken, bathe themselves, and ready to be appreciated. You may find that caring for their minimal needs allows you to have an adorable companion who keeps you company without drama. Cats are playful, too, and goofy cat antics are certain to keep you laughing.
You can experience unconditional love.
Cats are one of the few pets on earth who are very self-sufficient. They need good food, fresh water and a clean litter box. These three things you will provide for them on a regular basis. But in exchange for the work you do to keep them healthy, they will respond with many rewards. They will snuggle with you or enjoy falling asleep near you. Some will curl up on your lap. Others will lick you affectionately or wrap their tails around your legs to thank you for feeding them. Though their personalities vary, they can convey their love for you and you will feel it. Once you establish an adopted cat’s security, they will return their thanks for your efforts with gratitude. The extra icing on the cake is when they move to the next level and show their love in completely unexpected moments. That’s unconditional love.
You might improve your sleep routine.
If you struggle to get enough sleep because work and life has you on edge, adopting a cat can change that for you. Cats sleep at least 15 hours a day. They know how to sleep well, because they are wired that way. When you bring your new best friend home, he will be very grateful to snooze in comfort, and he’ll want to do it near you. Many cats set up a routine to tuck you into bed. They know when it’s your bedtime, and they’ll help to set it for you. Before long, your adopted cat may have you tucked into bed at the same time every night. You can relax stroking their soft fur, and they’ll try to keep you warm at night. They’ll certainly wake you up at the same time in the morning, licking your face for breakfast. Some cats are experts at patting cheeks, and others lick noses or chew on eyelashes to be certain you are awake and on the move toward the food dish. An adopted cat might just help you set your sleep schedule once and for all.
You will become a gracious gift recipient.
We’ve all had those moments. They happen when someone gives you a gift which you find particularly inappropriate. You do the polite thing. You smile and warmly thank the person who gifted you. Well, cats have unique gifts to bring you, and you will need to be gracious. Adopted cats may have come from homes very different from yours. While you might live in the city, a small town, or a suburban area, your adopted cat may have lived on a farm. Farm cats are expected to serve as mousers. It’s their job to kill as many mice and rats they can. Of course, cats are hard-wired to catch prey. They think its perfectly normal to kill rodents. They will be very pleased to bring you a nice present of a dead one. They usually leave their gifts in the same place, so you will find it easily, and when they do, you will need to smile, thank them, and then figure out how to dispose of the messy gift they’ve given you.
You will become a great conversationalist.
Cats are vocal by nature. Depending on the breed, they talk a lot. Some breeds vocalize more than others. But all of them will let you know when they have strong opinions. Cats meow to their humans, but not to each other. They can demand that you listen to them and answer when they meow their loudest. You will answer them, because they expect it. But, the other side of those loud demanding moments are the moments when you get to talk with your new cat, just because nobody else is there to carry on a conversation. Cats are great listeners, too. Just watch their ears. They will rotate them ever so slightly in your direction, and that’s when you know they understand what you are telling them.
You can be yourself.
Cats enjoy the same comforts you do. They enjoy curling up next to you, and will happily spend the entire day by you. You can sit in your pajamas or sweats all day long, and a cat won’t care. You can lounge in front of the TV for hours and your cat will keep you company. Cats don’t judge you, they just love you. It’s one of the great pleasures of having a cat companion, and it’s often those moments of just being yourself with your cat which help you to become more comfortable with just being yourself with humans.
You can age gracefully with your cat.
It doesn’t matter whether you adopt a kitten or an older cat, eventually you will get to know each other well. You will age together as you get to know each other’s habits. You will give your kitty it’s favorite foods and give it plenty of attention. Your kitty will tuck you into bed or wake you up each morning. You will both know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to relax together. You will develop a familiar routine and become completely comfortable with each other. Sometimes, your cat will know you better than your closest friends do. You cat, unlike humans, will not care one bit if you look older.
You will notice the little details outside your window.
Because your adopted friend will spend plenty of time sitting on your window sills, you will become curious about what it is kitty sees outside. Putting your head at kitty level, and holding very still may result in some new sights. Your kitty may see a bird building a nest in your tree. She may see a squirrel or chipmunk scurrying across your yard. She might growl if an intruder cat, dog, or human, walks by. She might startle when trucks rumble by. She might see the first rain drops or snowflakes falling. She may see the moon or stars sparkling in the night sky. All these things you may catch along with her, and noticing the details will enrich your life.
You will develop your athletic abilities.
It won’t necessarily happen by choice. You may have hoped for a lap cat when you adopted that cuddly shelter cat. What you may discover is that your home is filled with all sorts of interesting things which kitty didn’t have at the shelter. She’s going to make a career out of exploring them. She’s also going to enjoy knocking over all sorts of things. Vases filled with flowers are kitty’s favorite treats. She loves chewing on fresh greens, and the vases may topple over while you sprint to catch them before they break. Any knick-knacks on your fireplace mantle are toys to be pushed over the edge. You’ll jump up quickly to save them from breaking. Candles on tabletops are curiosities for cats. You’ll rush quickly to remove them before kitty burns her whiskers. If you don’t want kitty escaping outdoors, you’ll be dashing to the door to keep it closed as she tries to sneak out. The list is endless.
You will develop better doctor visit skills.
If you hate going to see the doctor, and avoid it at all costs, you will improve on your past performance. Your adopted kitty will need to have regular check-ups. You must be certain your kitty has its annual vaccinations and once-over with its primary veterinarian. If you hate shots, perhaps kitty does too. But, just like all other good parents, you must keep those appointments anyway. By practicing with kitty, you’ll develop the decision-making abilities you will need if kitty needs to be seen at the emergency pet hospital one day. Nothing steels your resolve to see that care is provided quite like those awful times when your kitty is very ill and needs you to be strong.
You will develop stomach strengths you never had before.
If you thought your stomach was sensitive before kitty came to live with you, you’ll get over it. Cats can do disgusting things which sensitive humans find unpleasant. Cats bathe often and groom themselves. They lick their fur constantly to keep tidy. That results in two common behaviors. They cough up fur balls and they spend a lot of time licking their private parts. Yes, they clean their behinds after using the litter box and they don’t use toilet paper. They can also vomit when their stomachs are upset. You will learn to accept their grooming habits as normal. You will also learn how to clean up fur balls and vomit, and get over the fact that the cat chose your beautiful living room carpeting or freshly cleaned clothes as the location to let loose. You may even learn to clean up these messes without retching yourself. It’s all part of cat routine.
You will learn how to be humble.
Your adopted cat will teach you. When you adopt a cat, you remove it from a place where it may have become to having less of everything it craves. Less attention, less comfort, and less security. Even the best shelter environments are often crowded and uncertain places. When you adopt a cat from a shelter, you develop a new awareness of how miserable a cat can be without someone to love it. That’s one reason you adopt in the first place. The experience is a humbling one. When you bring a shelter cat home, you have the chance to care for it and give it love. You provide for its needs and it will return love and affection to you in return. Putting your adopted cat in the center of attention allows you to step out of that center and focus on things which are more important. Kindness, selflessness, and compassion.
You will become a skilled nature photographer.
When you first adopt your new kitty, you may spend hours taking photos of all the incredibly interesting things she does. At first, any candid shots will do. But as you fill your phone with snapshots, you’ll want to capture the best moments. You’ll become fascinated with kitty poses, kitty actions and kitty caught by surprise. You may decide you need actual camera equipment to create professional quality photography. You may find yourself attending photography classes or hanging around with the best photographers you know to gather information. You might find yourself pouring over YouTube videos, Instagram or Facebook to see and share kitty photos. After all, kitty will offer amazing new photo opportunities and you want to preserve them for the future….right?
You will develop new ways to define personal boundaries.
If you think that it’s a personal right to have the boundaries you choose, think again. Cat’s think differently. They think that they can go wherever they please, and they do. You may discover that every time you are in the bathroom, your cat will come to join you. He may meow at you for a moment and leave. He’s just checking on you. Or, he may decide to brush his tail across your ankles as you sit on the commode. If you decide to shut the door, he may try to curl his claws underneath the door or stretch his paws underneath it to find you. Since you will be momentarily indisposed, you won’t be able to stop him, and shouting at him won’t stop him either. Personal boundaries expanded…
You will learn to share your technology.
Before you adopted your new kitty, you may have had plenty of time to use your computer without interruption. You could catch up on monthly bills, correspond with friends, play some games, or stream some films. Kitty may decide to help you. She may discover that your computer screen is fascinating. She may like chasing the cursor or become completely devoted to pawing at the pages as they appear and disappear. She may also help you type or watch a film with you. It will be amazing to see how her head can pop in front of the monitor at the most intense moments…blocking your view. She’ll make certain you gain new computer skills, and patience, too.
You will learn new ways to make your bed.
One thing is almost universal among cats. They love comfort. You may have purchased a brand-new cat bed to indulge your adopted new kitty, only to find that he prefers your bed over the fancy one you bought him. Don’t despair. He may eventually use the cat bed somehow. But two things are almost guaranteed: he will help you make your bed and you’ll need to check bed lumps before sitting on your bed from now on. Nothing amuses a cat more than darting through the sheets as you make your bed and the blankets on your bed are perfect for comfy, warm cat naps. That tell-tale round lump underneath your bedspread could be a stray sock… but it’s more likely a curled-up kitty. Most people discover which when they accidently sit on kitty the first time.
You’ll learn how to spend quality time together with a new friend.
Cats sleep for at least 15 hours a day. When you adopt one, they will love you and show their affection when they curl up next to you on your couch. You get to spend time lounging with them, and that’s good for your mental state. Everyone needs some down time. Your cat will make sure it’s quality time just by validating your TV time, because he’ll be right there next to you. You wouldn’t want to deprive him of what he’s been longing for so long, now would you?
You will get over your perfectionist tendencies.
If you have noticed that you’ve been a bit obsessive compulsive about keeping your living space in order, and it bothers you, adopting a cat may help you to change all that. It’s not that cats aren’t tidy. They are. They bathe after every meal. But, they do shed, and they generally choose to curl up for a nap on the warmest things. This includes your fresh-from-the drier, clean basket of laundry. You may discover a little round patch of kitty fur on your newly clean towels because she found them first and curled up on them to take a short nap. It also includes your all-black professional looking clothing you wear to work. Nothing shows kitty fur like a pair of dark slacks. If your new kitty has white fur, your dark slacks will show it. The same is true if you adopt a kitty with dark fur, because it shows up very well on light slacks. You’ll need to keep a lint roller around and use it regularly just before you leave the door.