The Internet can be amused by the strangest of things. For instance, there was a recent cat adoption ad put up by the Mitchell County Animal Rescue in the state of North Carolina that managed to spread far and wide within a very short period of time because of its brutal honesty. Basically, one would expect a cat adoption ad to say much about the cat’s upsides while saying either nothing or next to nothing about the cat’s downsides. However, this particular cat adoption ad was very different to say the least.
In short, the cat adoption ad was meant for a cat named Perdita. Said ad outright calls her a “jerk,” which to be fair, seems to be a pretty accurate description of the animal if the other claims are accurate. After all, the ad accuses the cat of everything from giving jump scares to fooling shelter staff into thinking that she was sick when she was not. On top of that, Perdita is apparently less than enthusiastic when it comes to either showing affection or being shown affection, which is one more strike against her prospects of being adopted. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that the Mitchell County Animal Rescue mentioned not getting any offers to adopt Perdita in spite of the widespread attention that their cat adoption ad managed to get.
Is It Better For Cat Adoption Ads to Be More Honest?
Having said that, honesty might not be a bad thing when it comes to cat adoption ads. This isn’t something limited to cat adoption ads but instead extends to encompass marketing as a whole. Basically, while marketing is meant to sell something, most people use it as a way to learn more about whatever it is that is being sold as well. On top of that, even when interested individuals don’t use marketing for that purpose, they can’t help but have their perception of things be influenced by it. The problem comes when a particular piece of marketing is much more positive about something than what the truth would permit. Should that happen, most people tend to react in a pretty negative manner, not least because no one enjoys the feeling of being fooled by someone or something out to exploit them.
Naturally, this extends to cats. It is understandable for animal shelters to write about their charges in a positive manner so that interested individuals will take the dramatic step of actually adopting them. However, it is not hard to see why some new cat owners might have negative responses when the cat that they have brought home bears either no or next to no resemblance to the cat that they had in mind.
Of course, new cat owners returning their cats to animal shelters can’t just be blamed on less than perfect cat adoption ads. After all, such returns can happen for a wide range of reasons, including some that are very sympathetic in nature. For example, it is very difficult for animal shelters to get a perfect understanding of a particular animal’s personality, meaning that it is very difficult for them to predict how a particular animal will react in a very different context with a very different set of circumstances. As such, it isn’t unknown for people to bring home a cat that just can’t get along with other people or other cats, with the result that there is no choice but to send them back. Likewise, people’s lives can change in an instant because of circumstances that are beyond their ability to control, which can force them to send back their cats even if they had every intention of taking care of their cats for the long run.
In any case, it is a good thing for cat adoption ads to be as accurate as possible. The closer that the reality matches the marketing, the better the chances that a particular individual will be satisfied with the ultimate outcome because they have already decided that they are willing to take on the issues as well as the potential issues that they have been warned about. In contrast, being unpleasantly surprised by an adopted cat tends to put a huge strain on the relationship between a new cat owner and a new cat, thus increasing the chances of a return.
How Serious Is the Problem of Unadopted Cats?
Moving on, the problem of unadopted cats remains a very serious one in present times. For proof, look no further than the fact that an estimated 1.5 million shelter animals are euthanized in the United States on an annual basis. However, this is not an indication for interested individuals to give up but rather to continue moving forward, seeing as how this is a huge improvement from the 2.6 million estimated for 2011. Partly, this is because of improvements in the number of shelter animals that are being adopted, and partly, this is because of improvements in the number of stray animals that are being returned to their owners.
As for why this happens, the answer is the same now as in the past. In short, there is a huge number of cats and other animals that can be found out there. Said number is increasing on a constant basis, with cats being something of a stand-out thanks to their high fertility rates when they haven’t been either neutered or spayed. There are animal shelters as well as other animal welfare organizations out there that are meant to help out as much as possible. However, there is a limit to what resources these organizations have at their disposal. As such, for animal shelters and other animal welfare organizations to maintain an acceptable level of food, medical care, and other necessities, they need to put down some of their charges in order to prevent needless suffering on their part. Of course, there are plenty of animal shelters out there with no-kill policies, but the fact of the matter is that they struggle with the same issues but manage them in a different way. For example, they might have high standards for what animals they will accept, thus maximizing the chances of those animals being adopted. Likewise, they might limit the number of animals that they take in lest their desire to help overtake their ability to help. In this as in many, many other things, funding is a persistent issue that can never be completely solved.