The holiday season is one of the happiest times of the year for so many of us. Sadly, for others, it is not a time of happiness but rather of worry and stress. Not everyone has what it takes to celebrate Christmas in the way that they want. Some families are forced to tell their children they cannot provide for them anything under the tree. Some families cannot even afford a tree or a meal on Christmas. Some kids get only what they need because budgets are tight and wants are not as important as new shoes and coats that are needed this time of year. It’s heartbreaking and it makes us want to fix the entire world.
However, most of us forget about animals this time of year. Yes, we think to give our cats some little treats and gifts so that we can see them happy on Christmas morning – and so they will not be so annoying with the gift opening moments throughout the day – but we forget about the many cats that don’t have homes, that don’t have families and that spend the holiday alone since shelters are closed and volunteers want to spend the day with their own families. It’s a sad moment, but it’s a realistic one. If you’re looking to give back this year, we can tell you that there are a few wonderful things that pets in need might be able to enjoy this time of year. Read on to find out how you can help; here’s what you can give to cats in need this holiday season.
A Foster Home
One of the most generous things that anyone can do for a cat this time of year that is in need is provide it with a foster home. Foster homes make it possible for shelters to open up space for other animals also in need without worrying that it might become necessary to euthanize some of the other animals in the shelter due to a lack of space and an inability to provide for them. As a foster, you will house the cat and meet people interested in adopting him or her; and it’s a lovely job to have.
A Forever Home
If you can do it, do it. Providing a loving and caring home for a cat that has nothing is a wonderful gift to give to a cat in need. These are animals that really do love humans and crave human interaction, so it’s going to be the most amazing thing you can do to give a cat that hasn’t had the most amazing life thus far a new home. It’s selfless in a way that actually gives you something in return.
Paid-for Vet Bills
Last year when Christmas rolled around, I spent the night before Christmas Eve at the vet where my cat was not expected to live after being attacked by a dog. One of the things that shocked me most there was the vet coming into the room in which I sat waiting on my cat asking me if I wanted to go ahead and continue life saving efforts if they exceeded any specific dollar amount. That’s when it hit me that there are people in that building every single day unable to pay for the services needed to keep their cats healthy and alive, and they have to decide at which point it becomes too expensive to save their cat’s lives. Pay a vet bill anonymously and hope that someone else pays it forward in some manner.
Cats in need always need food. It doesn’t take more than just a few dollars to pick up a bag of cat food and take it to the nearest cat shelter so that they can feed cats for another day. It’s a simple gesture, but one that is always welcome and one that is always a nice concept. We think it’s something that everyone can do. In fact, if it’s something everyone did every week or two, there would be so many happy cats in the world.
Cats like treats, too, even if they are not living in a home. Cats in need at the shelter don’t deserve to have to spend life not enjoying all the good things that life has to offer. What about a nice treat for the cats at the local shelter? A bag of cat treats alongside your bag of cat food is a nice way to tell the cats at the shelter that you are thinking of them.
Some cats need clothes, so stop thinking this is frivolous. What about cats in shelters that happen to have no hair? These cats need something to keep them warm when temps drop since they haven’t a coat of fur to do it for them. Giving them some cat clothes isn’t silly; it’s imperative.
Why not give a cat in need some toys? We give kids in need toys all the time, so it only makes sense that we might be able to do the same for cats. They are playful creatures that enjoy having a good time, so we might as well make sure that’s what they are getting when they live their lives in shelters waiting for someone to come and rescue them.
Your money goes a long way with cats in need. Shelters have to pay for vet bills, food, water bowls, beds, utilities and so many other things that are designed to keep the cats off the streets and from going hungry. Even if you can only spare $5, that’s more than nothing and will go a long way toward helping the animals in desperate need of everything to keep them cared for while they wait for a family.
When cats are in shelters, they are usually kept in cages. They need a comfortable place in which they can stay cozy and warm this time of year, so go ahead and donate some cat beds to the nearest shelter for the animals that need it.
Your time is perhaps the most valuable thing that you can give to a cat in need. Not only does your time go to show them that there are good people in the world, it socializes cats and teaches them to behave so that they make a great companion for someone else when they are eventually adopted. Also, it’s good for you because cats are just that sweet and that amazing to spend time with; it’s a winning situation for all involved.
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