May 23, 2003, VANCOUVER - June is Adopt A Cat Month and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) would like people who are thinking about getting a cat for a pet to go out an adopt a feline fur face from their local animal shelter or rescue group.
"Cats make wonderful pets," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "Unfortunately it is harder to find permanent loving homes for older cats. They make great companions, and will give back a lot of love in return. Although they may not be as playful as kittens, they are more settled and the previous owner may have already the cat spayed or neutered."
Because many cats are allowed to roam this can contribute to the pet overpopulation crisis, and The Humane Society of Canada is asking people with cats to talk to their veterinarian about having their feline friends spayed or neutered - if they aren’t already.
"Also, for some reason if a cat wanders off, some people do not start looking for them for several days, which may be too late. Their feline family member may have been hurt, sold or even killed. Animal shelters and rescue groups are overflowing with cats looking for homes, and we need to encourage more responsible pet ownership," says Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director.
"There are literally millions of homeless cats who suffer short, harsh lives. Each of us can do our own part by giving a loving permanent home to one or two cats," says O’Sullivan.
There are already more than 6 million cats living in homes across Canada. June is the right time to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month. Children, soon to be on summer vacation, can spend time helping to get an adopted feline used to their new home and family. O’Sullivan and his family have a houseful of cats and dogs, and he points out: "There are few things in life as rewarding as giving a good home to a pet in need."
10 Things to Do & Consider When Adopting a Cat
- Make sure you’re committed to caring for your cat for his/her entire life. Some cats live for 20 years, occasionally longer.
- If you haven’t had a cat before, learn about what he/she will require in terms of time and expenses - including veterinary care.
- Make sure that you can have pets where you are living. If you are not sure where you’ll be staying in the near future or if a pet will be allowed there you might postpone adopting a cat until you’re sure of your living arrangements and that your feline family member will be welcome there.
- If you have other pets try to determine if they will get along with your adopted cat and vice versa. Remember, it often takes a while for pets to get along.
- Make sure that everyone in your family wants a pet and agrees to the animal selected.
- Keep your adopted feline as an "indoor cat". Cats kept indoors generally live longer, healthier lives than those who also have access to the outdoors. This also means that birds and other small wildlife are also safe.
- Have your cat checked annually by a veterinarian and vaccinated against disease. Talk to your veterinarian about having your cat spayed/neutered.
- Cat-proof your home. Keep cupboard doors closed, toilet seats down, doors closed, harmful products safely stored away and so forth.
- Spend quality time with your cat. Buy your cat some toys and participate in his/her enjoyment of these items.
- Make a donation to an organization that helps cats who aren’t as fortunate as the one you adopted.
CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280
[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.
A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]
The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.
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