Dogs are more popular than cats. If you're a cat person, you probably just furrowed your brow at that declaration, but it's true. According to The American Veterinary Medical Association's 2012 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook[i], American dog households beat out cat households by slightly more than six percent.
State-by-state, cats certainly have their favored regions - most of the West, the Northeast, and Florida are dominated by cat lovers, but the South is definitely dog country[ii], and it's not hard to tell in any southern animal shelter. Most adopters coming to the shelter walk right past the cats and head straight to the dogs.
Fortunately, cats seem to tolerate longer shelter stays better than dogs. Lounging and napping for long stretches of time come naturally to cats, whereas dogs need more opportunities for mental and physical exercise.
Still, a shelter is not a home, even for a cat who may seem content with her basket, window and occasional pets. Felines enjoy their privacy and solitude, but they also crave companionship and often form very close bonds with their people.
Knowing this makes the effort to find them homes even more urgent. And right now there are so many cats waiting for the opportunity to live in a home of their own. Won't you give one of them a chance?
There are more than 60 cats and kittens available for adoption right now at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare, but let me introduce you to the three who have been waiting for a home the longest:
Cali Lee Rose
Cali Lee Rose is a two year old, tortoiseshell female. She was brought to the shelter as a personal surrender in January of 2017 with no reason given. Cali lives in one of the SPCA's cat colony rooms with other cats, but she prefers to keep to herself, perhaps because she has seen so many of them come and go while she remains. While she doesn't appear as eager for attention as her roommates, Cali will eventually make her way toward you after some time and settle in close enough for a head scratch. I'm sure that given time in a quiet, loving home, she would warm up nicely and be very happy. Cali's been waiting to be adopted for 620 days.
Keke is a two year old, black female with an adorable bobbed tail. She was surrendered in May of 2017 because her owner was allergic to her. Keke seems to not get along well with other cats, at least not the ones she's met in the shelter, so she lives in her own enclosure. She's sweet, petite and loves to play. If you're looking for one, single pet to pamper, she could be the one for you! Keke's been waiting 502 days.
Tilda is a one year old, tortoiseshell female. She was brought into the shelter as a stray at 1-2 months old, so shelter life has been her whole life so far. Tilda is young, playful, affectionate and would benefit greatly from interaction with others cats, but lives alone in her own enclosure because of an early exposure to the feline leukemia virus (FeLV). She tested negative months ago, but requires another test this month, and then one more in April of 2019 to confirm her negative status. Otherwise, she is healthy and available for adoption! It’s important to note that even if positive, cats with FeLV can live normal lives, but need to be protected from other illnesses. We’re happy to tell you more. Tilda is my current shelter favorite and I want so much to see her placed in a loving home. She's been waiting 374 days.
If you've been considering adopting a cat, please come meet these three and the others waiting to meet you. Right now is a great time - the SPCA Albrecht Center is participating in the "Get 'Em Home Challenge", a creative marketing and adoption campaign hosted by Maddie's Fund with the purpose of getting dogs and cats adopted who have been in the shelter longer than 30 days. All cat and kitten adoption fees are half off, which means you'll pay less than $40 for a great cat who's already spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. One of them is waiting for you; don't make them wait one more day.
Sarah Neikam is the Operations Manager for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the Albrecht Center since 2012. Sarah's family includes three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady, who are all living happy, loved lives thanks to the efforts of the SPCA Albrecht Center.