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Credit: A.Davey on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Tony's CatEva Prokop (evapro on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericOn June 1st, 2015, Purina Cat Chow announced they were partnering with 50 animal rescue shelters (one in each state) across the United States to help (at least) 2,500 cats find their forever home.

And it gets even better: Purina will donate up to $100,000 during this campaign aptly titled Building Better Lives Adoption Drive. I feel the "better lives" naturally includes the lives of cat owners.

For the entire month of June, Purina is asking cat owners to share their cat adoption or rescue stories. By using the #MyRescueStory hashtag, you can upload a photo, story, or video about your rescued cat(s).

In return, Purina will donate $30 per cat to help offset the cost of adoption fees and gift up to $1,500 per animal shelter. Purina also has plans to spend $25,000 on renovations at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Wake County, Raleigh, N.C.

Bravo Purina! I couldn't be more impressed. Some of you may recall that I wrote about five cats who were inducted into Purina's Animal Hall of Fame in my June 7th, 2014 article Do Cats Sense Human Illness? 

Henry_1794Rocky Mountain Feline Rescue (arascats on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 GenericAccording to the ASPCA, out of all the cats that enter animal shelters:

37% are adopted (for dogs, the rate is 35%)

41% are euthanized (31% for dogs)

Less than 5% of stray cats are ever returned to their owners; stray dogs are returned 26% of the time. This statistic is yet another good reason to get your cat(s) microchipped even if they are indoor cats.

Sadly, the adoption rates for black cats are the lowest. Some shelters will even waive their adoption fees. And there are no valid reasons that black cats shouldn't be adopted. In fact, I recently wrote an article about an incredible black cat Radamenes who helps to care for other animals (including dogs).

Note: The black one-eyed cat shown above is Henry. In 2010, he had to have one eye removed due to severe glaucoma.

Trust :)
Credit: Tanya.K. on flickr / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Wondering If You Can Afford to Get a Cat?

Most people I know need to consider the costs associated with getting a pet. The good news is that cats are one of the least expense and low maintenance pets you can own. Plus, I feel they are just as loving as other pets. (I know some dog lovers, though, who might disagree with me).

The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) did a fabulous job of putting together a detailed rundown of the Costs of Care for cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters/rats/gerbils, and rabbits.

Below is their approximate costs of caring for a cat (I added in the US dollar equivalent as of June 5th, 2015):

One Time Costs are Between $169 - $292 ($136 - $235 USD)

Adoption fees (June is usually the least expensive month to adopt-a-cat): Free and up to $175 (up to $140 USD)

Spaying/Neutering & Tattoo: $160.00 (up to $130 USD)

Food and Water Dishes: $9.00 ($7.25 USD)

Brush/Comb: $15.00 ($12.00 USD) Although I highly recommend using a shedding blade (which costs $8 to $12), you can see my video of it in use on my rescue cat Kady in my article Hairballs in Cats: Prevention, Safe Remedies, and Warnings).

Litter Pan and Scoop: $10.00 ($8.00 USD)

Scratching Post: $30.00 ($25.00 USD)

Cardboard Traveling Box: Free or up to $15.00 (Free - $12.00 USD)

Toys: $20.00 ($16.00 USD)

Collar and Harness (optional): $18.00 ($14.50 USD)

Annual Cat Expenses $619 to $976 CDN (Up to $785 USD)

Wet Food: 4 cans of cat food per month at $2.00 each = $96.00 ($77 USD)

Dry Food: 1 bag (3.6 kg / 8 lbs.) per month at $20.00 each = $240.00 ($193 USD)

Treats: 12 bags at $2.00 (mine are $2.67 each though) = $24 - $32 ($19 - $25 USD)

Veterinary Care: Yearly Visit (including exam and vaccines) = $115.00+ ($93 - $100 USD)

Kitty Litter: 1 bag of litter per month at $12.00 each = $144.00 ($116 USD)

Nail Clipping (I do it myself) free up to $15.00 for groomer/vet each time = Up to $90 ($150 USD)

Anti-furball medication (I never need, since I brush my long hair regularly) = $15 ($12 USD)

Vacation Boarding (I don't need; my friends/family will do this for free) = $252 for 2 weeks ($203 USD)

Total

The first year of keeping a new cat costs up to $1,270 CDN or $1,020 USD. And every year thereafter (not including medical emergency care or treatments) costs anywhere between $620 to under $1,000 CND (or up to $785 USD). For unconditional love, I feel this investment in a new rescue cat is well worth it.

Dex
Credit: angela n. (aon on flickr) / Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

What Kind of Cat Should I Get?

Cats can be introduced to your existing pet(s) and even a newborn (human) baby. I run through some tips to make this transition easier in my article Bonding Made Easy: Tips for Introducing a Cat to a Child.

By far, my personal suggestion is to go and visit cats for yourself in an animal shelter and spend some time interacting with them. Sometimes there's an immediate bond between the two of you. And more than often, shelter staff will gladly tell you about their personalities and behaviour.

One thing I'd like to impress upon you is this: please consider adopting a older cat or one that might not be as likely to get adopted. These cats are wonderful to add to an existing family with pets (or for someone who works outside the home). They are less destructive and generally less demanding.

As for the love they give you in return: priceless.

Up next is a must-see video by Jackson Galaxy (he's a cat behaviorist and host of the TV show My Cat from Hell). Notably, Jackson Galaxy has already posted his #MyRescueCat on his website. I just adore this man and all that he's done for cats and their owners.

The One Thing to Know Before Adopting a Cat

Published on July 14th, 2014 by Jackson Galaxy

As For #MyRescueCat

All of my cats have been rescues. My latest one is Kady and you can read more about her in my article Under a Porch and Into Our Lives. I submitted a short story about Kady to Purina today too.

If you have a cat rescue story or just want to shout out for this wonderful cause, feel free to leave a comment. You can even submit a photo of your cat (or any of your pets) right here on Paw Mane Fin.

Thank you for dropping by this week and helping to spread the word about how wonderful cats are as pets.

Lastly, I leave you with Paul Klusman's brilliant (and touching) video of when T.J. gets a cat. These two gents are engineers and their series of cat videos are wildly popular.

TJ Adopts Sweet William Kitty

Uploaded on Oct 13th, 2011 by klusmanp

TJ adopts Sweet William, a one-eye kitty. This is how it should be. William now has a loving forever home with TJ.

If you would like to adopt a dog or cat please consider a rescue facility or animal shelter. Please do not purchase animals from breeders or pet stores unless the pet store supports local pet rescue and shelter organizations. Most pet stores and breeders produce animals as consumer items for money. The supply is greater than the demand and every day thousands of animals are euthanized in the US alone because of this. Also please spay and neuter your pets to help reduce the number of unwanted animals.

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