The Shelter Cat Myths You May Have Heard and The Truth Behind Them

shelter cat

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Lots of us want to have a pet, but most of the time we are deterred from getting an animal because if we get it from the shelter there are a lot of myths that come from it. Some say that shelter cats are dirty, that they won’t love you, all those sorts of myths you may have heard. Luckily, there are a few that you should consider to be myths and not accept as true. This post will discuss the top shelter cat myths that are out there.

shelter cat

Shelter Cats Are Unclean

This is not just untrue, but often, if you get it from breeders or other places, it can be horrific.

Lots of times, breeding cats involves taking two parents similar in genetics to get the type of baby that you want. This can often be inbreeding, which causes the following issues:

  • Problems with learning and cognitive function
  • Various health problems, including rare diseases
  • Often can make the cat more of a show kitty instead of a pet

While you may have your breed preference, there are many different conditions that can come about, such as epilepsy, kidney issues, heart disease, FIV, and even respiratory issues.

Plus, many times kittens taken from their mothers to pet stores often are not fully weaned off their mothers, being taken at weeks old, and that creates a huge problem, in the fact that they won’t be socialized. Improper socialization results in the following:

  • They may be aggressive
  • They may be reluctant
  • They may not be as friendly

With shelter cats, they’re often given some play space, and they’ve given good veterinary care, along with food or water. Plus, do you want to keep the same industry that pushes puppy mills in business? Probably not.

It Takes a Long Time for the Shelter Cat to Be House Trained

People think that all shelter cats were surrendered because the owners got rid of them. While some may have behavioral issues, it isn’t just the pets themselves but the owner who is often the biggest factor in their behavior. Lots of times, these cats that are brought in may have an issue with the previous owner but they may love you.

shelter cat

When looking for a cat, going to a shelter cat may be a good option, because the rescue does a lot of different things, including the following:

  • They socialize them with other animals, including other cats
  • They use the foster care system too to help with accustoming them to other animals and children
  • They often try to work to help curb those aggressive behaviors

Aggressive cats usually do not have a good fate for them, so if there is a problem with the behavior of a cat, the shelter works to help fix the damage associated with this. It’s a huge myth, but shelters care a lot more about the animals than you think they do.

Older Cats don’t bond with New Owners

You may go in there, see an older cat, and you think that they may not like you because they’re old. That’s not true. Older cats often want to be adopted. They were living for a long time with owners, only to have to be given up due to circumstances. However, if an older pet comes into your life, one of the best things for you to do is to give it love.

Those that have older pets can tell you to simply look at their face of them. They may have a face that’s a little bit broken, and they want to leave and be loved. Older animals, just because of their age, don’t mean that they won’t love you. That’s simply not the case.

While yes, younger ones tend to be adopted, adopting an older one can be a great adventure too, since you’ll be giving them a second chance at life. You can also help bring forth a bond with the new pet by simply doing the following:

  • Playing with them while you’re at the shelter
  • Spending time with them
  • Giving them time at home

For many shelter cats, despite their age, they really do want to be adopted, so remember that.

You, Will, End Up with the Wrong Cat

You see a cat, and you worry that you’re going to choose the wrong one. Remember, usually there is only one chance and one chance only. If you want to adopt a kitty but fear you’re going to end up with the wrong one, take that thought and throw it out the door.

The truth is, that cats are essentially groomed to be the perfect fit for you. The shelter people make sure that you’ve got a good match since that is the objective, and since they spend time with the cats, they will tell you.

When you’re choosing a shelter kitty, they may employ other techniques to make sure that you get the right little companion, such as the following:

  • Spending time in the little rooms with them
  • Having follow-up visits
  • They ask you questions about what type of cat you want

They will work with you to make sure everything goes okay. That’s because their job is to make sure cats are in their correct homes. While some places are no-kill, if they have to be euthanized, they’ll have to do it. If you want to get a feel for a cat, you should go to a shelter.

There is a strong chance that they will be right on the money and a low chance of being wrong. That’s because, they work hard to make sure that all kitties are given the chances that they need and that they are often taken care of in ways that are better than any pet store.

Remember, pet store people don’t know about these cats, and often, it’s very impersonal. With a shelter cat, you’re getting that personalized action that you want from that, and over time, it will change your life with the following:

  • You get a cat that fits you
  • You get personal information on the breed
  • You can get one that fits your lifestyle

It’s nice, and if you want that personalized cat that works for you then definitely choose the shelter option.

It’s Hard to Adopt a Cat

This one is just plain wrong. People think that you have to go through hoops, have to do so much to get a cat, and it takes too long. That isn’t the case.

When I adopted both of my cats, they were super easy to get. With it, you essentially do the following:

  • You visit the cat
  • You play with the cat
  • If it works for you, you fill out some forms to adopt them
  • They do background checks to make sure that you are safe
  • You sign a contract
  • You pay the fee
  • You take the little guy home!

It’s that simple! I do recommend getting a cat carrier if you do want to get one since it’s easier for transport. Also, as another note, they won’t let you have the kitty until it’s fixed. There are obvious reasons for that, including the following:

  • They take care of the fees for it
  • You don’t want them to have babies, creating a population control issue and problems

So if you want a kitty and they don’t allow you to take it home because it isn’t fixed, it’s not a bad thing on your end, but instead, they’re just safeguarding against the kitty and preventing it from getting knocked up.

Shelters want you to adopt their kitties. They want these cats to go into the right homes. But they also don’t want to send them to the wrong people. They want to make sure that the kitties go to the right home. Remember, these people work with the kitties and do what’s best for them. Adopting them is a big responsibility, and you need to remember this. They’re not just a temporary companion, they’re an animal you’ll have for a long time.

Lots of times, these animals have been abandoned before. It is a sad life, but they may have been put in improper homes and you as a pet owner want to make sure that you’re a good parent. It’s why these rescues do get a little bit defensive when it comes to getting a pet since they want it to be the right choice.

Sometimes, some shelters can be quite frustrating when working with this. You need to know when it’s time to look somewhere else. If you don’t like the shelter treatment, you can always try a different place that fits your needs better. Some shelters are a bit weird about this, but usually, if they’re too much they don’t stick around for too long.

shelter cat

All Shelter Cats Have Health Issues

That’s the opposite. Shelter cats are typically taken care of. Here’s the thing, they’ll tell you everything about the cat, including its medical history. You can read it, and find out if any previous health issues weren’t taken care of, and you can make sure that they’re rectified. But usually, those health issues are all out in the open, or as much as they know.

Shelter cats go to the vet a lot. They are seen quite a bit and are treated a lot for any health problems. While animals do have health problems just like humans do, having that medical history there is always available.

Usually, on the medical history they have the following;

  • The height, weight, and other measurements
  • Any health problems in the past and how they were treated
  • Any medications the animal currently takes
  • The report from the vet on any other abnormalities and notes

By making sure that you have this information, you can ensure that your cat has the right medical care that is needed and ensures that you have the right treatments whenever possible.

Shelter Animals Make Great Gifts

shelter cat

While you may think that a cat is a great gift for someone, there is always that considering that they’re not the right item for a person, especially if they are a gift for someone who is lonely. But, those that have gotten pets in the past have seen some great changes

Some of the changes include the following:

  • 96 percent of people that gets pets as gifts report there is no negative impact or it’s increased attachment to the pet
  • 86 percent of pets are still in homes

These are promising numbers for pets that are gifted, and if you feel like someone would benefit from a pet. There was also no difference in the attachment based on whether it’s a surprise or known in advance, and ones that are gotten as a gift are not as likely to be relinquished as ones that are gotten from an owner directly.

This is a common misconception because people think that adopting pets is often something you have to premeditate, but the problem is, it doesn’t have to be. If it’s a pet for your home you’re gifting to say a child, or maybe you’ve wanted to get a pet for a bit and want to surprise your partner, it’s actually a great thing. Think about it, if you don’t go through a shelter, you’re going to go through a pet store or breeder more than anything, and here’s the thing, it’s a problem to do that because of the following:

  • Breeders tend to inbreed the cats, causing health problems
  • Often it’s more expensive
  • You’re possibly adopting from unsanitary and unsavory places
  • It ultimately may not be the best choice because pet stores may not have the vaccines up to date, nor the medical history

When you’re looking to adopt a meeting for someone, sometimes the idea of going through a pet store may be an option, but if you want to prevent problems, you can stop this by going through a shelter.

Adopting is Bad if You’ve got Children or other Pets

That’s simply not the case. Now here is the thing, sometimes introducing the other cat to the original cat can be a bit of a crazy time, since often they are aggressive the first three or so days. But that’s not the case all the time. While they may not be best friends, cats do get along with other cats, and even dogs too.

Some elements that you should keep in mind when doing this are the following:

  • Take it slow, and don’t introduce them immediately
  • Always make sure to give them separate spaces to get used to the scents
  • If they start to fight, then you should break it up

If you notice that they are acting out, separate them and give the cat a safe space to retreat.

Now, as for children, the biggest thing you need to do is teach your child not to antagonize the cat. It doesn’t work out because chances are, it’s on the parent more than anything. Cats can be great for children, and if you have a child, typically the shelter will tell you whether or not the cat is nice, or if it wouldn’t be fitting for children.

Plus remember, you can usually ask for information regarding a cat as well, and they’ll tell you the history, whether they need a playmate or like to fly solo, and whether or not they like to have other children around too, and if they’ve experienced children.

Really, with the child aspect, it’s making sure that you do teach your child how to be a better person towards the pet, and if it’s a dog, you essentially have to do the following:

  • Socialize them effectively
  • Train them effectively
  • Give them a healthy environment
  • Be a good owner of both animals

Do this, and your experience with the cat and the other pets and children will be a successful one.

Getting Animals from Breeders is safer

The truth is, it’s not, since you may think that they know the family history and bloodline, but there is the thing: cats tend to have the following:

  • Genetic disorders
  • Possible medical predispositions, no less often than shelter cats
  • They don’t predict the full behavior

While yes, knowing the bloodline can actually be quite interesting, here’s the thing: will it affect your ability to love this pet? It shouldn’t. You’re not going to enter this cat in a bunch of competitions and see how it performs. Instead, you’ll probably just have the cat sit around and be a member of the family.

Did you know though that because of recent scientific advancements, you can find out some of this history? You can find out the ancestry if you’re actually interested, so it eliminates the need for breeders, so if you want to have a safer time with your new pet, and not have to worry about disorders and problems, then you should definitely consider trying to get a shelter cat.

All Shelter Cats are Broken

Of course not! Shelter cats are like regular cats, meaning that they may have a past, but you can determine their future. If you’re a pet owner, you may think that the animal just has no history, or maybe a bad history of multiple owners. You may think because they’ve had bad owners, they’ll be bad.

That’s not the case. For many different pet owners, you essentially learn that their cat may have been given up for other reasons, such as:

  • The owner died
  • The owner couldn’t take care of it for whatever reason, be it medical or otherwise
  • The cat was found on the street, with no owner
  • The cat was part of a litter and they needed to be adopted out

There are many different reasons, and many different stories, and some of them don’t have stories at times. That’s not a bad thing, because my cat Smokey was like that. She actually was a pet that was found on the street. Nobody knew what happened to the owner or anything, they just got her, and five days later we adopted her. Since then, she’s been happy and vocal.

shelter cat

Zip was a part of a litter. He was a kitten, and all of his siblings got adopted. He was the last one and very small at first, but now he’s a big boy. The truth is, these cats all have their own stories, and you can as an owner help to create them and make the cat their own person.

If you want to adopt a pet, and you’ve been curious about doing it, but have held back for one reason or another, now is the time to potentially debunk all of those myths, and go out and get yourself a furry little friend. They’re great for everyone, and they’re certainly a great addition to any home. For many pet owners, going with the shelter route can change a person, and ultimately make a difference.

If you’ve been curious about adopting pets, and want to know more about it, you can check out the local adoption places for more information.  Adopting pets isn’t something you should be scared of doing. Instead, see it as a great benefit, and something you can use to truly benefit your own life. Being a pet owner can be a bit different at times, and you need to realize that over time, it can be quite different for everyone. But knowing these shelter cat myths and the truth is good because all animals deserve a loving owner and a home that makes them happy.

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