Happy Tails to You:  Adopt-A-Cat!

If you've ever thought about adopting a cat, now's the time!

If you have your heart set on a specific and somewhat exotic breed -- and you want it NOW -- then your best bet is a breeder. But we recommend you ALWAYS check out the animal shelters nearest you first, and see what delightful little felines are there. You could be very pleasantly surprised to find your heart's desire right there...practically in your own backyard. We feature one such "Happy Tails" story below courtesy of Petfinders and ASPCA Online. Start by searching in Petfinder's online database at the bottom of this page to find the cat and kitten shelters near you.

If you still want to pursue a "breeder cat," here's a handy webpage to check out from Cat Fanciers that details all the breeds, their picture, character, personality, and pros and cons.

Once you're firm on wanting a specific breed, check your newspaper classifieds as well as your yellow pages for local breeders. You can also put the breed's name along with your county or state into a web search engine, and pull up some local breeders. But check out your local shelters first; maybe you'll have an experience like Linette!

From the ASPCA Online Newsletter, June 2, 2004 -

After the death of her beloved cat, it took Linnete, a devoted cat lover, three years to even consider the possibility of adopting another cat. But she read about Petfinder.com in the ASPCA Online newsletter and decided to visit the site, which features the largest searchable database of homeless pets on the Web.

On a lark, Linette typed in Siamese and baby as her search criteria. The computer whirred and coughed up a list of feline matches in her area, ranked in proximity to her zip code. Lo and behold, she tells us, up popped my perfect pet, at a shelter about an hour away. The longer I looked at that sassy little face, the stronger my feeling became she HAD to be ours!

Linette contacted the Mission Valley Animal Shelter, where the kitten in question was being cared for, and filled out an application for adoption. When the family happened to pass the shelter one day, they dropped it off. Unfortunately, their visit coincided with the cats scheduled spay surgery, so Linette didn't get to meet her then.

When Linette was approved to adopt, she made sure she really did want the little blue-eyed kitten. She decided to visit her local shelter to look at the cats there. They were all special, she says, but that spark wasn't there.

Linette recalls, The night before I left to pick up the kitten, I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve. I had a hard time falling asleep, dreamed about her, and woke at the crack of dawn.

Now, Linette likes to say that her little feline treasure, Camille, is her previous cat born into a new little body. Of course, Camille is her own little self, with her own little personality, says Linette. But I could not love her more.

The best part of this story is, there are thousands of great cats like Camille just waiting for their second chance at a good home. If you're thinking of adding a feline to your family, there's no better time than now!

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