June is Adopt a Shelter Cat month and also a time known as “kitten season,” when many rescues and shelters are taking in an influx of kittens. We spoke with Heidi Bradley, Community Engagement Manager with CHA Animal Shelter in Columbus, Ohio to learn more about what you can do to help cats and kittens during this special month.

  1. Adopt a shelter cat— If you’ve been on the fence about adopting a new family member, make an appointment to learn more about cats and meet some who are looking for their forever home. You can find local rescues and shelters through PetFinder.com. (https://www.petfinder.com/) Or, check out these cuties (https://chaanimalshelter.org/cats/) available at CHA. “While shelters strive to provide safe, temporary care for abandoned or otherwise homeless cats, the ultimate goal is for all homeless cats to find loving, stable homes to thrive in,” says Heidi.
  2. Foster a homeless cat or kitten—If you love cats and kittens, but can’t have one of your own, consider fostering a homeless cat or kitten through a rescue or shelter. Many organizations rely on foster homes to provide care for animals waiting for adoption, and fostering can open up space for the shelter to help even more animals. The role of the foster home is to provide food, care and socialization for the animals. Some organizations provide food and vetting for the animal while it’s in foster care.
  3. Volunteer at a rescue/shelter—Organizations across the state need plenty of passionate animal people to help achieve their missions, including cat lovers! If you aren’t able to adopt or foster, consider volunteering your time to assist at a shelter. There are many volunteer opportunities available, from cleaning cages/litterboxes, to feeding newborn kittens, to socializing cats through play. CHA even offers a summer reading program for children to practice their reading skills with cats and dogs (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/8050F4DADAC2AA4FA7-49520621-tales#/). Reach out to your local shelter to find out their specific volunteer opportunities.
  4. Donate supplies—Organizations often struggle to keep up with the demands of animal care. There is usually a constant need for items such as dry and wet cat food, non-clumping cat litter and basic cleaning supplies. Heidi also recommends small cat-sized fleece blankets, as well as enrichment items such as scratching posts, cat toys and catnip. Many organizations have specific lists that detail what items they can use. Reach out to your local shelter to learn how you can help. Often, organizations post their wish lists on their website. For Adopt a Shelter Cat month, consider purchasing one item a week to help out!
  5. Spay and neuter your own pets—Finally, Heidi emphasizes that spaying and neutering your own cat is one of the most important ways to help shelter cats. Spaying and neutering helps fight overpopulation and ultimately reduces the number of homeless cats entering rescues and shelters to begin with. To find low-cost spay/neuter resources near you, visit the Ohio Animal Advocates statewide resource directory: https://www.ohioanimaladvocates.org/resources-directory/wpbdp_category/low-cost-spay-neuter/
Cole – Cole is a little over 12 years old and is currently CHA’s oldest shelter resident. He loves to interact with other cats and kittens in the shelter and has made many friends! He is a very social boy who doesn’t know a stranger. Carla and Negan – Carla and Negan are a bonded pair who arrived at CHA together and have been side by side for many years. Carla is a little over 8 years old, and Negan is just over 6. Carla is an independent lady, while Negan is a shy guy. Despite their very different personalities, these two are the best of friends. Button – Button is a very active 2-year-old kitty who loves to explore the world around him! He is friendly with other cats in the shelter and loves to socialize!