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Shelter Cats & Kittens: The Purr-fect Pet

Those who share their hearts and homes with animals experience the unconditional love and affection given by our furry friends, whether they are canines or felines, every single day. But there’s more: Studies show that people with pets have lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol and other debilitating conditions. Any way you look at it, our pets make us happier and healthier.

North Shore Animal League America rescues nearly 20,000 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens each year, and we love them all. But according to Senior Kennel Manager Cindy Szczudlo, most people who come into our doors to adopt have canines on their minds—and often focus first on puppies.

“Dogs and puppies make wonderful pets, but the reality is that they require a much greater time commitment than cats and kittens,” says Szczudlo. “They need tons of exercise, and that takes a lot of time. For people who work long hours, felines are the perfect pets.”

Why Adopt A Shelter Cat?

  • Adopting a cat from a shelter means you are helping ease the pet overpopulation problem.
  • The cost of adopting a pet at an animal shelter is usually much less expensive than buying one from a breeder or pet store.
  • Breeders or pet stores sell pets with the incentive to make money, whereas shelters are focused on the animal's best interests.
  • Often cats adopted from shelters have already been spayed or neutered. Most of them have also been vaccinated.
  • Shelter cats have often adjusted to being around other animals.
  • Many people express that adopting a cat from a shelter is spiritually rewarding because they know they are saving a life—and there’s simply no better feeling in the world!


Unlike dogs, cats don’t need to be walked regularly, because they are easily trained to use their litter boxes. They’re often the better choice for people who live in apartments, both because of their size and because many apartment buildings don’t allow dogs. Plus, cats are pretty much self-groomers, which is both a time and cost-saver compared with their canine counterparts.

Most important, however, is that contrary to the stereotype, cats are just as loyal and loving as dogs, says Christina Travalja, Shelter Director at North Shore Animal League America. “Cats are playful, cuddly and fun,” she says. “They can spend what seems like endless amounts of time chasing a toy mouse on a pole or a ball around the house, and they can even learn to fetch!”

Just like dogs, every cat has his or her own personality, with some more laid back and cuddly, and others wanting non-stop action. Our Adoption Specialists get to know our cats very well, and they can help make the right match based on an adopter’s lifestyle, home environment and needs.

“I’ve often had people come in to adopt a puppy or dog, and after speaking with them, they realize that a cat or kitten would be a much better choice for them,” says Szczudlo. “And those people are often the ones who send me photos and stories saying how much they love their new pet and how grateful they are that they made the decision to adopt a cat.”

So, next time you head to your local shelter, don’t forget to visit the fantastic felines who want nothing more than to be your loyal companion. You’ll most certainly be rewarded with a lifetime of love!

  • Want to learn more from North Shore Animal League America’s adoption and behavior specialists about finding the best cat or kitten for you? See Choosing the Right Cat in our Expert Advice section.
  • Are you ready to add a new feline friend to your family? Please visit the Adopt a Cat section of our website, and then come visit our Adoption Headquarters in person! We are open 365 days a year. For hours and directions, click here.