June is Adopt-a-Cat Month, and the cats are out in full swing. Spring is kitten season, which means that in June, shelters are full of adorable, adoptable kittens, in addition to their pre-existing adult cats.
Not all of us are in a position to adopt a cat, but June is a great month to think about ways to help our feline friends. Here are 6 ways to help homeless cats if you can't adopt one.
There are scores of organizations devoted to housing homeless cats. You can donate to large, nationwide efforts like the American Humane Society, or you can look for smaller organizations in your neighborhood. My favorite Los Angeles-based rescue organization is Sante d'Or, a no-kill shelter that helps both cats and dogs get adopted. These organizations are almost entirely staffed by volunteers, and they need your money for basics like cat food and spaying and neutering.
The same organizations that need your money also need your time! Volunteering with an organization of your choice is a great way to help kitties in need. Plus, it means spending lots of quality time with cats and meeting fellow cat lovers. Look up rescue organizations in your area and send them an email even if you aren't sure exactly what you could do for them. They'll almost always have a task that matches your skill set, whether it's washing cat beds or writing email newsletters.
If you can't commit to taking on a cat permanently, fostering a cat is a great option. Fostering means the cat stays with you on a temporary basis, and you introduce her to people who could potentially give her a "forever home." Fostering is incredibly helpful for cats who are in need and is a huge relief to shelters, who often have more cats than humans willing to take them in.
Build cat shelters for strays.
There's a great YouTube tutorial on building a feral cat shelter using just a storage container, a styrofoam cooler, and some straw. We also have a tutorial on making cold weather shelters for feral cats using containers from dollar stores. Both are super easy and cheap to do, and it makes a big difference for our feline friends living on the street, especially in winter!
Get involved with a Trap-Neuter-Return program.
Trap-Neuter-Return programs, or TNRs, are geared toward humanely catching cats, neutering or spaying them, vaccinating them, and then returning them to where they came from. These programs greatly help reduce the number of unplanned cat pregnancies and are endorsed by both the ASPCA and the Humane Society.
Spread the word.
Social media and word of mouth go a long way toward helping cats find homes! Tell fellow cat lovers about kitties that need a place to stay. You might not be able to house every cat, but housing just one cat literally means saving a life.
Happy Adopt-a-Cat Month!