celebrating adopt a cat month june

Celebrating Adopt a Cat Month

Written by Steph McCulloch


Join us this June as we celebrate Adopt a Cat Month! Learn about the origins of this celebration, the positive effects of adoption and why it's more necessary than ever.
A close up image of a cat sitting next to a net.


There’s no doubt that cats bring an indescribable amount of joy and happiness to our lives. Whether it’s an affectionate rub against our legs or stealing our pillows when it’s time to go to bed, we wouldn’t change it for the world, but did you know around 150,000 cats enter shelters in the UK every single year? It’s also estimated that around 250,000 unowned cats live as strays in towns and cities across the country.

June is Adopt a Cat Month and encourages us to look beyond purchasing kittens and instead to shelters and rehoming programmes when searching for a new addition. It also exists to raise awareness of the sheer importance of adoption and the impact it can have not only on individuals but animal welfare organisations as well as the long-term effects it could have on wider societal behaviour should adopting become the norm.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the origins of Adopt a Cat Month and why we should continue to support local feline welfare organisations in their adoption efforts. We’re also exploring the benefits of adoption and the positive effects cats can have on our well-being.

A flat-faced cat walking past an inflatable exercise ball.

When did Adopt a Cat Month begin?

Adopt a Cat Month was originally founded by the American Humane Association in 1998 when they decided to dedicate the entire month to growing awareness around feline adoption.

Since then Adopt a Cat Month has grown and reached global heights with many organisations and charities honouring the month in order to help their feline friends find forever homes.

Why do we celebrate it?

Celebrating Adopt a Cat Month is important for a plethora of reasons. Adoption is a multi-faceted choice that brings positive change not only to a cat’s life but to the shelter they’ve been rehomed from and the communities in which they live.

To get to the crux of it, cats are prolific breeders which means that oftentimes shelters can’t keep up with the influx of mothers and kittens who have either been surrendered or found on the streets.

Adopting takes the pressure off shelters and allows them to practise a strict neutering policy which ensures no further cats in their care can continue to breed.

Neutering cats has many benefits not only relating to population control but also behaviour. Male cats are less likely to roam far and wide looking for partners and displaying aggressive behaviour once neutered.

This medical intervention also offers relief for female cats who will usually continue to have litter after litter if not spayed.

Adopting, therefore, helps to support healthy communities of felines and ensures that they receive safe, forever homes instead of a life of breeding on the streets.

We also celebrate Adopt a Cat Month for the simple reason that adoption is an incredibly rewarding experience. In animals such as cats where the population can quickly become out of control without human intervention and support, adoption allows us to contribute to a positive cause with long-lasting effects.

Although cats can end up in shelters for various reasons, a significant number are there because their owners can no longer care for them. This may be due to ill health, housing issues, or other circumstances. It can be incredibly sad and distressing for both the owner and the cat when they have to part ways.

Among the many benefits of adopting shelter cats, one is that you can provide peace of mind to the previous owners, reassuring them that their beloved feline will have a safe and loving home to continue a happy life.

It’s important when exploring the adoption process not to put blame onto all previous owners and group them together as inherently bad. It’s impossible to know the true extent of anyone’s situation and what has led them to surrender their pets. Saviour complexes around adoption don’t serve any purpose and instead continue to perpetuate damaging rhetorics against those who are struggling with ownership.

A ginger and white cat sitting upright on a sofa.

Why adoption?

Though we’ve touched on it slightly above, let’s get into it a little more. Adopting a pet means offering them a second chance at a comfortable and happy life. However, the benefits don’t stop there.

Back in December of 2023, we met with Emily and her dog Barney to discuss the joys of owning a senior dog and seeing them through their autumn years. Sadly, Barney passed away in March, leaving Emily mourning the loss of her best friend and missing the companionship a pet provides.

After spending the last few months volunteering at a local feline rescue shelter, Emily felt it was time to open her heart to another senior in need of a loving forever home.

“After losing our beloved dog Barney, my partner and I felt cautious about bringing a new pet into our home yet confident in knowing that we had so much love to give to a new companion when the time was right. The stars aligned when we met Clement, a senior cat at the animal rescue centre where I volunteer. We’re so excited that we get to give him so much love and a home in which he can live out his senior years. Oftentimes, senior cats are overlooked especially if they’re strays and their age isn’t known but I knew from spending time with Clement that he was the one for us. Losing a pet is incredibly difficult but there is comfort in knowing that in time, you will have space to let in and love another pet whilst still honouring and remembering the one you lost.”

Cats make great companions, providing comfort and easing feelings of loneliness. It’s also been proven that interacting with cats reduces stress and anxiety overall boosting mental well-being. Simply put, the presence of a cat can improve mood, reduce symptoms of depression and promote positive feelings by providing a sense of purpose and routine.

There are also lots of studies that show the physical health benefits adopting brings too. According to official research, petting a cat can lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease. So essentially, what we’re trying to say is that ultimately adoption is a win-win situation.

Adoption encourages you to look outside of your comfort zone and choose a companion with whom you might not have before considered. Whether this be stepping in to adopt a cat with medical conditions, a senior who has been overlooked for years or a kitten who hasn’t had the best start to life, adoption is one of the most rewarding things you can do a pet lover and it’s sure to continue to pay back tenfold every single day.

However, if adoption isn’t for you or isn’t something you can commit to right now, why not consider fostering, volunteering, donating or fundraising for a local feline rescue? So many UK-based animal charities are currently struggling with the cost-of-living crisis and are in urgent need of resources and support.

A British Shorthair cat laying on a chair.


Adopting cats can greatly enhance a person’s quality of life, providing both emotional and physical benefits. Cats are known for their independent yet affectionate nature, often forming deep bonds with their owners. This companionship can significantly reduce feelings of loneliness and stress, contributing to improved mental health.

The presence of a cat can also offer comfort and a sense of purpose, as caring for a pet involves routines that can help structure your day. In comparison to some dogs, cats are generally low-maintenance pets, making them suitable for a variety of people with busy lifestyles or limited living spaces.

From a broader perspective, adopting cats from shelters helps address the issue of overpopulation and reduces the number of animals euthanised each year. Many shelters are overcrowded and adopting a cat not only gives that individual animal a loving home but also frees up resources to help other animals in need. Moreover, adopted cats often come vaccinated, spayed/neutered and health-checked, ensuring they are ready to integrate into their new families.

So this June, let’s continue to celebrate Adopt a Cat Month by considering adoption from a local centre. Let’s also not forget the hard work put in by adopters, foster families and rescue shelters who continue to encourage ethical and rewarding rehoming at all times ultimately contributing to the welfare of animals and the fostering of a compassionate and responsible community.

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