Christmas is around the corner and we’re busy shopping, planning, baking, wrapping presents and visiting relatives and friends. When it comes to shopping, many of us also make sure our cats are included on the list.
Stroll through the pet product store or check out the online pet retail stores this time of year and you’ll find no shortage of gift ideas for your cat. Whether you’re looking for that special toy or a delicious treat, you’ll be sure to find something to make your cat happy on Christmas morning.
Support Your Local Animal Shelter
Unfortunately though, there are countless cats in shelters who aren’t on any lists to receive Christmas presents. Christmas will be simply another day spent in a cage, waiting for a forever home, or tragically, waiting until their time limit at the shelter is up. So as you do your shopping this year, please remember the cats in shelters
The most obvious and most needed gift the shelter can receive would be a monetary donation. Whether you’re standing at the cashier at the pet product store and are asked if you’d like to add $1 to your bill to help homeless pets, or whether you write a check to your local shelter, please consider donating something. It doesn’t have to be a large amount of money to make a difference in the life of an animal.
Most shelters and animal welfare organizations have wish lists so if you’d like to purchase something from that list, visit your shelter’s website or contact them by phone. Items on wish lists can include anything from a washing machine to cleaning products and towels.
You may choose to make a financial donation or provide an item on a wish list for a cat sanctuary. There are a number of sanctuaries that offer cats a place to live out the rest of their lives. Whether the cat has an illness, injury, is in his geriatric years or the cat parent has passed away, these sanctuaries offer the cats a peaceful and safe existence. Many sanctuaries have wish lists on their websites or have registered their needs on sites such as Amazon. Some sanctuaries specialize and focus on providing care for with specifics issues such as blindness or FIV. In the case of some of the sanctuaries you can come be a part of it; you can visit, donate your time to those animals who may never find a home with a loving pet parent.
Cats on the Streets
Not every cat in-need is in a shelter. Many cats are left to fend for themselves outdoors. Whether it’s a cat who was once a part of the family and is now a lost stray or a feral cat who has only known outdoor life, these kitties shouldn’t be forgotten. Cat rescuers and rescue organizations create safe outdoor shelters for the ferals and spend time and money trying to humanely trap the cats for TNR. Individual rescuers and rescue organizations also dedicate themselves to humanely trapping and rehoming the lost and forgotten cats and ktitens. Funds are always needed to help with veterinary expenses, food, outdoor shelter purchases and construction, traps and so much more. If you’d like to make a donation, contact your local feline rescue organization. You may also choose to make a donation toward a national organization.
Veterinary Research, Studies and Grants for Cat Health and Welfare
Think about making a donation toward helping to fund research on disease and veterinary advancement. Wonderful organizations such as Winn Feline Foundation provide grants for studies to improve feline health.
Give to the Cats Through Shopping
Amazon.com’s Smile program provides you the opportunity to give while doing your Christmas shopping. The Amazon Smile Program donates 0.5% of your purchase price to the charitable organization of your choice. They have a drop-down menu list of organizations to choose from or you can enter one that you’d like included on the list.
The program is accessed by going to smile.amazon.com and then from there you can shop the usual way you do on Amazon. Some products are not included in the Smile Program.
Donate your time to Cats
You may not be able to make a monetary donation but you can donate a little of your time. Volunteering at your local shelter can be a life-changing experience. Animals benefit from companionship, attention, and touch. Just being there to play with the cats or hold them can help reduce their stress. This socialization makes them more adoptable as they feel comfortable enough to show their personalities.
Shelters have limited space and sadly, there are far too many animals and not enough room. If you have the space in your home, consider fostering a cat or kitten.
If you’d like to make a donation of food to the shelter, before you go out and purchase anything, contact the shelter and find out what brands of food they need. Abrupt changes in diet can cause intestinal trouble. Cat litter is also something always in need at shelters and feline rescue organizations.
If you have extra pet supplies at home that are no longer needed, consider making a donation to your shelter. Pet carriers, food bowls, etc. Anything washable can be used by the shelter.
Wishing you and your cats a very happy and safe holiday. Thank you for the kindness and concern you show toward the animals who are in need.