Why shelter cats make purrfect pals

Volunteer Sheila Cannon, right, and domestic shorthaired female, Ally in the Cat Habitat at the Castaic Animal Care Center in Castaic. Dan Watson/The Signal

Puma steals hearts with his stealth good looks and independent nature. Dublin, a former mom, loves everyone she meets — people, other cats and even dogs. Ranger loves to play all day, preferably with toys and another cat. Peter Pan and Tinkerbell, like their Disney namesakes, would be happiest in a home where they could live together forever. 

June Is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and all these felines, available at Castaic Animal Care Center, would make a fabulous addition to any pet-loving home, according to volunteer Larissa Barnes. 

“Cats are wonderful companions for any age group. They are often less work and less rambunctious than dogs and are also more suited to those who work longer hours or don’t have a yard,” she said. 

While some potential adopters may have a particular look, color or age in mind when it comes to cats, Barnes suggests keeping an open mind at the shelter. 

“We always encourage adopters to spend time getting to know each cat’s personality. The shy cats are often overlooked but make wonderful, outgoing pets in the home environment. Same for senior cats and black cats or kittens,” she said. “Take your time, consider if your lifestyle is best suited to a pair of kittens or an adult cat that can be left unsupervised for longer periods of time.”

Once a cat catches your eye, make sure to ask staff or volunteers for more information. 

“Each cat and kitten has a different personality. Some are playful, some are very relaxed. We can tell you who is best suited to an adult home and if a cat should be with or without other pets,” Barnes said. 

The top reason cats are surrendered to Castaic Animal Care Center is moving, so the cats looking for homes were usually part of a family and acclimate well in a new home. 

“These cats are happy, loving and well behaved but their owner’s circumstances changed, so adopters have the chance to give these kitties a new chapter in life,” she said. 

At just $20 for adult cats and $50 for kittens, adoption from Castaic Animal Care Center is not just the most humane option for local families, it’s the most cost effective, too. 

“The veterinary work of fixing, microchipping and vaccinations are done for you already,” Barnes said. 

Once you bring a cat home and purchase the necessary supplies (food, bedding, toys, etc.) for its care, patience is the number one virtue to a successful adoption, as Barnes illustrated. 

“An adult cat may need a few weeks to decompress from the shelter environment and learn this is their new safe place,” she said. “The care center staff can provide lots of tips on how to bring your new kitty home that are specific to your circumstances, especially if you are bringing a cat home to a house that already has other pets.”

Castaic Animal Care Center is located at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road, Castaic. Open Monday to Thursday, noon to 7 p.m., and Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit animalcare.lacounty.gov or call (661) 257-3191. 

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