Rescuing Saves Lives
The adopt dont shop movement has great support from a large majority of the community. In fact, there’s such a strong belief system behind the coined phrase that breeders are deemed to be “part of the problem” when it comes to the issue of cat and kitten overpopulation.
The statistics for the number of animals that are brought to the shelters every year is staggering. Especially since only 64% make it out alive. Let’s look at some of these numbers [specifically] for cats.
Animal Shelter and Pet Owner Statistics
These statistics vary across different websites that provide this data, so a general consensus is used in this article. Most data coming from ASPCA website.
- 2.5 Million cat enter shelters Every Year.
- 1.6 Million Cats are adopted from Shelters
- 90,000 cats are returned to their owners
- 860,000 cats are euthanized
- 35% of households own a cat
- 31% of cats are obtained from animal shelters
- 27% of cats owned by people are strays
- Only 3% of cats are obtained from breeders (vs 34% of dogs obtained from breeders!)
- 42% of rehomed or relinquished pets are because of problematic behaviors, their new residence doesn’t allow pets or health problems owner couldn’t handle
The most interesting fact here is that 3% of cats come from breeders, and 34% of dogs come from breeders. Maybe if more people obtained their cats from breeders, they would have more of a respect for their animal and not let them wander the streets.
Breeders Aren’t the Reason the Shelters are Full!
Responsible pet owners spay and neuter, regardless of where the pet comes from. Negligent pet owners are the reason shelters are full.
If you consider the amount of stray cats that are living on the streets, you can most likely trace them back to a pet owner who willingly allowed the intact cat to roam freely outdoors. There are many reasons people will “kick their cat outside ” but mostly stem from inappropriate litter box behavior or scratching of furniture. Some will even try to convince you that the cat likes it better outdoors.
Cats do like to wander outside, hunt, chase lizards and enjoy some sunshine and a bite of grass. They should never be allowed outdoors if they haven’t been spayed or neutered. They should also be monitored closely if allowed outdoors. This is totally irresponsible.
What Happens When Kittens are Born in the Wild?
All it takes is one intact female and one intact male cat to be outside to start an entire colony of feral cats. What happens to the kittens?
- Someone “rescues” the kindle of kittens, raises them and then gives away a litter of intact kittens once they’re old enough.
- The kittens are raised on the streets and become feral. These kittens can never be adopted as pets since they are terrified of the human touch. They have a hard time adapting to anything other than the wild and are better off living outdoors permanently.
- The kittens end up in the animal shelter where they live until they’re adopted. Luckily, the cycle will stop here since the kittens will guarantee to be spayed or neutered.
Have You Ever Seen a Litter of Pedigree Maine Coon Kittens in the Shelter?
The answer is no. While it’s true that you may find a random Maine Coon adult that has been abandoned by it’s owner, it’s just not likely that you’ll be able to walk into a shelter and adopt a Maine Coon kitten.
Why do you think that there are not any Pedigree kittens in the shelters? It’s because responsible breeders do everything they can to ensure that their kittens are placed in the hands of responsible pet owners. Unlike animal shelters, breeders offer the owners of the cat the opportunity to return the cat if he is unable to care for them, at which time the breeder will find the cat a new home. Breeders don’t want their kittens to end up in the shelter. Our job is preserve and protect the breed!
Preserving Pedigree Animals
One of the primary responsibilities of a breeder is to protect and preserve the animal’s heritage. This means doing enormous amounts of research about bloodlines history and DNA before ever allowing two cats to mate.
The ultimate goal for a breeder of any Pedigree animal is to carefully select the parents that when mated, will produce the healthiest, most beautiful representation of the breed. There is a lot of thought and work that goes into that process. Maybe one that doesn’t get recognized enough by the adoptdontshoppers.
There is so much thought that goes into producing Maine Coon kittens that people on the other side never get to see. Responsible breeders choose the healthiest cats first, with the best temperaments, all while striving to keep or improve the breed standard.
Another step in the process that is on polar ends of the earth from the shelter process is that breeders selectively choose where their offspring will spend their lives. This final decision that is made by breeders is the ultimate one, since this kitten will be under their care for many years.
Pets shouldn’t be easy to acquire
In many cities across the United States there are “adopt a pet for free” days. This event is huge. It’s supported by the “adopt dont shop” movement. It’s when all of the shelters and rescues in the city bring all of their animals to a giant venue and allow the public to adopt one at no charge.
I totally understand the reason behind these events is because of overcrowding In the shelters. It’s certainly a better solution that the alternative that shelters offer.
On the other hand, adopting a pet is like adopting a child. That pet will be under your care for it’s entire life. That’s such a huge commitment! Pets enrich people’s lives, there’s no doubt. There should be some sort of token that someone has to pay in good faith in exchange for an animal.
Adopt Dont Shop is All About Perspective
Sometimes people get caught up in hype, or trends without really knowing the facts and the data behind the movement. Adopting a pet is wonderful milestone in your life. No matter where you get your kitten from, they are sure to bring you joy, laughter, and sometimes even tears.
Ultimately, how and where we obtain our preferred pet is a choice that we all have. If you choose to adopt don’t shop, no one will condemn you for that. If you choose to shop for a pedigree cat from a Maine Coon breeder, no one SHOULD condemn you for that. 🙂 Regardless of how you acquire your new family kitten, bringing a kitten home is always exciting and memorable. You should always be sure that you’re ready for the lifetime commitment of a new kitten, regardless of where you get it!
This is a great blog post, Tracy. You speak to so many critical issues. I am proud to have been trusted by four Maine Coons to love and care and nurture them. Sad to say, when I got my first Maine Coon twenty years ago, I was often questioned and criticized as to why I didn’t pursue the shelter route for a kitten. Well, I went that route 4 different times over 20 years and near gave up on owning a kitten/cat because each of the 4 kittens had so many ailments that resulted in shortened lives or amputation. It was heartbreaking. It wasn’t until I was introduced to quality breeders that I came to enjoy healthy Maine Coon kitties and the benefits of making the investment in research and then in owning and loving a planned new family member. To each his own. I’ve tried both routes. Thanks to you, after my first pair of Maine Coons lived to 18 years of age, I started again and now have the two best personable, interactive kitties.
Thank you, Cindy! Your kind comments mean so much. <3