Those of you who have been following me on social media recently can’t help but know that we’ve recently decided to adopt a cat. As a child, we always had dogs in our family. But as an adult, I’ve always been more of a cat person. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE dogs, but having a busy life means that a dog just hasn’t been practical for us. Cats do still need a lot of love and time, but there’s no denying that they’re far more self-sufficient than dogs and therefore they tend to fit in more easily with a busy lifestyle.
Our last cat was put to sleep two years ago at almost 17 years old when she was suffering with liver failure. I’d had Holly from being 11 weeks old when I was at university. She was a feisty kitten who’s elderly owner simply couldn’t cope with her. Holly was a rescue kitty. Her owner had her Mum and was keeping all of the other kittens, but Holly was too hyper! Originally called Honey, Holly was certainly a handful in her early days. She would run up the back of my legs and climb up my back to sit on my shoulder so that she could be in on the action (particularly when I was cooking), she’d climb up the archway we had in between the two downstairs rooms, and she pretty much wrecked every piece of furniture we owned! But I loved her all the same.
As she grew up, Holly became a really funny little thing. She was never a big cat and hardly ate, but she was still full of life. Holly preferred to live indoors, only venturing out when one of us was with her. If she realised we’d gone back inside and closed the door, she’d panic! She loved being close to us, and she was a real purrer.
For the last two years, we’ve really missed having a cat around, but family life has kept us busy and it’s never quite been the right time to welcome a new cat into our lives. Until now. Recently, we’ve really missed having a pet in the family and so we decided that now was the right time to adopt a cat. We visited a rescue centre a few weeks ago and fell in love with a three year old long-haired, black and white cat they’d called Serena. She had been found in a box with another cat (Venus) and six kittens. Both female cats had milk so we’re not sure which cat was Mum.
We managed to visit Serena three times whilst we were waiting for our home check and a final vet check and each time she was calm and affectionate. We felt that she would fit in with our family perfectly! The children have renamed her Luna and she’s an absolute joy to have around! She does have her playful moments and she’s still a little unsure about venturing around on her own, but she’s started sleeping next to me at night time and she loves a good neck scratch!
Luna does seem to have lost her voice, she tries to meow and no sound comes out. We’re not sure if she’s lost her voice crying out in the rescue centre or if there’s some permanent damage there, so we’re going to keep an eye on her and get her checked out if it doesn’t improve. She does try to meow quite a lot, so hopefully it’s just a lost voice.
Adopting Luna has made me realise how important it is to think about using a rescue centre or an animal sanctuary when you’re considering getting a new pet. And so I wanted to put together a few top reasons to adopt a cat.
10 reasons to adopt a cat
1. Adopt don’t shop
Animal sanctuaries are incredible places. They work really hard to make sure that abandoned and unwanted animals can have a second chance at life. Unfortunately, the vast majority of animal sanctuaries are permanently full and they are constantly having to turn away other animals who are in desperate need of help.
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous breeders out there who keep their animals in appalling conditions and force them to breed repeatedly just so that they have kittens and puppies to sell. These animals live terrible lives and by purchasing from these people you’re simply feeding their desire to keep going! Of course there are lots of reputable breeders around too, if you do decide to purchase from a breeder, then make sure they’re registered and that you can see the kitten or puppy with their Mum and Dad.
Choosing to adopt a cat is such a rewarding thing to do and you’ll often find that rescued pets are incredibly loving and affectionate as they’re so grateful to have a welcoming place to call home.
2. Cats are good for the heart
Would you believe that owning a cat is actually beneficial for your heart? Cat owners tend to have a lower resting heart-rate and lower blood pressure, meaning that they are less at risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.
3. The healing powers of the purr
Is there anything lovelier than the sound of a cat purring away on your lap? I really don’t think there is! But the purr actually has incredible healing powers.
The frequency of a cat’s purr can actually help to improve bone density!
4. Cats are low-maintenance
I’m really fortunate to work from home and be there to give our cat plenty of love and affection. But many people who aren’t home all day can still offer a cat a great home. Cats are pretty self-sufficient in that they don’t need walking twice a day like dogs do. Cats will quite happily go off exploring all day and then come home for their tea and a snuggle on the sofa.
5. Benefits for dementia patients
Research has shown that stroking a cat can be extremely soothing for dementia patients, as touch is one of the last senses they lose.
While companionship is an obvious benefit, a well-timed pet visit may also help with anxiety and depression. It’s not uncommon to watch someone transition from emotionless to joyful when a pet enters the room, especially if it triggers pleasant memories.
6. Emotional support
Pets can be an incredible source of emotional support. I know that when we had Holly, I’d find a great amount of comfort from curling up with her when I’d had a tough day. She would just be there and love me unconditionally. It might sound daft to someone who doesn’t “get” pets, but that little nuzzle she’d give me on the nose would really make things seem better.
7. Pest deterrent
Farmers have used cats for years to keep mice and vermin under control. If you live in the countryside, then a cat could be a big help!
8. Increasing a child’s immune system
Owning a cat when you’re growing up is actually believed to help strengthen your immune system. Pet fur in the air forces our immune systems to work that little bit harder, which means that we’re actually more able to fight off other irritants too.
9. Improve muscle dexterity
Gently stroking a cat can help to improve muscle dexterity in older people or those recovering from injury or stroke.
10. A lifelong, loyal companion
Cats are incredibly loyal to their owners and can prove to be a really important part of your life. The companionship you can share with your cat is so special and for somebody living alone it can make a real difference to the quality of their life. It is an absolute myth that dogs are more loyal than cats. Cats will always remember when you’ve looked after them and they’ll always greet you with a meow and purr to show they’ve missed you.
We’ve had Luna for almost a week at the time of writing this, and she’s been an absolute delight. She’s incredibly soft and loving and she’s finally starting to purr. She loves lying on her back and having her tummy tickled which I’ve never seen before in a cat. She has quickly become part of the family and we’re all so pleased we decided to adopt her. Our three year old is actually happy to be left on his own downstairs for a couple of minutes while I nip upstairs now, because he says Luna looks after him.
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