What Are The Most Commonly Overlooked Cats At Shelters?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio

Are you looking to adopt a cat? Perhaps you should consider the kitties that are most often overlooked.

There are countless cats of all ages and breeds available at animal shelters all over the world, and they’re all hoping that today will be the day that they’re taken to their loving forever homes. But some felines have a much harder time than others when it comes to grabbing the attention of adopters. 

If you really want to save the life of a cat in need, consider visiting your local shelters and rescues to see if any of the following kitties are up for adoption, as these are some of the ones that are most likely to be overlooked by shelter visitors.

Black Cats

There are a few reasons why black cats might have a harder time finding a home. If you have thought about adopting one of these gorgeous felines but you hesitated, consider the following. 

Even though it’s the 21st century, many people, unfortunately, are still superstitious when it comes to black cats. This can result in many black felines being left behind, and a good number of them end up euthanized in shelters that need space for other incoming cats in need. This is really sad because there’s nothing to be afraid of or superstitious about when it comes to black cats. After all, they simply have genes that give them that beautiful dark coat. And, besides, in some parts of the world, black cats are actually seen as symbols of good luck. 

Related: Facts And Myths About Black Cats

Another reason that many black cats are left behind is the simple fact that people seem to prefer cats that are more colorful and have lighter fur to show off. White, orange, calico, or tabby cats may be more likely to grab the attention of a potential adopter, but this is a shame because black cats are known for their attractive appearance and endearing personalities. Plus, who could possibly resist the adorable face of a black kitty with bright green or gold eyes that create a beautiful contrast against the dark fur?

Black cats certainly have their own special qualities that are worth noticing. But, in the end, every cat should be viewed in the same light, regardless of outward appearance. When it comes to picking your new pet, it should be about the connection you have with him or her and the unique personality exhibited by the animal. After all, you want to bring home a companion that will be the perfect fit for you and your family. So, if you walk into a shelter and see some black cats, whether they’re kittens, seniors, or any age in between, consider getting to know them, as you may discover that they have the sweetest personalities and would make wonderful pets.

Older Cats

Older felines might be dropped off at shelters by owners who no longer wish to care for them or by the relatives of a cat owner who passed away. Others might be brought in as strays who got lost or who never had a home but are sociable enough to be adopted. 

The problem is that many people who are hoping to adopt a cat may be searching for a younger kitty that they can train and that will be with them for a long time. But the truth is that there are plenty of reasons to adopt older adults and seniors when you want to bring a new kitty home. For example, older cats often have really sweet and loving dispositions that are hard to resist. You might meet one that wants nothing more than to spend time in your arms or on your lap. And their personalities are set, so you won’t need to worry about them changing as they get older like you would with a kitten. Usually, when you adopt a senior cat, what you see is what you get. 

Plus, there’s likely no need to train an older cat either. If they used to be someone’s pet, these kitties already know the basics about living with humans peacefully. They are probably going to be familiar with scratching posts, cat trees, litter boxes, toys, etc. if they lived with someone before. And if you’re adopting an older kitty who was living on the streets, it might take a bit of time for him to adjust to living indoors, but once he does, he’s sure to be a perfect little companion. 

Bear in mind, too, that many older felines who are dropped off at shelters are extremely sad and lonely, so adopting one of these kitties would be just what they need to live out their golden years in health and happiness. If you can open your home to one of these cats, you could save a life and bring so much joy to an animal that really needs you. 

Related: 4 Purrfect Reasons to Adopt a Shelter Cat

Cats with Physical Impairments

From blind cats to disabled cats, there are many homeless felines who are physically impaired but otherwise healthy. And all of these kitties are just as loving and loyal as their healthier counterparts. As an example, blind cats can get by really well, playing and eating and using the litter box just as well as any other cat. 

If you’re thinking about adopting a kitty with a physical impairment, talk to the shelter staff and a veterinarian so you can gain insight into how to properly care for your pet and give him the best and most comfortable life possible. You might be surprised how easy it can be!

Special needs cats will love you forever, and they’ll always be grateful to you for giving them a home they can feel safe in, so definitely consider bringing one into your family. 

Sick Cats

Cats in shelters can get sick with viral diseases like the feline herpes virus. With the right veterinary care and medications, those kitties can recover and be ready for adoption, so it really isn’t a huge problem. However, some shelter cats have chronic conditions, such as  feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or  feline leukemia virus (FeLV), and some have other physical ailments like chronic skin issues. As you can imagine, this is another group of kitties that are often overlooked when they are in shelters waiting to be adopted.   

Welcoming these cats into your family is definitely worthwhile, as they can make amazing pets and shower you with affection. Just make sure you’re ready for the challenge of caring for these animals. Talking to the shelter staff can give you insight into what a particular kitty needs to thrive, but it is also a great idea to consult with a veterinarian. That way, you can be sure you’ll be able to give the cat the proper care that he needs. 

Also worth noting: there might be some cases in which a cat has a condition that prevents him from being housed with other cats. For instance, if he has been infected with a virus that can be transmitted easily to other kitties, it might not be a good idea to expose them to one another. On the other hand, you might be able to adopt more than one kitty with the same condition and house them together without a problem. The goal is simply to know what a cat requires, and to be aware of the risk of transmission if he has been diagnosed with something that can spread to other cats.   

When it comes to cats with acute or chronic conditions, opening your heart and your home to these animals will create a special, unforgettable bond. And you can make their lives as comfortable and fun as possible, especially if you work with a vet who can integrate the best of conventional and holistic medicine to heal your new pet or at least give him the best quality of life.

Bottom Line: Every Cat Is Special!

From special needs cats to black cats and seniors, every feline is unique and special in their own way. So, if you’re searching for your new best furry friend, don’t overlook these kitties. 

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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