Why I Have No Plans to Start a Cat Rescue

Sometimes, people suggest that I start a cat rescue because I love cats. Maybe someday I will respond by asking them when they are opening an orphanage because they like kids and babies.
Cats are indeed my favorite. I enjoy cats very much and have spent a great deal of time and money helping cats over the years.

However, I have no plans to start a cat rescue for several reasons.

Stressing Out When Rescues Are Full
Three rescues in my area take in cats, with one that only helps cats.
The need in my community is greater than can be met. So, if I started a cat rescue, it would also be quickly full.
I see the frustration in local social media groups when they call full rescues. Sometimes, they make nasty comments when they cannot be helped immediately.

My personality is not a good fit for dealing with having to say, “I can’t help now.” I would be stressed out constantly, which would not be good for my health.

Asking for Donations
I would also need help to ask for donations. Most shelters and rescues can function because of generous donations.
Now, asking for a donation occasionally would be okay. But I don’t have the energy to do that consistently.

And it’s usually sob stories that generate the most donations on Facebook. Those stories are hard enough to read. Having to write up the story would be difficult. And having to be the behind-the-scenes person helping the cat in dire need would be tough.
Dealing With Emotions
It’s hard on me when one of my cats is not doing well. I become distracted and upset and cry.
With a rescue, there will likely always be a cat in need. I admire those who can foster sick kittens and shelters that help badly injured cats.

I would always be on high alert, which is not good for personal health nor fair to my cats or husband.
Finding Acceptable Homes
My standards for cat ownership are high. Even with a diligent screening, some cats would likely not be in a good forever home.
I would ask too many questions, turning away suitable adopters out of fear. And then I might end up keeping all the cats.

Since I currently have nine cats, that’s proof that I could improve at rehoming cats. A while back, I wrote about Why We Are Not Keeping The New Outdoor Cat and then we ended up keeping him.
A few times, I have successfully placed cats with family, friends, and coworkers. Those were all people that I knew.  Adopting cats to random strangers would be much harder.
What I’m Doing Instead
I love cats and help cats when I can. Here are a few things I do to help cats that you may also be able to do:

Donate to local rescues when I can.
Encourage people to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) unfriendly outdoor cats.  When new feral cats show up, a neighbor and I do TNR for them.
Promote spaying and neutering.
Help others with TNR when I can.
Encourage friends that want cats to adopt cats.

All of these are ways that help with the cat overpopulation, without me starting a rescue. Rescues are great and serve a needed purpose, but running a cat rescue is not the right fit for me.
Read Next: How Many Cats Are Too Many in the House

Heidi Bender is the writer and founder of the Joy of Cats. She enjoys sharing cat information and providing helpful cat tips. She considers herself a cat lady and currently cares for nine cats.


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