GOOD NEWS

Anyone can help community cats to celebrate International Rescue Cat Day

Mar 1, 2023, 4:32 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2023, 7:27 am

March 2 is International Rescue Cat Day, a holiday worth celebrating. (Best Friends Animal Society)...

March 2 is International Rescue Cat Day, a holiday worth celebrating. (Best Friends Animal Society)

(Best Friends Animal Society)

SALT LAKE CITY — March 2 is International Rescue Cat Day, and there’s a way for everyone to celebrate.

You can help save them all without adopting, spending money, or even leaving the comfort of your own home. Even if you are allergic to cats, you can be a cat advocate.

In 2021, approximately 2.3 million cats went into U.S. shelters, and 240,000 did not make it out alive, according to Best Friends Animal Society, but it said that number was improved in 2022, with an 8% reduction in cats needlessly dying in shelters.

The organization’s stated mission is to end the killing of cats and dogs in shelters by 2025, but they need help from the community, shelters no longer have the space for them all. It said it’s important to note that indoor and outdoor cats have different needs when it comes to lifesaving.

“Cats that are doing well outside should be trapped, spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and then returned to their original location so that shelters have room for lost, abandoned and surrendered cats,” cat expert Samantha Bell from Best Friends Animal Society said.  

Community cats are at the highest risk in a shelter. These are cats that are considered feral or stray, living on the streets. People often take these cats to shelters with good intentions, but Best Friends said these are often the cats that don’t make it out alive, because they are not good with humans and are happy on their own. These cats can benefit from the trap-neuter-release method, in which people might bring a cat to a shelter to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated, then return the cat to where they were found to continue as part of their colony.

They encourage people who might be looking to bring a cat or kitten into their home to adopt.

“When you adopt you are saving two lives, the life of the cat you are adopting as well as clearing space for another one to be taken in by the shelter or rescue group,” she said. 

But there are other ways to celebrate Rescue Cat Day and act as a community cat advocate any day.

Local shelters often offer a foster program, where anyone can take a cat home and give it love for some time without committing to adoption. This is a great way to see if you are ready to adopt or just to give a cat a vacation from the shelter. Shelters and the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary also accept volunteers to help out. With Best Friends, volunteers can offer help in person or from the comfort of their own homes.

Best Friends Animal Society offers many opportunities to contribute to the no-kill mission, there are many ways to help even if you cannot adopt.

A convenient and easy first step is to sign up for mobile alerts. Best Friends will send a text or email about time-sensitive opportunities to support lifesaving legislation in your area.

Best Friends Animal Society wants you to join the 2025 Action Team. (Best Friends Animal Society)

There are action groups around the country that anyone can join. These groups meet occasionally to discuss opportunities and progress in the lifesaving efforts in the local community.

You could also simply sign a petition for a cause you support, or even start one through Best Friends. Petitions are easily shareable on social media, which Best Friends said is a truly effective way to make a difference.

There is even an entire advocacy toolkit that Best Friends offers, which goes into depth on everyday ways to make a difference and is free for anyone to download.

Donations can be very helpful as well, whether this is a cash offer or custom buying a cat toy to make a kitty’s day.

Kitten season is approaching, and soon there will be a spike in kittens available for adoption around the country.

More ways to contribute to the no-kill efforts for homeless cats and pets in your community can be found on the Best Friends Animal Society website.

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Anyone can help community cats to celebrate International Rescue Cat Day