Counting cats: Felines more likely to be lost, less likely to be adopted

Cats spend more time in shelters than dogs and are less likely to be adopted.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — When considering the adoption of a pet, consider this fact: Cats spend more time in shelters than dogs and are less likely to be adopted. Much of it has to do with the differences in the species.
Kim Janzen of the SPCA of Wake County says there are a number of reasons shelters all over the area have many more cats than dogs.
"In the warmer months, cats are breeding more, they're out and about more, they're having more litters, and that's another challenge with cats versus dogs," she said. "They can have more litters per year and larger litters than dogs."

Cats are also 10 times less likely to be returned to their owners, once they get lost.

"If they do get lost, owners are less likely to look for them soon," Janzen said. "Whereas dogs, owners will look for them right away if they get lost. Cats they'll think, 'She'll come home in a couple of days. She'll be fine.'"

Cats are also less likely to be wearing a collar when they are found, which helps inundate the shelters, but at the same time, providing a wonderful opportunity for a family looking for loving companion.

Scott Miller promised his children a pet. He had always had dogs, until he gave Caramel and Cynthia a chance.

"They wanted a pet, and I travel for my job, so we just couldn't do a dog at the time," he said.

The Miller family followed the suggestion that kittens and cats are best adopted in pairs and ended up with two.

"This was the original one we were going to get, and then my daughter started smiling at me a lot, and decided she really wanted this one too," Miller said.

WRAL is partnering with eight area animal shelters this Saturday for Clear the Shelters, a nationwide event to pair families with homeless pets. Participating shelters are waiving adoption fees for this special day.


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