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Find your ‘purrfect’ friend

June is Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, and since kitten season is in full swing, now could be the ‘purrfect’ time to find a new best friend.

Not only are thousands of newborn kittens joining the millions of cats already in shelters, but a lack of foot traffic, funding, and supplies at many shelters struggling to maintain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic have threatened these animals’ hopes to find a forever home.

“What we’ve always known is that cats are great companions and friends for all age groups,” Southside SPCA Assistant Director Francee Schuma said. “They can help lessen the feelings of loneliness and isolation, something we all experienced this past year with COVID.  Having a feline companion has also proved to be good for your mental and physical well-being by lowering stress and anxiety.”

Schuma said the Southside SPCA, located in Meherrin, has 57 cats but with kitten season, they are expecting more soon.

“For every cat adopted from Southside SPCA, we can then rescue another in need,” Schuma said. “Adoption saves two lives, the one you adopt and the one we rescue.”

If you’re looking for how to help save a shelter cat this month, there are many ways.

Adopting a cat is the most preferred, but before you commit to furry parenthood, make sure to have the time, space, and budget to properly care for a cat. If you do decide to adopt, remember senior cats need homes too.

Those unsure they want to provide a permanent home for a cat may begin by fostering a cat or kitten. Fostering gives a cat a break from shelter life and often reveals an entirely new kitty personality.

Don’t have room or time? Donate. Shelters go through tons of kitty litter, cat food, kitten food, treats, toys, beds, and towels all year long, but these items vanish even more quickly during kitten season. Donating even a few of these items to a local shelter will help out.

“By adopting a cat, you’re not only saving that particular cat, but you also make space for the next cat coming into a shelter,” Samantha Bell, cat expert at Best Friends Animal Society, said. “Adoption is also very cost-effective, as cats are usually fixed, vaccinated, microchipped, and ready to go home for one low fee.”

To adopt a cat or kitten from the Southside SPCA, please submit an application at: www.southsidespca.org

Once approved an adoption counselor will contact you to schedule an appointment.