December is a celebratory month marked by several major holidays. A lesser-known celebration in December is National Cat Lovers Month. On this special occasion, we take the time to appreciate the furry feline friends who enrich our lives.
Most historians estimate that cats were domesticated around 9,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent area (today’s Middle East). A popular pet along with dogs, cats are beloved for their fierce independence, affection, loyalty, and low maintenance. With nearly fifty different breeds, cats can come in many different coat colors, temperaments, and tail lengths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 40 million households in the United States have cats, bringing joy and companionship to their owners. In the words of writer Charles Dickens, “What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
While domestic cats may not be an endangered species demanding conservation efforts, they still face multiple threats to their well-being and survival. For starters, animal shelters across the country are frequently overpopulated with cats and kittens–many the result of accidental litters and owners who abandoned them. Moreover, inadequate funding and the lack of foot traffic at shelters dim the hope of these incredible creatures finding a home. Worse yet, hundreds of thousands of cats are tragically euthanized every year due to overpopulation.
At American Humane, we recognize that cats desperately need our help more than ever. Through our Feed the Hungry campaign, we are contributing thousands of meals to shelter animals, along with generous grants to struggling shelters. Another way we support the welfare of cats is by providing resources and helpful information to potential cat owners. Check out our links below for more information on the process of adopting a cat.