Monday, September 7, 2009

Black Cat Rescue

I heard a horrible statistic on the radio this afternoon. Three to four million cats enter shelters every year. Of those only half will be adopted and the rest will be euthanized. White cats are the easiest to adopt out followed by tabby cats. Black cats are the least popular with only 20% being adopted.

Most rescue groups blame this disparity in adoptions on the superstition that black cats will bring bad luck. That's just crazy. When I went to my local shelter to adopt a cat 10 years ago I was looking for a black cat. Unfortunately, all the black cats that were available for adoption were very skittish and nervous. I ended up adopting a large orange tabby cat because he was very vocal and was purring and rubbing his head against the cage as I held my hand against the bars. If I had known this statistic then, I might have been more diligent in my search for a black cat and come home with two cats that day.

In some countries black cats are considered good luck. I can't believe that a developed nation like ours would be so full of stupid people that they wouldn't adopt an innocent cat just because of the color of his fur. Well I guess I'm not that surprised. There is discrimination against people of different races, sexes, social class and sexuality along with biases against certain breeds of dogs so why not cats too.

I can understand shelters holding on to black cats around Halloween because of the cruel things that some idiots do to them to "celebrate". But that month of not adopting out black cats shouldn't result in such low adoption numbers for the rest of the year. A lot of shelters are setting up special events to bring attention to the black cat population to try and encourage adoptions. I have heard of the following events taking place to try and increase black cat adoptions: Black Cat Friday (day after Thanksgiving), In the Black (tax season), Black Tie Love Affair (held in some Petsmart locations one weekend a year) and Black Christmas. I have heard of black cats being available for 50% off at some of these events. A lot of people that come to these events are looking at the black cats first because they are on sale. While a lot of these people leave these events with non-black cats these events bring people out to the shelters and increase the likelihood of more cats of all colors being adopted. Any event that brings visibility to the high volume of cats that are available for adoption, particularly black cats, is a great one in my book. Please check your local rescue organizations and pet stores if you are thinking about getting a cat and consider adopting a black cat.

If I didn't have a 12 year old angry tabby cat in my house, I would be adding a black cat to our household. I hope that Tiger lives to be a very old cat but when he passes I know the following: 1. We will adopt two cats at once next time and 2. One of those cats will be black. Happy Labor Day. Don't forget to spay and neuter your furry friends so we can try to control the animal population.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Denise. Found your post while browsing online. My partner and I started Black Cat Rescue after moving from Ithaca, NY to Boston. Although the stat is unfortunate, it's good to hear that this topic is coming up on the radio. Dogs experience a similar phenomenon. There's another rescue called Start Seeing Black Dogs ( Thanks for the post!