Adopting any species is an amazing act; however, adopting a cat is different. Dogs are known as happy-go-lucky creatures. They are extremely loyal and give their owners unconditional love. Cats are different. While people choose their dogs or bunnies, cats choose their owners.

“She came right up to me and wouldn’t stop meowing,” said Jaime Arrom, regarding the adoption process of his 8-month-old kitten, “I knew she had chosen me and I couldn’t leave the shelter without putting in an application.”

There is a common misconception that cats do not care about their owners and that they are selfish creatures, only wanting food and treats. While cats may not wag their tails and jump up and down as soon as you walk through the door, they absolutely adore their owners.

Every cat has their own personality. Some are playful, some are sassy, and some are calm, cool, and collected. “Each of my cats are unique from each other, and every other cat I have owned,” explains Kara Hedricks, who currently owns three cats adopted from Animal Friends of the Valley in Wildomar.

Unless you are allergic to cats, they are actually beneficial to your overall health. The pet health network found “owning a cat may lead to a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.” In addition, The Clinical & Experimental Allergy found in their research that “early exposure to a cat in the home can actually reduce infants’ sensitization to the allergens cats produce.”

Cats are fairly low-maintenance, which makes for a great pet for children or the elderly. While extremely playful at times, cats often enjoy soaking in some sun on top of a cat tree, or taking naps – ever heard of the phrase “cat nap?” This phrase actually began in the early 1800’s to describe the short periods of time in which cats sleep throughout the day, according to ABA Journal.

Many people fail to spay or neuter their cats, which creates overpopulation out in the wild. There are already so many cats in shelters that need loving homes.

Unfortunately, a lot of these cats have to get put down in order to make room for incoming pets. That is 370,000 kittens that end up in shelters, longing for someone to rescue them.

Thankfully, there are many rescues out there that are trying to keep cats from getting euthanized in shelters. LYFF (Love Your Feral Felines) is one of them. They have recently partnered with Cat & Craft, a coffee shop in Vista that houses cats, who are trying to get adopted. Since opening earlier this year, Cat & Craft has found homes for 50 cats. LYFF has adopted out 65 foster cats and 24 barn cats.

Barn cats are cats that are not typically fit for the average person’s home. Some are feral, and some are friendly. For those who have a barn or structure outside and are trying to keep out unwanted pests, cats are a great animal to have. Unlike rodent poisons, cats are safe for other animals and children, so there are no harmful chemicals going into your space. And, you are giving an “unadoptable” cat a home.

All cats adopted from LYFF are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and vet-checked upon adoption. If you’re outside of the area, many shelters offer the same necessities for a low cost if not free.

“So many people have a misconception about feral cats. They are seen as wild animals incapable of showing affection and being tamed,” says Ana Safe, “these feral cats just need a way to trust humans again.”

If you are unable to adopt a cat, there are many ways to help stop euthanization. Fostering is a great way to see if you are fit to care for an animal. While fostering, you are able to care for an animal until you are able to find them a stable home.

Fostering may sound simple, but it takes a lot of time and is often recommended for those who are home most of the time to give an animal as much attention and care as possible.

Many shelters and rescues take donations of money or supplies. Soon, LYFF is going to have a “kitten shelter” in which they will accept things like wet/dry food, litter, blankets, and heating pads, as they are expecting to take in 500 cats this season.

Every animal – even the most mischievous, is deserving of a loving home.