Random Act of Kindness Week happens February 9-15, and you can bet plenty of people will be paying forward good deeds for the duration of the seven days. Strangers will buy each other coffee and smile at people they usually don’t acknowledge, but what about our kitty companions? How can we give them an extra dose of kindness during this week long celebration of niceness?
Here are 10 actions you can use to show your kindness to cats during Random Acts of Kindness Week.
If you’ve already got to go pick up pet food, why not throw a little extra in the cart and swing by a shelter on your way home? Some pet stores are helping people skip the second step by placing donation bins by the exit door. Just put your extra purchase in the bin and your good deed for the day is done.
We all know how quick a couple of cats can go through litter, but when you’ve got dozens of kitties to clean up after, the need is even greater. That’s why many shelters are grateful for the gift of clumping litter, and it’s something that all of us can easily pick up during our own errands and drop off at a local shelter.
If you happen to be out picking up litter and food this week, and you notice the person behind only has few cans of cat food in their basket, why not offer to pay for their stuff, too? It’ll only set you back a few bucks, and it’ll definitely make their day. You never know — maybe they’re spending the last of their cash on cat food, or maybe they’ve got plenty of money and will pay your generosity forward to the next person in line.
If you don’t want to lug litter or cat food all the way to the shelter, perhaps consider a quick and painless online donation during Random Act of Kindness Week. It’ll take five minutes to log onto your favorite shelter or rescue’s website and hit the Paypal link. It doesn’t even have to be a big donation — a random five bucks is totally in the spirit of the week.
Maybe you just got a raise, but know someone who’s been struggling to pay for their cat’s medical care. Why not call up the vet and ask if you can’t put a hundred bucks on your friend’s bill? If that doesn’t sound like the kind of generous act for you, perhaps you could inquire with the clinic to see if any rescue organizations have cats whose vaccinations you could randomly pay for.
If you don’t feel comfortable approaching the vet’s office with your offers of cash, you can always make a similar impact online. The practice of crowdfunding for a cat’s medical expenses is common on sites like GoFundMe and FundRazr. If you’re wary about where crowdfunded money is actually going when you give to a stranger, you can turn to PetChance — a site that pays the veterinary hospital directly.
Financial difficulties can make it hard for people to buy groceries for themselves — let alone buy pet food — so many food banks across North America accept pet food to help people and their pets get back on their feet (and paws). If your local food bank has a kibble kitchen, consider dropping off a bag or two, or a few cans of quality wet food. Free cat chow could mean the difference between a family staying together or having to send a four-legged member to a shelter.
February is cold in many parts of the world, and there are a lot of kitties out there who are too feral to bring into the house, but are definitely needing human help to get warm. If you’ve got one of these chilly cats sniffing around the neighborhood, you can easily build a shelter for them with a Rubbermaid tote and some insulating materials. You may never get a wild cat in the house, but thanks to your act of kindness you’ll at least know he’s warm while outdoors.
If you’ve got a friend who’s been recovering from an injury or illness, they might not be able to do all the things they do for their cats when they’re well. If you’re visiting this week (or whenever), offer to exercise the cats for a bit or maybe even change their litter. Your friend will be thankful for the spontaneous extra help, and the kitties will be grateful for the extra attention.
Cats serve a dual function as both pets and adorable window dressings, so chances are even if you don’t know your neighbors, you probably know that they have a cat. Why not spread a little kitty kindness and offer an icebreaker to your neighbors this week by dropping off a cat toy or two in your neighbor’s mailbox or at their door. You could include a note stating that you offer this cat toy as a random act of kindness from one cat lover to another. You could even mention how cute their cat is (compliments are worth extra points this week).
It’s a busy world, we all have busy routines, and our cats often get used to our clockwork comings and goings. This week though, why not carve out some extra time to do something really special with your cat? Whether that’s playing “chase the laser” unexpectedly before work or building a special box castle for them to reign in, now is a good time to show some extra kindness to the kitties who are kind enough to share our lives all year round.
How are you celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week? What kind-to-cats acts have we missed? Let us know in the comments.
Read about more good deeds on Catster:
About the author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten, GhostBuster the Lab and her newest dog, Marshmallow, make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +