It’s that time of year — the season in which we spend all our free time shopping online and trying to keep the cat out of the Christmas tree. It’s also a time of year when many of us are feeling extra generous and ready to make some donations to causes close to our hearts. Let’s take a look at 10 cat causes that are worthy of your holiday cheer.
This national advocacy organization has been helping feral cats for a quarter century, educating people about the importance of trap-neuter-return programs and promoting humane care. Right now a $20 donation to the organization gets you a copy of President and Founder Becky Robinson’s book, The Evolution of the Cat Revolution: 25 Years of Saving Cats — the perfect gift for anyone in your life who has an interest in helping feral cat communities.
It’s something no cat lover wants to imagine, but there are parts of the world where the trade in cat meat continues. That’s why organizations like Humane Society International (HSI) are working hard to create change and save cats who’ve ended up in butcher’s pens. HSI works with animal advocates in China in fighting cruelty to cats (and dogs) in the meat trade. A donation to HSI will help the organization continue to fight against a meat trade profiting from the suffering of companion animals.
Imagine you got sick and had to be hospitalized. Who would take care of your cats while you got well? For some people, it’s a question without an answer, and it can easily lead to cats ending up in a shelter with little chance of reuniting with their owner. When a sick cat lover has no other options, the PACT for Animals Hospital Foster Program places the kitty in a foster home during the human’s hospital stay. A donation to PACT can help a cat stay out of a shelter and give a sick person peace of mind in knowing their kitty is in loving hands. The organization will also foster animals for deployed members of the military.
The folks at the Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary in North Carolina know that blind cats can have a great quality of life — but unfortunately, blind kitties often end up on the euthanization list at shelters. That’s why the organization exists, taking in blind cats, as well as FIV and FELV positive cats. Blind Cat Rescue and Sanctuary spends about $228 per month on each cat. The sanctuary has an Amazon wishlist. It also accepts sponsorships for individual cats and general donations.
This California-based organization is another safe place for kitties. The Cat House on the Kings calls itself the largest no-cage, no-kill, lifetime cat sanctuary and adoption center in its state. It has saved more than 24,000 cats and currently cares for more than 700. The Cat House on the Kings accepts donations or sponsorships of cats, and is always in need of items from its Amazon Wish List.
If you’d rather hit the Web than the mall in your quest for gifts this holiday season, adoptashelter.com is the best place to start. This website lets you earn money for a shelter or rescue of your choice every time you shop online at one of the retailers listed. A purchase from Amazon, for example, gets your rescue a 5 to 1.5-percent donation, while buying something from Petco would get your shelter a donation of 4 to 5.5 percent. Walmart, Petsmart, and Macy’s are just a few of the other merchants you can shop at through adoptashelter.com. If you’re going to do your holiday shopping online anyway, why not do it through adoptashelter.com and give some shelters a gift at the same time?
The ResQwalk app is another example of how we can use technology to donate to shelters without actually taking that donation out of our own wallets. The donations come from a monthly pool supported by corporate sponsors. App users just pick the shelter they want to walk for, start the app, and get to stepping. The donations are then paid out to shelters proportionally, based on the total distance each organization’s supporters walked (or ran, or biked — basically any activity that can be tracked by GPS and has you moving 14 mph or less). ResQwalk recently launched a new version of its app which now offers photo sharing and increased visibility for adoptable animals.
This much-needed group supports diabetic cats and the people who love them through its Compassionate Assistance Program to help low-income cat guardians. The program provides a meter, testing kit, and the cat’s prescribed insulin. Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN) offers this program to people who might otherwise have to rehome their cat because they can’t afford the supplies. DCIN also helps low-income folks cover emergent issues related to a cat’s diabetes, like hypoglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis, pancreatitis, and urinary tract infections. Shelter cats are also served by DCIN, which provides testing supplies and insulin to keep cats off the euthanization lists, and pays to transport adoptable diabetic cats to new homes. Donations can be made through the DCIN website, and if you’re heading to Amazon to do some Christmas shopping, you can support DCIN by using its Amazon Associate links (for the U.S., U.K., and Canada).
At the Ontario Veterinary College, the OVC Pet Trust funds all kinds of studies (including work on the effect of decreased kidney function on tests for pancreatitis in cats). At the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, the Companion Animal Health Fund supports research, training, and the purchase of new technologies at the college’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. A holiday donation to funds like these helps veterinarians further the health and well-being of the cats today and tomorrow.
If our Christmas wishes came true, all the local animal shelters and cat rescues would be empty. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of kitties who need homes, so your favorite shelters and rescues certainly deserve to be on your Christmas gift list. Every little bit helps keep the cats in your community cared for and fed until they get the gift of a forever home.
What other cat causes will you be donating to this year? Let us know in the comments!
Read more on Catster about the holidays:
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 +.