Have the new person give the cat his daily food and favorite treats to help the cat understand the “interloper” will not be interrupting his daily routine. Photo: Chalabala | Getty Images

How to Feed Your Cat If You’re Food Insecure

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Unemployment has skyrocketed during COVID-19, and it’s left people struggling to put food on their tables. When cat parents can’t afford to feed themselves, they’re likely struggling to make ends meet for their pets as well.

If you’re hurting, know you’re not alone. The ASPCA recently released new data showing that more than 4.2 million pets in the U.S. are likely to enter poverty in the next six months because of COVID-19.

“With the potential for a sustained national unemployment rate of 10%, the total number of animals living in poverty with their owners could rise to more than 24.4 million dogs, cats, horses and other animals — a 21 percent increase in the number of animals living in poverty compared to pre-COVID estimates [in February 2020],” says Jessica Sweeney, the senior program manager of ASPCA community engagement. “The number of families who may be struggling to care for their pets is staggering.”

Sweeney offers advice on finding resources if you need assistance feeding your cat, and no one should be ashamed to ask for help.

Look for a food pantry

Local shelters are running food banks and pantries. Pet owners can google “pet food pantry near me” to find one. Local shelters and veterinarians can also help point you in the right direction.

Feed Your Cat If You’re Food Insecure
Photo: ©w-ings | Getty Images.

Keep an eye out in aisles

Pet stores like PetsMart and Petco often have samples available in the aisles. You can try stocking up on those to tide you over. They also may have coupons you can use. If you can’t find any, try calling your favorite kitty food vendor and explaining your situation. They may be willing to send you some coupons or free samples.

Don’t be shy

Asking for help can be emotional. You may feel inadequate because you cannot afford cat food or embarrassed to ask for help, but you shouldn’t. Organizations are here to help.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for pet owners by straining essential owner resources and making it difficult for people to access the supplies and services they need to care for their pets,” Sweeney says. “We believe that pets and people belong together; that financial circumstances alone are not reliable indicators of the capacity to love and care for a companion animal.”

Featured photo: Chalabala | Getty Images

Read Next: Coronavirus and Cats: What Cat Owners Need to Know About COVID-19

3 thoughts on “How to Feed Your Cat If You’re Food Insecure”

  1. I wish there were cat companies that would make a real fairy material sucking blanket and add really very very soft nipples to it, placing them in every shop I know 100 percent that they would sell SPCA donate money exclusively for kittens and even older cats continue to suck their blankies 0n. We really need stuff like this, please give this a try I have an 11-year-old cat still sucking on her blanket all my fur babies were bottle-fed no Mommy

  2. I wish there were cat company that would make a sucking blanket real fairy material and add very very soft nipples to it put them in every store I know 100% that they will sell donate money to SPCA specifically just for kittens and even older cats continue to suck 0n their blankies. Please give this a try we really need things like this I have an 11 year old cat still sucking on her blanket all my fur babies were bottle-fed no Mommy

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