Pro Tips for Adopting a Shelter Cat (from a former shelter cat!) #RememberMeThursday

Pro Tips for Adopting a Shelter Cat (from a former shelter cat!) #RememberMeThursday

In honor of Remember Me Thursday, which takes place this year on September 27, 2018, I’m turning the blog over to Woodrow, who will be sharing his Pro Tips for Adopting a Shelter Cat.

Remember Me Thursday is the fourth Thursday of every September, and it’s meant to shine a light on orphan pets in shelters and rescues that are waiting for their forever homes.

On this Remember Me Thursday, let’s get the whole world talking about pet adoption on social media! And now, here’s what one former shelter cat has to say about adoption.

Remember Me Thursday

Advice from a Former Shelter Cat

Woodrow here! I’m popping in today to offer some awesome pro tips on adopting a shelter cat. You may be asking why I’m doing this. Is this hunk-of-a-mancat qualified to be giving advice? Why, yes…yes, I am, thankyouverymuch.

Being a former shelter cat myself, I’ve seen lots of potential adopters come and go. And a lot of them passed me up. Actually, all of them passed me up except for Mama. But that’s a story for a different day. So, I wanted to drop in and give you my pro tips. Ready? Let’s go!

Pro Tips for Adopting a Shelter Cat

Pro Tips for Adopting a Shelter Cat (from a former shelter cat!) #RememberMeThursday

Don’t overlook the “normals” and the “oldies”

Speaking of being passed over at the shelter time and time again, my first pro tip is to make sure you consider the “normals” and the “oldies.”

Mama said that she considered me a “normal” cat. Ha, I’m anything but normal! But what she means by that is I’m an average adult cat. I don’t have any unique traits that might make someone stop in their tracks and shout, “That one, that one!” I’m not a specific breed, I don’t have three legs (I actually have four, but you know what I mean), I’m not blind, I have average markings – you get the idea. I’m just…normal.

handsome tabby cat and his toy
Sure, I guess you can call this stunning handsomeness “normal.”

Now, take my brother Harley as another example. He’s the “oldie” in our house. A lot of times, adopters want a kitten or a young cat. But being an oldie (a.k.a. senior) is subjective. Some cats can live to be over 20 years old! Which means that Harley, being 10, is only reaching his midlife crisis right now.

adorable Siamese cat
Who you calling old?

Normal cats and older cats make perfect pets. We purr the same, we knead the same, we cuddle the same. Do you get what I’m saying? Also, with adult cats, you usually know what you’re getting since we’ve already grown into our personalities.

Shelters are full of “normal” cats. Please be sure to look at us, too. Don’t go running past us to check out that kitten at the end of the aisle named Frank that you saw on a Facebook video who was batting a string and then turned to the camera to give you that pleading look so you’d rush right down to adopt him. Um, I mean that’s okay, too. But don’t discount us normals and oldies.

Take time to get to know the shy cats

Let’s circle back to our “oldie” Harley, another former shelter cat. When he first arrived here as a foster cat, he was pretty timid. And he had good reason to be – he was adopted and returned twice in just one year! With all those changes, it could make any confident cat a bit unsure.

But over time, Harley has come out of his shell, and he now thinks he runs the house. He’s even turned into a face sleeper. A face sleeper, folks! I didn’t even know that was a thing until he arrived. My point is, please don’t discount a shy cat at the shelter.

Everyone knows that some cats don’t show their true personalities in the shelter environment. Perhaps you can open your heart and home to that shy cat. And then you’ll have the pleasure of watching him blossom in your home.

beautiful Siamese cat
When Harley first arrived, he spent a lot of time in the safety of his cat cave bed. He hasn’t touched it since…no looking back for this guy!

Two cats are better than one!

Some cats at shelters only come in twos. What do I mean by that? Some cats are bonded pairs, which means they need to be adopted together. They’re BFFs and will struggle without their friend or sibling. And many times, bonded pairs are harder to adopt out because people aren’t thinking of adopting two cats when they first go to the shelter.

As one of five cats in this house, I can personally attest to the fact that more cats = more happiness. I’m not big on cuddling, but look at Dexter and Sophie. Could they be any cuter?

two cuddling cats
Adopting two cats could lead to adorable cuddling sessions like this!

Also, if you adopt two cats, they help to keep each other clean…whether the other one likes it or not.

tortie cat grooming tabby cat
“Hold still, Dexter. I’m almost done with this side.” ~Olive

As much as we love our humans, sometimes a fellow feline companion is what we want. So, why not ask the shelter staff if there are any bonded pairs available? And even if not a bonded pair, you could still take home two cats. As I said, two cats are better than one!

two tabby cats sleeping
I don’t cuddle, but I have been known to semi-cuddle. Here I am with Dexter. Can you tell us apart?

Adopting a cat means saving a life

Alright, so this isn’t necessarily a pro tip, but it’s worth mentioning.

Since I’m writing to save lives in honor of Remember Me Thursday – this is really the most important reason to adopt a shelter cat. When you adopt a cat, especially from an open admission shelter, you’re saving that cat’s life. And if you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you’re freeing up space for that shelter to pull another cat from an open admission shelter.

As a former shelter cat, I can’t tell you how much this means to me. I was adopted as a kitten and returned to the shelter a few years later. Luckily, Mama came to the shelter and took me home.

But every day, thousands of shelter cats and dogs aren’t so lucky – and they’re forced to cross to the rainbow bridge. So, why not adopt your pet instead of shopping for one? Cats just like these two are waiting right now for their forever humans to come and adopt them.

Lighting Up the World for Orphan Pets

So, those are my pro tips for adopting a shelter cat – and I’m stickin’ to ’em! In honor of Remember Me Thursday, this has been my way of shining a light on orphan pets waiting for their forever homes. I hope it will inspire someone to adopt their next pet from a shelter or rescue.

How are you participating in Remember Me Thursday? Come on, let’s light up social media together and get the whole world talking about pet adoption!

Purrs and Meows, Woodrow

smiling tabby cat
I’m so happy in my forever home!

Remember Me Thursday Blog Hop

Fellow bloggers, you can link up your Remember Me Thursday post right here (or at Lola the Rescued Cat). Grab the blog hop badge for your post and then link up!

Remember Me Thursday Blog Hop Badge

Remember Me Thursday was created by Mike Arms, President and CEO of Helen Woodward Animal Center. Learn more at

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  1. There are four pets here with four different distinct personalities. Hazel was a semi-feral cat that didn’t show well at adoption events. She wasn’t stunningly pretty and cowered in the back of the carrier. She also “tooted” when she got nervous. I adopted her hoping that my over the top friendly cat Mollie would bring her out of her shell. It did work although to this day 12 years later, Hazel is still very cautious around humans. However, she will hold her ground against any feline! She would have been an overlooked cat for sure. Two of my cats are harder to adopt cats with one eye. Mollie was an adult cat who had a litter. She was very beautiful but very shy. I suspect she would have gotten adopted because of her beauty if someone was willing to wait through the two weeks under the bed routine! Gotta love cats!

  2. Next time, we will adopt an old cat, for sure! Up to today, we welcomed only kittens or young cats.
    Lemmy, two years old, came in last August: now, our fifth master of mischief :-D
    This grey guy was abandoned because he had serious health disease.
    However, we would like to find a good old companion for our sixteen-year-old chubby Jones!
    Have a wonderful Thursday!

  3. We adopted twin bonded boys in December, and they are two years old, but act like kittens! Cannot imagine having ‘real’ kittens; too much craziness! When I retire, I’d like to foster mama cats, but that’s years away yet. The Hubby already knows; any new family cats are coming into the house in twos!

  4. your advice was marvelous and when I adopted Cody, he was NOT my first choice. About having two cats, I agree, but sadly, our complex only allows us to have two pets and we have a cat and a dog. Not allowed to have three pets.

  5. These are just beautiful photos and your “normalness” shines through brightly, thank you Woodrow, for your pro tips. We adopted the two “yoots, you know, the brofurs who are always causing the mischief. They were also returned twice because they were considered too rambunctious. But we are lucky to have them and glad we took chance on these guys.

  6. Now that I’ve slowed down, I prefer slowed down cats too. Kittens are anerable but sooo much energy!! If I adopt again, it will be an adult shelter cat (or an adult stray that shows up on my property and doesn’t leave).

  7. Thanks for this important info, Woodrow! You are so right. Many people come in looking for kittens or cute cats or outgoing ones. They need to look at those that might not “show” well…because honestly, they will be the ones that make the best companions.

  8. All of my cats have been rescues in one way or another and they always will be. Up until Truffles and Mudpie I always adopted seniors as well, but even the two of them were adult cats. Pawsome post!

  9. I love this post! I have adopted the shy kitties and when I went in for Sammy and found out he had a sister, I adopted her too. XO

  10. Great post, Woodrow. When the peeps came to the adoption even to get me, the volunteer was telling TW that everyone gravitates to the kittens and long-haired designer cats. TW has adopted two cats from them and both of us are special. Autumn for her missing toe and the fact that I’m a biter. Of course, even though the peeps knew they were getting me like it or not, TW couldn’t stop admiring a long-haired deisgner cat and Pop a huge Maine Coon.

  11. Great post! I so wish I could adopt a cat (or two!), but my fiance is allergic to them. I always think it’s great to point out how awesome senior pets can be. I love love love puppies, but my oldest dog is almost 10 and and still has so, so much to offer.

  12. Thanks for sharing such great tips Woodrow!! I agree, take some time to get to know the quieter cats. It can be really scary in a shelter with so much going on, many cats prefer some quiet time and get overlooked. As an advocate of senior pet adoption, I also agree with considering an older cat. They deserve homes too!! Glad you were lucky and found your forever home.

  13. Bravo, Woodrow! Those are some awesome tips, and ones that we, too, espouse! We have adopted lots of oldies, shy kitties and bonded pairs.

  14. Well Done! Thanks for shining a light on Remember Me Thursday. Your sibling cats are beautiful and so are you Woodrow! Great points about not passing up other cats in favor of kittens and not discounting the Normal or Senior cats. Besides, kittens are only kittens for a few months!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  15. Those are great tips and can be easily applied to dogs too! Although I thought my dog Theo was quite handsome when we adopted him, no one else even asked about him in the month that he was waiting for us to meet him and take him home. Like Woodrow, he might be classified as “normal,” but he’s totally awesome.

  16. Well said! Whether your are “normal” or have 3 legs or a different condition, all furry felines need good homes to call their forever home. You and your brother are quite handsome. Yes, often times people don’t realize that adopting in pairs is a good option. It really helps keeping the cats in pairs or trios, especially when groups of siblings are looking for homes.

  17. Hi. What a lovely post, and I really love all the pictures. The tips are great. Thanks for hosting this blog hop!

    By the way, I live in Newport Beach and was happy to see your post and review on the cat cafe that just recently opened in Laguna!

  18. These are all great tips! i adopted my first cat from the Humane Society and she was an “average” tabby but an extraordinary best friend for 20 years. ♥ Thank you for hosting the #RememberMeThursday blog hop.

  19. Hey Guys,
    Great advice and this Tribe of 5 rescues couldn’t have said it better. Let’s hope the humans read this and start implementing some of your suggestions!
    Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Alberto & The Tribe of Five

  20. Oh my gosh…such beautiful cats! I just fell in love with Harley!!! (I love the name, too. We have a Husky named Harley)! The photos are so beautiful and the snuggling pic of Dexter and Sophie is priceless. Sophie (the white kitty?) reminds me of my Mom’s cat from my teenage years, Snowball. What a lovebug. Great post! I have also Pinned over on my #RememberMeThursday board to share!