How to Help Homeless Cats When You Can’t Adopt

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While adoption is the biggest way to make a difference in an animal’s life, it’s not always a feasible option for animal lovers. Perhaps your spouse is allergic to cats, your landlord won’t allow pets, or you travel too often to keep a pet company. Though this may not be the right time for adopting a pet, it’s always a great time to reach out and help animals in need. Try these strategies for helping homeless cats even when you can’t take one home.

Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

If you love being around cats but can’t adopt because of apartment restrictions, you can still get a regular dose of kitty cuddles by spending time at your local animal shelter. These shelters need dedicated volunteers to assist with daily care and socialization. While this will include tasks like cleaning litter boxes and maintaining safe, hygienic cages, it also involves petting, playing, and snuggling with the animals. You can make a big difference by volunteering in your area.

Care for Feral Cats

Just as many families can’t adopt cats, many cats aren’t appropriate for introduction into a home. Some feral cats are as wild as raccoons and other untamed creatures. They’re nearly impossible to socialize and generally need to be left on their own. You can help support a safe and healthy life for these cats in many ways, such as leaving food or water in places separate from people and roads.


One of the first things you should do is look for a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program willing to help spay or neuter any feral cats you find. This will improve the lives of the cats in feral colonies by keeping these groups to a manageable size.

You can also build them cat shelters to provide protection from the cold and other hazards. Though you won’t have your feral cat curled up on the living room couch, you can still enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a sweet feline creature.

Donate to Charities for Cats

If you don’t have the time commitment for a cat, you can still help support homeless felines in your area by collecting much-needed donations for the shelters and foster families that take care of them. Check with your nearest shelter to find out what they need most. You may hear there’s a need for blankets, toys, kitten food, or other supplies. In some cases, the most valuable donation may be a monetary amount that can help keep the lights on at that location.

Organize Fellow Animal Lovers

You can increase your impact on shelters and foster families by pooling your donation with contributions from others. Look into organizing a pet food drive at your workplace, community library, or the kids’ school. Something as simple as putting out a box for cat food donations may lead to an outpouring of support from the community.

You don’t have to adopt an animal to make a difference in his or her life. Try these approaches to give your time, attention, and resources to animals in need, even when you don’t have the ability to welcome them into your home.

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