“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it,” so said William Arthur Ward, American author and motivational speaker. As pet owners, gratitude is something we feel towards our furry, feathered and finned companions every single day. They better our lives in so many ways that we cannot help but express our love and appreciation with cuddles, comfort, and, according to the American Pet Products Association, more than $50 billion dollars of food, supplies, vet care, toys and other essentials every year. If you have any cash left over after you finish pampering your own pets this holiday season, consider giving a donation to one of these worthy feline charities.
Support your local shelter. If helping local cats is your goal, a donation to a local shelter or rescue is the way to go. Most do not receive funds from national animal welfare organizations. It’s up to cat lovers in the areas they serve to keep them in the business of saving kitties. If you’d rather donate time, you can likely find volunteer opportunities as well.
Donate to a pet supply drive. One option is Santa Paws, a drive created by Catster, the cat lover’s news, education and entertainment website, which will be distributing gift boxes to shelters around the world. Visit the drive’s site to make a donation of cash or gifts like toys and treats.
Foster a special kitty. Maybe your cat would love a buddy. Or perhaps you’re without a feline companion right now. Either way, opening your home to a needy cat this holiday season is a great way to share the love. Petfinder is once again sponsoring the Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays program. If you’d like to help, visit the site for a list of participating rescue groups and shelters.
Support the Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program. This nonprofit organization provides financial assistance to people who otherwise would be unable to afford veterinary care for their pets with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. FVEAP helps seniors, the unemployed, rescuers, and others who need to care for cats in urgent need of medical attention.
Donate to a pet food pantry. When the economy is rough, it’s not just humans going to bed without supper—their pets often suffer as well. For this reason, many cities have created food pantries specifically for pets, while others have added pet food sections. It’s likely you’ll find one in your area eager to accept contributions of cat and dog food items.
At this time of year, it’s natural to consider all that we are grateful for—and to give to those in need. However, we should remember that shelter and rescue cats could use our help year-round, not just at the holidays. Do you plan on helping cats this December? Let us know in the comments.