The right way to gift a cat

Chelsea Powrie

The Critteraid Animal Sanctuary has roughly 40 juvenile cats, meaning under five years old, that they are hoping will find forever homes this holiday season. 

Many of the cats were rescued from a tragic hoarding situation earlier in the year, but they have all overcome health and behavioural issues through the support and love of Critteraid staff. 

"We're really proud to say that they are all really loving and outgoing, super gentle spirits in all of them," said animal director Jess Byer. 

But just because it's the holiday season doesn't mean these animals should be given as gifts. Byer said that plenty of people have their hearts in the right place when they gift a cat or other pet, but it's strongly discouraged. 

"It's really important that the whole family is in on the decision when adopting a friend," she said, explaining that unexpected issues like allergies or the temperament of the animal once it is in the home can often lead to them ending up right back in the shelter, or worse, abandoned. 

That's not to say there isn't a way to give a rescue cat as a present. Byer suggested that anyone wanting to buy a cat as a gift could purchase the adoption fee ahead of time, then accompany the friend or family to the Critteraid sanctuary to meet the available animals and find a perfect fit. 

"Have them come up and meet their friend, and make the bond together," Byer said. 

To find out more about adoptions at Critteraid, call Byer at 250-488-3226.

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