In March, charity organisation PETstock Assist hosted its annual National Pet Adoption Month (NPAM) to help change the lives of rescue pets in need of a permanent or temporary home.

This year PETstock shone a light on the new challenges facing the pet adoption industry, where more than 36,000 cats and kittens remain homeless, closely followed by large dogs and bonded pairs.

While placing weight on cat adoptions, PETstock helped a total of 711 cats find their forever homes.

Together with local rescue groups, PETstock stores across Australia and New Zealand rehomed a total of 756 rescue animals throughout the month. Victoria led the way with a total of 215 pets adopted out, followed by Queensland at 193 and South Australia at 110.

Over the past few years, the pet adoption landscape has experienced dramatic yet positive changes. Now, with thousands of Australians claiming the pet parent title, the industry is facing new challenges, where thousands of cats and kittens remain homeless.

Every year 80,000 urban stray cats are killed by councils as a way of managing unowned animals. According to PetRescue, killing cats has the opposite effect as the remaining cats produce larger, healthier litters due to less competition for food sources.

PetRescue Co-Founder, Vickie Davy, says that while they often take a back seat in adoptions compared to dogs, cats make fantastic pets, which is why, together with PETstock Assist, they’re on a mission to educate people on the benefits of adopting or fostering a cat.

“PetRescue has more than 36,000 cats listed for adoption annually, and of those, 92 per cent will work well with families with dogs and 82 per cent of cats can go to families with children under the age of five years old,” says Vickie.

“Most people start their search for a rescue pet with a particular type, breed, age, or size in their mind, and more often than not, they’re looking for a puppy. However, enquirers for cats have a much greater chance of a successful adoption – the adoption experience is faster and more positive overall.

“Every cat has a unique personality, and they love their humans just as much as dogs do. Cat adopters are often surprised how quickly they form a special bond – it’s almost as though they know you’ve saved their life.”

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