pets and domestic violence

Did you know that a large majority of victims of domestic violence hesitate to leave their situation out of concern for their pets?  There is a strong link between domestic violence and animal abuse, and offenders of domestic violence typically abuse all members of the household, including pets. Since many shelters do not accept pets, it can be a gut-wrenching decision for victims to leave their pets behind with their abuser. 

Pets and Domestic Violence

Pets and Domestic Violence

the impact of pets in domestic violence situations

Since the link between animal abuse and domestic violence is so strong, it is likely that a perpetrator of domestic violence will also abuse the animals in the home. According to animal advocacy group RedRover, most animal abuse occurs in the presence of human victims in the home in order to psychologically control or coerce them. Threats against household pets can be powerful in controlling victims and keeping them quiet about the abusive situation. 

In a violent home, pets may suffer injuries, health problems, permanent disabilities, or may disappear from the home entirely or be killed.

Here are some interesting statistics from the American Humane Association:

• 71% of pet-owning women entering women's shelters reported that their batterer had injured, maimed, killed or threatened family pets for revenge or to psychologically control victims.

• 68% of battered women reported violence toward their animals. 87% of these incidents occurred in the presence of the women and 75% in the presence of the children.

• 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.

• Between 25% and 40% of battered women are unable to escape abusive situations because they worry about what will happen to their pets should they leave.

• For many battered women, pets are sources of comfort, providing strong emotional support: 98% of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of the family.

• A child growing up in the U.S. is more likely to have a pet than a live-at-home-father. 

• Battered women have been known to live in their cars with their pets for as long as four months until an opening was available at a pet-friendly safe house.

the link between domestic violence and animal abuse

According to the ASPCA, and other resources, there is a strong link between domestic violence and animal abuse. In fact, a history of pet abuse is one of the top four indicators of risk for being a perpetrator of domestic violence. Those who abuse animals are typically more dangerous, violent and controlling than those who do not. Since so many women (though men can also be victims of domestic violence, it is most often women and children who are at risk) delay leaving an abusive situation out of concern for the pets in the household, it is vitally important that we provide resources for families with pets. 

In addition, the ASPCA cites other shocking facts about animal abuse and domestic violence. Children exposed to domestic violence are three times more likely to be cruel to animals, which seems to perpetuate the cycle of abuse. Interestingly, the Chicago Police Department found that 30% of people arrested for animal abuse had domestic violence charges already on record.

why do abusers batter animals?

According to the ASPCA, there are several reasons abusers batter animals:

• to demonstrate power and control over the family

• to isolate the victim and children

• to enforce submission

• to perpetuate an environment of fear

• to prevent the victim from leaving or coerce her to return

• to punish for leaving or showing independence

what can you do?

What got me thinking about all of this? I was listening to The Mathew Blades Morning Show here in Phoenix the other day, and I heard him talking about his support of the Sojourner Center. He announced that he will be the emcee of their upcoming 14th Annual Hope Luncheon on October 29th. 

Blades spoke about how the Sojourner Center supports women with pets by allowing them to stay together. The victims of domestic violence can bring their pets with them to the shelter, which can provide safety for the pets and comfort and peace of mind to the women and children seeking refuge from their abusive situation. 

You can attend the luncheon, volunteer with the Sojourner Center or donate to the organization. 

resources & help

The Sojourner Center

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

RedRover–bringing animals from crisis to care

Safe Place for Pets–a RedRover project with the National Link Coalition and Sheltering Animals and Families Together

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, please seek help.

ready for a furever home: the "lost our home" cats

Each week, the littles and I volunteer at the cat room at our local PetSmart taking care of cats available for adoption through Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. For the most part, the littles get to play with and cuddle the cats while I scoop litter boxes, but I'm not bitter. I get an occasional cuddle, too. We see cats come in and out, and some stick around longer than others. We get to know those better, and sometimes we just can't understand why they wouldn't be snatched up immediately. I thought I'd highlight a few of the regulars in hopes they might find a forever home. Check out these sweethearts:

Calypso is a two-year-old dilute calico female. She's absolutely gorgeous and has been hanging out with us since mid-January. She was found pregnant in a feral colony. It was obvious that she didn't belong there, so she was moved to a foster home where she had four beautiful kittens. Her kittens have been adopted, and now sweet Calypso is looking for her chance. She loves cat trees (both for hanging out and scratching), and she loves to be brushed. She gets along with kids and most other animals, so would be a beautiful addition to most homes. 


Keegan is a one-year-old female flame point siamese. "Keegan" means "small flame," so she is named after her beautiful siamese markings. A nice couple found her as a stray and cared for her for several months before bringing her to Lost Our Home to find her a permanent home. Keegan is "all siamese," meaning she's talkative, social, and loves heights. She has been in the cat room since mid-November! We can't believe it! 



Lightening is a two-year-old black and white female domestic short hair. She is named after the unique shape of her tail, which is charmingly crookedish. She is very social and sweet. She'll nuzzle and curl up in your lap. She has been in the cat room since mid-December, but has been with Lost Our Home her whole life, waiting for the right family to come for her. She'd love nothing more than to sit on your lap and cuddle, if you have room for this sweet girl. She won't let you down. 



If you're local, please stop by and pay them a visit. They would love to snuggle with you!

Click here for Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's adoption application.


rescue cats get their play on with Vitakraft Purrk! Playfuls with #felinesilvervine #sponsored

This post is sponsored by Vitakraft and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Purrk! Playfuls, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Vitakraft is not responsible for the content of this article.


Most of us enjoy a few extra libations during the holiday season, so why should things be any different for your cat? I know...vino is no bueno for felines and catnip is old news. But have you heard of feline Silvervine?

Vitakraft, a leader in pet products since 1837 (YES, you heard me right...1837) sure has, and they've brought us a line of stimulating cat toys that can be used with it to take kitty play to a whole new level. What is Silvervine, you ask? I hadn't heard of it, either, until Vitakraft invited us to try their new Purrk Playfuls line of toys. 

Silvervine is a plant that grows in the mountainous regions of East Asia. It's 100% natural, and is reported to be preferred to catnip in three out of four cats. Each Vitakraft Purrk Playfuls toy comes with a pack of Silvervine powder, or you can purchase five Silvervine powder packs separately to keep your cat in plentiful supply. Who knew there was something better than catnip? 

All kidding aside, using feline Silvervine to entice play has health benefits for your cat. By stimulating your feline with this safe, all-natural plant, your cat becomes more active and is likely to exercise more frequently. A cat who exercises regularly is typically healthier, just like us humans. When used with Silvervine, the Purrk! Playfuls line of toys will enrich your cat both physically and mentally. Vitakraft reports that cats play 2.5 times longer with Silvervine than they do catnip and return to toys with Silvervine more often.

Why is Silvervine the best?

• all-natural

• safe

• provides physical and mental stimulation

• cats play longer and return to toys more often

• three out of four cats prefer it to catnip

Vitakraft sent us a complete package of Purrk! Playfuls to try. We received two "Bouncy Butterflies," two "Deep Sea Bugs," and a Silvervine Pixie Powder Pack to keep us in supply. The line also includes "Desert Bug" as well as plastic "Marvy Mouse," "Purrky Bird," and "Frisky Fish" that have Silvervine infused right in them. Since the season is all about giving, my children and I decided to take our haul to the Lost Our Home Pet Foundation PetSmart Cat Room where we volunteer each week. We sprung our new cat toys on the following victims:

We'd seen Leah and Keegan before, but Lightening and Houdina were brand-new additions to the cat room, so we didn't know what to expect from them. Keegan is typically quite playful, so I figured she'd really dig the Silvervine-enhanced toys. Leah on the other hand...well, she typically likes to relax and kick back, so I wasn't sure how she'd react or if she'd even be interested.

I was wrong.

My daughter, Campbell, spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for Leah.

My daughter, Campbell, spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for Leah.

Leah wore us all out with her enthusiasm for the Bouncy Butterfly, so we made good use of the included doorknob clip.

Leah wore us all out with her enthusiasm for the Bouncy Butterfly, so we made good use of the included doorknob clip.

Needless to say, Leah took right to the Bouncy Butterfly. In fact, she wore us out with her enthusiasm. All three of us spent a good deal of time holding the Bouncy Butterfly for her, but since litter boxes needed scooping and food bowls needed to be filled, we used the handy-dandy doorknob clip that the Bouncy Butterfly came with so Leah could keep playing and playing. She played for about forty-five minutes before taking a break. Amazing. Here's some footage of Leah in action:

Since Keegan couldn't get a moment with the Bouncy Butterfly while Leah monopolized it, we offered her a Deep Sea Bug.

The curled shape made the Deep Sea Bug boing and bounce to Keegan's delight She stalked the bug, pounced on it, jumped all over the place, and lost it under the door several times. Perhaps she liked us to fetch it for her. 

The pursuit and the catch (and the swipe under the door).

The pursuit and the catch (and the swipe under the door).

Though Keegan is always quite playful, she played longer and harder than she normally does. Perhaps she was quite fond of the Silvervine. Check out Keegan in action with the Deep Sea Bug:

Speaking of being fond of Silvervine, our friend Lightening went bonkers over it. At first, she was quite amorous toward the Deep Sea Bug.

"Deep Sea Bug, I love you so."

"Deep Sea Bug, I love you so."

Lightening had a great time snuggling with the Deep Sea Bug, and then she went bonkers. Literally. She pounced and played with the toy for a good deal of time, then abandoned it for the dark side. Unfortunately, I was unable to capture her in a video because I was so busy replacing papers on the desk and making sure her bouncing off the walls didn't get too out of hand. Suffice it to say that we all had a great laugh, and Lightening got some very good exercise. She had a blast, and I think if she had thumbs, she'd give Silvervine two thumbs up.

And what about Houdina, our little shy girl? She hid. Perhaps if the three older cats had not been hogging the toys and bouncing off the walls, we could have coaxed her out for a romp, but she's new to the shelter and quite nervous, so we decided to let her watch from the comfort of her kitty condo. So Vitakraft's claim that three out of four cats prefer Silvervine held true for our sample. 

We had a great time watching the cats enjoy their new Vitakraft Purrk! Playfuls toys, and it felt great to know they were getting some good exercise, especially since they spend most of their days cooped up in a small space. I can see how these enhanced toys would be a great addition to the routine of any cat and would bring some great health benefits to felines of varying lifestyles from the over-active to the sedentary. Purrk! Playfuls is the first full line of cat toys to bring Silvervine to the U.S. The line of toys is guaranteed to make your cat purr, and Vitakraft places their money where their mouth is. Each product comes with a satisfaction guarantee: "If your kitty isn't 100% thrilled with this product, simply return the unused portion for replacement, substitution, or refund." 

Sweet. No risk.

So if you're racking your brain for that definitive gift for your kitty for the holidays, Purrk! Playfuls is the answer.

Feeling lucky? Well, you're in luck. The kind folks at Vitakraft are offering Well Minded readers the chance to win a Purrk! Playfuls toy and Silvervine pack. Please enter, below, for your chance to win.

Connect with Vitakraft on Facebook and YouTube.

animals in an umbrella: the kindergarten project from hell

Every Friday I spend two hours volunteering at the littles' school. I spend every other Friday in Campbell's class and every other Friday in Porter's. Campbell's kindergarten teacher likes me to come in on the afternoons she has meetings so I can help the teacher's aide. It's a pretty good routine we've got worked out.

The other day, she said she had a "great" project coming up for me to help with. "Awesome," I said. "Can't wait." Since we're all just returning from fall break and getting back into the routine has left me a bit scattered, I sent her a text the next day:


I didn't catch on to the evil nature of the emoticon grin.

So this past Friday, I happily presented myself to Ms. Lacey*, the T.A., at the agreed-upon time. She was just starting to read a story to the class for their "author study." You see, each quarter, the class studies a particular author. Throughout the quarter they read books by that author, learn about the author's life, and do projects themed around that author's body of work.

"Who can name the author we are studying this quarter?" Ms. Lacey asked.

Everyone raised their hands, but Hailey was selected to answer "Jan Brett."

"Correct!" said Ms. Lacey. And today we'll be reading this book (holding up said book), "The Umbrella."

I'm a sucker for any book that involves animals, so I was pleased to see a bunch of them on the cover. Ms. Lacey pointed out the incredibly detailed illustrations. Since the kindergartners are learning how to add detail to their pictures, it was the perfect opportunity to drive home how much difference detail makes. Almost as if the teachers had planned it that way.

As Ms. Lacey read the story, I drifted in and out of paying attention, eager to get on with the show. Had I only known that this time would be my only piece of sanity for the next two hours...

After Ms. Lacey finished reading the story about animals riding in an umbrella through the rainforest (the vital plot point I gathered during the moments I was paying attention), she announced that the students would have the opportunity to make their own umbrellas with animals in them! Excitement mounted as the children disengaged their criss-cross applesauce poses and moved from the cozy rug to their tables.

Ms. Lacey handed me a stack of papers with outlines of the animal characters who appeared in The Umbrella. I passed them out as she instructed the children to "color the animals with colored pencils, and try to add as much detail as Jan Brett did in her illustrations. I know you are all budding Jan Bretts!"

As I passed out the coloring sheets, I noticed that most of the colored pencils in cups on the tables were very dull. "Ms. Lacey, would it be helpful if I sharpened some of the colored pencils, or would the sound be too disruptive?"

"That would be great," she said.

I got out the sharpener, plugged it in, and inserted the first dull pencil. That's when the madness began.

The sound of the pencil sharpener elicited a Pavlovian response in the tiny humans. A dozen of the twenty-one kindergarteners in the class were lined up behind me with their colors of choice.  

"Mrs. Carr, this brown isn't sharp."

"Mrs. Carr, I need the blue sharpened."

"Mrs. Carr, will you please sharpen the yellow and the green for me?"

"Mrs. Carr...

"Mrs. Carr...

"Mrs. Carr...

Riley said, "Mrs. Carr, I can sharpen my own pencil...see...but which hole should I put the pencil in?..." she trailed off as I watched her tiny finger go directly into the sharpening hole. "NO!" I snapped, grasping her hand and saving her finger from a gory fate. "Do NOT put your finger in the hole. Pencils only."

"Okay," she smiled, cheerful and unknowing.

While I recovered from the heart attack, the line behind me grew. Bennett appeared for the fourth time and presented me with a perfectly sharp pencil. "Mrs. Carr, this yellow isn't sharp." 

I examined it. "Yes it is."

"No, it's not. If you look closely, the very tippy-tip is flat."

"Bennett, I know it's fun to sharpen pencils, but there is a big line, and I'm not going to sharpen pencils that don't need sharpening."

"But this one definitely needs sharpening."

"It doesn't."

"It does."

"It doesn't."

"Yes it doeeeeeeeeeeees."

"Bennett, go back to your seat."

"But this yellow isn't sharp."

"Then go find another yellow. I'm not sharpening that pencil," I said, finally, beating my head against the wall.

Relief sprang in Ms. Lacey's voice. "Mrs. Carr, would you like to help me with the next step of the project?"

Fu¢k, yes. "I'd be happy to, Ms. Lacey. What would you like me to do?" I inquired.

"If you can work with one table (of five), I'll work with another. The tables we are working with can take a break from coloring for this part of the project, and then finish up afterwards. You'll need to provide each child with a sheet of white construction paper, a brown umbrella handle, and a wax paper 'umbrella' to cut out. They should glue only the bottom portion of the umbrella to the page with a glue stick so that it creates a pocket for the animals. That might be challenging.  Then a tray of glue with paintbrushes and a pie pan full of multicolored tissue paper squares to make the umbrella colorful. They can either paint the umbrella with glue and attach the tissue paper or they can paint each tissue paper square and attach it. OR, they can put the tissue paper on the umbrella and then paint the glue over the tissue paper because it will also stick like that." I started to zone out as if I was listening to the Peanuts teacher.

It was then when I began to understand the true nature of the "great" project and realized I was going to have to buck up for this. How was she maintaining composure in the face of it?

I played it off. I think I played it off. I'm sure my eyes were the size of saucers. "Okay...sure." I deliberately chose to work with a table that had four children instead of five. Two girls and two boys. Not the one with four boys. Not the one with the trouble-maker.

I gathered the required materials and approached my chosen table. "Hi, guys. Can we put down the coloring for a minute? I'm going to help you make the umbrellas!" I may as well have been speaking Chinese. They continued to color, not looking up.

I spoke slightly louder and with a smidge more authority. "Alright. Let's put the coloring away and move on to the next step! We're going to make the umbrellas!"

They looked at me and blinked their eyes, then went back to coloring.

"Ooooookay. I'm going to take away your coloring sheets for a few minutes while we do the next part of the project." I warned them as I removed the writing utensils and animal pages from the table. They looked a little pissed, but whatever. I glanced over at Mrs. Lacey's table, and her five children (including my daughter) were halfway done. The race was on. 

I passed out the white construction paper, and they all scrawled their names on their sheets. Sweet. I didn't think of that. It took me five minutes to get them to orient their construction paper vertically. I made the mistake of putting the "painting glue" on the table prior to the "painting glue part" of the project. They all picked up their glue-soaked paintbrushes. "Hold on..." I begged. Already, this had gotten out of control.

I am not one who has a great deal of patience for groups (more than one) of children who are not related to me by blood. Four at the table was an all-out intimidation factor. They didn't wait for directions, but simply plunged into for different tasks involving the materials I had prematurely placed within reach, none of which were correct, and all of which were messy. Did I mention I also have an aversion to messes?

While Leslie quickly glued her umbrella handle upside down, Stephen had painted the wrong part of the paper with the glue and Grace colored the construction paper. It took me eight seconds to shift my gaze to Carter, and by that time, the palms of his hands and fingers were completely covered in glue and tissue paper, robbing him of any function whatsoever. Maybe that wasn't such a bad thing. Could I just glue all of the children to the table? Because I didn't see a pause button on any of them.

"Carter, let's start fresh. Please go to the sink and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water," I directed. I'd be down to three kids, if only for a moment.

As soon as Carter got to the sink and my back was turned toward the table, I heard Ms. Lacey's voice. "Carter, you can't possibly be done with the project...should you be washing your hands?" Carter shot me a quick look.

I interjected. "Ms. Lacey, he was basically covered with glue and tissue paper, so I asked him to wash his hands...everything was sticking to him." 

"Oh. Okay..." she seemed to approve. 

I then removed all of the supplies from the table. "Okay. One thing at a time," I said more for my own reassurance than for their benefit. We worked through the steps together, and though there were quite a few misguided cuts and sloppily-placed blobs of glue, the five of us survived, and they each had an umbrella on paper. Basically.

I considered lingering a bit longer at the table in hopes that Ms. Lacey could cover all four other tables in the time it took me to finish up, but no such luck. Ms. Lacey handed me a new set of supplies. I knew enough, now, to not place everything on the table at the same time. This second table should go much better.

Only table number two had an entirely different problem. An opposite problem. The children didn't dive into tasks with reckless abandon. Instead, they just took off. They scattered in different directions. They couldn't go out of the confines of the classroom, but it was still like herding cats. It seems none of the children at table two were very interested in doing anything at all. Except Jack. Jack was banging his fist on the metal file cabinet. He was busy.

"Mrs. Carr," Ms. Lacey addressed me.

"Yes?" I turned around with giant eyes.

She giggled with me in solidarity, finally, and said "I'm so glad you're here today. If it wasn't for would be just me." I thought she might have been better off, but I was relieved to know she didn't feel that way. 

"This is insane," I confessed.

She laughed more. "Maybe you can help Jack get started. He'll need someone to sit with him."

Jack is a special needs child. He has a great heart and is as cute as cute can be, but he can be quite challenging in the classroom. I'd take it, though. I'd take one kid to the twenty Ms. Lacey was handling. Seemed like I drew the long straw this time. Since I hadn't worked closely with Jack before, I asked Ms. Lacey a bit about his abilities and what to expect. I wondered exactly what I should let him do on his own and how much help he'd need with each aspect of the project. Ms. Lacey simply said "Watch the scissors, he tends to go like this..." She held a pair of scissors close to her own eyes and opened and shut them rapidly to demonstrate.

Um. Okay.

I took Jack gently by the hand, removing him from the file cabinet. I took a pair of scissors and the wax paper and hoped for a smooth start. Jack sat down the first time I asked. And then, the scissors. Just as Ms. Lacey said. I asked him to please stop and managed to get my hand around the implement before it could do any damage to him or me. "Do you know how to hold the scissors, Jack? Let me help you." We held them together, and I was proud that he managed to cut while I guided the paper. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous that one of us would end up in the nurse's office, but we managed. 

Then came the glue. At first, Jack didn't want any part of the glue. Having tactile-sensitivity, the sticky substance wasn't his favorite. After much going back and forth and retrieving him from various parts of the classroom, we finally worked out a system. each time he glued a square of tissue paper onto his umbrella, we'd high-five. He liked to high-five. Again, I was proud I'd figured out how to get through to him. 

All was going along well until some of the glue transferred from Jack's hand to mine. It was a microscopic amount on my pointer finger, but Jack felt it every time we high-fived, and it bothered him. He started to pick at it, which was a bit painful, but okay with me. I got him to leave it alone for a while, but then he'd come back to it. When he couldn't remove it (it may have been skin hanging off and not glue at this point), he took my finger into his mouth and started to try to bite it off. "Oh, no, no, Jack. Let's not put my fingers in your mouth." He tried again and again, and I determined that both of us had reached the limit of our patience for the project. I let him go back to the file cabinet as I admired our half-finished umbrella.

I went back to surveying the entire class, and realized that while I'd been so focused on Jack, the other students were all finishing coloring their animal sheet and began to cut out the animals. Many of the children were in various stages of distress, some crying because they accidentally cut the leopard's leg off. Others had lost their toucans. One child was being accused of stealing another's tapir.

"Okay, friends!" Ms. Lacey chimed. "It's almost time to clean up, so please finish up. If you don't have all of your animals finished, you can bring them home to finish."

Oh. Thank. God. 

My daughter, Campbell, who I'd all but forgotten about, hopped over to me and gave me a big hug. "I finished mine, Mama. Do you want to see it?" I couldn't think of anything better to do at that moment. Of course, I wanted to see it. At least one child had finished the project, and she was mine. I hadn't spent a moment with her at all during the past two hours, but she didn't seem to mind. She probably loved watching me flounder.

Campbell's finished product.

Campbell's finished product.

I enjoyed the moment of parental pride, but I was exhausted. I needed a drink. And then I turned around and saw the messy aftermath that was "The Umbrella Project."

That's when Campbell's teacher walked in.

My eyes shot daggers at her. She laughed. She knew exactly what she'd done.

But I love her anyway. She and Ms. Lacey are awesome. I'll just make sure to ask more specifically about the nature of the project I'm signing myself up to assist with. My bad. My bad.

On a positive note, the kids learned a bunch about animals and the rainforest and how to draw a detailed picture. 

P.S. I don't do field trips.

It's all in the details.

It's all in the details.

Book jacket photo source:

*Names have been changed.

don't count out the old guys: adopting an adult cat

The littles and I have been volunteering for several months at our local PetSmart Cat Room as representatives of Lost Our Home Pet Foundation. Though we love getting to know the cats and look forward to seeing our feline friends every week, we hope we don't see them, because that means they've been adopted. That's the goal, after all.

When we first started, we were sad when we'd come in and see that the adorable kittens we'd enjoyed the previous week had been adopted. We missed them! Time and time again, it would happen. 

But then there were our old friends. We could always count on the fact that the older cats would still be there. And they were. It seems that no one wants to adopt an adult cat. Perhaps they aren't as cute, or perhaps they are a bit pudgy. Maybe they don't play enough. Or maybe potential adopters feel that an adult cat might have too many health issues.

This past weekend, we were thrilled to hear the news that one of our older feline friends, Hercules, was finally adopted! We've been visiting Hercules since June, and we started to lose hope for him. Even he seemed to lose hope, becoming less social, accepting his favorite thorough brushing, but remaining in the confines of his enclosure. He didn't want to play with the other cats. Though we loved seeing him every week, it was breaking our hearts, just the same. 

But all of that is over. Hercules found his forever family!

Hercules has finally found a home. 

Hercules has finally found a home. 

I can't argue that kittens aren't teensy and cute, but we all have to remember that they don't stay that way, and we have to commend this family for seeing the good in Hercules and giving him the home he so very much deserves.

So what is great about adopting an adult cat?

• What you see is what you get. You know how big the cat is. He's full grown.

• You know the cat's personality. When you adopt an adult cat, you get to choose a cat that fits your family well because his personality is pretty much established (though most adult cats will shine even brighter when they are settled with their adoptive family).

• You know if it will be a good fit with other pets and/or children. Most adult adoptable cats will come with a "resume" of sorts, letting you know if the animal gets along with other types of animals or plays well with children.

• Potty training–check. Unless there is an underlying medical issue, adult cats know where to "go." Just show the adult cat the litter box, and he gets it.

• Clawing and chewing are mostly a thing of the past. Adult cats don't chew on hazardous things or claw the furniture as much as kittens do. Save the sofas!

What's the most important reason to adopt an adult cat?

You might be their last chance. Kittens go like hot cakes, but adult cats are a tougher sell. If you're considering welcoming a new feline into your home, please open your mind and your heart to an adult cat. It will be life changing for you and your new family member. You'll save a life. 

Read Hercules' full adoption story here.

Click here to see Lost Our Home Pet Foundation's Adoptable Animals.