FOR nearly a year, Mona has purred and played in the care of the B.C. SPCA, blissfully unaware that she has been passed over again and again by prospective owners.
The tortoiseshell cat is one of 992 adult felines across the province who have been unable to find homes during kitten season this year. Now, the society is reaching out to the public, hoping they can persuade pet lovers to consider some of their older animals.
Each year, the combination of amorous spring cats and overwhelmed summer owners leave animal shelters stocked with kittens from May to September, according to Dragana Hajdukovic, branch manager at the West Vancouver B.C. SPCA.
"When we have lots of kittens, then the adults tend to get overlooked a little bit, because everybody wants a kitten," she says. "This time of the year the number of kittens in the shelters is huge."
Hajdukovic's branch is currently caring for 15 adult cats and 13 kittens.
"That's pretty much our capacity," she says.
On average, adult cats spend around two months in the shelter before being adopted, according to Hajdukovic. For kittens, the wait is half as long.
While Hajdukovic doesn't begrudge anyone a kitten, she does ask cat people to be mindful of the advantages of maturity.
"There are many, many benefits of adopting adult cats. With adult cats they don't demand as much supervision. . . . With kittens, there's a lot of teaching, because they're still babies. Most of them have never lived in a home before, so they need to learn the rules. Adult cats are a little bit more settled, they're housetrained, and their personalities are developed already, so you know what you're getting."
Many of the adult cats at the West Vancouver SPCA branch are fairly young, according to Hajdukovic, who said several of the felines are only two or three years old. While she is hopeful they will all find homes, Mona is the one she's rooting for.
"She has been at the SPCA shelters for almost a year," Hajdukovic said of the Prince Rupert stray. "She would love to have a home all to herself without other cats."
The B.C. SPCA is preparing for its Paws for a Cause walk Sept. 9. Supporters will be marching through Stanley Park to help raise money the West Vancouver shelter.
For more information about the fundraiser or to inquire about adopting a pet, contact the West Vancouver SPCA at 604-922-4622.