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Holiday Help for Needy Cats

How to Support Cat Charities During the Holidays

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While we enjoy buying gifts for our loved ones, many of us embrace the true spirit of the winter holidays by reaching out to others less fortunate. Not every worthwhile holiday activity involves spending money, and one includes gift purchases that benefit various cat causes as well as needy cats

Pick one or more of these holiday activities to recapture the joy of the season.

Give Humane Gifts to Cat Lovers

Tashi, a Special Needs Cat Who Can Benefit From a Virtual Gift Basket
Photo Credit: © Tabby's Place

Would you like to give a gift to your favorite cat person, and at the same time, make a difference in the universe of cats and other animals? These non-profit organizations make that all possible, with a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially the cats who are helped. I've visited several of these organizations for my shopping needs year-round, and they make the holidays especially meaningful, for both me and the recipients.

Feed the Hungry: Season of Suppers

Photo of Senior Citizen Holding her Cat
Photo Credit: © iStock Photo
Thanks to Dr. Janet Crosby, About.com Guide to Veterinary Medicine, for leading the way toward this great opportunity to help feed both elderly people and their cats. Banfield Pet Hospitals, in conjunction with the Meals on Wheels Association of America have partnered in the Season of Suppers program.

Buy Lance's Blankies & Benefit Shelter Cats

Photo of Jenny on Lance's Blankie
Image © Franny Syufy

Lance Wolf and Laura Wands are two people with huge hearts, and a boundless love for cats. They share their Illinois home with a number of cats they have personally rescued and nurtured.

I met Lance on my About.com Cats Forum many years ago, and have ordered his Kitty Blankies for my own cats and as gifts, for several years. Every penny of profit is donated to the Alton Area Animal Aid Association, in Alton, IL. The photo shown here is my calico cat, Jenny, asleep on one of the Christmas Blankies I bought a few years ago. It is one of the "double" models, the main fabric is red on one side and green on the other.

Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Picture of Rescue Volunteer at Special Event
Photo Credit: © Franny Syufy
If you find yourself short on cash, as many of us do this time of year, perhaps you can spare one or two hours a week volunteering at your local animal shelter. Consider also, bringing used blankets, sheets, and towels with you. Most shelters welcome this kind of donation, and your closets will be neater. If you have the time, you can make Christmas more meaningful by spending an hour or two cleaning cages, brushing cats, or just cuddling and playing with the cats. They will love the attention and you will come away with the inner warmth of knowing you have made a difference to these attention-hungry cats.

If you don't know where your local shelter is, Petfinder.com has a handy shelter-locator tool.

Adopt a Shelter Cat

Caged Cat in Pound
Photo Credit: © iStock Photo/Dan Brandenburg

Although I usually do not recommend giving a cat as a gift during the holidays, if you have room in your home and your heart for another one, you will make a huge different to that cat, and reap the mutual rewards for years. For an added slice of joy, consider adopting a senior cat, or a special needs cat.

Iams Home 4 the Holidays program, which partners with 3,400 shelters and rescues around the world, is hoping to increase the number of participating shelters to 4,000 this year. You can find a list of participating shelters on the Iams Home 4 the Holidays web site.

Readers Respond: How You Share Holiday Joy with Homeless Cats

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