It can be overwhelming to think about how many cats are in need across the world. It would take an astronomical amount of money and resources to make a big dent in the problems facing feline populations. Veterinary care, spay and neuter surgeries, food, vaccinations, facilities, and the list goes on. However, it’s important not to think so globally, but to look at the solutions a little more locally. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money in order to help cats in need, sometimes just offering one act of kindness can change the world for one cat. If everyone did that, a significant dent would be made. The key to finding your way to help cats is finding the skills you already have and turning them into a donation. Whether its photography, art, accounting, or woodworking, you can turn one of your skills into a resource to help cats in need in your community.
“The key to finding your way to help cats is finding the skills you already have and turning them into a donation.”
Help Cats with Photography
If you have an eye for photography, you own a nice camera, and you want to help cats in need, you can utilize your photographic eye to help cats find forever homes. Shelters will tell you that sometimes the key to finding a good home is a really cute photo. Sharing photos of cats that need homes on a shelter’s website or social media is a tactic that’s been hugely beneficial for many cats. Oftentimes, adopters will go to a shelter requesting to see a cat they saw on social media. Taking these photos will help potential adopters find the furry pal for them. Not only that, but your photos can be turned into calendars for the shelter to sell, or you can create a photo book of all the cats adopted at a shelter each year for them to display.
Use Your Business Mindset
Whether you have knowledge about small business, accounting, taxes, marketing, operations or any other business knowhow, you can transfer that knowledge into valuable education for nonprofits, shelters, and small businesses helping cats in your area. Helping a nonprofit find grants, assisting a shelter with their taxes, or teaching a cat groomer about business credit score basics may be just a few hours of time for you, but a mountain of help for them. And the more help they get, the more cats they can help. Maneuvering through the business side of animal welfare can be confusing and daunting for some, so if it comes easily to you, you may consider contacting a local cat organization in your area and offering some consultation.
Provide Pet-Related Services
“Pet services” is an extremely broad term for an extremely broad set of skills in the pet niche. For instance, we all know that life for pregnant women is not the easiest. From treating illnesses with natural remedies instead of medication to fighting through work with morning sickness, it’s difficult learning how to complete normal tasks without harming themselves or their unborn children. One of those tasks is emptying the litter box due to risk of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis gondii is a single-celled parasite that causes a disease called toxoplasmosis. It’s known to be harmful to a fetus, and one way a pregnant woman can get it is through cat feces. Granted, this is not the biggest threat and there’s been a need for more education on the subject. You’re more likely to get toxoplasmosis from meat or gardening, but many women are still worried about it and as a result, decide to rehome their cat during pregnancy to avoid it. You can offer services to clean litter boxes for pregnant women so they don’t have to encounter cat feces and then can reconsider rehoming their kitty.
Not only that, you can offer cat grooming or cat sitting for others in your neighborhood as well. Leave an ad on Craigslist, on your Nextdoor app, or leave a few cards at your local vet or OB GYN office and offer some basic cat services for your neighbors so they don’t feel like their kitty that needs to be rehomed.
Crafting for Kitties
If you like crafting, there are a ton of fun ways that you can use that skill to help cats in need.
- You can make homemade cat toys and donate them to shelters so that their cats have something to play with, sell them and donate the proceeds to the cat welfare organization of your choice, or create crafts to solve some common feline problems.
- Many cats like being outdoors but can run into trouble when they are allowed outside full time. Since many indoor house plants are highly toxic to cats, may cat owners opt for faux flower arrangements. Consider creating beautiful faux flower arrangements to sell for fundraising or donate to a local shelter so that they can sell them to their visitors.
- Consider crafting feline harnesses. Many cat shelters find ways to make their cats more desirable to potential adopters by teaching them how to walk on a leash. In order to do that, they rely on volunteers to sew feline harnesses for them – which is another craft you can create on your downtime and donate to a shelter.
If you’re handy around the house, you’re a real asset in a lot of ways. If you’re looking to help an organization that helps cats, you can use your skills with a wrench and hammer. Consider gifting them with a renovation. That can mean updating their building to be more eco-friendly, building some kitty-friendly shelves for the cats to enjoy, or making an outdoor catio for multiple cats to hang out in. You can also volunteer your services whenever something is damaged and needs to be repaired. Tell them you’re willing to come help with plumbing issues, electrical problems, or any other handy tasks they may have and you’ll be a huge asset for them.
To help a cat in need, you don’t need to have a lot of money or a lot of marketable skills to offer. All you need to offer in order to make a difference is your compassion. Adopting a cat in need, visiting a shelter to pet a few cats while they look for their forever home, or helping a feral cat when you see one may not seem like much, but it’s a way to make a difference for the cats in your community. Many cats don’t experience compassion from humans, so if you offer it you’re making a difference. Hugs and cuddles are free, so offer them to the kitties you see and you’ll be making a difference to one cat, and that’s what it’s all about.
Finding your own way to help cats in need is about finding what you’re good at, or what you like to do, and relating that to cats in need. If you write, offer to start a blog for your favorite organization. If you bake, make cat treats, or bake snacks for shelter care providers as a “thank you.” If you like to paint, paint something beautiful to decorate the walls of a shelter. If you are a good organizer, organize a cat food drive. Monetary help is amazing and a large part of aiding cats everywhere, but it’s not the only thing that helps. Offering your services and compassion is just as important and you’ll take solace knowing that you’ve made a difference in your own way.
Chelsy Ranard is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She enjoys napping with her cat, throwing a Frisbee with her pup, and volunteering at Simply Cats in Boise.This blog contains affiliate links. For more information about third-party advertising on this site, please click here.