Cats are undeniably adorable. With their squishy tummies and furry bodies, they look effortlessly cute without even lifting a single paw. Not to mention, they are low-maintenance pets too. Just leave them food and water and scratch them a couple of times, they can spend the rest of the day entertained with even the most mundane things like shadows, plastic bags and boxes.
Hence, it’s not really a question of whether you should or should not have one. It’s more like how you’re planning to get one — will it be through shopping or adopting? And so, we reached out to 5 cat parents on why they chose to adopt their paw babies rather than shop.
5. RG Gaynilo
“I remember having my first cat when I was in grade school. It was a kitten that my mom picked up from the street on her way home from the market. I remember being so happy to have been given a pet but at the same time, sad because I can only imagine how saddening it was for the kitten to be left alone in the streets. I can’t help but think how hard it would be for that kitten to survive because she was really young and definitely not aware of how harsh her environment was. But then I felt relieved because we got to take care of her.
Growing up, I would often see my parents bring home stray kittens and dogs and they would often tell me that there are lots of stray pets out there needing love and forever homes. And they would often tell me sad stories regarding the fate of those who were not able to get adopted. And so I believe, that made me adopt than shop. You see, my parents did not expose me to pet shops. They would always tell me that a cat is a cat, a dog is a dog. I should not discriminate. That I should prioritize helping those who are in need rather than buying something with breed.”
4. Mirell Macalinao
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3. Ria Ilano
“First, my great grandma had the greatest influence on me. She gave us two dogs when we were kids. Second, it was really out of compassion. Typical “nakaka-awa” and I wasn’t a believer of buying in pet shops ever since I was young. Your parents or loved ones will always have the greatest influence in your life. It’s like there was a passing on of the baton that happened. My great grandma “Cha Pit” (Auntie Pit) was single and her kids were dogs and cats. Really spoiled dogs and cats who eats on ceramic plates and not metal bowls.
So I want to continue her legacy. I am teaching our next generation, I have 5 pamangkins, to be compassionate to animals. To adopt and not shop.”
2. Jonna Bee
“I was in Grade 5 when I did my first rescue – I went home with a tiny ginger kitten that I hid inside my school bag. I was so nervous when I told my mom I brought home a kitten, but I’m glad she warmly welcomed him. We named him Toby. I would rescue and take care of cats from time to time, but I never really gave much thought to it.
Fast forward to present time. When I rescued a tiny orange ball of fur in 2009, that’s when the reality of pet abandonment and animal abuse hit me. She was a tiny kitten, about 4-6 weeks old, left on the side of the road to fend for herself during rainy season. She was so tiny, so helpless, and I knew she’d die if I didn’t take her home. I named her Rue which means “street” in French. She grew to be a beautiful cat, now 8 years old, and who has a lot of meowdeling contracts in her portfolio — TV commercials, magazine features, mall posters, website features, product endorsements, etc. I started feeding the stray cats in Magallanes shortly after that, because I wanted to “give back” to the community that gave me Rue.
But it didn’t stop there. I got involved with CARA to have the homeless cats in the area spayed and neutered. It became a personal advocacy of mine to promote rescuing and adoption, and TNR — trap, neuter, return of homeless cats. I guess my most “dramatic” rescue was when I saw Shawn, a tiny kitten back in 2014, being dangled over EDSA from the MRT bridge by the Shaw MRT janitor. He said his boss told him to dispose of the kitten. And throwing her from 5 floors up over EDSA was his idea of dispatching her. Why do I choose to rescue and adopt? Because there are a lot of homeless animals, just waiting to be loved and taken to their forever home. Puspins (pusang Pinoy) are beautiful, if only they are given proper care and love. Breeding denies them of the chance at finding their home — the more people breed their cats, the more cats end up on the street, experiencing hunger, abuse, and untimely death. I grieve when I lose a homeless cat from the ones that I feed regularly, and I’ve lost quite a handful. I can’t take them all home; but if only people would stop buying purebred cats and start rescuing/adopting from the streets instead, then together we can find homes for all of them.”
1. Ivy Ilaya
“I used to have a cat that I bought from Cartimar when I was in grade school. She wasn’t actually my first choice, but when I saw her crammed inside a tiny cage, I felt that she needed help, and that’s when I got her. I didn’t know too much about caring for cats back then, and allowed her to roam around, get pregnant, and eventually having a number of kittens that we had to give to whoever was willing to get them. After 5 yrs with her, she disappeared and I haven’t had any cats since.
After this, I started getting to know more about PAWS and CARA, and learning how buying pets from stores or so-called breeders, allow the proliferation of unwanted and abandoned pets. I made sure then, that the next pet I actually owned, will be rescued or adopted. Unfortunately, I actually acquired severe allergies and wasn’t able to take care of any cats over a couple of years.
Fast forward to 2013, an aunt was looking for a cat to take care of rats in their farm at the province, and another aunt told us they have a beautiful nice stray cat that they can give. In the meantime, this cat stayed at our home as a foster. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to take care of this cat. We only realized that she was pregnant a fee weeks later, and around September, she gave birth to 4 cute kitties. One of them is my now gorgeous boy, Maru. I knew we couldn’t keep the mommy cat, but I was able to convince my parents that I will be adopting Maru. This time around, I made sure that Maru gets the proper care that he deserves. I took him to the vet for his ARV and 4-in-1, and most importantly, I had him neutered when he was 7 months old.
I also joined a cat group in Facebook, where the members’ advocacy was centered around adoption, spaying and neutering of pets, and proper care for your beloved pets. I was so happy to have joined this group because it strengthened my belief as to how each one can actually contribute to the betterment of the lives of these pets, where we can finally have a world where no pets are abandoned, and there are no more strays. It’s still a long way to go, and a lot of education is key, but I think it’s something that’s truly worthwhile.”
These five cat parents are just some of the many animal welfare advocates out there who support pet adoption rather than buying animals from shops and backyard breeders.
The next time you’re planning to buy a new pet, make sure to ask yourself, “Why shop when there are lots of homeless animals out there who are looking for families to love and homes to live in?”
Tag someone who’d love to adopt a cat in the comments!