From fabulous felines to marvellous moggies, adopting rescue cats is rewarding

It's the "purr-fect" pet.
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Cute, cuddly and with plenty of love to give, rescue cats can bring a lot of joy into our lives. If you’ve been thinking of adopting a feline fur baby, Petbarn Foundation manager Janelle Bloxsom says that there are currently thousands of cats and kittens in shelters who are waiting for their forever homes.

With cat vaccines coming back into supply following recent shortages, now is the time for rehoming these felines.

“It’s the perfect time to think about adopting, help relieve the pressure of overcrowding in shelters and save a precious life,” she says.

Rescue cats like this one the lady is hugging are loving companions
Providing a forever home to an older cat is rewarding. (Image: Getty)


Janelle says some people worry about adopting pets from shelters because they’ve been misled to believe they may have behavioural issues. However, Janelle says this simply isn’t true, and rescue cats have everything it takes to make the purrfect pet companions, provided you have room.

“The reality is there are thousands of healthy, well-socialised, vet-checked, desexed animals looking for a loving home that have ended up in shelters or rescues by no fault of their own,” she explains.

“Through adoption you’re giving a cat or kitten the second chance at life that they deserve.”

Along with visiting local shelters, many local vet clinics have adoption programs. Petbarn also works with animal charities across Australia, with rescue cats and kittens available for adoption in store.

“Since opening our first Petbarn Adoption Centre in 2012, we have helped rehomed over 72,000 cats and kittens on behalf of our partner animal shelters, whom we partner with closely,” says Janelle.


Orange striped kitten stretches against a white background
Kittens are typically the first to get adopted but require more supervision than an adult cat. (Image: Getty)

This often comes down to your lifestyle and the kind of companion you’re after. While kittens typically get adopted first, adult cats have a lot going in their favour.

“Adult cats typically require less hands-on care and supervision compared to kittens,” Janelle explains. “They are often already litter-box-trained, accustomed to grooming routines, and may have lower energy levels, making them a great choice for busy individuals or families.”

Because adult cats have a known health history, you’ll also be able to make informed decisions about their needs.

“Unlike kittens, whose personalities are still developing, adult cats have fully formed personalities, allowing you to choose a cat whose temperament aligns with your lifestyle,” Janelle adds.

“Many adult shelter cats have experienced hardship or abandonment – through no fault of their own – and providing them with a forever home can be incredibly rewarding as they repay you with unconditional love and loyalty.

“Adult cats often make wonderful companions for older individuals due to their lower energy levels and calmer demeanour compared to kittens.”


Around 33 per cent of Aussie households have a cat. They can make ideal pets for apartment dwellers or people who don’t have time to walk a dog every day.

Cats still need plenty of care, though. You’ll need to ensure your home is cat-friendly with a designated litter box area, scratching posts, cosy hiding spots and safe toys for enrichment. Chat with your vet about your cat’s diet and remove any potential hazards such as toxic plants – did you know that lilies can be deadly?

You’ll also need to ensure your cat is registered and up-to-date with vaccinations, parasite prevention and vet check-ups. Some cats also need more grooming than others, and long-haired cats should be groomed daily.

“Spend quality time bonding with your cat through interactive play, gentle grooming sessions, and provide plenty of affection to help your cat feel secure and loved,” says Janelle. “Cats communicate through body language, vocalisations and behaviour. Learn to interpret your cat’s cues to understand their needs, preferences and emotions.”

Golden Retriever and rescue cat cuddle on blue couch
A bonded pair of pets won’t fight like cats and dogs. (Image: Getty)


If you’ve got room for more than one pet, a good way to ensure they’ll get along is by adopting a bonded pair.

“Bonded pairs refer to two animals that have formed a close emotional bond with each other and rely on each other for companionship, comfort and support,” says Janelle.

Some bonded pairs come from the same litter or they might have formed a close friendship in a shelter or while they were being fostered. They could be two cats, two dogs or even a combination of both!

Janelle says adopting a bonded pair can reduce the likelihood of loneliness and boredom when they’re left alone. It can also lead to a smoother transition when they move into their new home. “Since they already have each other for comfort and support, they are less likely to experience the same level of stress or anxiety associated with adjusting to a new living situation,” she says.

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