Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: February 10, 2023 by Crystal Uys


In an ideal world, every cat would have a home where she’s cared for and loved forever. The sad reality is that millions of cat don’t. Municipal shelters and private rescue groups are working hard every day to find homes for these cats, but most work with limited resources, and there’s only so much they can do. The holiday season is a time for giving, and there are ways you can help homeless cats even if you’re not in a position to adopt right now.


Rescue groups always welcome donations. Usually, money is the best thing to donate, but many organizations also welcome donations of food, toys, old towels and sheets, and more. Contact your local group to find out what they need. Making a donation to a rescue group in honor of a friend or family member also makes a wonderful holiday gift!

Socialize cats

Volunteer to visit with the cats at your local shelter. Cats who are used to human contact will be more adoptable. Most shelters have play or visitor areas where you can spend one on one time with the cats. This can be an especially nice way to volunteer for people who can’t have cats of their own due to their current living situation – it gives them a “cat fix” while the shelter cats get some much needed love and affection. And talk about instant stress relief –  not only do you get the proven benefits of petting a cat, studies have also shown that volunteering is good for your mental and emotional health.

Clean cages and feed cats

While not quite as much fun as socializing, cleaning and feeding cats at your local shelter also gives you a chance  to interact with the cats and give them some much needed love and attention.


Rescue groups are always in need of foster homes. Fostering can be short term or long term, depending on the situation.

Help with administrative work

Office work may be a little less glamorous than actually interacting with the cats, but it’s still something that most rescue groups need help with. Even an hour or two a week writing thank you notes for donations, preparing adoption documents, assembling new adopter packages, and the like, will be of great help to a rescue group.

Share your special skills

Are you a graphic designer? Do you have experience in fundraising, event planning, public relations, or marketing? Rescue groups and shelters can utilize all of these skills.

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