What Is A Rescue Cat?

And why are they so awesome 😽

what is a rescue cat

You hear the term “rescue cat” all the time, but what does it actually mean?

It seems pretty straightforward, but you might still find yourself wondering just what it is that makes a rescue cat a rescue cat.

The Dodo spoke with Susan Courtney, a rescue partner with Kitt Crusaders in Los Angeles, who explained there are actually specific distinctions between rescue cats and other adopted cats.

What is a rescue cat?

“[A rescue cat is] a cat or kitten that was neglected, abused, homeless, abandoned or at risk of being euthanized at the shelter,” Courtney told The Dodo.

So if your friend’s cat has a litter, and you adopt one of those kittens, you wouldn’t call your new BFF a rescue cat (but no matter what you call her, that won’t affect how much you love each other).

Rescue cats are unique in the sense that their previous living situation will often really influence the affection they show towards their new adopted family.

Rescue cats are very grateful not to be out on the street, in the shelter [or] in a home where they’re abused,” Courtney said, “and are very loving towards the people that adopt them.”

Why you should adopt a rescue cat

Adopting any cat is going to be super fulfilling.

But when you adopt a rescue it’s especially rewarding, because it’s not only your cat’s life that you helped save.

“If you adopt a rescue cat, that makes room for another cat to be rescued,” Courtney explained. “So, for every cat that you adopt you’re actually helping to save two lives.”

Since rescue cats are coming from dire situations, they might need some time to warm up to you after they’ve been adopted.

Sometimes it takes a little while for the cat to trust a person again after they were abused,” Courtney said. “They just need a lot of patience and understanding a lot of love and [they’ll] give it right back to you.”

In fact, according to Courtney, you’ll be showered with so much love that it’ll feel like your new cat saved you, too!

“They will rescue you right back,” she said.

We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.