Shadow Cats


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We have many cats in our foster homes who aren’t the kind of cat who is an “instant pet” — that is, a cat who will come into your home and love you right away. These cats are scared, not used to people and just want to hide but given enough time, they come around. It is very hard to find people willing to give them the time they need. We are seeking out people who will give one a chance, maybe as a companion to a cat they already have. Could that be you? An ideal home would have no aggressive pets or small children. Also ideal for pet lovers who are on the go and think they aren’t home enough, adopting a shadow cat means you can still help a homeless pet without feeling that you’re letting them down because they’re alone so much. Please read below for more info… and thank you for considering a shadow cat! We would love to hear from you if you can help one of these poor unwanted kitties.

At the MISSISSAUGA HUMANE SOCIETY (an all-volunteer foster home network with a no-kill policy) we call them shadow cats because for a long time, that may be all you will see — their shadow as they scurry under the sofa. Pictured at left are Ethel and Donna who are both quite timid (as you can see in their photos), but one day, with the right human friends, they will be much more comfortable. Shadow cats were born outdoors and haven’t spent enough time in foster homes to become socialized to humans. We have so many shadow cats that our foster homes are overflowing. We believe all cats have a right to live in a warm safe home, but truthfully each shadow cat takes a space in a foster home that could house up to a dozen more adoptable cats in the next year if the space weren’t taken. MHS is one of very few groups that ever considered helping these cats because it takes so long for them to be adoptable. Without human intervention, they would otherwise be destined to die outdoors, young and alone. If you could help by allowing a shadow cat to share your home you would free up valuable foster home space that we never have enough of. And one day, when they are ready, your shadow cat will accept you in their life and your rewards will start to come.

This cat may never be a lap cat, but you don’t know how far they can progress. They are not vicious or mean, just very, very timid around people and need time to settle in. The length of time can vary and we won’t lie to you, it could definitely take a while. On the other hand your cat may surprise us all and settle in more quickly than we could hope. Maybe instead of shadow cats we should call them surprise cats, because how far they come and how long it takes will be a surprise to all of us. A shadow cat is ideal for a home where there are no small children or aggressive pets. They are terrific companions for a more social cat who will show them the benefit of having human friends. Your shadow cat won’t ask much of you except food, water, clean litter and, eventually, a little piece of your heart when they begin to trust you.

If you have no pets and love animals but think you aren’t home enough to have a pet, a pair of shadow cats would be purr-fect in your life! They will be great companions to one another. Slowly they will become more social but aren’t likely to ever want so much of your attention that you’ll feel neglectful. They will just be very happy to have a warm roof over their head, good food and a kind person to speak encouraging words to them as they find their comfort level.

We hope you will consider taking in a shadow cat or know someone who can. We have so many and they are tying up our valuable foster home spaces to the point where we may have to turn away adoptable cats for lack of housing, and we really don’t want to do that. Please consider helping one of these scared souls if you can, and encourage others to help. The reward when a shadow cat finally trusts you is enormous, and any pet lover would find that moment to be one of their most treasured memories.

If you take in one of our shadow cats we are happy to put you in touch with a foster parent who is very familiar with socializing these cats and can answer all your questions. We want you and your cat to have a long happy life together and will do our utmost to carefully match you to a cat who will suit your home situation and lifestyle.

For more information about shadow cats, please contact us. Your new furry friend is waiting!