A shelter in Orange County, California, reached a milestone on Monday after it adopted out the very last of its cats.
“It’s really weird. We have five rooms for cats to roam free, and they’re all empty,” WAGS Pet Adoption’s Cortney Dorney told the Orange County Register. “Normally, we hang out with the cats while we eat our lunch, and now there’s none to hang out with.”
A brown and white tabby named Sphinx was the last kitty to go, scoring a home with a 27-year-old IT specialist who works from home. When he found out all the others were gone, adopter Jairo Granado said he was “glad to be the one who ended up with” Sphinx.
Staffers say they know the reprieve will be short-lived as there are always cats who need homes, but what they’ve seen reflects a much larger trend across the US and UK since the pandemic began forcing people to shelter in place and practice social distancing.
“It’s a great time to have a buddy in the house,” Dorney said.
And it’s a great time for buddies to find homes.
Unfortunately, the unprecedented surge in adoption is also a major factor in the pet food shortages currently impacting both countries now. A lack of materials to manufacture cat food packaging, especially tins, is making it more difficult for brands to meet demand for wet food, and disruptions to links in the supply chain — like COVID outbreaks in meat packing plants — are exacerbating the problem.
Companies like Royal Canin, FreshPet and Purina have either apologized or have tried to ease concerns by saying they believe the shortage will ease in May.
Stories about the shortages have me glad I started rotating as many different kinds of food as possible when Buddy was a kitten, so he’d never get picky enough to pass up food as long as it’s decent quality. Some people and their cats haven’t been so lucky.
One story details the frustrations of a Massachusetts man, 49-year-old David Saltz, whose cat Tiger will only eat one type of food from one brand: Fancy Feast Classic Tender Beef Paté.
“I tried literally every other variety of soft canned cat food in the store — including a few cans of some way overpriced, niche, microbrew, small-batch, all-natural, wild-animal-approved, non-GMO, grass-fed (did I mention ridiculously overpriced?) canned food,” Saltz told AARP. “Almost all were turned down. Only occasionally would she eat a bit of a particular flavor, and I would go buy more of that kind, but she was having none of it.”
Bud’s always got a rotation, and it usually looks something like this: Turkey, chicken, salmon, turkey, tuna, beef, turkey, seafood entree, chicken and liver, turkey, and so on. The Buddy-approved ratio is turkey every third meal. And it’s not just about making sure he eats his food: He seems to really enjoy his meals thanks to the variety and good quality (but not outrageously expensive) cat food.