The Best of Both Worlds

Breed rescue combines love of purebreds with compassion for homeless cats.

By Kari Winters

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How It Works
Breed rescue is a little different from other rescue organizations, which have their own facilities where you can view available animals. Breed rescues service large areas (some nationwide) and place cats in foster homes, allowing volunteers to see how each cat acts in a home environment.

Most breed rescues operate via Web sites that provide breed information and adoption criteria. Often, the adoption process is lengthy and consists of interviews with you, your veterinarian and the other references you provide.

Because many rescues ship animals, you may choose a cat you only learned about through pictures and bios. Ask the rescue group for help selecting a cat. They will ask questions about what you're looking for in a cat and have you talk with the foster parent to make a good match.

Because rehoming is very difficult for cats, volunteers want to ensure that the cat is going to a loving and permanent home.

Where Do They Come From?
Some cats are rescued from shelters; others are beloved pets whose owner died without making arrangements for the cat. According to Linda Mercer, president and rescue coordinator of the CFA Purebred Rescue Inc., many cats and kittens are also obtained from cattery seizures and hoarder situations. Though malnourished and dehydrated, these cats often are otherwise in good condition. Surprisingly, most rescued cats and kittens are well-adjusted despite their experience. Others require socialization before they're ready for adoption.

Find a Breed Rescue
The easiest way to find a breed rescue is to use the breed name as a search word on the Internet (i.e. Maine Coon breed rescue). Once you find the breed you want, review the site carefully and follow the instructions. If you have further questions, send an email and someone will get back to you. If you are patient and cooperate with breed-rescue volunteers, you can rescue your dream cat and enjoy many happy years together.

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