Halloween Cat Adoption Specials

Are pet promotions at dog and cat shelters around Halloween a good idea? Alley Cat Allies president Becky Robinson shares her thoughts.

By Becky Robinson | Posted: October 24, 2013, 2 p.m. PDT

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Halloween Cat Adoption

A reader asks: My local animal shelter is offering a discount for adopting a black cat for Halloween. Are Halloween pet promotions a good idea?

Kudos to your local shelter for promoting their adoptable animals! At certain times of the year, offering a reduced adoption fee can help increase adoptions. Many shelters use this technique to highlight particular cats and draw potential adopters in to the shelter. Alley Cat Allies has participated in and supported a variety of adoption events for cats waiting for a permanent home – including "adoption fairs" and Kittypaloozas open to the public.

Hear the top 6 shelter cat adoption tips >>

Here in the United States, 82 million cats live in homes and cats with black fur are very common. At one time, animal shelters would not adopt out black cats around Halloween and that played into perceived "superstitions," but now many shelters actually use this season to promote black cats.

See more black cat pictures and history >>

The old fear that black cats are adopted by people with bad intentions around Halloween is pure myth. Alley Cat Allies’ mission is to protect cats and that starts with dispelling myths people have about them. Standard adoption procedures protect cats all year round, so putting a Halloween moratorium on black cat adoptions just deprives those cats of the chance to find a home.


Pros & Cons of Seasonal Adoption
Whether it’s a Halloween promotion for black cats, extra incentives for senior cats, or a dramatic discount for Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month, the shelter’s adoption process does not change. It is standard practice for shelters to screen potential adopters before allowing them to take a cat home. Anyone interested in a cat must fill out an application and provide detailed information to help the shelter determine if the adopters and the cat are a good match.

Each cat has an individual personality, and that goes for black cats, too. For those of us who share our homes with them, our lives are enhanced and enriched. Cats in shelters need a home just as much during a holiday as any other time of year. But the bottom line is that adoptive prospects are screened properly year-round to determine if they will offer the cat a good life.

If you really want a scare this Halloween, consider the fact that only about 30% of cats who enter shelters have positive outcomes. Alley Cat Allies’ mission is to protect and improve the lives of cats, and that includes transforming shelters to save more lives. Through innovative adoption promotions and other simple changes like embracing Trap-Neuter-Return, shelters across the country can increase positive outcomes for cats. Alley Cat Allies is creating change that helps all cats of every color.  

For more information on transforming shelters to save more cats, please visit Alley Cat Allies’ website.
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Reader Comments

Tiffani    Powhatan, VA

10/31/2013 1:44:34 PM

Still leery on promoting black cats at Halloween. I am Wiccan and love a black cat because I know that they are Good Luck! However, the average person lives by the superstition about these amazing creatures. I would promote cats of other colors at this time of year and in return, promote black cats in the springtime when people may have better intentions.

JB    Long Island, NY

10/31/2013 10:28:29 AM

I only have black cats... it's so sad that they are the hardest to adopt out because they are the most amazing companions. I wish people would see past the silly superstitions and give these wonderful kitties a chance.

Galadriel    Lothlorien, ME

10/28/2013 11:49:01 PM

Sounds great but I'd be wary about prospective adopters looking for black cats only at Halloween. Why do they want them? To give them a good home? Or something else...?

Carol    Silver Spring, MD

10/26/2013 6:10:26 PM

I have a senior black cat who is the most affectionate cat ever. Hope the adoption rate for them increases with whatever it takes!

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