They were on their way to the beach, but the kids were begging to stop at the Aiken County Shelter, promising to walk “just a few dogs.” They adopted “Paws,” a 4-week-old kitten. Ultimately, the kitten went with the family everywhere they traveled.

Last summer, their neighbors packed up for vacation and headed out of town. When there was no sign of Paws by that evening, the children were hysterical. The vacationing neighbors were contacted. Yes, they had seen Paws, but they were absolutely certain he had not hitched a ride.

Four weeks later, a man called from along that same route, three hours from Aiken, and he had found Paws!

Veterinarians will confirm that cats are better at finding their way home than dogs! It may take as long as a year, but cats are determined to return to their home and their families, if they can.

Cats make wonderful addition to any household. They will keep the house, shed, yard and barn free of pests. They are intelligent and affectionate. They can learn to live happily with other family pets, even birds! They can be both good companions: affectionate, playful, and amusing performers. They have the added advantage of not minding being alone, as long as their surroundings are familiar.

Some additional interesting cat facts are:           

Cats have powerful night vision.

Cats keep themselves very clean.

It has been scientifically proven that stroking a cat can lower one’s blood pressure.

In 1987, cats overtook dogs as the No. 1 pet in America.

When your cat rubs up against you, she is actually marking you as “hers” with her scent. If your cat pushes his face against your head, it is a sign of acceptance and affection.

Someone who is allergic to one cat may not be allergic to another cat. It has been proven that male cats shed much greater amounts of allergen than females; however, a neutered male sheds much less than a non-neutered male.

In just 7 years, one unspayed female cat and one unneutered male cat and their offspring can result in 420,000 kittens.

The tragic reality reflected in this week’s “By the Numbers” segment is that cats are dying by the hundreds, even thousands, in our own county shelter.

Most people end up with cats as strays. It is good that a homeless cat or kitten finds a family, but there is no way of telling what diseases the stray is carrying.

Most of the wonderful adoptable cats at the County Shelter were also strays, but they have also been tested for Feline Leukemia and AIDS and, for $35, come complete with all of their shots and are spayed or neutered.

Like the kids in our opening story, your children or grandchildren can learn empathy and responsibility caring for their own kitten.

“Cats at the Shelter” aka C.A.T.S., is a lovely, clean, healthy, happy place and, therefore, a wonderful place to find a special cat or kitten to love and be loved by in return.

Last cat fact: cats are better adopted in pairs!

FOTAS volunteers work with the Aiken County Animal Shelter, 411 Wire Road. For more information, contact or visit

Aiken County Animal Shelter: “By the Numbers”

CATS January thru April 2013

CATS Brought in: 472

CATS Adopted: 40

CATS Put down: 437 or 93%!!

Aiken County Shelter “Pets of the Week!” HALF PRICE!!

*All adoption fees include: Spay/Neuter, heartworm test, all shots, worming, and microchip.