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Celebrating 'Adopt-A-Cat' month in Baltimore

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Having a pet to love and care for reduces stress.

'Studies have shown that physical contact with a pet can lower high blood pressure. There is also evidence that petting an animal can cause endorphins to be released. Endorphins are chemicals in the body that suppress the pain response.' It is no wonder that so many families have either a dog or cat in their household.

'It is estimated that there are more than 35 million cats in the US alone.'

In celebration of 'Adopt-A-Cat' month, The Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. (BARCS) is sponsoring 'The Baltimore 500: A Race to Save Lives' from June 1-30, 2011.

During this month, BARCS is offering free adoption for cats and kittens.

When considering a family pet, as long as there are no allergies, keep in mind the low maintenance a cat requires. As long as the pet has fresh food, water, a clean litter box and a warm place to sleep, it usually won't mind if you leave for several hours or an occasional over night trip. The friendly feline is quick to welcome the family member home.

The American Humane Association offers a 'top ten checklist for adopting a cat.

Pets and children can be good friends when each respects the other. Children need to learn how to feed and care for their four-legged family member. If each member shares in the love and responsibility of caring for the animal, the entire family can benefit from pet ownership.

When I decided to add a second cat to my family, I looked into adopting. I went through my local PetSmart.

I visited the local store and saw the most beautiful long-haired cat. She was multi-colored with brown, black and tan fur.

Something has to be wrong with her. Why would such a beautiful animal be available for adoption?

I was wrong. She had been spayed and her card said she did well with other animals and older children.

I couldn't wait to get her home. Her behavior and appearance conveyed a regal personality.

I'll call her Princess.

She lived up to her name from the first day. She was gentle, loving and affectionate. It did take several weeks for my male cat to warm up to her, but now they are best friends.

There are many pet-friendly vacations available for families. Pets Welcome gives helpful information on lodging, day care and vets, fun places, and travel tips.

So, go ahead and adopt a cat. While you are at it--adopt two.

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