An important factor when adopting a pet: WHEN

Ayla Soriano Martín on 29/01/2021

Offering a chance to a better life is the main target of each animal welfare organization, every adoption is a success. An important factor related to adopting a pet is the “when”. The dataset presented below clearly shows that the number of adoptions is not evenly distributed in a year but varies month by month, especially for cats.  

Adoption of cats

Most families prefer to adopt a kitten rather an adult cat and this is what creates the bias in the number of adoptions in different months of the year. Typically, kittens are born in spring or early summer. After the necessary lactation period (approximately two months), they are ready for their new home. This is why the peak in adoptions is after September. April to August is the period with the least adoptions as the kittens are not yet available. In addition, these months is when most females are either carrying their babies or caring for them and therefore, they cannot be adopted.

We looked at the average age of a cat, at the day of its adoption with respect to the month it was adopted. Each bar of the chart shows the average age of the cats adopted during a specific month of the year. It is clear that the months where most adoptions happen are also the months when the adopted cats are of youngest age.

Age of the cats at the time of adoption

The case for dogs

The adoption of dogs is more uniform during the year, that is, the number of dogs adopted each month presents little variation. It is interesting to mention that June and July are the months of the year with the least dog adoptions. August on the other hand, is the month with most adoptions. Families tend to take advantage of the summer vacations to help the dog familiarize with its new home. This is a very enouncing fact that clearly shows that pet adoption is each time taken more seriously.

All animals together

Grouping together all animal species, January is the month during which most of the adoptions happen.  January is known to be the month of new beginnings and it is when most families welcome the new family members.

Source of the data

11pets: Adopt is the most complete platform available today for the management of animal welfare organizations and is used by more than 100 shelters from all over the world. The data presented in this report come from the actual operation of the shelters that are using the platform and participated in this study. This is why the give a so accurate picture of the reality. The data regard the adoptions made in the last 10 years from different European shelters, mainly in Spain and more specifically in Catalonia.

Although the adoptions are increasing, there are still millions of animals without a home. Consider giving them a second chance, they will adore you forever. In our directory you will find many animals that need a home like yours.


You can use information from this report only for personal purposes and by including the corresponding citation to the 11pets.com site. For the use of the data for implicit or explicit commercial purposes, it is necessary to previously obtain the written consent of 11 PETS LTD.