Cats in animal shelters that do not get adopted are sometimes euthanized, while others are sometimes sent to new shelters or placed into rescue groups foster care. The animals at animal shelters are usually given a specific period of time to stay in the shelter that they are not allowed to exceed.
There are several no-kill shelters throughout the United States that will not allow any of the animals in their care to perish. However, these shelters do not have a high intake rate because they must first place animals in their care before accepting new animals. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, reported that there are 7.6 million animals that are relinquished or handed over to shelters every single year in the U.S. This number includes 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats. Out of these 7.6 million animals, a whopping 2.7 million are euthanized.
The reason for these staggering statistics is due to the overpopulation problem that the U.S. faces. It is estimated that there are a total of 70 million companion pets living in the U.S., and a fertile cat usually gives birth to a litter of kittens every 6 months to 1 year. Feral cats and domesticated cats that are not spayed have numerous litters, which only contributes to the overpopulation problem. The ASPCA asks all pet owners to spay and neuter their pets to help with pet overpopulation and to not purchase cats or dogs from mill breeders.