8 Best Cat Rescues in San Diego! (2024)

Many cat owners race to cat breeders, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for kittens of a certain pedigree. Although it can feel good to flaunt an expensive cat with the perfect coat, millions of cats in need suffer from a lack of available homes. 

If you want to save cats in desperate need of homes, check out the top eight cat rescues in San Diego.

Other articles you would like: Adopt A Cockapoo and Adopt A Basenji Puppy.

How Many Cats Are in Animal Shelters?


Before we get started, take a look at these statistics on homeless cats.

  • About 3.2 million cats are sent to animal shelters in the United States every year
  • Of these 3.2 million cats, 530,000 are euthanized.
  • 42% of cats that are rehomed are given up due to pet problems, such as:
    • Aggression
    • Health problems
    • Growing larger than expected
  • 69% of cats in the United States are bought from pet stores or breeders. 

The Top 8 Cat Rescues in San Diego


It is heartbreaking to think of all the cats longing for compassionate owners and stable homes. Luckily, there are many great rescue cats in San Diego. 

The rescues below stand out because they focus on the well-being of their cats. Each company takes special care to provide their cats with everything they could want. 

While most shelters do not offer free cats, these rescues charge only low fees used to care for cats still waiting to find their homes. 

1. The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center


This cat rescue in San Diego is truly one-of-a-kind. The center is the only non-profit cat lounge in San Diego, and all donations help employees care for the cats.

The Cat Lounge does not provide free cats, but each cat is microchipped, dewormed, spayed or neutered, and given the FVRCP vaccine before adoption. Thus, their owners will not have to pay large bills on the first visit to the vet.

This center was founded in 2019, and its priority is saving cats in danger. All cats up for adoption would have been euthanized if The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center had not intervened. 

The Cat Lounge Rescue and Adoption Center Details:

2. San Diego Humane Society


The San Diego Humane Society aims to create a more compassionate world by advancing the welfare of people and animals. Over 40,000 animals are under the care of this society.

This non-profit society is much more than a shelter. Its outreach methods made it possible for San Diego to be the largest U.S. city to avoid the euthanization of healthy and treatable shelter animals.

It includes a teaching hospital for veterinarians and behavior programs to prepare animals for adoption. 

San Diego Humane Society Details:

3. National Cat Protection Society


It is plain to see that the National Cat Protection Society is in business for all the right reasons. During World War II, a cat kept a soldier warm through the night in a foxhole.

That soldier later founded the National Cat Protection Society as a haven for rescue cats and a driving force in the fair treatment of animals.

Today, staff and volunteers bring cats to adult groups, senior living homes, and schools to educate the public on the humane treatment of animals and bring joy to those who need it. 

The National Cat Protection Society believes in spaying and neutering cats and ending animal cruelty. On the company website, you will find a list of locations that spay and neuter cats for little or no money. 

National Cat Protection Society Details:

4. PAWS of Coronado


PAWS of Coronado envisions a world where every animal finds a safe and loving home.

To make this possible, the company offers rehabilitation services alongside adoption services. Staff members also aim to educate the community on the proper care for animals. 

Since its founding in 2003, PAWS of Coronado has offered medical care, love, and compassion for each animal that comes through its doors.

The company provides behavior rehabilitation, lifelong care for animals with special needs, and emergency boarding to ensure that all animals have the opportunity to live full, happy lives. 

PAWS of Coronado Details:

5. East County Animal Rescue


Established in 2002, East County Animal Rescue is much more than a cat adoption shelter. This company goes a step further than most by spaying and neutering feral cats in the community.

Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane and effective method of feral cat population control, leading to fewer homeless cats over time.

East County Animal Rescue also provides medical care for feral cats, rehomes cats found in unsuitable conditions, and offers permanent homes for cats who cannot return to their previous homes or be adopted. 

The cats for adoption from East County Animal Rescue would have died or lived amongst hardship and abuse if the company had not intervened.

The cats are spayed or neutered, dewormed, vaccinated, tested for feline leukemia and feline aids, treated for fleas, and microchipped. 

East County Animal Rescue Details:

6. The Cat Café


When rescue cats join The Cat Café, they are treated as foster cats. Instead of staying in a rescue shelter with minimal interaction from the public, these cats enjoy cuddles and pets from locals daily.

Potential adopters can interact with cats and find the one that best matches their needs, which decreases the chance of needing to rehome cats.

Additionally, fostering well-socialized cats leaves space in shelters for cats who need help to prepare for adoption. 

At The Cat Café, there is even a space for cats to recharge away from human interaction. The company believes in the importance of happy, healthy cats who can find their forever homes. 

The Cat Café Details:

7. Friends of Cats


Friends of Cats is a non-profit shelter that finds loving homes for cats and provides lifetime care for those who cannot be adopted. The company cares for cats that are terminally ill or unadoptable. 

This shelter believes in spaying and neutering to control the overpopulation of cats. As a no-kill establishment, only cats suffering greatly from terminal illnesses are euthanized. 

To find homes for elderly cats more quickly, the price of cats over eight years old is lower than that of kittens and adult cats. Friends of Cats also promotes health by providing vaccinations. 

If you need to relinquish a cat, you can bring it to this shelter. You can even arrange for the lifetime care of your cat at this shelter if you cannot care for it yourself. 

Friends of Cats Details:

  • Location: 15587 Olde Highway 80, El Cajon, California 92021
  • Phone Number: 619-561-0361
  • Website: Friends of Cats

8. Dirty Little Paws


Dirty Little Paws is committed to rescuing cats in numerous ways. When a company’s mission is to save as many cat lives as possible, you know they are going above and beyond. 

Staff members trap, neuter, and release cats into the wild to control the overpopulation of cats.

They also bring top-notch veterinary care to cats within the community. Then, they send ferals back to their colonies and rehabilitate the cats they can. 

The rescue cats have been saved from kill shelters or the street and desperately need loving homes.

Dirty Little Paws also asks that people consider fostering cats to prepare them for their forever homes and provide extra love and attention in the meantime. 

Dirty Little Paws Details:

Conclusion For “Best Cat Rescues in San Diego”


All pet owners have big hearts, but cat owners are unique. Unlike dogs, cats have strong personalities and stubborn attitudes and are not overly affectionate. Nonetheless, you love your cat like a child. 

Deciding to adopt a cat is a big step. You are committing to the lifetime care of a vulnerable creature, even when life is unpredictable. You will change your cat’s life with love, stability, and compassion, which it may never have received without you. 

When you are ready to adopt, use a reputable, caring shelter. If you reach out to the best cat rescues in San Diego, you can be confident that you are bettering the lives of cats worldwide. 

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