Cat lovers will tell you if you’ve never had a cat in your life, you don’t know what you’re missing – but this month, you can find out at animal shelters around the state.

June is “Adopt a Cat Month,” and shelters are offering discounts on adoptions, and also looking for more foster families to help cats and kittens get out of a shelter environment and into a home setting to prepare them for adoption.

Rebecca Oertel, foster-care coordinator at the PAWS shelter in Lynnwood, says it’s a good way to try living with a cat, or for people who like them but are too busy for full-time pet ownership.

“Some people will use a spare bedroom. Some people, of course, have finished basements or heated workshops,” says Oertel. “We’re just looking for a place that’s quiet, that’s warm, a place where a cat can just hang out for a little bit. They just need some time and ‘TLC’ to get ready.”

PAWS and other shelters have cat foster-care orientations throughout the year. The PAWS organization has a “Seniors for Seniors” program, matching older cats with older people. And this month, PAWS and its Seattle “Cat City” location are waiving adoption fees for adult cats on weekdays.

This is the time of year more people drop off litters of kittens at no-kill shelters such as the Blue Mountain Humane Society in Walla Walla. So, director Sara Archer says it’s time for a kitten shower.

“We’ve planned a traditional baby shower, with games and a wish list of things we need for kittens in our care, and are inviting the community to come in and learn what it takes to be a foster parent, and to provide some of the things we need to care for the kittens,” says Archer.

The event is Tuesday, June 9 from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Blue Mountain Humane Society, 7 George St., Walla Walla.

Archer adds research has shown there can be health benefits to cat ownership, including stress relief.

“Especially for seniors, cats can just be fantastic companions” says Archer. “They’re affectionate and funny, and not terribly difficult to provide care for. And you can see so much of the ‘big cat’ in them.”

She says no-kill shelters make an effort to match cat and person to ensure the best results, whether it’s foster care or a ‘forever home.’