How to Adopt a Cat

Napping kitten
If you are looking to add a four-legged family member to the mix, a cat can make a great option. When it comes to how to adopt a cat, Rescue Vets shares what to plan for during the adoption process. Our goal is to prepare potential owners, make sound matches between pets and potential families, and make the whole process as easy as possible.

Adopting a Cat From a Shelter

No matter what shelter you adopt from, there are certain steps that are similar across the board. When approaching a shelter about adoption, you can expect to complete the steps below:

Adoption Application

Questions can vary, but typically include:

  • Your contact information
  • Other people living in the house
  • Information on any other pets
  • Home situation- whether you own or rent
  • Any restrictions on animal ownership where you live
  • Veterinarian contact information
  • References
Black cat with yellow eyes

Meet and Greet

After your application has been approved, it’s time to visit your potential kitty to see if it’s the right fit. During this stage, some shelters will require a home visit to ensure you have a safe environment for a pet. At Rescue Vets, we ask that all household members come to our shelter to meet the cat you’re considering.

Adoption Contract

If the adoption seems like the right decision, it will be time to make it official. An adoption contract will be signed, applicable fees will be paid, and then you’re ready to take your newest family member home!

How Long Does it Take to Adopt a Cat?

With the steps above, you may be wondering, “How long does it take to adopt a cat?” The timeframe can depend on the shelter you’re adopting from. Necessary steps will need to be handled, such as contacting references and processing your application. Rescues that require a home visit will also need to schedule and complete that process before you can bring a pet home. All in all, time can range between a couple of hours to a few days. It’s important to remember, though, that these steps are put in place to help protect both animals and adopters.

Should You Adopt a Cat?

When considering adopting a cat from a shelter, you need to know more than how to adopt a cat; you need to know if it’s a good idea, to begin with. While they’re adorable, cats require work, time, and money, just like any other pet. Take the following into account when deciding if a cat is the right pet for you:

  • Time Commitment: While cats are generally more low-maintenance than dogs, they still need to be fed, have their litter boxes cleaned, be brushed, and played with. Some cats are more sociable than others and will want more of your time and attention, or could even benefit from another cat friend. It’s important to be realistic about the time you have when considering adopting a cat from a shelter.
  • Space: Litter boxes take up space, and ideally, you should have one for each cat you have plus one extra. Cats also like vertical spaces and furniture like cat trees or scratching posts, can give them appropriate places to take out some of their natural urges.
  • Environment: While you need to take a dog out, keeping a cat indoors will provide the safest environment for your pet. Keeping your cat indoors helps your pet avoid toxins, other animals, getting lost or otherwise injured.
  • Budget: Cats can live for decades, and will require food, toys, litter, and veterinary care that whole time. Make sure to factor in their long-term needs into your regular budget.
  • Future: As previously mentioned, cats can have a long lifespan. They could join you in college and be there while you raise your kids. Keep in mind any future desires or plans, and make sure a cat fits that vision.

Start the Adoption Process With Rescue Vets!

We strive to make adopting a cat from a shelter a joyful experience for you and your pet. From ensuring you’re paired with the right animal to giving tips on how to care for your cat, you’ll find a dedicated team here to help you at Rescue Vets!