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Old 10-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How do you find a good home?

So I have this kitten that I took in when it was 2 weeks old. She's about 5 weeks old now. She's currently living in one of our bathrooms (it's the master so it's pretty good size). She's using a litterbox perfectly and is eating canned food. We've completely halted the milk because we ran out and she prefers the canned food to it anyways.

I was going to take her to the shelter when she reached 6 weeks but I've decided against it. I'm going to keep her and find her a home myself. I'll get more say in where she goes this way. How do you screen prospective pet parents? I don't want her to go to someone who won't take as good of care of her as I do. I was really hoping my aunt and uncle would take her but he isn't fond of the idea of getting another cat after their existing cat puked on his Playstation 3.

So anyways, how do you decide who you will give the kitty to? I want them to feed her an at least average food, get her spayed, and not get her declawed.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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All I can suggest is to get the word out that you have a cat for adoption. Friends of friends, co-workers of friends, etc. Timing is the thing. It may take some time. There are a lot of cat owners out there and many of them have just lost a cat. It's a question of finding them. Previous cat "owners" are a good "first-cut". We talk to any potential owners on the phone and then they come over for an introduction. You can tell a lot about someone from what others say about them and from talking to them.
It's kind of tough evaluating a potential "owner" since you don't know them and they don't know you. It helps on your end if you can have all the medical issues addressed with the paperwork to back it up and honestly tell them what you think the cat is likely to be like "behavior-wize".
Kind of like a car salesperson. The second cat we found a home for was a friend of the first cat's owners, neither of whom were known to us. They (the first owners) let their friend (who had just lost a cat) know that we were straight up.
Timing and patience. Knowing a lot of people helps too.

Last edited by lyle; 10-07-2012 at 06:32 PM. Reason: add
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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See if your vet would let you put a flier in their window or office. I started that with my vet and now others have followed suit.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use craigslist (in addition to posting fliers at my vet and the local shelter). My ads are pretty lengthy and lay out some general ground rules. First, the person must either own their home, or be prepared to have me call the landlord to verify that they can have pets. They need to be over 18 years old. Everyone involved needs to know the cat is coming. Animals are not surprise gifts. They need to know I'll do a follow up call or two (and then actually DO this!). They also have to sign a contract saying that the kitten will come back to me if they can't keep it. This is good for the duration of the cat's life, whether it's in a month or ten years. It also means that I get to screen any future homes, or try to fix any problems that the kittens might have.


Don't be afraid to ask questions. If someone gets offended because you ask if they own their house, you don't want them to have your kitty anyway. I ask what they'll feed, if they've had cats before (and what happened to them), what other animals are in the home now (and give pointers on how to best do introductions), if there are kids in the home (and ages and pet experience levels), will kitty be indoor/outdoor, do they plan to declaw, etc.

Also, I get all my cats/kittens spayed/neutered before they get adopted, then charge the spay/neuter fee as the adoption fee. That way I don't have to trust that the new owners will do it...it's already done.


Charging a fee is a must. While there are good homes out there who would take a free cat, charging even $20 can help weed out a lot of crazies and bad homes. I would never give a kitten away for free unless I knew the owners personally and would vouch for them to someone else. Here, $60-75 is average for a spayed/neutered kitten.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is from the site of the shelter I support - I thought it might be useful.


What is your full address (incl. house no and postcode)?Unfortunately, we cannot rehome to houses on, or near to, a busy or main road, railway lines etc. This is because the risk of the cat being killed by traffic is too great.

Similarly, we do not rehome to areas where we have picked up lots of abused and neglected cats from. Please note that we do not rehome 'house-cats' simply because you live in a busy area.

We do occasionally have cats who are only suitable for an indoor home but the same rules regarding proximity to main roads etc. would apply because if they somehow got out, you would want them to have the best chance of survival.
Do you live in a house or a flat?If you live in a flat, what floor do you live on? We will need to know what access the cat would have to the outside.
Do you own the property or rent it?If you rent the property, we would need to see the clause in your contract which states that you are allowed pets. We have, in the past, accepted letters from landlords but following a few occasions where the landlords have then chosen to ignore their prior written consent, we now require the permission to be stated in the legally binding tenancy contract.
We will also be looking for assurances that the cat will not be abandoned or passed on next time you move house ('my cat needs rehoming because I am moving house and the new landlord doesn't allow pets' is a very common phonecall we get at SHUA)
Do you have any children and, if so, what ages?We ask this for two reasons:
  • We would not home a small kitten to a family with toddlers or very young children because the kitten is unable to defend itself when it is so small - which is not to say that toddlers are malicious, but that they can hurt the kitten without meaning to. Similarly, kittens have razor sharp claws and may hurt your child without meaning to. If you have children younger than 5 years old, we would only home a kitten from around 6 months old.
  • Some of our cats are not suitable for homes with children at all, for a variety of reasons.
Do you have any pets and, if so, what type of pet and if, e.g. dog or cat, how old?Again, we ask because some of our cats are not suited to homes with certain types of other animals. e.g. some cats hate other cats, some hate dogs, also for example some snakes can swallow kittens whole and so we wouldn't home a kitten to someone with a big snake! These are our standard adoption questions which we ask purely because we want to make sure that we introduce the right people to the right ***** cats. It would be madness not to, really!
If you have any other preferences - gender, colour etc. - then please tell us. Bear in mind though that we are a rescue centre not a breeding centre - we take cats in based on need, not asthetics!! The more specific your requirements, the less likely we will be able to meet them.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arianwen View Post
This is from the site of the shelter I support - I thought it might be useful.


What is your full address (incl. house no and postcode)?Unfortunately, we cannot rehome to houses on, or near to, a busy or main road, railway lines etc. This is because the risk of the cat being killed by traffic is too great.
If you live in a big city, this is not practical, because it rules out 95% of the population.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedwitch View Post
If you live in a big city, this is not practical, because it rules out 95% of the population.
Then you would need to screen for indoor-only homes. We live right on a busy street but have never had cat vs traffic problems as all our cats and fosters are indoor only. Knowing the address is very practical as you can google it to see if indoor only or indoor/outdoor would be most appropriate.

This is also why I recommend asking what has happened to previous cats the family has owned...if they all got hit by cars before the age of 5, probably not a good, safe home for kitty unless they're going to keep it indoor only.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Probably not but that isn't the case for most of their would be adopters. I wasn't putting it forward as a universal solution to adoption just as something that works for them.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I helped write/edit my vet's adoption contract. It goes as follows.

What is your address?
How long have you lived at this address?
How many people live with you?
What are their ages?
Who will be primarily responsible for the cat's care?
If you rent, please bring in a copy of your lease agreement so we can verify that you are allowed to have cats in your home.
Have you owned a cat before?
What do you intend on feeding your cat?
Do you plan to keep your cat indoors?
What other pets do you have?
Do you consent to answering one or more follow-up phone calls and, if deemed necessary, a home visit to check on the cat after you have adopted it?
Do you plan to have your cat declawed? (If answer is yes, adoption will not be approved)
Do you agree to bring the cat back to us if you ever need to rehome this cat for any reason?


I think those are all good questions to ask any potential adopters. In addition, charge an adoption fee. 50-70 dollars seems to be about average. And do make them sign a contract, in addition to discussing most/all questions it asks in person.

Try, if you can, to find a friend, or family member or friend of a friend or something if possible. Someone that someone you trust can vouch for, and that way it'll be easier to stay in touch with them as well.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Venusworld21 View Post
Then you would need to screen for indoor-only homes. We live right on a busy street but have never had cat vs traffic problems as all our cats and fosters are indoor only. Knowing the address is very practical as you can google it to see if indoor only or indoor/outdoor would be most appropriate.
Thats exactly what most rescues here (NYC) do. They want the cat to be indoors and most of them even require you have screens on your windows (luckily, we did).

Good luck, OP! Maybe you could find a generic adoption application from another rescue and use that one yourself?
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