The decision to put your cat up for adoption is not an easy one. With no other options, rehoming your cat with a new owner ensures that she can live her life out in peace. The adoption process takes time and effort to find your kitty a good home.
Visit your local shelters to see if they accept cats for adoption. Some of these shelters are no-kill, meaning that they won't euthanize your cat if she doesn't find a new family, while others are not. Unfortunately, many of the no-kill shelters may be too full to take your kitty because their space is limited. Inspect the facilities to decide if the facility will properly care for your cat and make an effort to find her a new home. Many shelters charge a small fee to accept your cat and put her up for adoption.
Speak with your veterinarian about putting your cat up for adoption. Many veterinary offices have a small area dedicated to cats available for adoption. Ask your vet if he would be willing to take care of your cat and put her up for adoption in the office. Contact other veterinarians in your area who may offer cats for adoption and ask if they can take your cat and help to rehome her. While some of the vets you speak to may not accept your cat for adoption, they may allow you to post a picture and written description of your cat on a bulletin board in the office. This way, their clients can look at the adoption ad for your cat while they wait to see the vet in the waiting room; an interested party may contact you to adopt your kitty.
Contact local cat rescue groups to see if they would be willing to accept your cat and put her up for adoption. Many such groups are breed-specific and will only accept certain types of purebred cats. You can find a list of local rescue groups through the Petfinder website. If you adopted your cat through a rescue group, contact them again. Many rescues will take back a cat that they placed with you in the past, if they have the room and resources to do so, and place her up for adoption.
Social networking websites dedicated to cats, such as Catster, allow you to list a profile and picture of your cat. There is an option to list your pet as currently available for adoption in the profile. Those interested will message you to set up a meeting with you and your cat. Other online resources like Craigslist allow you to place a classified ad for your cat online. Human social networking websites like Facebook or Twitter can help you get the word out to friends and acquaintances that your cat is available for adoption. Even if they themselves can't adopt your cat, they may know people that can. Some rescues, like the Cat Welfare Society, allow you to post a classified ad for your cat on their public adoption board, available on their website for potential adopters.
If you place a classified ad offering your cat for adoption, be sure to meet with the prospective adopter. Ask for references from their veterinarian if they have owned other pets to ensure that they are not looking to harm the cat and are capable of reasonably caring for her long-term. Charging a small adoption fee can sometimes deter those looking for "free" cats to use in experiments or sell to a laboratory that does. These unscrupulous people are known as "Class B" dealers, according to the Humane Society of the United States. A home inspection, if possible, helps to avoid giving the cat to such a dealer or even a hoarder.
Contact the breeder you purchased your cat from, if she is a purebred; most breeders will be willing to take back your cat and find her a new home themselves. If you are putting your cat up for adoption because of a behavioral problem, such as inappropriate elimination, try working on this with the help of your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist before relinquishing your cat. In some cases, a medical problem could be causing the behavioral problem, which requires treatment with a vet. Before offering your cat for adoption, disclose any behavioral or health problems to the person you speak with. Some rescue groups will only accept spayed or neutered cats who are up to date on their vaccinations.
Never simply drop your cat off in a wooded area or out onto the street. Not only is this cruel, but the chances that your domesticated cat will survive in the wild without food and water are slim to none. Abandoning your cat can also result in a citation by your local animal control.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Can't Keep My Pet Anymore
- Petfinder: Giving Up Your Pet
- Catster: I Can't Keep My Cats. Should I Release Them Into the Woods?
- The Humane Society of the United States: Pets Used in Experiments
- PetRescue: Help! I Need to Rehome My Pet!
- Catster: Can You Put Kittens Up for Adoption Here?
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.