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Finding a new home for your cat

The first thing you should know is it is not easy to find a new home for your cat. And the older the cat, or less "cute" the cat, or less "sociable" the cat, the harder it is. Even cute little furballs that would win prizes in competitions can be difficult, especially during kitten season (normally Apr-Nov), because there are simply far more cats in need than there are available homes for them.
Most folks usually start at their local shelter. A few things to know. One: there will likely be a fee. Two: most shelters and other rescue groups are 'no kill' (at least in this area). So they won't euthanize a cat once in their care (except for humane reasons such a serious sickness or injury). But the flip side of this is that they don't accept surrendered cats if they are full or don't think that they can get the cat adopted. And they are often full (or even over-full).
Three: even if your cat is very friendly, and cute, being in a small cage in a strange place may cause her to act differently or to get sick. Animal agencies have limited resources, and even the 'best' cats may stay in the adoption areas for a while.
Why do you need a new home for your cat?
Behavior problem: scratching, inappropriate urination, spraying, cat to cat fighting, cat aggression, there are some things you can try first. Please review the other sections of the knowledge base, or submit a REQUEST for advice on dealing with behavior problems.: there are also things to try: like not letting the cat in the bedroom, using an air filter in the bed room, bathing the cat, etc.

Moving: there are cat-friendly apartments and homes. LINK

High medical costs: some rescue groups have funds that you may apply for. Submit a REQUEST with general details. Cannot afford to feed: there are rescue groups that can provide food temporarily. The dry food at Costco is only 60 cents per pound – one large bag should feed one cat for months.

Inherited cat: If you are all of a sudden responsible for a cat and cannot care for her, search for a cat sanctuary.  For a monthly fee or lifetime donation, they will care for the cat for the rest of her life.  She will live in a multi-cat building or property and may not get much personal attention, but at least she will be fed and medically cared for.  Two local ones are www.brighthaven.org  (charges approx. $5,000) and www.cathouseonthekings.com (charges approx. $2,000). 

How to find a good home:
Try all channels to find a good, new home. This process may take months so start as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the smaller the number of options.

First: Check the cat’s health. She/he should be spayed/neutered and up to date on all vaccinations. She should be well groomed – take her to a groomer if she has hair knots.

Second: Ask friends, family members, community associates (from the neighborhood, church, etc), if they or someone they know is looking for a pet cat.

Third: Take good pictures of the cat, and write a brief description. Here’s an example from Best Friends.

"Shambu is the kind of companion that we all long to have. Loyal, playful, tender and kind best describes this beautiful orange tabby. He is 3- years-old, neutered and has all his shots. He prefers to be in an adult only home. Call Jeremy at 555-2189 before 11AM. Donation for my favorite animal charity required. No Bunchers."

Fourth:Post listings on Petfinder.com, Craig’s List and other local want ads. Ask for a donation to discourage animal lab “bunchers.”

Fifth: Contact all the rescue groups. Some groups may have space at their weekend pet fairs to show your cat. Ask about the adoption procedure for that particular group.

Sixth:Screen the potential adopter to make sure he is not going to sell the cat to an animal test lab (buncher). This Best Friends’ pamphlet has a list of excellent questions to ask, as well as an adoption application.

Last resort: If you MUST surrender your cat to a shelter, and they accept her, you can usually ask to be notified in case they would euthanize her for any reason. is not adoptable for any reason, you will be notified and can pick her up.