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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. If you surrender her to animal control or the humane society, there is a good chance the cat will be euthanized (killed). Even if your cat is very friendly, 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 many friendly cats are killed each year. If your cat makes it past the initial screening, she still may sit in the adoption cages for months. 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 want to be notified before she is killed, you can take her to the Humane Society Silicon Valley and pay an extra notification  fee. They charge a basic surrender fee, and for an additional fee, if they determine the cat is not adoptable for any reason, you will be notified and can pick her up.