WHEN PLACING A CAT...
BEST AND NOT-SO-BEST CHOICES
Using several of the methods or several groups will often speed up the placement time.
1. Keep the cat yourself: Try to make the animal work in your house. Many people are either looking for a quick solution or are thinking of moving out of a pet O.K. location. If you found the cat and have been unsuccessful in locating the owner, and have another cat, call a humane group for advice in how to merge the cats together. Often, with time and the correct approach, cats will adapt.
2. Give cats to friends, relatives or co-workers: This is a great solution because you have the chance to keep in touch with the cat. If you give away a kitten, be sure either they are already spayed or neutered, or that the new owner understands when and where to get them fixed. Education is very important, and not all people know about the animal population explosion.
3. Place through your veterinarian: Check with your veterinarians office. They often know who just lost a pet or who is looking for an additional pet. Often these offices have a post-board just for placement of animals.
4. Rescue groups/placement groups: Most groups require the cat to be spayed or neutered. If you have a litter of kittens, expect to show a "Proof of Sterility" for the mother cat. Early-age spay/neuter is available for kittens as young as 8 weeks. FVRCP vaccinations (distemper and upper respiratory) should be started prior to showing with a group. The more responsibility assumed by you, the less time and financial expense incurred by the rescue group. It also demonstrates a sincere effort on your part and they are more likely to help you.
5. Ads in the paper: If you decide to go this route, it is recommended that you ask for a donation, be it to offset the cost of spay/neuter, vaccines, leukemia testing, etc. Free cat and dog ads can attract those wanting to sell animals to research. If you are uncomfortable asking for money, have them issue a check payable to a non-profit animal welfare organization.
6. No-kill shelters: Call around and see what each program offers. At some, large donations are asked (and expected).
7. Animal shelters: Most were created for the health and welfare of humans. They were not set up as placement organization. Some shelters are low-kill. Others kill 85% of all dogs and cats, whether they are brought in as strays, or are owner relinquished pets. Some shelters, if no cage space is available, will kill owner-relinquished pets the same day they are turned in. Here in California, the shelters now must hold these pets a minimum of 5 days, thanks to a new law starting January 2000, unless the animal is ill.
8. Euthanasia: Some cats are not quick to place and euthanasia is the most humane thing to do. It is unfortunate that older cats are often passed up (10+ years) by new pet owners. Also, not all pet owners plan ahead allowing for the necessary time to re-home the cat.
Do not dump cats: Besides being illegal to dump cats (and dogs), most cats do not find a new home. Cats get disoriented and their immune systems lower leaving them susceptible to deadly feline diseases. Some become so terrified they crawl under a building and starve to death. Others fall victim to cars, dogs, coyotes, and owls.
Why you should not give away kittens in front of a supermarket: Many people who adopt a kitten in front of a store are doing this on impulse. They are often not thinking of the 15-20 year commitment the cat needs, vet bills, or life style changes such as roommates, traveling, school etc. Many people regret getting the kitten that night. If you do give away a litter in front of a store, please give the person taking your pet your phone number as a safety net.
Interviewing the prospective owner:
Screen the callers to find out what kind of home they plan to give the cat. Questions should include: Have they owned a pet before and if so, what happened to it? If the cat is shy, will they be home a lot the first month? Will the cat be indoors or outdoors? Why do they want to adopt at this time? Is the cat for them or a gift? What kind of veterinary care will they provide? If the animal is not fixed, do they understand the importance of sterilization? Note: fixing the cat/kitten prior to releasing the cat will prevent unwanted litters of kittens from being born.
Home delivery: is advised which should include a quick look at the food/water bowls, litter box, screens, other animals, and to confirm they have a cat carrier. Cat carriers are available in cardboard for $5-6, and plastic from $12-35.
Adoption forms: Its best to use an adoption form: contact a humane group for a generic form. Take all information from the new pet owner, including drivers license number, home address, and both work and home phone numbers.
Fee: It is recommended that you ask for a donation, be it to offset the cost of spay/neuter, vaccines, leukemia testing, etc. Free cats and dogs can attract those wanting to sell animals to research. If you are uncomfortable asking for money, have them issue a check payable to a non-profit animal welfare organization.