Community Animal Allies of Niagara

Promoting A Cat For Adoption

Potential adopters will be pre-screened by a voice mail volunteer if you've posted a foster to the Web site. Pre-screening is also done on visitors to adoption events. Sometimes a shelter officer will have done the pre-screening and referred someone to you.

However, every foster parent is strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with these suggested screening questions and re-screen before deciding if a potential adopter is an appropriate match for your foster feline.

Pre-screening does not guarantee that a potential adopter is right for a cat; it's merely the first step in assessing a potential match. Screening is a great opportunity to educate people who might not be aware of some issues that affect the wellbeing of an animal. Some potential adopters will appreciate the information they learn and you may feel confident that they will become responsible cat owners. Ask open-ended questions about their plans for adding a new feline to their household. Here are some important questions to consider:

Do you have any other cats or pets?

It's nice to see little kittens go to homes either with a sibling or another cat to keep them company, unless the kitten will not be alone all day. CAAN has an excellent handout on introducing a new cat to resident cats and dogs.

Have you had cats or other pets in the past? What happened to them?

Hit by a car or "not sure" are answers that send up red flags!

Who is your regular veterinarian (if they have other pets)?

Having a regular vet is a sign of responsible pet ownership. If they say their pet has never been sick, ask them where they've been getting them vaccinated. Some people don't believe in vaccinating adult cats that are indoor-only, but in general most pets should be current on their vaccinations.

How many children do you have? What are their ages?

Small kittens will probably do best in homes without children under the age of six. However, it most definitely depends on the child and you should insist on any small children, if there are any, under about the age of eight coming with a parent to visit the kitten so that you can see how they interact with the cat.

Will the cat be indoor, outdoor or both?

Statistics show that the lifespan of an indoor cat is doubled! If adopters plan on letting a cat out, please remind them of all the many dangers of being outside, including cars, wildlife, poisonous substances, and troubled people. Also, NO adopter should plan on letting a small kitten outdoors for quite some time unless it's on a leash and harness.

Owning a pet is a lifetime commitment! Please remind potential adopters that cats can live over 20 years and that this is a lifetime commitment! What will they do if they move, travel, have children or when the cat gets sick?

Some additional open-ended questions (a few suggestions):

  • Why are you interested in THIS cat/kitten?
  • Why are you interested in a cat/kitten at this time?
  • Cats have natural need to scratch. Some people handle this by providing scratching posts, others allow scratching anywhere, some people opt for declawing, and others learn to trim claws. How do you plan to deal with this?
  • Will this cat/kitten get any outdoor time? (Again, if you advocate indoor only or supervised outdoor time, asking in this way may get a more honest answer).

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