Rehoming is an exhausting process, physically and emotionally, for both the owner and the pet. While no pet owner wants their cat to be rehomed, it is sometimes the best decision for you and your pet.
Many reasons can lead to rehoming a cat, like financial problems, moving, traveling, pregnancy, allergies, and cat behavioral issues. Sometimes after trying everything to keep your kitty in your home, it’s still best to rehome her.
When rehoming your cat, you need to make sure to find a good parent that is willing to take care of her and love her just like you did or more.
In this post, we provide a thorough guide on how to rehome a cat. We made sure to include all the information you need to know to make sure your cat ends up in good hands.Rehoming isn't the same as abandonment, as long as you're doing the best you can to ensure your pet finds a loving home. It's fine to be upset about missing your cat, but you don't have to feel guilty about it.
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Finding the Right Adopters
Finding a new home for your cat can be a stressful mission. Here are some of the best options to consider:
Friends and Family
The first people you should turn to are your trusted family members and friends. They can be the best adopters as you already know and trust them. Even if they’re unable to adopt your cat, they’ll most likely refer you to someone they know that may be interested in adopting your pet.
The Original Cat Owner
Contact the original cat owner. He or she might be interested in taking the cat back or assisting you in finding your pet a new home.
Rehoming Centers and Shelters
There are numerous benefits to formally rehoming your cat through rescue and rehoming organizations. They'll look after your kitty and make sure she’s headed to a loving home.
In addition, rescue centers usually do house visits and conduct interviews with potential adopters to ensure that they’re capable of welcoming a pet into their house.
Shelters and rescue organizations also offer advice to adopters on how they can make it easier for their newly adopted pet to settle in its new home. And if there are any problems, they’ll be able to take the cat back into their shelter.
Usually, shelters and rehoming organizations are overcrowded and might put your cat on a waiting list. Keep that in mind if you’re in a hurry.
Before handing your pet to a shelter or a rescue center, make sure they have a “no-kill policy.” When a shelter reaches its maximum capacity, they may be forced to euthanize older pets or those with behavioral or physical issues to make room for the new arrivals.
This is why it’s recommended to try all the other options before considering giving your cat to a rescue center to avoid adding more pressure on them.
Some rehoming centers offer direct rehoming services. This is where they find adoptive homes for your cat without having to take her into their care. It’s a good option if you can keep your cat for some time until they find a new home for it.
Promote Your Cat
The first step in advertising your quest to rehome your pet feline is to take a cute picture of her.
You can give the picture to rescue organizations and shelters; they can probably help find your pet a new owner. You can also use the picture for flyers or social media posts.
You can place flyers in your vet’s office or at your local pet shop to promote your cat. This will help you reach a wider audience in your local area.
Secondly, you need to create a brief description of your cat and what makes her special. You can include vaccinations, obedience training, medical history, and current medical conditions.
You may also mention anything else you believe the new parent should know. This could be food your cat doesn’t like or a bad habit your cat has. These details help to filter out unsuitable adopters and attract qualified ones.
Select the Potential Adopters
The best way to select a suitable new home for your cat is to screen all interested parties. Start by asking a few questions that you think are important and email them to those who are interested.
Here are some suggestions:
- Do they own other pets? If yes, ask them to provide their vet records.
- Did they own a pet in the past? Where did that pet go?
- How will they take care of your cat?
- Do they understand the commitment to owning a pet?
- Do they know all the ins and outs of owning a cat? If not, are they willing to learn?
You'll most likely wind up with a couple of potential adopters who you think would be good matches for your pet. You’re not done yet, though. Other steps are necessary to ensure giving up your cat to a good parent that will take care of and cherish her.
Schedule a Meet and Greet
You need to meet the potential adopters before handing your cat over to them. It’s a chance to get to know them and make sure they’re going to treat your cat well. It’s also a good chance for them to meet the cat.
Encourage them to ask questions and be open to answering them all. Requesting more details on the cat is usually an indication that they're serious about the adoption and want to be fully prepared.
Give them all the necessary details about your cat. Be honest with them and tell them about all the bad habits or medical conditions your cat has, if there are any. This allows them to determine whether or not they will be able to care for it and not return it to you after a month or two
Visit the Potential New Home
After having met the adopters, you need to visit their house to see if it’s fit for a new pet. Is it safe for a cat to live there or will it be dangerous?
What are they going to feed your cat? Check where the cat will sleep and eat. If you're rehoming a kitten, make sure their home has been kitten-proofed.
Don’t drop off your cat on the same day of the home visit. Instead, return home and consider your options carefully.
When making your decision, trust your instincts. If you think there’s something wrong with the house or the new adopters, don’t hesitate to cancel the process and check the second top potential adopters on your list.
Signing the Adoption Contract
You and the new adopters should sign an adoption contract that outlines the adoption conditions and the consequences of not meeting those conditions. There are plenty of adoption contracts that you can download from rescue centers’ websites.
Don’t give up your cat for free. This could result in your cat falling into the hands of the wrong people who are taking advantage of the fact that adoption is free.
If the potential new owners are unwilling to spend between $50 and $100 to adopt your pet, what will they do if the cat requires more expensive veterinarian care?
Request that the new owners provide you with updates and photos of your cat for the first year after rehoming. Don’t cut off your cat immediately. This could risk getting your cat rehomed again or maybe even dumbed.
Preparing Your Cat for Adoption
Make sure your cat is fully vaccinated and has been groomed and checked for fleas or ticks. Cats who have been spayed or neutered are more likely to attract more interested adopters. If your cat hasn't been neutered yet, now is the time to do it.
If you’re concerned about neutering costs, some state and local organizations offer low-cost and even free spaying/neutering services, along with other veterinary care services.
Consider microchipping your kitty in case the new owners lose her or decide to dump her. Also, prepare veterinary records that provide information about the cat’s health status.
After you've found the perfect match for your cat, there are a few things you can do to emotionally prepare your cat for rehoming and make the process go more smoothly.
Ask the future adopters for a blanket from their house and pet your cat with it. This will get your cat used to the scent of its new house and reduce its stress on the first couple of days in its new home.
Rehoming Online Services
In general, it’s not a good idea to advertise rehoming your cat online unless you’re doing that among your friends and family members. Advertising your cat on websites like Craigslist will most likely put your cat in the wrong hands.
Your lovely kitty could end up with neglectful owners, animal abusers, backyard breeders, or in a dog fight ring. If you’re considering a rehoming online service, Rehome and Get Your Pet are reliable ones.
Rehome is an online service managed by Adopt-A-Pet, which is one of the largest nonprofit organizations that provide online pet adoption services. Get Your Pet is another safe option for online adoption websites.
Rehoming Purebred Cats
When it comes to rehoming a purebred pet, you need to be extra careful. Many don’t have the necessary knowledge to adopt a purebred pet.
In this case, it’s recommended to reach out to rescue organizations that are specialized in taking purebred cats or mixed breeds. Keep in mind that you may not find one available in your community and may have to look elsewhere.
There is nothing shameful or ugly about rehoming your cat when you’ve done your best to keep her with you. Sometimes it’s just right for the pet to be rehomed.