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How to Rehome Your Cat


It is never an easy decision when it comes to rehoming a cat. Cat owners love their companions, but sometimes life gets in the way of the best laid plans for pet ownership. One of the most common reasons for having to rehome a cat is severe cat allergies, which can make it unbearable to live in the same home as a cat, if not a health hazard.

There are many other reasons people find it necessary to rehome cats. Financial problems, divorce, illness, relocating and even owner death are some of the reasons we are asked to help with finding good homes for cats.

It is so very important to carefully and safely find a good home for your cat. Every cat is different – each has it’s own very unique and special personality. While some cats are very easy-going and calm, many, if not most cats are somewhat skittish, particularly when meeting new people and being placed in new surroundings.

It is very common to feel extremely guilty when faced with having to rehome your cat. Many people will judge you unfairly (as if you are not already feeling bad enough about having to find a home for your pet!).

Conscientiously finding a very good home where your cat will be cherished and very well cared for is nothing about which you should feel guilty. Be positive and focus all that mental energy on looking for the perfect home for your cat.

Here are some expert tips on how to rehome a cat:

  1. Think long and hard about your cat and what you love about him or her. Try to list at least 5 traits that make your cat extra special.
  2. Think about any quirks or issues that your cat has that a new owner will want to know. It is very important to be honest with potential adopters – it helps ensure a permanent home.
  3. Start the rehoming process early. Finding a good home for your cat can take months or longer. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  4. Make sure that your cat is spayed/neutered, up to date on shots, and has a clean bill of health from your vet. If your cat has any health issues, you will need to provide complete details to any prospective owner.
  5. Write a compelling adoption story. Be sure to include the information from items 1 and 2 above, along with details on your cat’s breed, age, coloring, coat type, health, behavior, and veterinary status.
  6. Get together some great photos of your cat. You want the photos to show your cat in the best lighting, so that prospective adopters can see how beautiful and unique he or she is. Pics playing with colorful cat toys, snuggling or doing interesting things are always eye-catching.
  7. Place your adoption story everywhere you can. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Instagram and other sites can be effective. Ask people to share!
  8. Ask for a rehoming/adoption fee of at least $40. Your cat will be rehomed with supplies and has had their vet care done up to date. Any potential adopter with the means to provide a good home for your cat will not have a problem paying a small rehoming fee. NEVER offer your cat as “free to a good home”.
  9. Classified ads services (including Craigslist) are also good places on which to spread the word. Just be very careful to screen potential adopters well. Ask for and check references, and get their full name, address, phone number and email address so that you can do an indepth Google Search on them. (We go a step further, and do a background check on prospective adopters).
  10. Don’t place your cat for adoption with anyone that you are not 100% comfortable and confident in. Trust your instincts, and again, check them out very carefully before you agree to place your cat in their care.
  11. Visit their home. Check to make sure that they have a reasonably clean, safe, happy and healthy home for your cat. Make sure their home is as they described to you.
  12. Create and sign a contract with the new owner. Make sure they agree to keep your cat indoors, safe, happy and healthy with adequate vet care, quality food, and lots of love. Ask them to agree to keep in touch with you.
  13. Make sure the new owners know that if things do not work out with the adoption, you want them to let you know.
  14. Surrendering your cat to a shelter should never be a consideration, unless there is absolutely no other choice. Make sure they agree that they will make every effort to find your cat another good home if things do not work out – or return your cat to you, if this is a possibility on your end of things.
  15. Consider hiring a pet rehoming service to help find your cat a good home safely and effectively.
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