Thinking of adopting a shelter or rescue cat? You’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of cats joined new families last year, and at shelters and rescues across the country, even more more furry felines are waiting for their forever homes.
If you're envisioning an adoptable cat in your future, read on: We've got your complete guide to cat adoption, from deciding to add a furry friend to your family, to the adoption process, everything you'll need for your new cat, and beyond.
Should I Adopt a Cat?
How to Adopt a Cat
1 Locate a cat shelter or rescue near you.
Where can you find adoptable cats? Try these options:
- Online adoption listings: For many adopters, the search for a cat begins online. Chewy’s adoptable pets service allows you to search thousands of available cats and you can even filter by location, age, sex, breed, color and more.
- Your local shelter or rescue: When it comes to adoption, shelters and rescues are the experts. In addition to housing a variety of adoptable pets, these organizations can provide valuable information and support throughout your pet parenting journey. To find a shelter or rescue near you, click here.
- A specific breed rescue: If you have a particular breed or type of cat in mind, rescue groups can be a good place to start your search. Google the name of the breed along with “rescue” and the name of your city or town to find nearby organizations.
- In-person adoption events: Shelters and rescues often “pop up” at local shops and events, letting community members meet and greet animals who need homes.
2 Learn more about the cat you want to adopt.
Before you commit to adopting, there are some important questions you should ask your organization, including:
- What is the cat’s temperament?
- What is their medical history?
- Do they need any special care, such as a particular diet?
Asking these questions will help you understand how that shelter cat will fit into your life. Depending on your lifestyle and budget, they may not be the right fit for you—and it’s better to find that out before you bring them home.
3 Submit an application.
Ready to commit? Apply to adopt! Depending on the organization, you may submit your application online or in person.
Remember to be honest when answering any questions your shelter or rescue asks—they’re there to help shelters and rescues ensure that the animals in their care are going to the right home. Common questions include:
- Do you have other pets?
- Do you have children?
- Do you own or rent your home?
4 Bring your cat home!
Cat Adoption Supplies
Adopting a kitten? View and download our New Kitten Checklist.
Click here to go shopping with our comprehensive list of new cat products.
Cat Adoption FAQs
Q:How much does it cost to adopt a cat?
Q:How do I prepare my home for a new cat?
Make sure you have new cat supplies like food, toys, and litter box. New pet parents should also scan their home for any potential hazards, such as loose wires or houseplants that are poisonous to cats. Learn more.
Q:What behaviors should first-time cat parents expect from their cat?
New Cat – Now What?
No matter how old your shelter or rescue cat is, we have the answers to your most common questions. Learn more.
More Ways to Help Adoptable Cats
When you donate to your local shelter or rescue’s Chewy Wish List, Chewy sends the products the need straight to their doorstep. It’s easy for you, and life-changing for pets in need. Find your local shelter or rescue’s Wish List here.
Can’t make a long-term commitment? Temporarily taking in a cat or kitten helps them get the love and care they need until they find a forever home. Find out more about fostering.
Animal shelters and rescues often need the support of pet-loving volunteers who do anything from cleaning to pet photography to simply playing and cuddling with pets. Learn more about how to help your local shelter or rescue.