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"kittens To Good Homes" - How To Find A Good Forever Home For Your Kittens

Nov 1, 2011 · Updated May 17, 2017 · ·
  1. Anne
    Over the years of dealing with cats I have come across too many cat owners who would still let their cat reproduce. "At least one litter… and I have good homes for all of the kittens!" Anyone who has volunteered at an animal shelter knows the bitter truth. Finding homes for kittens is easy. Finding good forever homes for kittens or cats is not.

    If you have kittens that need to be re-homed, whether delivered by your own cat, born to a fostered pregnant cat, or just rescued kittens from whatever source, you need to make sure that they go to good homes. That means a home where their physical as well as emotional needs will be fully met and where they will be treated like part of the family: never abused, declawed or simply abandoned. Everyone loves playing with sweet kittens, but it's up to you to ensure that the kitty's adopting family will always be committed to taking care of unpleasant situations as well - if and when health or behavior problems develop over time (and they may).

    Animal shelters are the true experts when it comes to screening potential adopters. Some people complain about shelters for this reason. They seem to expect shelters to be grateful to anyone who walks in asking to adopt a pet. In reality, a good shelter will make potential adopters fill in forms and questionnaires; go through a thorough interview; and pay money for the pet. It may seem ungrateful, or even greedy, but the truth is that this mechanism is there to increase the chances for the cat to end up in a good home… one that will be its last.

    Screening Unknown Adopters

    If you placed an ad in the newspaper to find homes for cats or kittens, you should thoroughly investigate the people who reply to make sure they are indeed who they claim to be and are not looking for cats for malicious reasons. Ask for IDs and write down the details. Make sure that the people who want to adopt are over 21. Let them talk to you for a while over the phone. Listen, don't just talk, and try to figure them out before inviting them into your home to see the kittens.

    Never advertise your kittens as "free". Always charge a fee. If this feels too greedy, donate the money to a charity, but still make sure the adopters pay you the money. That is your way to ensure a certain level of commitment, and also to filter out people who are looking to collect animals for laboratory research or just out there to abuse cats.

    Try to ask as much as you can over the phone first. Go through the questions suggested below before you even ask them over. If they think you're asking too many questions, explain that you are trying to find a good home for the kitten, not just any home. If they are serious about adopting, they will be glad that you're taking the time and effort to do this.

    For your own safety, don’t ask strangers into your house before you've talked to them at length and assessed their sincerity and level of commitment. When they arrive, make sure you have someone else at home with you.

    What to Ask Potential Adopters

    If you want to make sure that the kittens indeed go to good homes, here are a few things to check with your potential adopters, whether they've just replied to your newspaper ad, or happen to be your beloved auntie –

    Are you able to commit to the care of the kitten throughout its life?

    Your potential adopters need to understand that the cat will be their responsibility, come rain or shine, for decades to come. Ask them what would happen to the cat if for some reason they could no longer take care of it.

    Who lives in your household and do they all want to have a cat join them?

    Never adopt a kitten out to a family where one of the family members objects to having a cat. No, it will not work out over time. The cat is more likely to be shown the door as soon as a problem comes up if someone living in the house never wanted it there in the first place. This is also a good time to make sure that no one in the household is allergic to cats.

    Do you realize the costs involved in keeping a cat and can you afford it?

    Be direct and talk about the costs of quality pet food, vet care (and insurance), cat litter and all that jazz. They need to know about it now and they need to make sure that they will be able to afford it on their current salaries and also future ones. Sad as it is, people who don't enjoy financial stability are not good candidates for adopting a cat.

    Have you owned cats before? If so, what happened to them?

    Being a past owner can be a benefit. That person is more likely to realize what caring for a cat involves. However, if they end up telling you that they've had ten different cats over the past five years and none of them stayed there for long, you should probably keep looking for a different home. If they do have or have recently had cats, ask about their veterinarian and ask for permission to call them for references.

    Are you prepared to accept a cat as being a cat?

    This would be a good time to discuss things like hair shedding, chewing and scratching, scratching of furniture and jumping on counters. Explain that there are solutions to these problems, but that owners have to put in time and energy towards them.

    Are you committed to spaying/neutering the kitten when it's time?

    Read more about why cats ought to be spayed and neutered here
    . Better still, type out that article and hand it over to your potential adopters. In my opinion, it's best to actually have the kitten neutered while he or she is still in your household. If they are too young, then make sure that it will be done as soon as possible by the people adopting them. If need be, make them sign a contract to do so, and ask them to place a deposit with you, which will be given by you directly to the vet at the time of neutering.

    Are you committed to keeping the cat's claws intact?

    Never give the kitten away to someone who would amputate their toes. You can read more about declawing and why it should never be performed in the following articles:
    Declaw - More than Just a Manicure
    Declawing and Alternatives

    Where will you be keeping the cat? Will it be indoors-only?

    Make sure that the potential adopters realize the risks involved in letting a cat out where they live. If they live in an urban environment or where the risks outdoors are too high, make sure they know how to keep their cats indoors, safe and happy.

    "Is there anything else you wish to tell me?"

    Let them do some talking. Let them bring up any problems or issues now.

    Does that look like too many questions? Trust me, it's not enough. Most shelters would go into more detail and for good reason. Remember, the kitten's fate lies in your hands and it is up to you to make sure that it doesn't end up being kicked out on the streets, or abandoned at a shelter later in life. Its best chance at finding a home is now, as a kitten. It's up to you to make sure that this will be the right home for your kitten.v

    Don't forget to keep track of the process. Schedule in advance and let the future cat owner know that you'll be calling them in the future, perhaps even visiting. A good schedule would be one day after the adoption, then one week, two weeks, one month, and in time to make sure they neuter the cat. Make sure they know they can call you with questions as well.

    Sounds like a lot of work? It is. It's not pleasant either, having to interrogate people like that. It's why you should never let your cat get pregnant, thinking "I am sure I can find good homes for the kittens"… If you think you might enjoy doing this, my advice for you would be to volunteer at your local shelter and help re-home cats and kittens. I am sure they can use the help.

    If you ended up having to re-home a cat or a kitten, for whatever reason, I hope you have found this article helpful and not too daunting. It can be done, and when done right, the effort is worth it, knowing you did all you could to truly help an animal.

    Comments? Leave them using the form below. Questions? Please use the cat forums for those!

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    ameezers and oreotwix purraised this.


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  1. Flchristi
    Very informative. Although I advocate for shelter animals and have seen and heard the sad stories mostly because of not spaying and neutering animals along with rehoming I still got an eye opener from this article. I recently brought in two kittens that were from different people. Neither were altered. While waiting for their spay neuter appointment the female went into heat(ugh). Dispite my attempts to keep them seperated they did get too close and I now have a pregnant cat. So much for the male was too young to sire. Luckily I have an emergency fund and will use it to alter mom and kittens after nursing. I will definitely take the tip and printout the suggested information to give to potential adopters while waiting delivery and alter. This article helped me feel both confident yet wisely nervous about this process ahead of me. Thank you
      tarasgirl06 purraised this.
    1. tarasgirl06
      *PRAYERS* and best thoughts for the queen and her little family-to-be! and for you, too.
      Flchristi purraised this.
  2. tarasgirl06
    I was all ready to jump in with additions, but you have covered the most important points very well. Thanking you.
  3. miraclecats
    This is a very helpful article. A friend of mine just took in a pregnant stray cat and has to find homes for the kittens when they come. Is there a way I can link this on Facebook to them?
      tarasgirl06 purraised this.
    1. tarasgirl06
      Just copy the URL and paste it on their page.
    lol not trying to take up to much comment space, but it was funny when I was back with Chatty and the babies earlier this evening talking to them letting them walk around and explore outside of there little home area I put them all back and was getting more pictures, of course under mama kitties watchful eye she even laid on my back as I was taking picture making sure nothing was happening to her babies, even breaking in from time to time to give her babies kisses and back to where she was.[​IMG]
      dustydiamond1 purraised this.
    Screening for forever homes for these cutie pies. They will be a month old on Christmas. Thank you for posting this article/information of different questions I can ask etc. [​IMG]
      dustydiamond1 purraised this.
  6. SeventhHeaven
    I find asking minimal questions works best for me, people lie especially online to get anything they want. I find letting them tell you what they have to offer works great. It always takes a few days to sift out the on a whim buyers, requesting a telephone number in order to receive a reply works. After a few e mails you get a fair picture, then a phone call can do everything, normally ALL is shared then. Also telling them you are screening lets them know its a serious commitment and you arent in a rush to rehome. You can also pick a form up from the SPCA which allows you to legally check back on the kitten or cat after 6 months if the home isnt suitable you may take the cat back.
      dustydiamond1, CHATTY KATTY HOME and Anne purraised this.
  7. maggie101
    One thing to add. Is the new owner capable of picking her up and playing with her. The last people that returned her could not give the cat enough attention because the owner was 75 yrs old. Wish I had known that before giving her away.
      dustydiamond1, CHATTY KATTY HOME and Anne purraised this.
  8. ginny
    Great article! And as you said, not enough questions. I'd ask if prospective owner likes full grown cats as much as they like cute little kittens. Who doesn't like kittens? But a number of people who do like kittens don't like them anymore once they're all grown up.

    Another question is what would you do if the kitty started peeing outside the litter box. And do you know the signs of urinary blockage or UTI. And are you aware that abandonment for any reason is a crime.
  9. ginny
    To add to what Red Top Rescue said: I would have them sign a form where they AGREE to give the kitty back to you for any reason.
      dustydiamond1 and ameezers purraised this.
  10. red top rescue
    You can protect any cat or kitten you are adopting out by saying you will ALWAYS take the cat/kitten back for any reason or no reason if they need to give it up. 
  11. linkfarm
    And owners should not divest themselves of their cat just because it has become inconvenient.
      CHATTY KATTY HOME purraised this.
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