Adopting a kitten in 2021

syzygycat

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This is more of a pointless rant. We adopted out newest cat a just before the covid shutdown here in NJ (late feb 2020). At that time, like every time Ive adopted a cat there were at 500-1000, between the shelters in just my county. Prove you own your home, are employed, have a regular vet, have had a car before and you go home with a cat/kitten that day..The number of kittens coming in were so high that any kitten not adopted fast transfers to a kill shelter, they worked hard to get the cats out of there ASAP and there was always a new cat in that cage the next day.
Fast forward a year later, there are maybe 15 cats between all these shelters are by appointment (understandable) but after the application approval for a specific cat . The smaller rescues have twice as many cats but it's a ludicrously weeks long process, with lots of weird criteria including home visits, references to speak to.vets youve been to, medical records of other pets, etc. In either case there must be dozens of applications per animal.
My "references" were called, my employer was called (in a company of 20,000 people, HR dept that would take the call doesn't know me, can't release any info if they did. We went through the hoops and didn't even get a call back.which is for the best. A picture online is no way to essentially pick out a new member of the family.
I want to play with a bunch of kitten and adopt one I feel a connection to. Then take the cat home.

So Question is, where are all these cats this year. Animal control isn't shut down, are they going straight to a kill shelter or is the demand so high that shelters cant keep up with the adoption rate.?

I wouldnt presume to know, but the vast majority of the cats I did see at a shelter(website), are surrenders from former owner.
 

NY cat man

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I don't presume to know about the situation in North NJ- incidentally, my 3x great grandfather was from there, back in the late 1700s- but here in WNY, a lot of people adopted cats during the shutdown, so the supply just isn't there. How many of those cats will end up back at the shelters once things open back up, and the novelty of a new pet wears off, is an open question.
 

denice

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I agree. A lot of people adopted during the shutdown. Hopefully when this is over they don't get returned. I think that will be more of a problem with dogs. With someone home all day letting the dog out when it needs to potty, walks and play sessions aren't an issue. In fact with all the time spent at home those walks and play sessions were the reason the dog was adopted. I hope most people bonded with their dog and will continue to care for them properly when it is something they have to plan and make time for. They may also have to deal with separation anxiety.
 

Jem

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The adoption rate has definitely gone up, but I also wonder if rescues weren't done as much. There may be more feral kittens this year than usual if the rescuers couldn't get out as much to trap. Our shelters are still pretty full around here though.
As for the requirements for adoption. Our shelters (the private ones anyway) are very strict with the application process.
You need to fill out quite a bit of information. On top of the normal personal info, age, number of family members and their ages and income, they also want to know how much you think (average) yearly vet costs are, the name of the vet you use, if you're in an apartment, proof you're allowed a pet, if you plan on letting your cat outside, how you feel about declawing, what things you need to get started, do you have access to pet sitters if needed, even down to what food you are planning to feed your pets. The shelters will refuse your application if they don't think you're a good fit or if they don't think you're prepared. It can take a couple weeks for your application to be seen, as the shelters here are really busy. If accepted you'll get a call and they will also do a phone interview with you prior to you coming in to "shop" if you haven't already listed which kitty you are interested in. I'm not sure how "in shelter visits" are handled right now due to the pandemic.
I can understand why the shelters are strict though, it's heartbreaking when a cat or dog gets returned due to poor planning on behalf of the adopter.
 

neely

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Although I don't live in NJ or the East coast for that matter, the shelter where we adopted our last dog and the cat in my avatar schedules an appointment for potential adopters so that you can meet the pets. I assume you have to fill out an application and be approved first but not sure since we're not considering adoption right now. I do know that some of the vet clinics will post signs from cat rescue groups in their office so that may be something you would want to consider if they do that in your area.
 

denice

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The vet clinic that I take mine too sometimes has a kitten or cat available for adoption. They aren't in that 'business' but they do often have one or two that are in need of a home.
 

Willowy

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The vet clinic that I take mine too sometimes has a kitten or cat available for adoption. They aren't in that 'business' but they do often have one or two that are in need of a home.
Yeah, mine does that too. Plus the cats are spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and they only ask for reimbursement for the procedures, no extra.

You could also check out the local Facebook pet pages. It's kitten season and there's bound to be at least a few litters listed.
 
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syzygycat

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Adding to the original post, I remember calls for foster
The adoption rate has definitely gone up, but I also wonder if rescues weren't done as much. There may be more feral kittens this year than usual if the rescuers couldn't get out as much to trap. Our shelters are still pretty full around here though.
As for the requirements for adoption. Our shelters (the private ones anyway) are very strict with the application process.
You need to fill out quite a bit of information. On top of the normal personal info, age, number of family members and their ages and income, they also want to know how much you think (average) yearly vet costs are, the name of the vet you use, if you're in an apartment, proof you're allowed a pet, if you plan on letting your cat outside, how you feel about declawing, what things you need to get started, do you have access to pet sitters if needed, even down to what food you are planning to feed your pets. The shelters will refuse your application if they don't think you're a good fit or if they don't think you're prepared. It can take a couple weeks for your application to be seen, as the shelters here are really busy. If accepted you'll get a call and they will also do a phone interview with you prior to you coming in to "shop" if you haven't already listed which kitty you are interested in. I'm not sure how "in shelter visits" are handled right now due to the pandemic.
I can understand why the shelters are strict though, it's heartbreaking when a cat or dog gets returned due to poor planning on behalf of the adopter.
The things you list are the standard form,pre-covid it was a 30min to approve deny. The kill shelters would only check your house deed/or least if renting, and if you have a job. Even they have a "sorry no longer taking applications" whithin a day of a new cat added to the site.
The private Rescues (at least here) are a little different. I don't used them because the cats don't get any medical tests or work up, roam free in a room (which is nice) but means all have the same communicable diseases. (kind of a big deal if you already own cats.
If your initial application is accepted, then you pay a $300 (maybe more now) non-refundable application fee, initial phone interviews with every family members, phone interview with the 3 non-family members (references), employer and current vet interviews. Criminal backgroung checks, Vet and vaccination records of other pets (I only have records from the past couple of years). Home inspection to see if your house is cat friendly, then the family meets the cat and they judge if it went well enough to proceed. Then you take the cat home but need to show proof of a vet visit and are subject to surprise home visits the first few weeks... weird invasive stuff.

Or I can pick up a stray. There's no shortage of those.
 

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As long as you have a way of quarantining. There is the initial vetting to get done. In terms of money as long as it is just the basics I think it is about the same as a reputable rescue.
 

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my employer was called (in a company of 20,000 people, HR dept that would take the call doesn't know me, can't release any info if they did.

I'm not sure why a shelter would need to call a potential adopter's employer? All HR can do is to confirm employment. HR legally can't disclose any more information than that.

I listed 5 vets on an adoption application once, all people who know me well and could confirm that I take care of my pets well. I don't think the adoption place actually called any of them.


I agree. A lot of people adopted during the shutdown. Hopefully when this is over they don't get returned. I think that will be more of a problem with dogs. With someone home all day letting the dog out when it needs to potty, walks and play sessions aren't an issue. In fact with all the time spent at home those walks and play sessions were the reason the dog was adopted. I hope most people bonded with their dog and will continue to care for them properly when it is something they have to plan and make time for. They may also have to deal with separation anxiety.
There's been articles posted online about separation anxiety for new pets, mainly dogs, once the owner / family returns to the office or school.

 

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i have three cats that were rescues and will continue to get a rescue as long as i am alive ... shelters cant be trusted sometimes as they are Kill shelters ... thankfully the one here in battle creek michigan is not
 

MonaLyssa33

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I think the vetting process for some rescues is ridiculously strict and unnecessary. I adopted a kitten last May and a puppy in February and getting Flora (kitten) was a lot easier than adopting Poppy (puppy). With Flora I just put in a kitten request with no requirements in terms of gender, color, etc. so I got her pretty quickly. With Poppy, I put in so many applications at so many rescues because the demand is so high. I think with more people going back to working in an office, that the demand for adoptions will probably go down. I'll admit, that was the main reason I adopted two more animals in the last year, because I knew I'd be home to train or acclimate them.
 

Willowy

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I think the vetting process for some rescues is ridiculously strict and unnecessary. I adopted a kitten last May and a puppy in February and getting Flora (kitten) was a lot easier than adopting Poppy (puppy). With Flora I just put in a kitten request with no requirements in terms of gender, color, etc. so I got her pretty quickly. With Poppy, I put in so many applications at so many rescues because the demand is so high. I think with more people going back to working in an office, that the demand for adoptions will probably go down. I'll admit, that was the main reason I adopted two more animals in the last year, because I knew I'd be home to train or acclimate them.
Tbh, there really isn't a dog overpopulation problem anymore. Leash laws and social pressure, along with dogs' more predictable cycles, have made it so there are very few accidental dog litters in most of the US. Unless a dog has some very serious behavioral problems, there is a home for that dog. Basically, we won!

But there are ways to get dogs without a major screening process, too, providing you're not too picky about breed or age. Private re-homings aren't too hard to find.

Cats, of course, are a lot harder to contain and/or predict. We'll probably never get the cat population that controlled. And cats aren't as demanding as dogs---they don't need a yard or walk time or major training or stuff like that. So I think the screening process for cats will always be less stringent.
 

denice

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Stealing dogs, at least certain breeds is becoming a real problem. I think the only breeds that are usually at the shelter here are the bully breeds. Those are probably dogs with behavior issues. Columbus also requires at least $100,000 liability ins if someone has one of those dogs. A lot of insurance companies won't give insurance to someone with certain breeds. If someone is renting they often have to show proof of insurance to the management company every year so the dog ends up at the shelter.
 
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