Adopting a cat can be one of the most rewarding life experiences, but before you decide to welcome a cat into your home, please ensure you are ready for the commitment. Here is some important information regarding cat adoption; please read before you contact us about adopting.
Adopting a cat is a lifelong commitment: cats can live for 20+ years old, so consider what your life will be like in 5, 10, 15 or more years.
Will you still be able to provide care and financial support for your cat if you get married, move home, or have children for example? If you have life changes on the horizon, you may wish to consider adopting a senior cat. Senior cats are regularly overlooked, but they are often more laid back, being less likely to scratch or damage furniture and requiring less attention than younger cats.
Though some cats are more independent than others, almost all cats require daily interaction of some kind, be that play or just some affection, in addition to regular feeding, litter changes, and supervision in and out of the house.
If you are questioning the time you have to dedicate to your cat, again you may wish to consider adopting a senior cat, as they require less time, patience and energy, and tend to be calmer and settle in quicker. You may also want to consider a feral or semi-feral cat, whose need for attention may not be as intensive as cats who have been previously socialised. Over time, some formerly feral cats can become affectionate companions, though some may prefer limited human contact even later in life.
Adopting a kitten is even more demanding of your time than adopting an adult cat, so you should seriously consider whether you and those in your household can manage the commitment. Kittens are less likely to be house-trained and more likely to be full of energy that needs working off - often to the detriment of human furnishings and belongings. Play-fighting is a healthy part of being a kitten, but it can mean scratches and nibbles that humans may find unwelcome. Kittens may have the cuteness factor, but they do require a lot of patience, calm and understanding, so opting for a slightly older cat may be more suitable unless someone will be around for most of the day and evening to ensure that no mischief, boredom or loneliness ensues.
Make sure you have done your sums regarding the costs associated with cat ownership. In addition to food costs, you will also need to factor in the costs of monthly flea treatment, quarterly worming tablets, yearly vaccinations, and of course cat litter, as well as other consumables such as collars or toys. There's also the cost of vet visits, which can be very expensive. We strongly recommend taking out pet insurance to help ease the burden. Many veterinary practices also offer monthly instalment plans which can help spread the load of regular checkups and day-to-day medical care.
If you already have a cat
Not all cats have the temperament to happily live in close quarters with other cats. It's important to consider how your existing cat will react to having another cat in their territory, especially if they will be indoor-only cats. As much as we may like to think that our existing cat would like a friend, some cats actually prefer to be on their own, so it's important to separate your own wishes from the mental wellbeing of both cats. Our home visits can help to evaluate whether your existing cat would be suited to having a companion cat added to the family. We will also help you choose a cat that we feel will be suited to living with other cats. It can take time for cats to become comfortable with each other, but in some cases, this may never be the case. If you have given the cats plenty of time but they just don't get along, rest assured that we understand the situation and can help find an alternate home should a cat that you have adopted from us not fit in with your household.
Adopting from Catcuddles
Due to the nature of our charity, adopting from us is not like "going to the cat supermarket". Although it's a little more involved than nipping down to the shop, our approach yields a very high success rate, so we believe the extra time spent upfront makes all the difference to the satisfaction of the cat owners as well as the long-term health & happiness of the cats. Many of our cats are fostered in the homes of our volunteers, so meeting prospective cats may require visits to more than one location. You should also be aware that it's unlikely you will be taking your cat home with you on the same day.
All cats coming to be adopted via Catcuddles are fully vet-checked, neutered, microchipped, fully vaccinated, flea-treated, de-wormed quarterly and microchipped. If necessary, we also run further checks, such as FIV/FELV test, urinalisis, geriatric blood tests etc, Some cats also need dentals or more invasive ops, to ensure they are fit and healthy before being prepared for adoption. No cat is unadoptable!
It is important for the Rescue, Welfare and Adoption Teams to ensure we are giving these felines the best possible start to a healthy, or at least comfortable and pain-free future with their newly adopted family. Adoption donations are invited at the time of adoption on the basis of "one cat out one cat in" , i.e. at a level that would cover the vet costs so we can immediately rescue a stray or unwanted cat. This cost varies between £90 and £125 per cat, depending on whether we also need to neuter. We have rarely had to explain why this level of donation is necessary to those who are aware of what a vet trip costs these days! Cats coming to us for rehoming are also sponsored by the originating family who can no longer look after them but are happy to support their upkeep while with us.
To maximise the chances of matching felines with homes that suit their needs, we always carry out a home visit by one of our volunteers, either in person or by virtual tour (eg. Facetime). Post-adoption visits are also likely, and Facebook/email updates by the new family are required for at least the first 6 months of adoption, so we can make sure your cat is settling happily in his/her new home and its humans are happy too. Catcuddles offer help and advice for anything relating to the welfare and care of a Catcuddles kitty for the duration of the cat's life. As we like to say, "once a Catcuddles cat, always a Catcuddles cat"!
We are also available for advice, should someone need help with any behaviour(s) perceived as strange, unwelcome or unexpected, so we can help make sense of them and help provide a solution. This is a donation-based service and is also subject to availability of the more experienced key volunteers to advise as well as our most experienced resource, our founder. A trusted vet should always be the first port of call with clinical/medical issues and emergencies, so we always advise registering with a vet as soon as you adopt a cat. We also advise that you know who your nearest emergency vet is; it is often impossible to make sense of Google results at 1am with a poorly cat...
Finally, we also strongly recommend that pet insurance should be a serious consideration for your cat; every Catcuddles cat adopted leaves us with a Petplan insurance leaflet, and a clear idea of the reasons why we know insurance can save lives.
Bringing a new cat home
It's important to remember to take things slowly when bringing a new cat home, and to make sure that all family members - especially children - understand that the cat will likely start out hiding, and coming out can take some time. You'll also need to ensure you have a space where you can keep your newly adopted cat contained until s/he is ready to explore further. This is called the 'bonding room', and using this approach when introducing a cat to a new environment is the best way to ensure a smooth integration. We strongly recommend you read the information on CatChat, which provides valuable advice on how to minimise stress for both you and your new cat.
If you already have cat(s) and will be adding another, be sure to read about cat introductions and hierarchies on CatChat, which will help you prepare for the interactions between your existing cat(s) and your new one(s).
Ready to adopt?
If this all sounds good to you, we'd love to hear from you regarding adopting a cat from us.