Considering a rescue cat? Questions to ask before you adopt

December 14, 2023

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Adopting a cat from a rescue centre can be a responsible way to introduce a new feline friend to your family.

A rescue centre should be asking you a lot of questions before you adopt, but there are also some useful questions to ask them before you commit to a new pet.

To help you choose the right cat for your family, and navigate the adoption process, we have put together the following advice …

Please remember, adopting a cat is a big responsibility that should not be taken on lightly. Clarendon Street Vets urges owners to do plenty of research on cat care before making any big decisions.

What should I ask the rescue centre when adopting a cat?

Before heading to a rescue/rehoming centre, it’s important you sit down and gather some ideas as to what type of cat would be most suitable for your family. If you have a large and noisy family, you will need a confident and robust cat! If you have a quite home you may be able to take on a shyer cat with additional needs. If you already have other pets you will also need to consider what would work best with them. Its also worth thinking about the age of the cat. Do you have the energy and space for a kitten or a young cat, or would you prefer and older and perhaps quieter cat. If you are taking on an old cat, can you afford the additional vet bills that may come with them, or the higher insurance premium?

We recommend discussing your needs with the rescue centre staff. They know each of the cats in their care and want to ensure that they go to the correct home. Opening the discussion will help both you and the centre to match the perfect cat to your family.

Please also be aware that some of the smaller adoption shelters may not allow visitors until you have contacted them and registered an interest. They may then think about which cat would fit into your family best, and invite you to come in and meet them.

1. Background information

Find out what is known about the cat’s history and how they ended up at the rescue centre. This will give you valuable insight into their past experiences and whether they could have any behavioural or medical issues. It could also identify whether the cat is used to other cats, pets, or children.

2. Assessments for health and wellbeing

One of the benefits of rehoming a cat from a rescue centre is the fact they will have a full assessment done prior to any adoption process. This assessment will cover things like their behaviour and any potential or underlying health conditions that may need treating. This information will help you and your family make an informed decision when choosing your new cat.

3. Medical conditions and preventative care

Most rescue centres will have policies in place to protect the animals in their care, which typically include having them neutered and vaccinated prior to rehoming. They may also advice on routine treatment such as flea and worming medications. If you are new to cat ownership, it is worth doing a bit of research around what routine care is needed, so you can ask the right questions when you adopt, and show that you are committed to your new cats health and wellbeing.

4. Training

Make sure you ask the rescue centre about your chosen cat’s behaviour. Are they house trained? Happy being groomed and petted? Happy being handled for routine procedures?

Does your chosen feline require a certain type of living environment? Do they seem frightened of loud noises? Are they purely a house cat or do they need to roam?

Understanding what the cat needs before you go through the adoption process will help you to understand if your feline friend is the right fit for your home and family, and make the initial few weeks so much easier.

When it comes to rehoming cats, our knowledgeable team are happy to advise you about how to care for your cat once you get them home, as well as what veterinary care they will need at this stage of their life. Contact us on 01223 359021 and don’t forget to register your new cat with Clarendon Street Vets – we can’t wait to meet them!

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