Screening Potential Adopters

Even if you are desperate to find a new home for a cat, you need to screen potential adopters to be certain that you are not dooming the cat to a sad fate. Here are some useful tips:

  • Ask anyone interested in adopting your kitty some questions over the phone. Some questions to consider are:

    • Do you have pets now? How long have you had them?

    • Have you had pets in the past? Why are they no longer with you?

    • Is this pet for you or someone else?

    • Why do you want this cat?

    • Are you allowed to have pets where you live now?

    • Are you prepared for a lifetime commitment?

    • What if your life circumstances change (e.g., you move; get married or divorced; have a child)?

  • Check some references. For example, if they have pets, ask for their vet’s number to ask about the medical care they seek for the pets they already have or had. No pets? That’s ok. Ask for a friend or two as personal references and ask things like:

    • How are they with their pets?

    • Would you let them pet sit for you?

    • Have they had a cat before that you know of?)

  • Never use a “Free To Good Home” ad. Animals given away in these ads are easy targets for abuse and neglect. They could be tortured or killed, sold to medical research labs, used as bait for fighting dogs, or even used as food.

  • Beware of “bunchers,” people who “adopt” for the purpose of selling the animal. Beware of ads in the paper that say something similar to: “Looking for a new home for your pet? We can help. We will pick up your pet and find it a new home. Call now!” Pretty much if it seems to good (or too easy) to be true, there’s a good chance it is)