Are You Ready to Adopt?
(A Must-Read)

Our experience in placing more than 15,000 cats for adoption has helped us establish adoption guidelines to help ensure successful adoptions and happy, healthy forever homes for our cats and kittens.

Kittens: Hooray! If you’re considering adopting a kitten(s), you’re in for a lot of fun and entertainment! We have detailed instructions to ensure your kitten is safe and confident in their new home and will develop good litterbox habits. Be prepared to thoroughly ‘kitten-proof’ your home and allow for the process of introducing the kitten(s) to your entire home to take 1-3 weeks (depending on the size of your home and the personality of the kittens).

  • If adopted in pairs, kittens can go home at 10 weeks (read why we adopt in pairs here)
  • If adopted as a single, kittens can go home at 20 weeks (5 months)

Companion or ‘Buddy’ Cats & Kittens: If you’re considering adopting a friend for your lonely kitty we have detailed instructions for gradual introduction to ensure a successful relationship. Be prepared to be patient through a 2-4 week process.

Adult Cats: If you work full time or are looking for a predictable personality, an adult cat is the perfect choice. We have lots of friendly adult cats (1 year or older) looking for wonderful forever homes. These kitties have well defined personalities, won’t climb your curtains and they have well established litterbox habits. Expect a home introduction process of 3-5 days.

Unsure of what age you’re looking for? Our helpful, knowledgeable adoption counsellors will assist you and set up viewings so you can meet a variety of kitties to figure out which is the perfect fit for your family, home and lifestyle.

Please be sure to consider the following:

Long-term commitment

Your relationship with your four-footed friend may well last longer than your various relationships with the two-footed variety. During the 20 odd years you'll spend with your cat, you may change jobs, move, get married or divorced, have children, have children grow up and leave home. Cats are very attached and devoted to their owners and their home (it may not seem like it at times, but it's true!). Many cats are surrendered because of lifestyle changes and many of them die of depression. Don't let one of these events cause you to abandon or give away your cat. They rely on you and deserve to be treated with love, kindness and respect.

Is the timing right?

Think about where your life is headed and how your lifestyle might affect your pet. Many landlords do not welcome pets, which limits your housing choices if you rent your home. Also, if you plan on purchasing a townhome or condominium, many strata councils also don't allow pets, which will again limit your choice of a home. If you're not prepared to work around this, then this is not the right time for you to adopt.

Can you afford a cat?

Your relationship with your cat may last for 20 years and you're the one footing the bill. The adoption fee helps VOKRA cover the cost of the cat's first vet check, first vaccination and spaying/neutering. However, after you adopt a cat, you'll need to purchase basic household equipment, such as grooming tools, litter boxes, a cat carrier and scratch posts. On a regular basis you'll also have to pay for food, litter and veterinary care, including routine examinations, dental care and treatment for sickness or injury. Pet insurance is very reasonable for indoor cats and one illness will have made it worthwhile.

Are any members of your household allergic to cats?

Unfortunately, some people just can't live in a home with a cat. It's unfair not only to the person with allergies but also to the cat to initiate a relationship that will be cut short. Before you decide to adopt, you should make every effort to be sure no one in your household is allergic. Everyone should spend time handling the cat you have chosen in the environment in which it has been living.

When it comes to kittens they don’t develop dander until six months of age which is what causes an allergic reaction. This means you or a family member won’t know if anyone in the household is allergic until the kitten reaches six months. We suggest going to your local shelter to handle adult kitties to determine if you or anyone else in your home is allergic. This will prevent heart break, but also unnecessary stress on the kitty by having to surrender them.

How many hours do you spend away from home?

Many healthy adult cats can thrive in a busy, working household and are not terribly put out by the occasional weekend on their own, but it's not a good idea to leave any cat for more than 12 hours on a daily basis. The less companionship you provide for your cat, the less companionable it will be. When choosing a cat for a working household, keep in mind that kittens under four months should never be left alone for more than four hours at a time. A cat alone all day tends to sleep, which means it will be awake all night. A great solution is to get two kittens - they play together when you're away and keep each other company.

Do you travel often?

Most cats hate to travel, so you'll have to hire a cat sitter when you plan to be away. Cats left alone for long periods of time can get lonely and those with fastidious litter box habits may begin to eliminate elsewhere when the box becomes more soiled than usual. We can refer you to a number of pet sitters who will come in and care for your cats while you are away.

Do you have children?

Most cats get along well with children, although some cats may only accept the children in their own household and others are uncomfortable around young children. A very young kitten is defenseless against a small child and, contrary to popular opinion, they don't "grow up" together. This means you could wind up with a neurotic kitten afraid of your child. If you have a child under seven, you should consider a kitten no younger than 16 weeks. If you plan on having children in the future, your cat will accept your baby, but there may be an adjustment period.

Do you have other pets?

Cats that have been exposed to dogs earlier in life are more likely to accept canine housemates than cats that have never lived with a dog. Smaller pets, such as guinea pigs, birds, rabbits, mice and fish, must be kept in a safe, enclosed enviroment. Cats are predatory by nature, so if you allow small animals to run free in your home, expect your cat to pursue them.

Are you prepared for the mess?

If you have a cat, you'll have cat hair on your clothes and furniture. Virtually all cats shed. By brushing your cat regularly you can minimize the amount of hair that ends up in your home - or that your cat spits up in hairballs. Another mess to think about is the litter box. Cats can also cause minor damage by using furniture to give themselves manicures. You can limit this by keeping their nails blunt and providing suitable scratching posts.

Will my cat be happy inside?

The outdoors are full of hazards. Automobiles, rival cats, dogs, coyotes, raccoons, poisonous plants, abusive people and infectious diseases and fleas are just some of the compelling reasons to keep cats exclusively indoors. Indoor cats are unquestionably safer and healthier than outdoor cats. They don't endanger birds and other wildlife or bring home fleas or dead animals, nor do they need frequent visits to the veterinarian to treat injuries sustained with rival cats. An outdoor cat's average life expectancy is six to 10 years. An indoor cat's life expectancy is 16 to 20. We adopt to indoor homes only. No exceptions!

Here are a couple of great articles on why we insist cats remain indoors:

Should I Let My Cat Outside - Ever?

Indoor Cat Facts

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