How to Adopt a Cat (And What You Need to Know About Bringing One Home)

Cats can be warm, loving, energetic, fun–the perfect companion pet, whether you’re living alone or you have children eager to welcome a new feline friend into the family. Adopting a cat allows you to bring home a new pet while giving an animal without full-time owners the chance for a new life. If you’re looking to adopt a cat in the near future, make sure you consider this guide to the cat adoption process.

How to Find Cats for Adoption 

The two primary places where you’ll find cats to adopt are: animal shelters and foster homes. Animal shelters are larger-scale operations which house pets without owners until they can be adopted, while foster homes take in cats temporarily from shelters or agencies while they wait to be adopted. 

In the modern digital age, most shelters and agencies will have online adoption listings for each of the cats that need a new home. These listings may contain photos, the known or approximate age of the cat, and a little about the cat’s personality or needs. 

You can look for aggregate adoption sites, such as, or search through listings available through individual animal shelter websites or social media pages.

How to Choose the “Right” Cat

It’s important to consider what type of cat is right for your home before you begin the adoption process. You should consider the following factors which can influence whether or not a cat is right for your home:

  • Do you have other pets? If so, which kinds? 
  • Do you have children? How old are they? 
  • Does the cat have any special needs, such as requiring a special diet, needing medication, etc? Are you able to fulfill those special needs?

You should make sure that the cat you wish to adopt can thrive in your home as much as possible. 

What You Need to Know Before Bringing a Cat Home

There are a few things you need to do before you bring a cat into their new home. 

Cat-Proofing Your Home

Always cat-proof your home before you bring a cat home from a shelter or foster home. Remove or cat-proof electrical wires, plants, fragile objects, etc; the goal is to ensure that the cat won’t be harmed–and that they won’t end up breaking your belongings.

Buying the Right Supplies

You’ll need some basic supplies that will keep your new cat healthy and happy. The most basic supplies you’ll need are:

  • Shallow food and water bowls
  • A litter box
  • Cat food
  • Toys
  • Brush
  • Nail clipper
  • Collar 
  • Bed
  • Carrier 
Create a Safe Environment 

Cats may take a while to get used to their new environment after you bring them home. You can help your new cat feel safe by creating a safe environment for them to stay in while they go through their adjustment period. This environment can be a quiet room, a bathroom that doesn’t get used, or even a small corner where they can stay hidden until they feel safe enough to come out. Make sure to set up a litter box, food and toys in the area.

Adopting a cat does take some preparation but it’s well worth the effort to bring a new feline friend into your home.

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