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Adopting a cat with Cats Protection is a three-step process. First, you’ll need to find a cat in your local area using our Find a Cat tool. Then, you’ll be contacted by someone from your local branch or centre. They’ll take you through the process of meeting the cat and adopting them.
Alternatively, you can visit one of our centres with no appointment. Our centre staff and volunteers can discuss what you’re looking for and help you choose the right cat for you. You can find out more about choosing a cat in our guide.
Our cats are either in one of our centres (often referred to as ‘shelters’) or in one of our volunteer-run branches. Centres are buildings with multiple cat pens, run by staff and volunteers. You’ll be able to visit the cats there at any time during opening hours, with no appointments necessary.
A branch is a group of volunteers, who do much of the same work as our centres – they take cats into care who need to find a home and rehome them. These cats are looked after by volunteer fosterers with a cat pen in their garden, or in a specially adapted spare room in their house. If you wish to visit a cat in the care at a branch, you will need to contact the branch first to make an appointment.
Kittens are available during kitten season, beginning in spring and peaking in early summer. While adopting a kitten can be tempting, they will need extra care in the early days. You can find out more about kittens in our guide.
Alternatively, you might want to think about adopting an adult cat. They have many excellent qualities – an older cat is housetrained and tends to be calmer. To find out more about choosing a cat that’s right for you, look at our guide.
We have thousands of cats and kittens coming into our care every day that need homes, but some of them might not be featured on the website yet. If you can’t find a cat to suit you, get in touch with your local branch or centre. They'll be able to tell you about any cats that might have recently come into care, but have yet to be advertised.
If you live somewhere with minimal access to the outdoors, you may still be able to adopt a cat. Cats that have to remain indoors for health issues such as poor vision or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) still make great companions. Some older or more timid cats can often live as an indoor cat very successfully. There are products that can be used to screen windows so that you can safely provide your cat with fresh air. Remember to never let your cat out onto a narrow ledge or balcony, as heights are a risk for all animals.
It is important to speak to your landlord or housing association to confirm you are able to keep a cat at home. Cats Protection will need written confirmation from them that this is the case. If you are not allowed cats as part of your tenancy agreement, there may be ways to reassure your landlord that you’d be a responsible cat owner and look after their property. For more information, visit our Purrfect Landlords campaign.
All cats are different and you may find that you’re still able to adopt a cat in this circumstance. Talk through your situation with someone from your local branch or centre and they’ll be able to advise you further. For example, they may have a cat that would suit an indoor lifestyle or who will be happy staying close to home.
Both male and female cats make great pets and there are only a few differences between them. The main differences between the genders are:
This is why Cats Protection will neuter all cats, both males and females, before they go home (or in the case of young kittens provide the new owners with the means to neuter via a local vet as soon as the kitten is big enough). Neutering is a kind act as it prevents many unwanted behaviours and unwanted kittens.
Wondering whether you should get a male or female cat if you already have a cat at home? If you have a neutered and sociable male cat, a young neutered female may be the best choice to avoid conflict.
This depends completely on the cat’s character. Some cats can integrate particularly well into families, while others will be nervous around children. Cats Protection will discuss with you which cats in care would be most likely to settle with children. There are great benefits for children growing up with cats – having a pet can teach them compassion as well as a sense of responsibility. Find out more about adopting a cat with young children in our guide.
It is important to think carefully before getting another cat. Cats are a solitary species, meaning they don’t necessarily need ‘friends’ to be happy. Your time, play and an understanding of your cat’s needs are usually enough. However, if you do want to get another cat, it is important to prepare carefully for their arrival and early days to give the best chance of the two cats getting along. You might find that some cats choose an individual cat for company, however, or even that some of your cats get along in the household. For more information on getting a cat when you’ve already got one at home, read our guide.
Our adoption fee varies from branch to branch and centre to centre. This is because some branches have to pay more for veterinary treatment than others, and some have higher costs when looking after cats.
If you adopt from Cats Protection, your cat will have received a health check (and any medical treatment required), flea, roundworm and tapeworm treatment as well as at least one vaccination against cat flu and enteritis. They will have been neutered if relevant and microchipped. Your fee doesn’t cover all of these costs but will go towards paying them.
Volunteers run many of our branches in their spare time, often around work and other commitments, so there can be a delay in response. We usually recommend allowing up to five days for someone to respond. If it has been longer than this, try speaking to someone from our National Information Line.
There are a number of cats and kittens looking for homes – of all types and colours! Even if you are keen on a particular type of cat, you might be surprised to discover a cat that is right for you. Use our Find a Cat tool or speak to your local branch.
Some of the cats and kittens in our care may not be on the website yet so please give your local Cats Protection branch or centre a call and they will be able to advise you further.