Giving up a cat for rehoming
There are many reasons why someone may not be able to keep their pet any more and we're here to offer our help and support.
** Please note that we can't help pick up feral (wild) cats or those who are seriously ill. If you have noticed an injured or sick stray or feral cat, please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. **
What do I need to do if I want to give up my cat for rehoming?
If you wish to rehome your cat please download an Admissions Enquiry Form and send your completed form to email@example.com. Alternatively, please call us on 020 7272 6048 and one of our friendly team will be happy to help. Please do not come to the centre with your cat unless you have an appointment, as you will be turned away. Our admissions run on a one-in-one-out basis and so we rarely have empty pens. We currently have quite a large waiting list - if you need to rehome your cat urgently please do get in touch but we would also advise using the directory of rescue centres compiled by Cat Chat.
If you are receiving benefits or are a student you may be able to access low cost vet services and free neutering, which in some cases may help. We can also provide behavioural advice and signpost you to other services which may enable you to keep your cat.
Please note that we are currently only able to take cats from the following postcode areas:
N1, N4, N5, N6, N7, N8, N10, N11, N13, N14, N15, N16, N17, N19, N22
NW8, NW1, NW3, NW5
If you are outside of our catchment area we are unlikely to be able to assist you, however our team will be able to provide you with details of which Cats Protection branch or centre covers your area.
What details will I have to give to the centre?
As a minimum we will need your contact details, as well as basic information on the cat but ideally we'd like to know about your home, your cat's likes and dislikes and all those lovely little personality quirks that will help us build up an idea of who they are. This information is used when we set up their pen at the centre, when our staff and volunteers spend time with them, and when we match them to their forever home. We will also ask for details of your vet so that we can request their clinical history, ensuring that their future owner will be fully informed of any potential medical issues when committing to taking them home. Having this information ensures we won't carry out any unnecessary treatments and can often reduce the time a cat spends in our care. If the cat isn't yours and you don't have this information please don't worry but please let our team know if the cat is a stray or if you are rehoming them on behalf of someone else.
What happens on the day of the appointment?
The vast majority of our admissions are brought to the centre by their owners, although on some occasions we may be able to assist with driving if necessary. When you arrive you will be greeted by one of our friendly team. We will ask you to sign one of our Acceptance Forms - this is a very important document signing the cat into our care and we can't take them without it. We will offer you some time to say goodbye if you wish to do so, and we will be able to answer any questions you may have. Please bring the cat's vaccination card if they have one, along with any bedding, blankets or toys you would like them to keep.
If you have any spare food, litter or pet accessories you can also donate these to the centre if you wish. We would also really appreciate any financial donation you can make to help us to cover the costs of looking after the cat you wish to give up whilst it is our care. Caring for a new cat often costs us in excess of £300. As a charity we do not receive any direct funding from the government and have to rely on donations from the public.
Although we have been operating on a hands-free process since March 2020, from Monday 26th July we will begin allowing one customer (or group) into the building at a time. We ask that you please wear a mask unless you are exempt and use hand gel on entry, these steps help to protect our small team so that we can continue helping cats in need.
What happens while my cat is waiting to be rehomed?
Your cat will be given a pen on their own, unless you're bringing more than one cat in which case they will share a pen if they get along with one another. Whilst the cat is in our centre, he or she will remain in this pen, unless they are placed in temporary foster homes until they are ready to be re-homed. Our pens are safe and high quality, with heating and air conditioning. The cats will have a sleeping cabin and plenty of space to play, as well as a toilet area. Most cats settle in after a couple of days although some do take longer, but we will do all we can to help them feel at home.
If they are not already neutered, vaccinated and microchipped and treated for worms and fleas, we will ensure that they receive these treatments whilst they are in our care. Any other necessary veterinary work will also be undertaken. Sometimes we may move cats to a foster home temporarily whilst they are receiving veterinary treatment. This makes things less stressful for them and also makes space for other cats to come into the centre.
Our staff and volunteers spend time with the cats in our care every day. They spend time cuddling and playing with the cats, or sometimes just sitting and talking to them. As you can imagine, being in a strange environment can be very stressful for most cats, however we do all we can to minimise this and to make them feel safe. Cats in our care are fed twice a day (unless veterinary advice dictates otherwise), and their pens are also cleaned daily.
Once a cat is ready to be re-homed (time varies, but usually between 3-10 days) they will be moved to either one of our Homing Hubs or a fosterer in one of our branches. They will then go up for adoption.