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?
You will need to call us to make an appointment for us to come and collect the cat. It is highly unlikely that we will have a place available immediately, due to the heavy demand for our services, but we aim to help as soon as possible. If you wish to rehome your cat please download an Admissions Enquiry Form and send your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please leave a message for us on 020 7272 6048 and one of our friendly Admissions assistants will contact you back to collect more information. Please do not come to the centre with your cat as you will be turned away. Our admissions run on a one-in-one-out process and so we rarely have empty pens. We are currently not allowing members of the public into the building or accepting drop-offs at the centre due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What details will I have to give to the centre?
We will need to know the reason you want to give up your cat, together with its age, colour, gender and temperament. We will also ask if the cat is neutered, whether they are up to date with vaccinations, and whether they have been to see a vet in the last year. If your cat is already neutered, vaccinated and vet checked, this will help speed up the process of rehoming, but we cannot guarantee a space straight away. If your cat hasn't had these treatments, it will take longer for us to help you rehome your cat (but only if we have space for them). We are a small centre and have very limited space - as one cat leaves our centre another takes its place so please remember this when trying to give up your cat. PLEASE PLAN AS FAR IN ADVANCE AS POSSIBLE if you need to rehome your cat. Other animal charities may also be able to help too. Please go to www.catchat.org for more information.
If you are receiving benefits or are a student you may be able to access low cost vet services and free neutering.
What happens on the day of the appointment?
Ahead of your cat coming into care we will ask you to sign one of our Acceptance Forms. Preferably this will be done over email, but if you don't have easy access to a computer we can bring a hard copy on the day. Please complete this with as much detail as possible - everything you tell us about your cat will help us to find the best possible home for them.
One of our drivers will come to your home, or the site where the cat is living if not your home. If you have a carrier that you are happy for us to keep, we will either phone you from our van or ring the doorbell and step back whilst you put the cat in its carrier on the doorstep. Please make sure your carrier is completely secured (no gaps, broken catches and definitely no cardboard boxes)! We can provide a carrier if you don't have one, in which case we'll leave the carrier outside your front door and wait at a safe distance whilst you secure the cat inside. Our drivers are not permitted to enter your home, so if you are concerned about whether you can catch the cat we can give you some advice over the phone ahead of your appointment.
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.
If possible, please ask your your vet to email us your cat's recent medical history or provide us with the name and contact phone number of your vet so that we can contact them to obtain your cat's medical history. Providing this will speed up the process of providing your cat with a new home. If the cat is microchipped and vaccinated please bring records of these procedures too. If you are able to write down some information about the cat's likes and dislikes in advance, this will help us provide potential new owners with background information on the cat.
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.
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 under the Hands-Free Homing scheme.