Why we do home visits
We believe that the right home is out there, somewhere, for every cat and kitten; home visits are part of the process of getting the right cat into the right home and finding the right owner for the right cat! One of the things we all love about cats is their endless variety but this means that not every cat will be happy in every home. People, too, are different and many have preferences about size, colour, gender or temperament. During a home visit we'll try to understand what a potential adopter wants from a cat and what sort of home they can offer as well as what kind of cat is most likely to fit in with their lifestyle. From this we work out which of our cats is most likely to "fit the bill". If an adopter wants a particular cat, or type of cat, which experience tells us will not fit successfully into the adopter's home for one reason or another, we will discuss this with the adopter and explain our thinking. There are often factors which the adopter hadn't thought of and most people are happy to take our advice. Our Home Visitors have, between them, many years of experience placing a wide variety of cats and kittens and of course we have access to lots of knowledge and experience from other volunteers within our own branch, other branches and Cats Protection's Head Office.
As far as cat care goes, what we're looking for when doing home visits are signs of responsible, caring ownership. This includes the potential adopter's thinking on neutering, vaccinating, feeding, access, flea and worm treatment, safety concerns and litter tray management. Some experienced owners need little advice from us where others with less experience need more support. Some people's knowledge is out of date, others have experience of only one or two cats and need to be reminded that all cats are different, so their knowledge may or may not be relevant for their new one.
At a home visit we'll also talk about what arrangements an adopter will make for their caat when they're on holiday, whether they have any other pets (if they have other cats we ask to meet them when possible) or young children, since some cats can't cope with young children. We'll also talk about the owner's working hours, as some cats like to have someone around much of the time whereas others are content left alone all day. A home visit is just a friendly conversation, not the third degree!
I've been home visiting for some years now and love it. You meet some wonderful people, some wonderful cats and feel pretty wonderful yourself, as you know you've really made a difference to both people and cats. If you'd like to learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org