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Cat Adoption Process

With over 25 years of experience, CAT is here to help you find “the one”. When you adopt, you’ll not only change a cat’s life for the better, you’ll make your life happier too!

How It Works

Our staff and volunteer adoption counselors can help guide you to a wonderful cat companion likely to be a good fit for your household. They will help you get to know the cats and kittens for adoption, answer your questions, and provide information about cat behavior and care.

Visit during walk-in adoption hours from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday to meet cats and kittens housed at our shelter. When you come in, you’ll be asked to complete this short questionnaire so that we can be most helpful to you.

To see all the available felines — including those at offsite and foster home locations — explore our available cats and kittens online. You can apply to adopt foster pets and cats at offsite adoption centers right for their pet profile page.

Get the full scoop on our adoption process below.

See Adoptable Cats Online

You can see all our available cats and kittens for adoption right on this website! Simply visit CAT's Adopt page. Click any cat's photo to learn more about them, including their age, personality, adoption fee, and more. Each pet profile will tell you where the cat is being housed so you'll know the next steps toward adopting.

Depending on the cat's location, you'll either visit the shelter or apply online. Read below for more info about these options.

Meet Cats at Our Shelter

Visit our main shelter in Sherwood, Oregon, anytime during open hours. We’re located about 15 miles from downtown Portland, and we’re just four miles off I-5. (Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.)

During your visit, you'll have a chance to see cats or kittens who are available at the time of your visit. You can even choose to meet with a few individually! Please understand that we can't guarantee the availability of a specific cat — we update our website as quickly as possible, but cats may get adopted or moved to another location before your visit.

We recommend planning about 1-2 hours for your visit. If you decide to adopt while you're here, you'll complete an adoption counseling session so you can take your new kitty home with you. You can shop for pet supplies in our retail area too!

Meet Cats in Foster Homes or Offsite Centers
Many of our adoptable cats and kittens are housed in foster homes or stay at one of our partner centers. You can apply online to adopt these cats. We review the applications in the order they're received. If it's your turn, we'll reach out to schedule a meet-and-greet.

Foster homes: It’s up to each individual foster volunteer to decide if they will host in-person visits in their home or offer virtual visits, and we respect their choice. The meet-and-greet option will be noted in the animal's profile on our website.

Offsite centers: After your application is approved, we will contact you to schedule an in-person meet-and-greet at the offsite adoption location where the cat is housed.

Place a Cat on Hold
If you meet a cat or kitten during your shelter visit, and want a little more time to think about your decision, you can place a 24-hour hold for a $25 fee. (Cats and kittens at offsite adoption centers or in foster care cannot be placed on hold.)

Finalize the Adoption
After you’ve fallen in love, an adoption counseling session is the last step in the process. At this session, one of our trained adoption counselors will go over your new cat's paperwork and answer any questions you may have to help make sure the cat you selected is the right fit for you. You’ll also get some general cat care info and discuss CAT’s adoption policies.
Once the adoption is fully agreed upon, this session ends with signing the adoption contract and paying the adoption fee. For online adoptions, you will meet online and schedule time to pick up your new pet. For in-person adoptions, you may be able to take your cat home immediately after your session.

Adoption process faq

Click on any of the questions below to get detailed answers.

CAT’s Shelter: Prospective adopters can visit our Sherwood shelter in-person during our open hours — no appointment needed. You’ll be able to look at the available cats and kittens and then choose one or two to spend a little more time getting to know. If you decide to adopt, you’ll can submit your application while you’re here.

Foster Homes: To apply for a cat or kitten who is available for adoption from foster care, you’ll need to apply online. Click their profile photo on CAT’s website, and then click the “Adopt me” button on their profile to submit an application for that specific cat or kitten.

Offsite Adoption Centers: You can apply online for cats housed at our offsite adoption locations. Simply visit CAT’s website, scroll to the cat you wish to adopt, click their photo to open their profile, and then click the “Adopt me” button to submit an application for that specific cat. After you apply, we’ll contact you with next steps, including the possibility of scheduling an in-person meet-and-greet at the offsite location.

Once an adoption is finalized, any remaining applicants will be notified by email that the cat is no longer available. At that point, we encourage you to revisit the Available Cats & Kittens page to see if another cat would be a good fit for you.

If we receive a large number of applications for a cat/kitten and yours isn’t among the first few, it may take a few days before you hear from us about the status of your application — but you will receive an email!

An adoption counseling session is the last step to finalizing your adoption. At this session, we’ll talk in detail about the cat you plan to adopt and you can ask us questions to make sure the cat you selected is the right fit for you. We’ll also share general cat care info and discuss CAT’s adoption policies. (Please note that this session does not include a “meet and greet” with the cat.)

Once the adoption is fully agreed upon, this session ends with signing the adoption contract and paying the adoption fee. You will then schedule time to pick up your new pet!

For virtual adoptions, your adoption counseling session will take place through video conferencing. We have an online process for signing your adoption contract, paying the adoption fee, and receiving adoption paperwork.

For in-person adoptions, you may meet with an adoption counselor at our shelter or we may schedule a virtual session depending on adoption counselor availability. You will sign your paperwork and pay your adoption fee at the time of your adoption counseling session.

You will receive an email confirming that you have submitted an application. If you’re the first applicant for a cat/kitten in foster or offsite adoption centers, we’ll reach out with next steps. If you’re not the first applicant, it may take a few days before you get a status update.

Please be patient. We will contact you as soon as we have an update about the status of your application. If you are no longer interested in adopting a cat you applied for, you can login to your profile to remove your application.

NOTE:  Each cat’s location is noted in their online profile. We do not review online applications for cats in the shelter. You must first meet these cats in person. In-person adoptions are first come, first served. You can visit CAT during our open hours to meet and adopt cats and kittens housed at the shelter.

We share as much as possible in the online profile to help you get to know the adoptable kitties. Because our adoptions are first-come, first-serve, cats often receive other applicants or visitors in the time it takes to respond to requests for more info. If you are very interested in a cat, we encourage your to apply online or visit us as soon as you can.

You can also view CAT’s adoption policies and adoption fees right here on our website. All adoptions include:

  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Medical examination
  • FeLV testing
  • Age-appropriate vaccinations
  • Flea treatment and deworming
  • Microchip and registration fee
  • Any additional treatment needed while in our care
  • Post-adoption medical exam from a participating veterinary clinic
  • Sample bag of Purina Pro Plan food (while supplies last)
  • Cat/Kitten Care Handbook and post-adoption support

If you have additional questions, you can contact us. Please understand we may not have any additional information about specific cats or kittens listed for adoption. Response times vary but can take up to 48 hours.

Most cats are available to go home with you right away. If you’re adopting in person, you may be able to take your new kitty home immediately. For virtual adoptions, pick-ups are scheduled for as soon as possible following your adoption counseling session. Depending on where your new cat is being housed, you may be picking up from our Sherwood shelter, a foster home, or one of our offsite adoption locations. You will get all the details about how to schedule and pick-up your cat once your adoption is approved.

CAT reserves the right to decline an adoption. Read more about our policies here.