Cat Adoption Process

Adopting a cat or kitten is a serious decision. But it’s also exciting! With over 20 years of experience, CAT is here to help you find “the one”.

How it works

You can visit us in-person to meet cats and kittens housed at our shelter or apply online for kitties who are in foster homes or most offsite adoption centers. See below for all the details.

Our staff and volunteer adoption counselors are trained to help you find the right cat for your household. They will help you get to know the cats and kittens for adoption, answer questions, and provide information about cat behavior and care.

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, schedule a visit to Purrington's Cat Lounge, or apply online. Read below for more info about these options.
Meet Cats at Our Shelter
If you are ready to adopt, you can visit our main shelter in Sherwood, Oregon. 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.)

While you're here, 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!

Due to staffing shortages and to reduce stress for the cats, our adoption areas are only open to those who are seriously considering adoption. Thanks for understanding!
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 to adopt most of these cats through our virtual process.

Foster cats: It’s up to the individual foster volunteer to decide if they will host in-person visits, and we respect their choice. Some foster volunteers may offer a virtual meet-and-greet as an alternative. The foster volunteers' preferences will be noted in the animal's profile on our website. Foster volunteers pour their hearts into caring for their foster cats. It’s a lot to ask them to host meet-and-greet visits too. But many do!

Cats at offsite centers: For cats who are housed at offsite adoption locations inside Petco and PetSmart stores, you can apply online through CAT's website. After you apply, you may be able to schedule an in-person meet-and-greet at the store. For cats housed at Purrington's Cat Lounge, you must meet cats and adopt in-person directly from that location (visit Purrington's website to schedule a visit and learn more).

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 schedule an appointment to visit our Sherwood shelter in-person. 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: Foster cats and kittens available for adoption have an online profile on our website that includes photos, a brief bio, and sometimes video to help you get to know them as much as possible. Information about availability for in-person or virtual meet-and-greets, as well as the potential pick-up location will also be included in the profile. For any foster animal listed as available for adoption on CAT’s website, you can click their photo and then click the “Adopt me” button on their profile to submit an application for that kitten or cat. (We do not have a general application option.) 

Offsite Adoption Centers: For most offsite adoption locations, you don’t have to visit the adoption center to apply for a cat housed there. For cats housed at Petco or PetSmart stores, you will go through our online adoption process. 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. To meet and adopt cats housed at Purrington’s Cat Lounge, you must make an appointment to visit that 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 via Zoom, an online video conferencing system. 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, 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:  We do not accept online applications for cats in the shelter or at Purrington’s Cat Lounge. You must first meet these cats in person. In-person adoptions are first come, first served. You can visit CAT during our open hours or contact Purrington’s to reserve time there.

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 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
  • 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
  • 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 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.