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

CAT is excited to announce our new adoption options! You can now adopt through our online adoption system or schedule an appointment to meet cats and kittens at our shelter. 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.

Meet Cats Online
You can apply to adopt cats and kittens through our online system — no meet-and-greet required! Simply visit our Available Cats & Kittens page to apply for any kitty you see listed there.
 
After you apply, we’ll contact you with next steps and can answer any questions you may still have to help you choose the right cat for you! Each cat’s online profile helps you get to know them, and applying to adopt is the best and fastest way to get more info about them.

Meet Cats at Our Shelter
If you prefer to meet with cats in person, you can make an appointment to 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.)
 
During your scheduled visit, you can see and meet the cats or kittens who are available at the time of your visit.
 
Shelter appointments last 30 minutes; we recommend planning about 1-2 hours for your visit. If you decide to adopt at your visit, 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
Foster volunteers pour their hearts into caring for their foster cats. It’s a lot to ask them to host potential adopters for meet-and-greet visits too. But many do!
 
It’s up to the individual foster volunteer to decide if they want to 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.
 
You can apply online for cats who are housed at our offsite adoption locations inside Petco and PetSmart stores. 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 their website to schedule a visit and learn more).
 

Place a Cat on Hold
If you meet a cat or kitten during your scheduled shelter appointment, 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 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. If you still have questions after reviewing these FAQs, please email us.

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.

Online: Cats and kittens available for online adoptions have an online profile that includes photos, a brief bio, and sometimes video to help you get to know them as much as possible. For any 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 cat. (We do not have a general application option.)

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 applied for 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—if you want to meet cats in-person, you can schedule a visit to our shelter visit or one of our our offsite adoption centers.)

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. You must respond to that email to tell us if you prefer to continue with the online process or would like to schedule a visit to the shelter. Please note that shelter visits are not scheduled for a specific cat—if you are set on adopting the cat you applied for online, you should continue through the virtual process.

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.

If you are interested in a specific kitty and still have questions about them after reviewing their online profile, please apply to adopt them. Because our adoptions are first-come, first-serve, applying to adopt is the best way to get more information about a specific cat or kitten you are interested in adopting.

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, please contact us. But please know that we cannot respond to email or phone requests for additional information about cats or kittens listed for adoption. Applying to adopt online is the best way to get more information.

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.