CAT’s new “online adoption” system

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New adoption process helps cats find homes during COVID-19 crisis

After briefly suspending adoption services in late March, Cat Adoption Team (CAT) resumed adoptions with new protocols and systems beginning April 8. The organization is now offering online adoptions with contactless pick-up. 

Because in-person visits to the shelter or foster homes are not available at this time, CAT is working extra hard to help make good matches for people and cats. We’re posting photos, bio information, and (when possible) videos to help you get to know the cats and kittens available for adoption. Following adoption approval, we’re asking all adopters, staff, and volunteers to follow CAT’s guidelines for a contactless pickup at the shelter or foster home (or low-contact pick-up for cats housed at offsite adoption centers).

“This is an entirely new process involving several new software systems and policy changes, so some ‘learning curves’ are to be expected,” shares Karen Green, CAT’s executive director. “But we are excited to once again match homeless cats with new families.”

CAT encourages Oregonians to follow local, state, and federal safety guidance. Fortunately, pet adoption is supported by public officials when social distancing and other safety measures can be maintained. And with many families at home together, this is a particularly good time for many households to bring home a new pet.  

Online Adoptions FAQs

How do I meet the cats available for adoption? How do I submit an adoption application?

CAT’s Shelter: Prospective adopters will “meet” cats online instead of in person. We are including photos, bios, and videos on their profile 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 “Apply to Adopt” button to submit an application for that cat. (At this time, we do not have a general application option.)

Foster Homes: To see cats and kittens available for adoption from foster care, please check our Kittens in Foster List and view CAT’s Petfinder listings. To inquire about adopting a pet from foster care, you will contact the foster parent directly using the information provided in the pet’s online profile. If it’s a good fit and the cat/kitten is still available, the foster parent will direct you how to apply for adoption.

Offsite Adoption Centers: At offsite adoption locations, you may be able to view (but not otherwise visit with) cats housed in the in-store adoption centers. You don’t have to visit the store to apply for a cat housed there, but if you do plan to visit, please contact the individual store directly for current visitor information and cat availability (not all adoption centers are housing pets). Just like for cats at our shelter, 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 “Apply to Adopt” button to submit an application for that specific cat. At your adoption counseling session, we will help you schedule a low-contact pick-up at the store where the cat is being housed.

What happens after I submit an application online?

You will receive an email confirming that you have submitted an application. Our trained adoption counselors review applications on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to the increased volume of email contact, phone calls, and applications, it may take one to three days before your application is reviewed.

Please be patient. We will contact you as soon as possible 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.

How will I know if my application is approved?

If your application is approved and no other applicants are ahead of you, we will contact you to schedule an online adoption counseling session. 

Once you’ve been contacted to schedule this appointment, the animal is “reserved” for you for up to 24 hours while we get your adoption counseling session scheduled. Application approval does not guarantee adoption—adoption approvals happen during the adoption counseling session. We may continue to accept applications for an animal that has approved applicants. However, the cat cannot be adopted by anyone else unless the first approved adoption has been cancelled. 

How will I know if the cat I applied for gets adopted by someone else ahead of me?

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.

Additionally, if we receive a large number of applications for a cat/kitten and yours isn’t among the first few, you will be notified by email that your application is being removed so that you can continue searching our Available Cats & Kittens page and apply for a different animal if you’d like.

What is an “adoption counseling” session?

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. This is an especially important conversation right now since we’ve made some changes to our policies in response to COVID-19 and its impacts. (Please note that this session does not include a “meet and greet” with the cat because most adoption counselors are working remotely.)

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 pickup your new pet!

How will I meet with an adoption counselor and complete adoption paperwork?

Your adoption counseling session will take place via Zoom, an online video conferencing system. We have an online process for signing your adoption contract and receiving adoption paperwork. You’ll also pay the adoption fee and schedule appointments online as well.

If my adoption is approved, when will I pick up my new cat?

At this time, all adoption pick-ups will be scheduled as soon as possible following your adoption counseling session. Pick-ups will be done by appointment and take place with a “no contact” or “low contact” process to keep staff, volunteers, and adopter’s safe. You will get all the details about how to schedule and pick-up your cat once your adoption is approved.

What if I still have questions?

You can 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
  • FeLV testing 
  • 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.

About Cat Adoption Team

Cat Adoption Team (CAT) is the largest cat shelter in the Pacific Northwest. We offer adoption, foster care, and veterinary services to homeless cats and kittens.

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