CAT's Admissions Process
We know that rehoming a cat — especially a pet you love — can be a difficult decision. That’s why the CAT Helpline offers support, resources, and other information to help you through the process.
If you need to find a new home for your cat or a cat you’re assisting, the CAT Helpline team is here to support you. We can provide advice and resources to help you find a new family for your cat, and we can guide you through our admissions request process too.
To provide the right care and adoption opportunities to every cat we take in, we limit the number of animals we are caring for at any one time. That means that we aren’t able to assist in every situation, and there is often a wait time (which ranges from days to months) before we’re able to take a cat into our care.
The first step of the admissions request process depends on your circumstances. Please see the options below.
CAT accepts incoming cats by appointment only as space and resources allow. If we can’t take your cat into our adoption program, we’ll offer other suggestions to help you rehome privately or, in some cases, maybe even keep your cat.
Select the option that fits your situation
If you need help with a feline behavior issue, want support to rehome a cat on your own, or are seeking other advice or resources, please contact our CAT Helpline counselors directly. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (503) 925-8903 ext. 5.
We respond to all CAT Helpline email and phone messages within 48-72 hours.
To return a cat adopted from us within the past 60 days, please complete the online admissions consultation form. Once we’ve received the form, we can help you schedule an appointment — we cannot accept walk-ins.
If you haven’t already, please consider contacting your adoption counselor; they may be able to help you resolve an issue so you can keep your new pet. You can find their contact information in your adoption paperwork.
When reviewing admissions requests, we prioritize assisting cats who were adopted from CAT, but we can’t always take in a cat who was adopted more than 60 days ago.
When making admissions decisions, we consider whether we can meet a cat’s needs through our shelter and adoption program. In some cases—especially when a long period of time has passed since adoption—a cat is no longer a good fit for our program and it is not in the best interest of that cat or the others in our care for us to bring that cat into our shelter.
Please complete the online admissions consultation form. A member of our CAT Helpline reviews each request to determine how we can best help. We respond to all requests within 48-72 hours of receiving your form. At that time, we will either work with you to schedule an admissions appointment or offer other assistance.
If you are trying to rehome your pet cat or assisting another cat, please complete the online admissions consultation form.
A member of our CAT Helpline reviews each request to determine how we can best help. We respond to all requests within 48-72 hours of receiving your form. At that time, we will either work with you to schedule an admissions appointment or offer other assistance.
CAT may be able to take in a stray cat found in Clackamas County only.
For help placing a lost, stray, or abandoned cat who was found outside of Clackamas County, you’ll need to contact your local animal services agency (see our Lost and Found Help for more information).
Before you request admissions at CAT, please complete the following steps:
- Read What to Do If You Find a Stray Cat in Clackamas County
- Post flyers in your neighborhood with a picture and description of the cat
- Post to Nextdoor, Craigslist, and Facebook lost and found groups, and post to Clackamas County Found Pets page.
- Take the cat to a vet to see if the cat has a microchip — if so, you may be able to return the cat directly to the owner
After you’ve taken those steps, please fill out and submit an admissions consultation form. A member of our CAT Helpline will review your request to determine how we can best help. We respond to all requests within 48-72 hours of receiving your form. At that time, we will either work with you to schedule an admissions appointment or offer other assistance.
CAT may take in stray kittens (age 6 months and younger) or stray mother cats with nursing kittens found in Clackamas, Multnomah, or Washington Counties only. For all other areas, you’ll need to contact your local animal services agency (see our Lost and Found Help for more information).
If you found the kitten(s) in Multnomah or Washington County, please contact that county’s animal control shelter first. If the county shelter cannot assist, you can complete CAT’s admission consultation form for consideration.
A member of our CAT Helpline will review your request to determine how we can best help. We respond to all requests within 48-72 hours of receiving your form. At that time, we will either work with you to schedule an admissions appointment or offer other assistance.
Admissions Exam & Appointment
Our CAT Helpline and admissions team will help you schedule during the admission consultation process for cats that we may be able to take in. All incoming cats must have a scheduled appointment — we cannot accept walk-ins.
What to Expect at Your Admissions Appointment
- Location: Scheduled admissions appointments take place at our main shelter in Sherwood, Oregon.
- Schedule: At your appointment, you’ll need to stay for the exam and to complete required paperwork. Please plan to be here for about an hour (longer for litters or more than one cat).
- Fees*: A $50 exam fee is due for each owned cat or litter being considered for admission; an admissions fee of $20 will be due for each stray cat or for a litter of stray kittens. These fees help cover the cost of the admissions exam.
- Exam: An appointment and payment of fees do not guarantee that we will take in the cat/kittens. The exam helps us make a final determination about whether our shelter is the right fit for the feline(s) being considered. Some medical or behavioral concerns may mean that CAT is not the right option. In these cases, we’ll return the cat/kittens to you after the exam. We may be able to share other advice or options at that time.
- Paperwork and forms: If we’re able to take in the cat, you will sign paperwork to transfer ownership to CAT; for stray cats, you will complete a finder’s form.
- Optional Donation: You’ll have the opportunity to make an optional donation (separate from the admissions/exam fee). Your additional support is deeply appreciated and assists with the costs of caring for the cat or kitten you are admitting to CAT.
*Exam/admissions fees are nonrefundable and due at the time of the appointment. We understand that fees and/or donations may be a hardship for some individuals — please don’t let that stop you from reaching out. Our CAT Helpline team can discuss fee options with you.
Why CAT Requests Exam Fees & Admissions Donations
As a private nonprofit, Cat Adoption Team relies on the support of individuals, grant funders, and community partners. In addition to vaccinations and other medical treatments, CAT provides socialization and enrichment opportunities, housing, bedding, food and water, litter, litter box, and other supplies while working to find loving new homes for the cats in our care. Admission, exam, and adoption fees cover only a portion of these costs. We are grateful for any additional donation you can make. Admissions donations (not fees) are tax-deductible as allowed by law.