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.
Through our CAT Helpline, we provide advice and resources to anyone experiencing a feline behavior issue or needing post-adoption support. The Helpline team also provides assistance to cat owners and other individuals who want help rehoming a cat.
Most of the cats we take in are part of our Nine Lives Transfer Program, which works with other shelters and rescue groups to assist homeless cats who are most at-risk. When possible, we do take in cats from individuals as well.
CAT receives hundreds of admissions requests each month. To ensure that we can meet the needs of each cat in our care and provide them the best chance of finding a new home, we limit the number of animals we are caring for at any one time. This means 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 in.
To request admission for a cat in your care or to contact the CAT Helpline for other support, please see the options below.
CAT accepts incoming cats by appointment only as space and resources allow.
Please choose the option that applies to you:
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 email@example.com 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 take in stray cats found in Clackamas County only on a limited basis.
For help placing a 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, you can complete the 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
All incoming cats must have a scheduled appointment—we cannot accept walk-ins. Appointments are scheduled during the admissions consultation process for cats who we may be able to take in. Please choose an option above if you have not yet started admissions consultation.
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: We’ll ask if you wish to make an optional admissions donation (separate from the exam fee). Your additional support is deeply appreciated and assists with the costs of caring for the cat/s you have surrendered 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 this deter you from contacting us; you can discuss fee options with the CAT Helpline team.
Why CAT Requests Exam Fees & Admissions Donations
As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, 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. The average cost to provide this care is $250 per cat. Admission, exam, and adoption fees covers only a portion of this cost. We are grateful for any additional donation you can make. Admissions donations (not admissions fees) are tax-deductible as allowed by law.