Finding good homes for cats and kittens
Finding good homes for cats and kittens can be a difficult task. Giving them away from a cardboard box in your supermarket's parking lot is not considered finding a good home!
You need to make sure that the adopters are willing to make the commitment to care for a cat for the next twenty years. Did you ever wonder what happened to them after they were taken away?
To be honest, not everyone who adopts one of your sweet little kittens or puppies is being totally honest with you when they say the animal will have a good home.
Giving away any animal. whether it be an adult or a baby, without screening the potential adopter and without charging some sort of good faith fee can put your animal in dangers that you never would have considered.
There are people who make their living by go around picking up these "Free To a Good Home" animals and sell them to labs for medical research. You don't want to know what happens to them there. They will even bring kids with them so you believe they are a happy family looking for a little kitten.
Free animals are also taken for sacrifice, they are used for bait to train attack dogs, they are even used for food for snakes. By just giving them away, you are basically saying that these animals have no value at all.
By putting a set price on them you are making it less desirable for these people as you are eating up their profit.
If you don't feel right about asking a price for a kitten, you can request that a donation be made to your favorite charity or local animal shelter.
You've cared enough about this animal to find it a good home, that entitles you to a donation, or to asking for one for your chosen charity.
How To Find Potential Good Homes For Your Kittens
- Place posters in your local veterinarian's office, or humane society or animal shelter if they will allow it....always ask first.
- Be careful about putting an ad in the paper. At the very least - do not put a "free kittens or puppies to good homes" ad in the paper.
Here are some of the people that might answer those ads:
Third-class dealers who sell the cats or puppies for about 30 dollars a piece to labs that perform medical experiments on them.
Although animal labs typically get their "subjects" from breeders (and some breeders make a lot of money selling kittens and puppies and other animals to labs), some protocols also call for an "unknown" group of animals, to be used as a control group in the experiment.
You may also get a visit from a fighting dog trainer. Sadly, some dog owners train their dogs to be killers by using live animals as targets.
Then, there are the just plain mean people who abound. Of course, none of these types of "adopters" will identify the true nature of their interest.
Talk to trusted family members and close trusted friends who are interested in adopting the kittens or puppies. Preferably you want them to live with someone whom you would trust with your own pet, and who has had pets before. Granted, this isn't always possible.
Once You Get A Contact
Screen adopters carefully! Grill them all you want. See if they've had pets before. Find out why they want a new pet. Ask for identification and get an address. If at all possible, try to visit their home to observe the condition, particularly of other animals in the house.
You can draw up a small contract - it is legally binding, in fact (although enforcing it may be a problem.) You can call a shelter, rescue group, or breeder organization for guidelines. In writing, the adopter should commit to the following:
- They will spay or neuter the kitten
- They will give the kitten proper veterinary care - yearly exams, vaccinations, and visits to examine suspected health problems
- The adopter will make the pet a member of the family. That means a companion FOR LIFE.
"Red flags" to watch for. These certainly aren't automatic disqualifications, but they do merit additional investigation.
- Many young kids in the house
- Frequent traveling or business trips
- A small apartment that already has other animals
- College students living on campus
- Military families
Sadly, the latter two categories contribute heavily to the feral cat colonies that abound college campuses and military bases, because of their transient nature.
Don't be shy about requesting a follow up visit or three.
Screen people very carefully over the phone and check all references before allowing them to come to your home to see the animal. The best reference is one from a veterinarian. It's very easy for a person to list their friends, who may not be honest, as references. A veterinary reference is the best way to check the person you are dealing with.
Don't hesitate to say "no" to someone who doesn't "feel right," even after they have visited the pet. If no is difficult to say, tell them that other interested people are coming later, and you'll call them.
You should ideally leave time to visit the home of the new owner before giving up your pet; this allows you to see the pet's new surroundings and to see if the person in fact resides at the address given.