What is the best way to find a new home for adult cats?
May 6, 2010 5:23 PM   Subscribe

You have a friend with two well-behaved adult cats. He does not want the two cats any more. You want to give them to the Best Home Humanly Possible (not a rescue organization, ideally) and so far can't find any friends or family who can take them in. You posted your Craigslist ad with the adorable picture of them grooming each other, and now what?

Only caveats: the cats are adult, the cats aren't great with other animals (at least high-energy ones, it makes them hide though they're not aggressive), and the cats take some time to warm up to new people, so they are not awesomely affectionate off the bat.

Are there other great sites to find homes for these cats? Tips and tricks for ensuring the new owners are awesome? Do you include an adoption fee? No adoption fee?

(Assume that I can't take the cats on myself due to completely unstable financial and housing situations, and the owner in question is absolutely unwilling to consider keeping them and plans on taking them to a rescue organization at the end of the month)
posted by schroedinger to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are these cats in South Jersey? If so, memail the link to the Craigslist ad to me and I'll send it around my office.
posted by amro at 5:38 PM on May 6, 2010

Maybe try posting a Craigslist ad with pictures of each cat individually? Posting an ad which shows the two cats adorably grooming each other may disincline people to taking just one of them, and thereby breaking them up.
posted by alms at 5:46 PM on May 6, 2010


If the cats need to be adopted together then definitely keep the picture of both of them, showing their devotion. Otherwise, yeah, individual photos.

Why not a rescue organization?
posted by elsietheeel at 5:48 PM on May 6, 2010 [2 favorites]

I asked a similar question about how to raise awareness of kittens we were fostering, and there were some great answers about how to photograph cats at their most adorable angles. So take those pointers and make some Seriously Awesome posters. List their best traits, and make sure to be creative. Don't use "sweet, affectionate and gentle" when you can say "master head-butter, lap-sitter and laser-pointer-chaser." Grill your friend about their habits so you can add, "Cat X likes to surf the internet on your lap, fetch toys and sleep in drawers" or whatever. Make sure everyone knows these cats are special and interesting pets.

Put their profiles up on Petfinder. Print out posters and put them up at vets' offices, playgrounds, cafe bulletin boards, pet stores and farmers' markets. Distribute them at your office, and ask your friends to distribute them at their workplaces. Make sure you charge some money, because people will value something they paid for more highly than something they got for free. Tweet about them, make Facebook notes about them, and mention to every single person you can think of, "Hey, I'm looking for home for these two amazing cats, can you ask around to see if someone is interested?"

If you haven't found homes for them after a month of relentless networking, I'll eat my hat.
posted by zoomorphic at 6:03 PM on May 6, 2010

Of course, it was true in his case, but I adopted my cat based in part on the fact that the shelter told me he loved belly rubs. So seconding what zoomorphic says.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:12 PM on May 6, 2010

Ask your friends to ask their friends. Give them pieces of paper with kitty photos and wonderful descriptions. You'll feel a lot better giving them to people you know, or who are known by people you know, than to complete strangers.
posted by amtho at 6:54 PM on May 6, 2010

Email everyone you know, ask them to email their friends. Create a flyer that you can email to people that they can post in their offices. Put it on Facebook.
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:13 PM on May 6, 2010

I've put one of these pictures of the two of them in the ad, as well as a link to the photostream.

I forgot to mention, the cats can't be broken up. They are really, really dependent on each other, especially the more skittish on on her sister, to the point where if she wakes up and can't find her she'll wander around the apartment meowing until she does. If the braver one died the skittish one would probably need to be put down, it's at that level.

amro, the cats are in Baltimore, but I'm helping the effort to find a place and the owner is willing to transport them to NJ for someone seriously interested.

elsietheeel, I'm disinclined towards a rescue organization because I don't want them sitting for eight months in a cage at PetSmart--that was their original condition in the rescue organization that had them last.
posted by schroedinger at 8:28 PM on May 6, 2010

I totally understand your reluctance to put them in a shelter, and it's great you're so dedicated to finding them good homes. Is their owner wiling to tack up ads in Baltimore? And is there a particular reason he is giving them up so suddenly and with such a strict deadline* that future owners should be aware of? If that's the case, it's best to be upfront about it so they don't get sloughed off again.

unless he's slated to build houses in Haiti for the next two years, this is such a dick move to those poor cats.
posted by zoomorphic at 9:15 PM on May 6, 2010 [3 favorites]

Also, Tomato Nation occasionally posts "I have these totally amazing cats that need a good home. Anybody?"-type Ask-The-Readers articles. You could ask Sars over there if she'd be willing to help. She's very cat-friendly.

See this post as a recent example.
posted by This Guy at 4:40 AM on May 7, 2010

I think people often over-estimate how hard it can be to re-home adult cats. It is a rare opportunity to get some insight to a cats temperament and behaviour before taking them home and people really appreciate it. Anything you can add in the Craigslist description that can help people imagine a life with the cats will help.
posted by Gor-ella at 6:31 AM on May 7, 2010

Here are some tips for rehoming a pet. They recommend charging a fee to avoid unsavory types taking the cats for pit bull bait or something else unpleasant. Don't know how likely that is.

The general advice is always to put flyers in pet stores and vets, but I always figured that people who go there already have pets. It's worth a try. I recently found a home for a fat old rescue cat by getting permission from bldg management to put flyers in the lobbies of a large apartment complex. Try to get friends and co-workers to put flyers in their buildings, work places, local coffee shops, libraries, grocery stores, anyplace with a public bulletin board.

My flyer honestly described her as a lazy but sweet lump. I agree with others that you want to convey something about the cats' personalities. I don't know how much the "poor kitty" factor helps, but I included info on my kitty's sad tale of woe. You might try "sweet sibling kitties to be abandoned by owner (not me) by end of the month" or something else to convey the urgency of the situation.

Finally, do you know anyone who might be willing to take them for a month or two after your friend abandons them? My rescue was able to stay with a friend of mine for several months while we looked for a permanent home. You might find someone who doesn't want a cat, but will put up with one for awhile.

I hope your friend knows what a terrible thing he's doing (unless he's scheduled to end up dead or in prison at the end of the month) and knows that he should never ever adopt another pet. You are a good person for stepping up where he's failed to fulfill basic pet ownership responsibilities.
posted by Mavri at 8:03 AM on May 7, 2010

Just realized you and your friend are in different places. Your friend should also do this--Try to get friends and co-workers to put flyers in their buildings, work places, local coffee shops, libraries, grocery stores, anyplace with a public bulletin board.
posted by Mavri at 8:05 AM on May 7, 2010

Not all rescue groups keep their cats in cages at PetSmart*. Try calling other rescues or shelters (use Petfinder.com.) Keep calling until you find one that will guarantee keeping both cats together, and that they will live in a foster home until adoption.

*In my experience, the cats you see at PetSmart aren't there 24x7, but are brought in for the day or the weekend. Different places may do things differently, though, so my experience may not be the norm.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 4:22 PM on May 7, 2010

Believe me, words have been said with regards to irresponsibility. Right now though chastising is not going to lead to anything. He's already picked a place to move into at the end of the month and is planning on not having cats when the time comes.

Flyers in his area are not going to happen unless I drive the two-and-a-half hours to put them there myself. I will ask but I can guarantee this will be the result. I'll create one and give them to him though, and try to pass them around up here.

SuperSquirrel, at this PetSmart unfortunately these cats were sitting in the cages that long. :(
posted by schroedinger at 5:30 PM on May 8, 2010

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