A hand reaching through a cage to pet a gray adult cat.

Let’s face it. You’ve been thinking about adopting an adult cat since before the #BettyWhiteChallenge. The idea of curling up to a good book with a cat lying next to you brings a twinkle to your eye — plus, not having to train a kitten but still having an adorable cat in the house adds to the shine.

So, it’s time to consider the loving adult cats waiting for their fur-ever home at your local shelter. Not only would your life be enhanced by this adoption, but you’d be literally saving the adult cat’s life. A “golden” opportunity for you both, to say the least.

Let’s step back a moment. You may be wondering, “How do I adopt a cat?” While each situation is different, here are the basics to walk you through your upcoming journey.


Take allergies and your living situation into consideration. Some cats play better with kids than others. And humans can have varying degrees of allergies to cats.

One of the first steps in the process will be filling out an adoption survey. Your answers will be at the top of the shelter employee’s minds so they can pair you with felines who match your needs.


After going through the adoption survey, the shelter will arrange for you to meet potential fur-babies. They may all be eagerly waiting for you that day or you may need to arrange a time to visit with a foster pet parent. Each shelter is different based on their resources and housing space.


Like humans, each animal has their own personality. You’ll start to notice this the more cats you’re around. Throughout the meet-and-greet process, you’ll find the one who takes a shine to you as much as you do to them. That’s your cue. Make sure your home is ready for your chosen feline and inform the shelter that particular cat is the one.

Still a little unsure of how baby Violet and the cat will react to one another? Before signing the dotted line, some animal shelters offer a 7-day trial to make sure your new pet is a perfect fit.


Adoption fees vary from shelter to shelter, but your money is going toward bringing home a healthy, happy cat. Shelter employees or volunteers care for the animals while at their facility or foster homes. Animals will be up to date on their vaccinations and routine checkups. They’ll also be spayed or neutered — that procedure can cost more than $100 if you pay for it yourself.


You’ve made it to the last step! Be sure to take a cat carrier when you go to pick up your soon-to-be pet.

Prior to you and your new feline heading home, the employees/volunteers at the shelter will brief you on the cat’s current diet, medications (if any) and general information. They’ll also explain that older cats typically need a bit more time to adjust to their new surroundings. Patience is key with any animal you bring home, though.

Okay, you’ve made it through this article. It’s time to channel your inner Betty White and head to your local shelter. Your fur baby is waiting.

RELATED POST: How to Make Peaceful Introductions When Adopting a New Cat

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.