Cat Adoption Process
Note: We ONLY adopt to residents of the Washington metropolitan area, which includes Washington, D.C., and parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland.
NEW: Cat adoptions are taking place during the COVID pandemic. Changes to our regular process include:
- Applications are processed and approved upfront.
- Visits take place in foster homes with extreme precautions that include hand-washing and social distancing.
- We try to finalize adoption contracts during that visit if all agree the cat is a good match.
Steps to Adopting a Cat from SPCA NOVA
1. Get Started
- Explore the photos and descriptions of our available cats.
- Read our adoption policies (fee information included).
- Submit our Cat Meet Your Match Form.
- Email email@example.com to:
- Ask additional questions about our adoption process
- Verify a cat’s availability
- Get suggestions on the best match for your home
- Arrange a visit
2. Assess Compatibility
- We assess compatibility via our Cat Meet Your Match Form, and through email exchanges and/or phone calls with an adoption counselor.
3. Meet Our Cats
- Once compatible cats/kittens are identified based on Step #2 above, we arrange for you to meet the cats/kittens in their foster homes by appointment.
- We sometimes ask you to submit a Cat Adoption Application in advance of a visit, depending on the situation (see Step #4 below).
- You can also meet some of our kittens at periodic adoption fairs (early summer to late fall).
- If there is time in advance of a kitten adoption fair, it’s best to submit the Cat Meet Your Match Form to facilitate the adoption process. However, you are also welcome to just stop by a kitten adoption fair.
4. Submit an Application
- We don’t post our Cat Adoption Applications online.
- We will email you an adoption application, or provide you with a copy at a kitten adoption fair, after we have agreed the adoption is a good potential match.
- Once you submit the application, we process the application generally within a couple of days, or often onsite at kitten adoption fairs.
5. Finalize the Adoption
- Once an application is approved, you meet with an adoption official, either in the foster home, your home or at a kitten adoption fair, to sign the adoption contract.
- Also, at this time:
- We review the vet records and pending vet care, if applicable, and provide you with a copy of the records.
- We provide you with a Cat Adoption Packet that includes several handouts that addresses how to introduce your new cat to your home, food and feeding instructions, litter and litter box choices and issues etc.
Things to Think About!
- Many adult cats and the vast majority of kittens need feline companionship.
- Why most kittens need feline companionship. (This applies to many adult cats too!)
- Descriptions on Adopt a Cat indicate if feline company is needed.
- Dogs and people aren’t adequate substitutes when a cat needs a feline buddy!
- Most kittens are adopted in pairs. In some cases, single kittens can be adopted into homes with a compatible young cat at home.
- SPCA NOVA has a strict policy against declawing cats.
- Declawing is cruel and unnecessary – learn how to teach your cat to scratch appropriately.