Cat Adoption Process

See “Things to Think About!” at the bottom of this page. It’s important to consider the right “match” when adopting a kitty.

We ONLY adopt to residents of the Washington metropolitan area, which includes Washington, D.C., and parts of Northern Virginia and Maryland. 

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.
    • Please do not call.
    •  We use a voice mail system which often take days to respond to. And, phone volunteers don’t have details about our cats.
  • Or email to:
    • Ask additional questions about our adoption process.
    • Verify a cat’s availability.
    • Get suggestions on the best match for you and the kitty.

2. Assess Compatibility

  • We assess compatibility first via our Cat Meet Your Match Form.
  • Then we follow up with email exchanges and phone calls with an adoption counselor and foster parents.

3. Meet Our Cats

  • Once compatible cats/kittens are identified based on Step #2 above, we ask the foster parent to give you a call to discuss the cat’s personality in detail. If based on the call, the cat/kittens seems like a good match, we wet up an appointment in the foster home for you to meet the cat/kittens.
    • We sometimes ask you to submit a Cat Adoption Application in advance of a visit, depending on the situation (see Step #4 below).

4. Submit an Application

  • We don’t post our Cat Adoption Applications online.
  • We will email you an adoption application 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.

5. Finalize the Adoption

  • Once an application is approved, we call and email you to go over details.
    • We review the vet records and pending vet care, if applicable.
    • We email you key handouts about things you need to know in advance – such as setting up a “safe room” in your home, food instructions, litter and litter box choices etc.
  • We set up a time for you to meet with an adoption official, usually in the foster home, to give you the full Cat Adoption Packet that includes handouts about cat care. We also provide you with the adoption contract that needs to be signed and collect the adoption fee (cash or personal checks only.

Things to Think About!

Feline Companionship

  • Many adult cats and the vast majority of kittens need feline companionship.
  • 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.

Finding a Good Match

  • Many factors affect finding the right match. Cats are not generic. You need to consider your home environment and lifestyle, and the personality and needs of the cat.
  • Pairing up cats takes a bit of consideration.
    • Factors to consider are: age, personality, energy levels, and gender.
    • When pairing cats, in general, males do better with other males and females with other females (unlike with dogs where the opposite is usually true). That’s because gender influences personality – males tend to be bigger and play rougher. Males tend to bond more with other cats and females tend to be more independent. Of course, there are always exceptions!


Not Ready to Adopt?

Consider Fostering a Cat

Learn more

Become a Cat Guardian Angel

Learn More