Finding Potential Adopters/Rehoming Your Own Kitty

Almost every day we receive emails from people hoping that we will take in their cat(s) that they feel they can no longer keep, or take in "stray" kittens that they've found.  But as mentioned elsewhere we are a very small organization with limited space and resources and have to focus our efforts where we feel it will have the most impact.  As a result, our focus is on the homeless/abandoned kittens and cats that end up at Orange County Animal Services.  During the fiscal year of 2018 OCAS received over 9,000 kittens and cats!  Of those 4,313 were adopted, 999 were taken in by OCAS Partner Rescues, 178 were returned to owners and 601 were TNR'd as part of the OCAS Community Cats Initiative.  Because of these numbers compared to the number of kitties received,  we never do not encourage surrendering your pet to a county shelter, even those listed as "no kill" shelters. Chances are your pet will become sick due to stress and contagious diseases and euthanasia is always a possibility.  Also, we believe "owned" pets have a better chance of finding a new home via the owner's efforts, so we focus our efforts on the truly homeless and abandoned.  However, we are sympathetic, knowing how difficult it can be to find new homes for wonderful kittens and cats -- we face this challenge every day!  So, we offer suggestions that may help you find a new home for your pet or found kitten.  The obvious, but sometimes not fully explored, is to utilize your own networks. 

Please try
  • asking family, friends, friends of friends and neighbors you trust. 
  • reaching out to children's friends and classmates, if possible.
  • posting a notice on the office bulletin board where you work or by asking trustworthy co-workers directly.
  • asking around at church or other groups with which you are affiliated. 
  • posting a flier at your local pet store(s) (most of them have a community board for public ads), grocery store, or small specialty stores that are community-minded. 
  • talking to your veterinarian -- he/she already knows your animal and may know of someone who would provide a good home. Sometimes clients will go through their vet to adopt as they trust the vet and know that at least medically all should be okay.  If the vet doesn't know of anyone then the least they might do is post "Home Needed/Wanted" fliers in their reception area or on their website if they have one.
  • posting on social media sites, e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Nextdoor -- these are good networks to tap into as these are mostly people you already know, and who may know others who might just be looking for a cat to adopt and would appreciate knowing the cat's background.  When you post, be sure to include a good description and several pictures of your cat- you can even add a video, if applicable.  Don't forget to ask your friends to "share" the post for more exposure. 

We NEVER recommend:
  • placing "Free to Good Home" ads on Craigslist or in the newspaper.  Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who watch for such ads and have learned how to present themselves as "good adopters".  Bad things can happen to free kittens/cats, e.g., pit bull fighting bait, torture, etc -- you might find that unbelieveable but being in rescue work we see so much and it is horrible.
  • leaving your cat outside to fend for herself/himself if you move away.  By doing this, you are taking a huge risk and certainly endangering your pet's life.  If your cat gets lucky, you are putting a burden on nice people who didn't ask for the responsibility of taking on an animal you deemed "disposable". 
  • dumping your family pet at an animal shelter without the understanding that there's a very good chance they won't make it out of there alive. 
Most rescues stay at or close to capacity, especially during kitten season (warm months).  If you do contact rescues, make sure to include a picture(s), and a description including age, sex and personality traits of the cat(s).  Also include the medical background i.e., is the cat(s) neutered/spayed, current on vaccines (and, if so, which ones), tested for Feline leukemia/FIV, etc.  Providing this information may push the balance in your favor if a rescue has an opening as they know the cat will have at least some protection (if vaccinated) coming into an environment with a lot of other kittens and cats, as well as is less likely to bring disease into the shelter. 
IF a rescue is willing to take in your beloved pet or a stray you've found, you might want to think about making a donation to that organization.  Remember, it costs money to run a rescue and most of us rely on donations and volunteers.  

Additional resources which may be helpful:

Emotional Support Animals- If your cat is registered as an emotional support animal, you will be allowed in all rental housing regardless of their pet policy and you will be                                                                   protected under the Fair Housing Act.

"We believe that pets and their people belong together"

Having trouble affording veterinary care? Help is here.

Living with Cat Allergies

Temporary Cat Fostering-
PACT for Animals
- temporary, long term foster care
Cat Temps

We hope the information above is useful to you.  Also, if you have any other suggestions as to how to find new homes for kittens & cats, we welcome your input and will share it on this page.  You may email that information to
. Thank you!

"When I am feeling low, all I have to do is watch my cats and my courage returns."
Charles Bukowski