Found/need to rehome cats or kittens?
- “I’ve found a cat and I don’t want it, can you come and get it? I have a dog/cat/child”
- “Ive been feeding a cat in my yard and it had babies and they are big now can you take them?”
- There are cats in my factory/apartment block can you come get them?
- “I’ve rescued some cats and I want you to take them as I cant keep them”
- “I’ve gone through a divorce/move house/life change and I cant keep the cat “
You are now an animal rescuer. You can now, in just a few weeks, help save the life of an animal. You can now make that difference and it’s your work that will mean whether it lives or dies.
NOTE: – If you have seen cats on facebook and are telling us about them, we are unable to help you. We get people reforwarding Facebook posts all day. If you cant help them yourself, we cant help you.
We’ve put this small guide together to give some help and advice after many many years of rehoming. We hope this is helpful.
There are three ways to rehome your cat. Outsource, Dump or “DIY”. This is the run down on these
1.Slowest – Outsource/ask a no kill rescue group to take it “today”. This is basically saying “I cant/wont do it myself, so I want someone else to take it off my hands”. So here’s some things to consider.
- When asking small volunteer rescue groups, likely 5 other people have also asked the same group the same day for the same free service, and that group may only have 5 cages (already full) plus a queue of people waiting they have committed to. So your chances of a spot are near on impossible unless it is 1-2 single small kittens. So you are just part of a long overloaded queue and it’s unlikely they can help. On average we have 70 cats in the queue awaiting rescue.
- You may be waiting for ages to get a spot, Remember you are asking for someone who is already overworked to do the work for you and commit to your pet, for free. It’s like getting a free cleaner/mechanic. Today. Remember when the internet had those “free group buy” sites, and then it would take a year for them to fit you in, think that, but ten times worse.
- If you are approaching large “official’ rescuers like the RSPCA/AWL, they will take your animals but they also have the ability to put them to sleep (put down, kill, lets not mix words) as they also dont have endless space.
Note – If we have offered you a spot you MUST turn up on the day we have asked you to, with the cats that were committed. If you do not turn up we no longer commit to those cats.
2. Worst – Dump/give to a pound.
- If you take your pet to the pound they will take your animals, they will be put into a high capacity shelter, exposed to diseases, injury and weather . . and they will most likely die (read up on this). The pound has the OK/ ability to put them to sleep (put down, kill, lets not mix words) as they also dont have endless space
3. Fastest – “Assisted DIY” You want immediate action, then this is what you should do!
- Going back over those points above logically . . the best place to try and find homes for animals is not by asking people who already have hundreds of people also begging them to take animals . . but through people who dont . . your personal networks, forum groups on facebook, friends, family and school. a special project.
Special projects work. This is done all the time really well by people who read this post. This ALWAYS works, it is all about how much time you have, the effort you put in)
Share the workload amongst friends and family is often more effective than 140 people a week asking the one tiny little rescue group.
(Sidenote, ‘but why will they let 1-2 small kittens through sometimes quickly?” – because that’s what 90% of adopters are asking for and they move through fast. Adults can take 3 months to “years”, kittens, a month . . it’s all about space)
OK, so now what can you do first?
You probably noticed think “but you’ve got this great Facebook site” . perfect. That’s right. We recommend setting up a quick facebook site showcasing the animal you want to rescue, or at the very least a digital profile, post and great photo’s that you can share.
Nearly all the people we recommend this to rehome the animals very quickly. The only times this has not worked is when there are other cicrumstances like “there are more than 3, they are all feral/angry” etc
(quick tip, if there are more than three, split up the marketing . . 1 at a time, it’s impossible for an adopter to adopt more than 2 animals at once so I never understand why people say “I have 6 kittens and 4 mums can anyone take them”)
A couple of banners and some graphics, a quick share with your friends and online forums has a huge outcome. Use targetted facebook ads to cat lovers in your area. If you dont know how to do that, use this info here
How to make it easier (see advice down the page for more details)
– Do the vet checks and desex them. It’s like having a car registered and insured before you sell it. Makes the job half done
– Take very good photo’s . . of the cat. Not blurry, not rushed, not yourself. The cat.
– Have a good story (see lower)
Most important. . . Get GOOD photo’s. MORE THAN ONE!!! Use your Iphone/whatever and take a lot of pictures (10-15 per cat or more). Don’t try to make every one perfect, just not blurry . . and take a lot of them . . you will find the cutest ones later. Sift through all of your photo’s and come up with f 10-20 that are good. Everyone has a camera. It may take you half an hour. Do it immediately. If you cant use a camera, ask a friend. This is the key to rehoming your cat amongst hundreds looking for homes is good photo’s. If you have bad photo’s you wont stand out. You need to stand out.
Best ways to rehome yourself (from PetRescue.com.au)
To give your pet’s advertisement maximum exposure, make use of all the available resources.
- Family members and friends. Some of the best homes are with people who already know and like your pet. Friends and family may be willing to offer your pet a new home, so ask around your immediate circle first. Then perhaps try posting a message on your Facebook page, or noticeboards at work and school.
- Out and aboutDo you visit a dog park? Ask around to find out if anyone is looking for a new pet. If your pet stays at a boarding kennel when you go on holiday, ring them to see if they can ask around. Dog washers and dog walkers are also good contacts to find out who’s looking for a new pet. Ask pretty much everyone you deal with on a daily basis – you never know who might come forward!
- Classified adsDon’t be afraid to use classified ads to advertise your pet. For many people seeking a pet, the local newspaper is the first place they look. Be sure to mention your pet is desexed to ensure you only receive enquiries from people genuinely seeking a family companion.
- Club newslettersIf you’re a member of a church, club or group, ask if you can place an advert in their newsletter or on their noticeboard.
- FlyersPut up flyers in your local supermarkets, vets and community centres. Email a flyer to all of your friends and ask them to add it to their work noticeboards. Some rescue groups will also allow you to display a flyer at their premises for free, or in exchange for a small donation.
- OnlineThe internet is a wonderful place to reach many people looking for a pet. Some free sites that list pets include Petlink, Gumtree and Cracker. There are also plenty of paid classifieds online. Some rescue groups may allow you to place an ad on their website for free, or in exchange for a small donation.Things to include in your advertising and flyers
- Accurately describe the appearance, size and age of your pet
- Include the pet’s name and a good photograph
- Mention that the pet is desexed
- Describe his/her nature and appealing qualities
- Define any limitations the pet might have (e.g. not good with cats or small children)
- Don’t forget your phone number and the times you can be reached
- Be fussy . . but not too fussy. You need to look for quality homes with good people, screen them well . . but dont be too perfect “I will only rehome to someone exactly like me with all 4 cats going together” will never happen.
You have every right to screen all potential new owners who enquire about your pet. Don’t let anyone rush or intimidate you. Think of it as an adoption, not a sale. Choose the person you think will make the best companion for your pet.
If someone responds to your advert, you should screen them over the phone before introducing them to the animal. This will help you rule out any unsuitable adopters early on.
To start, you might say: “This dog/cat is very special to me, and I am looking for just the right home for him/her. Would you mind if I asked you a few questions about yourself and your home?”
Let all applicants know you will be checking references and need to speak to their vet (if they’ve had pets before).
Once you’ve chosen a family (or families) that you feel are good candidates, arrange two meetings with the potential new owners – the first appointment for them to meet the pet, and the second for you to see their home. If the first meeting goes well, ask them to fill in the Pet Adoption Application Form.
We strongly advise that you do not hand over your pet until you’ve seen the adopter’s living arrangements. It’s all too easy for people to tell you what you want to hear, rather than how it actually is. By seeing their home you’ll be able to gauge their suitability as an owner.
Trust your instincts. If you have any concerns, don’t be afraid to discuss them or to reject their application. To make a non-confrontational exit, tell them other people are also interested in meeting your pet and that you’ll get back to them.
Important things to mention to the new owners
All rehomed pets go through an adjustment period as they get to know their new people, learn new rules and mourn the loss of their old family. Most pets adjust within a few days, but others may take longer.
Advise the new family to take things easy at first, avoiding anything stressful, such as bathing their new pet, attending obedience training classes or meeting too many strangers at once. Assure them this will give the pet time to settle in and bond with them.
Tell them not to worry if the pet does not eat for the first day or two, he’ll eat when he’s ready.
Some of the best house-trained pets can temporarily forget the rules. Assure the new owners that it’s not unusual for rehomed pets to have an accident during the first day in their new home and it rarely happens more than once.
If all else fails, and you cannot get support from the rescue community and you cant rehome, there are paid rehoming services you can go to that will assist, but they cost money per cat. You can also make an appointment with the AWL (Animal Welfare League) who will try to rehome, be aware they are not no-kill and they will likely have to resort to putting your cats to sleep, so this is an option that isnt optimal.
And here is is a list of every animal shelter and rescue group in Australia. – You should try and rehome the cat for yourself before just dumping onto rescue groups, but if you do need to push the poor animal to rescue because you cant help, then here is a list of rescue groups you can contact that may be able to help. First follow our advice steps below to give yourself the best chance
Here are some resources that will help you if you are needing to rehome a cat or kitten (found, yours or other)
Here is a list of every animal shelter and rescue group in Australia. – As mentioned, they will all be overloaded. . . always . . try and rehome the cat for yourself before just dumping onto rescue groups, but if you do need to push the animal to rescue because you cant help, then here is a list of rescue groups you can contact that may be able to help. First follow our advice steps below to give yourself the best chance. Do these steps and you will have more luck with rescue!
How to rehome a cat. A Step by step guide. It is the best outcome if you are prepared to put the time into rehoming the animal yourself, and here is a handy guide that gives you the information you need to know to rehome your cat.
What to do if the cat is not yours. We don’t totally agree with everything in this guide, and rescuers would like it if you took the responsibility of rehoming any cat yourself rather than putting it on rescue. But here is a guide from Cat Protection Society.
Paid rescues – you can pay to have your animal saved (but not with MKC)
“But Im in a hurry, I have to go away/on holidays/I have a dog”
If you are willing to pay money and want to save a life, some rescue groups will accept a fee for a guaranteed rescue. We are not one of these. Space is just not there. The average price is around $600 for a cat. First contact the rescue groups in the big list above, then as a final resort go here – http://www.animaladoption.com.au/ We cannot guarantee where the animal will end up after they are resold, but that is the cost of your urgent need.
The best bet is to contact ALL Your friends, colleagues, spend some money and take them to the vet, desex them and check them up . . and start marketing them yourself. Do it now, do it soon, do it well . . copy us!! Use all our ideas (please!!!) we are people just like you who spent an hour on making a facebook site.
How to get the best chance to rehome your cat on social media or through a rescue group.
Start this early. Dont wait. Do it immediately. The longer you leave this the harder it gets as animals get older, sicker, pregnant etc OR your situation (moving, boyfriend, dog) will get worse.
- Most important. . . Get GOOD photo’s. MORE THAN ONE!!! Use your Iphone/whatever and take a lot of pictures (10-15 per cat or more). Don’t try to make every one perfect, just not blurry . . and take a lot of them . . you will find the cutest ones later. Sift through all of your photo’s and come up with f 10-20 that are good. Everyone has a camera. It may take you half an hour. Do it immediately. If you cant use a camera, ask a friend. This is the key to rehoming your cat amongst hundreds looking for homes is good photo’s. If you have bad photo’s you wont stand out. You need to stand out.
– Good photo’s mean rescuers can start advertising and looking for homes quickly
– Good photo’s mean rescuers can assess how much effort you are prepared to put in. If you send terrible photo’s and a rushed email, chances are you will be difficult to work with and are at the bottom of the pile
– Good photo’s mean we can tell the state of the animals. Sickness, size, character.
- Have a detailed story for the rescue group. If you send a one line email hastily worded on a mobile “I need to ask about kitten” you are at the bottom of most email lists. Write a detailed email with your photos. Tell the rescue organisation
- Where did you find the cats? Are they yours, local, appeared, provide details. “She turned up in my yard and had kittens, she is a blue short haired cat and I am unsure of the age, please check my photo’s” . . that kind of thing.
- Describe the nature of the cats. Are they letting you pat them? play with them? Are they sick, do they look injured? are they scared and wild? This is useful for point rescue in the right direction.
- Describe where they are and where you are. What suburb are they in (you would be surprised how many people dont mention that). Where are they living, what street? Are they living under a house or in your house.
- Describe what you have done since you found them (if they are strays), have you been feeding them? What have you been feeding them (Please dont say Aldi). Give them healthy food and water (not milk)
- Describe your situation. If you just say “I cant look after them I have dog” is useless to most rescuers. Most rescuers also also “have dog”. Detail how long you can potentially keep them . . .this means rescuers try and find spots for you if they can, Move then into your spare room and / or somewhere safe. “I have them living in my spare laundry and I am feeding them, they are safe from predators and here are photo’s” is the best bet.
- Details details details. Write a long detailed email that is friendly, with images attached that will help you stand out from the hundreds that rescue get all day.
- Strays, take them to the vet. If you find a friendly stray cat it is very likely to be owned. Take it to the vet and they will scan it for a Microchip and try to reunite her with her owner. They also may be able to rehome or help her. If you take in stray kittens then wait till they are adults and say “I have found a kitten, it’s now 6 months old, I am going on holidays now . . can you take it, it’s not mine” it annoys people. Act quickly and early.
- Prepare posters. In Microsoft word or other easy to use program, get your best photo., a short story and your contact number and put them on the posters. With TABS on the bottom so people can tear the number off. Send them to your entire mailing list/friends and family.
The hard facts.
- “But I dont want to be a rescuer? I just want you to take this cat off my / my friends hands?”
Sorry, that’s not always possible as space is rarely there, back to the original point “small rescue groups are being begged 20 times a day to take in animals, it’s usually the worst place to ask” . . . . the volunteer community works very hard and space is infrequent.
One other key point. . .If the cat is an inconvenience to you (EG . . “Im moving in with my new partner and dumping my cat”), you will likely need to take it to the pound or the RSPCA but be aware it will probably die as there are so many.
- MKC and Ethical rescue will only take in the number of animals we can safely support. Support means the time to care for, medicate, feed and safely manage. No matter how much we are pushed we cannot go above those limits, it is unsafe for the cats in care and our work/life balance.
- If you spot a cat in the pound and ask us to take it in rescuers are going to ask why you cant take it in. You have a spare room? Space? Laundry? We are the same, the only difference between us is that we put up a facebook site.
- If you have allowed your undesexed cat to have kittens (and now want us to take them), or have been feeding and looking after an undesexed cat that has had kittens, you are not going to like what rescue says. You SHOULD have desexed the cats. Car/money are no longer excuses. There are low cost desexing services and your friends will gladly drive you. Call a taxi. There are many ways you could have gotten your cats desexed. If the cat is not yours then why have you been feeding it without desexing? Eventually cats have kittens, they dont read books, they mate.
- If you have to move house, go on holidays or have a new boyfriend who doesnt like cats you should have planned earlier. If as a result of your lack of planning you end up taking the cat to the pound it will likely die. Plan early. NO ONE MOVES HOUSE WITH A WEEKS NOTICE! At the very first sign you feel you may be planning a move, boyfriend, dog, holiday, start the process of rehoming.
- We cannot help you trap cats. We do not have traps. If you have been feeding a street cat that is undesexed it WILL have kittens. You need to hire a trap from Kennards, Coates or the local council and trap it, take it to a vet and desex it. If you have left it too late and the cat has had kittens you will need to trap them and the kittens and take them to a vet and then start working on rehoming. The longer you leave it the worse it will get. If you wait till the cats are not cute any longer they are harder to rehome.
- If you have taken on a large number of cats and get in trouble, then you need to stop taking in cats immediately and start rehoming them. Other rescue groups cant be expected to take on your animals just because you should not have taken in so many cats and now need help. The toughest part of rescue is having to say no
- If the cats are wild cats you have been feeding on the street, you will likely not rehome them. Your best option is for TNR (Trap Neuter and Release). You will need to trap them, desex them and put them back/feed them. Do it quickly before they have babies. We cannot do this for you, we simply dont have the resources, people, time and traps. In the same way that you dont have time to come paint my house, I cant come trapping for you
- There is no free “cat pick up service” in Australia. If you need to get your cat to the vet, if you no longer want your cat. . . . Taxpayers do not automatically get a free government animal pickup services. In the same way that I cant get someone come paint my fence or clean my house for free, no one gets a free cat pickup service. You need to be self sufficient.
Ethical Rescue groups should only take in the number of animals they can safely support. Support means the time to care for, medicate, feed and safely manage. No matter how much they are pushed we cannot go above those limits, it is unsafe for the cats in care and for quality work/life balance.
If you want to rehome cat(s) in any circumstances, you can do so much with just a small amount of work. You need to do more than just send a message to one facebook site and then done nothing. Please help your animal, it doesnt take much and you can also rescue them.
Rescue and pounds have heard every story from hundreds of people about why they need to move their animals . . if you take these steps you can take control of the situation yourself, but at the end of the day if you take them to the pound it’s is likely a death sentence. It is all up to you and how much work and time you are prepared to put in.
Thank you so much for helping your animals and making a difference to the community!